Budget Resources

We plan to add more resources to this page, but here are some initial resources to consider as you build a budget for your research or graduate study:

Budget Examples:

This set of guidelines on Budgeting (Part of The Holy Grail: In Pursuit of the Dissertation Proposal by Michael Watts), includes sound advice and a link to sample budgets. See also the sample proposals: budgets are included in “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and “A New Environmentalism.”

Determining Your Living Expenses:

Living expenses can be estimated based on actual costs of housing (whether rent or hotels) and food, etc., in the place you will be living during the term of a grant. But there are also established guidelines from a number of sources for how much it should cost a person to live in a particular place.

Fulbright Hays Maintenance Allowances for 2011-2012 (in US dollars) This document, created for Fulbright Hays dissertation applicants, lists monthly allowances deemed to adequately cover living expenses (housing, meals, utilities) in cities around the world. For graduate students preparing budgets for other international grants, the Fulbright Hays maintenance allowance can be used as the basis for your proposed living expenses. The allowances here are significantly lower than those suggested by the Department of State for government or professional travel; although both are created with input from U.S. embassies around the world, graduate students are expected by many granting agencies to stay in more modest settings than diplomats and government contractors. Contact grant administrators if you are unsure of the appropriate guidelines for calculating living expenses. If you do use these allowances as the basis for part of your own budget, it is customary to include a statement that indicates your source: “Based on the Fulbright Hays Maintenance Allowance for 2011-2012.” You may need to adjust the numbers in your actual budget based on special circumstances (like staying with a host family or a dorm), the length of your stay (which may make it more or less expensive) or your knowledge of local expenses. In that case it may be relevant to indicate why your budget varies from an established allowance.

Other sources for calculating your proposed living expenses include:

Local university “cost of attendance” estimates. Here is the most recent estimate for living and studying in Bloomington. Similar estimates can be found through the financial aid offices of most American universities.

Department of State per diem rates for foreign countries. Note that there is a separate page for domestic travel.

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