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Budget Guidelines

You must submit a detailed budget with your online application. You can access a sample budget on the Wenner-Gren website. The maximum award for the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant is US$20,000. Please note: the total amount of your request for your Plan A and B budgets must be the same.

Provide a budget only for the items and amounts you are requesting from Wenner-Gren. If your project is dependent on funding from more than one source, you should include a brief description of the items not covered in your Wenner-Gren budget together with the cost of these items. Remember, you must indicate in your response to Project Description 3 whether your project will be feasible if this additional support is not forthcoming.

It is important to include a detailed breakdown, showing how you estimated expenses in each category. You should use the categories listed below when relevant and be detailed in your justification/explanation. Items not fully justified will not be considered.

Expenses allowed:

  1. Research expenses directly related and essential to the project, including travel, living expenses during fieldwork, childcare, research assistance, transcription costs, specialized software, gifts for informants, visa fees, and other relevant research expenditures. Please refer to the sample budget for an example of the detail required. Items of special note include the following
    • If you are requesting multiple trips to the field, please provide a justification. The Foundation does not fund pilot research or trips home from the field to consult with supervisors or colleagues or to carry out preliminary data analysis. It also does not fund trips to the field for supervisors to advise or support their doctoral students.
    • If you are requesting funds for research assistance, please explain why you need this assistance.  Explain in detail the aspects of the research you will carry out and which aspects the research assistant/s will be responsible for. Provide a justification for the research assistant/s's level of payment in the context of the appropriate wage rate for your research site.  Clearly specify the number of assistants requested, and the amount of time they will work. It is important to provide a convincing justification for the number of research assistants requested and for their period of appointment. Resist the temptation to inflate this item.
    • If you are requesting funds for transcription costs, please provide an equally detailed justification.  Account for the payment level, explain the need for assistance, and describe what proportion of this work the assistant will carry out and what proportion you yourself will cover.  Explain how you plan to use the transcriptions in analyzing your data. It is particularly important to make a strong case for why word-for-word transcriptions are needed for this particular research project.
    • Please note that we expect our grantees to participate in all aspects of the research.  Do not hire others to carry out activities that would give you valuable experience and/or insight. This is particularly relevant to requests for research and transcription assistance.
    • If you are requesting childcare expenses, please provide the number of hours/days and hourly/daily rate for childcare.
  2. Per Diems. Per Diem expenses should be an accurate reflection of the actual costs of carrying out the research. You may include a per diem for your current place of residence if it is impossible for you to travel to the field.  The Foundation rarely if ever pays US State Department per diems for foreign travel. If you do not have a clear idea of the costs of research, you should consult with others who have experience in the area. The Fulbright-Hays or the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) websites also provide international per diem/maintenance allowance estimates appropriate for academic research. Justify all per diem amounts.
  3. Course Relief. We will consider covering course relief if you are unable to travel and need to carry out your project remotely.
  4. Tuition Fees.  We will consider covering tuition if you are unable to travel and need to carry out your project remotely.
  5. Compensation for Research Participants and Community Members.   You may include in your budget the cost of fairly and appropriately compensating individuals and groups who collaborate in your research.  Justify the measures you plan to take to reciprocate research participants for their work.
  6. Supplies and equipment directly related to the successful completion of the project. But if you are requesting a piece of equipment costing more than $750, include a donation statement as well as a justification. The Donation Statement should explain:
    • Why you need the equipment for your project
    • Why you don't have access to the equipment through your institution
    • Why you cannot obtain funding for the equipment from other sources
    • How you plan to dispose of equipment at the end of your project.Please take into consideration the Foundation's equipment policy.  If any item of equipment (including software) purchased with grant funds at an original cost of $750 still has monetary value at the end of a project, the grantee must return the resale value to the Foundation; or, upon approval by the Foundation, the grantee may donate the equipment to an educational or scientific organization (see the Requirements and Conditions of the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant). For donation purposes, we treat equipment comprised of compound elements each costing less that $750 but used together (e.g. camera body and lenses) as a single piece of equipment.

    We expect you to request cost-effective equipment that is appropriate for your research. If you are asking for funding to pay for expensive equipment, such as high-end laptop computers, justify your request in light of the research you will carry out.

  7. Insurance Coverage.
    • Medical Insurance. The Foundation encourages all applicants to make allowance for medical insurance while in the field. Please note, however, that we provide a maximum of $125 per month for this purpose and only provide funds to cover you while you are undertaking work at your research site.
    • Equipment Insurance. Please provide a justification detailing the coverage level and the role of covered items in the project.  Explain why your personal or institutional insurance does not suffice given your needs.

Expenses given low priority:

  1. Film or video-making (unless inherent to the research project)

Expenses not allowed:

  1. Salary (or other type of remuneration) and/or fringe benefits
  2. Personal income taxes
  3. Tuition fees
  4. Travel, subsistence, insurance, etc. expenses of non-project personnel including family accompanying the applicant to the field
  5. Travel to and/or attendance at meetings
  6. Return trips to consult with a supervisor or colleagues
  7. Institutional overhead, or institutional support
  8. Expenses incurred prior to the effective date of the grant
  9. Writing or publication expenses, including costs related to page charges for journal publication or to the (re)production of illustrations, photographs and maps.
  10. Expenses incurred at home while the applicant is in the field, including rent, mortgage payments, childcare, storage of personal effects, etc.
  11. Living expenses while engaged in thesis write-up
  12. Contingency funds or miscellaneous expenses.

Return to application procedures page

Sample Budget.pdf (15.61 KB)