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Learn enough to construct a simple budget – adding things up and multiplying things together will get you through most of it. For a start, your spreadsheet will multiply things like 7 days in Kuala Lumpur at .52 per day, and it will also add up all of your sub-totals for you.If your budget doesn’t add up properly (because, for example, you constructed it as a table in Word), two things will happen. Secondly, and more importantly, people will lose confidence in all your other numbers, too.For a research assistant, this might mean talking about the level of responsibility required, so people can understand why you chose the salary level.
Take your methodology and turn it into a step-by-step plan. You should be able to walk someone else through the project, so grab a critical friend and read the list to them. This will help you to get to the level of specificity you need for the next step. If not, go and read them now – I’ll wait right here until you get back. It is just as important to know what you can include in the application that you are writing right now. the general costs that your organisation needs to keep running).
Once you’ve listed everything you want to do, go back and read the specific rules for budgets again. The funding scheme won’t pay for equipment – you’ll need to fund your Thingatron from somewhere else. Most funding schemes won’t fund infrastructure (like building costs) and other things that aren’t directly related to the project. This includes the cost of basics like power and lighting; desks and chairs; and cleaners and security staff.
Other times, you’ll need to ring a supplier, particularly if there are delivery and installation costs.
Jump on a travel website and find reasonable costs for travel to Kuala Lumpur and the other places.
So, developing the budget is the perfect time to plan your project clearly.
A good budget shows the assessors that you have thought about your research in detail and, if it is done well, it can serve as a great, convincing overview of the project. You can’t just go to ‘South East Asia’ to do fieldwork.Make a note of where you got each of your estimates from.This will be handy later, when you write the budget justification. If you are applying for funding, you must say what you are planning to spend that funding on.More than that, you need to show how spending that money will help you to answer your research question.For each item, give a short paragraph that says why you need it.Refer back to the project plan and expand on what is there.In general, while your research proposal outlines the academic significance of your study, the budget and budget narrative show that you have an understanding of what it will cost for you to be able to perform this research.Your proposed budget should identify all the expenses that are necessary and reasonable for the success of your project—no more and no less.If your total is wrong, they will start to question the validity of the rest of your budget. If you are shy of maths, then Excel is your friend. For this exercise, the trick is to put each number on a new line. The budget justification links your budget to your project plan and back again.Everything item in your budget should be listed in your budget justification, so take the list from your budget and paste it into your budget justification.