Post #4 from Leslie, this time tackling the issue of writing a budget for your grant proposal.
Over the past few weeks, I have been giving tips on how to write a competitive Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork or Post-Ph.D. Research Grant application. Today’s topic is Preparing your budget: what is fundable and what isn’t.
We realize that it is not possible to estimate to the penny what the cost of your research might be – particularly since most applicants will be going into the field almost a year after they write their Wenner-Gren application. A lot can change during that time including the price of airfares, the cost of living, exchange rates, etc.
What we expect is that applicants do their best to accurately cost out their research at the time of application. We look at the budget closely to make sure that the request will cover the cost of the research and is not excessive. If your application is successful, we will work with you to insure that the amount awarded (within the grant maximum) will cover the costs of the proposed research. If you are in the fortunate position to receive grants from other institutions as well, we will also work with you to spread the costs of the research across your funding sources. It always looks good on your CV to be able to say that your work was funded by more than one agency – we will not force you to reject another funding offer to accept ours!
Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that the amount you request will not help or hinder your chances of funding — we do not prioritize applicants who request less money. We also do not arbitrarily cut the amount that you request. Our concern is that you have the resources to carry out your work and we rely on you to be the best judge of what you need.