How to Write a Research Budget Plan?

How to Write a Research Budget Plan?

Setting up a research budget plan is really crucial for any Ph.D. candidate or any other researcher. This plan will help you know how expensive your research is.  A research budget ensures you if all the costs are covered or if you need any additional funds to cover the research expenses. In conclusion, this guide will help you to provide a realistic appraisal of the research costs.

The simple guide to the research budget plan

Is there a fund? Is there a funding opportunity within the Faculty? How about the cost of publishing your article in an open-access journal? Some Universities fund publication cost too.

Submit the research proposal budget

When you are planning a research budget there is different kind of costs:

Direct Costs:

This kind of cost is utilized solely to execute the research. like expenses on:

  • Research staff members
  • Tools
  • Materials & Chemicals
  • Travel finance: Attending research-related conferences, seminars, and training travel expenses for the surveys and data collection and Visiting expenses to other institutions.

Indirect Costs

These expenses will be reserved for institutional facilities when conducting your research. For example:

  • Institutional laboratory
  • Electricity
  • Water & Energy usage 
  • Telecommunication charges
  • Equipment: printer, computer, or other electronic items

research budget plan

Types of  Research Budget

There is 2 kind of budget designs:

Modular Design Budget

  • The direct costs are equal to or less than $250,000 annually
  • You have research grants

Detailed Design Budget

  • Your direct costs are more than $250,000 per annum
  • You are applying for grants other than research grant type or its equivalents

research budget plan design

Plan your Research Budget

When you find the research question and plan a suitable study design; You can guess the unpredictable charges that can arise while researching. Consider these five main points while planning your research budget:

1-Budget Essentials

Which items will affect your research budget? These are mainly:

  • The study design
  • Testing procedures
  • Sample collection methods
  • Research settings. 

2-Instructions of the Funding Agency

Find the introduction of budget rules and limitations by your funding agency. 

3- Categorization of Each Item

You should do a breakdown of the budget item-wise and year-wise with cost calculation. After that, consider the recurring and nonrecurring items that are directly related to your research. 

4-Justification of Each Item

For every enlisted item provide a solid justification for its importance in your research budget. 

5- Review & Verification of the  Research Budget 

Reviewing is the most significant step of your budget plan. Above all, Recalculate the cost of each item and the total items. Remember that too low or high budget will raise suspicion in the mind of your reviewers. So stay in the research budget range.

plan a research budget direct cost and indirect costs

Budget Justification

The funding agencies require justification for each item of the budget plan. This document is also known as the budget narrative page.  In other words, It reasons the importance of each item. Academictown suggests drawing a three-columned table with:

  1. The name of the item in the first column
  2. The quantity and cost in the second column
  3. A justification statement in the third column

Budget Summary

At last, provide a summarized form of your budget to specify every item with its cost per annum:

  1. The non-recurring items will only be specified under the first-year heading as they have a one-time expense.
  2. The recurring items will be mentioned in both years, along with their costs.

At the end

This research budget plan prepares you for all the financial aids you need. The plan will inform you about the expenses of each research item and method. The budget section is the key factor of success or failure for your proposal. For instance, You can manage the items with a spreadsheet. Pointing out and categorizing the direct and indirect costs, at last, will be able to plan and compose a well-scripted budget.

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