Listen to what a student says about budgeting:
During the Project Initiation Phase, you will also complete a high level budget. This budget can be revised in more detail during the project planning phase, if needed. At a minimum, your research budget should include the following expense categories:
Labour Costs – These include the salary costs for research assistants, translators, drivers, and any academic support you have recruited to assist in your thesis project that is not covered in your tuition. Labour costs can be specified in terms of labour hours, labour weeks or labour months depending on the practice of your home institution and the terms of your labour contracting. In many low and middle income countries, labour is contracted by the month, so this will often be the unit of costing. However, in some cases, you may hire a resource for a certain number of hours, for example, transcribers are often paid by the hour or by the number of interviews they transcribe.
Travel Expenses – These include visa fees, airfare costs, travel insurance, anti-malarial medication and vaccinations, lodging costs, food and water, fuel for cars, bus fare and other expenses related to travel away from home in relation to your data collection. It may also include travel allowances for field assistant if this has been negotiated as part of their contract.
Research Equipment – This expense type usually includes larger purchases needed to support your research, including: laptops, cameras, recording equipment, mobile phones, laboratory equipment, equipment for measuring conditions in the environment, modems, hard drives, GPS systems, and software.
Research Materials – This expense type usually includes smaller purchases needed to support your research, including: stipends for participants, mobile phone pre-paid cards, meeting room rental fees, laboratory bench fees, low cost laboratory supplies, low cost medical supplies (if your field work includes any medical intervention), batteries, flip charts, and printing of surveys and guides.
Publication and Dissemination – These expenses include costs for submitting articles generated from your research to journals if you intend to publish and costs associated with disseminating your findings to interested stakeholders. All public health research should include a dissemination phase in which local participants and stakeholders are informed of the research findings. Costs related to printing and binding your thesis should be included in this section of your budget.