SURF Awards: Budget Policies and Samples

The maximum total amount awarded for SURF projects is $4,000 ($3,500 stipend for the student awardee and up to $500 for consumables associated with the research or creative project).

1. There are three basic budget plans for the $3,500 component of a SURF award:

  • Plan AYour SURF award is used as a stipend to cover living expenses during the time you are engaged in your research or creative project over the summer. You may request a maximum of $3,500 as a stipend. To request the full amount, students are expected to complete at least 350 hours of project work (~40 hours/week for 9 weeks or an equivalent commitment over a longer time period). Partial stipends for fewer weeks of project activity are also allowable. A stipend rate of $390/full-time week should be used; this rate is based on anticipated expenses associated with living on the Storrs campus during the summer project period.
  • Plan BFunds may be used to pay for domestic or international travel. Students should submit detailed costs (with prices current as of the date of submission), including airfare, lodging, meals, transportation, travel health insurance (for international travel), and any other costs associated with the travel. To request the full amount, travel costs must equal or exceed $3,500.
  • Plan CFunds may be used to pay for domestic or international travel AND a stipend for living expenses BEYOND the travel dates. Students should submit detailed costs (with prices current as of the date of submission), including airfare, lodging, meals, transportation, travel health insurance (for international travel), and any other costs associated with the travel. This plan would be used for travel costs totaling LESS than $3,500. Students may request to use any funds remaining from the full SURF stipend amount (i.e., $3,500 less travel costs) as a stipend for project weeks beyond the travel dates, using the $390/full-time project week stipend rate. These project weeks should be detailed in your timeline.
    Note: A Plan C budget is not appropriate for students whose travel expenses are restricted to commuting costs to a local research site as travel dates will encompass all project weeks. For these students, a Plan A budget is likely more appropriate.

2. In addition, you may request up to $500 as research expense funding to cover consumables and/or other expenses associated with your research project. Expenses may include:

  • laboratory materials and supplies
  • art supplies
  • participant incentives or compensation (as approved by the IRB)
  • photocopying charges
  • poster printing expenses (maximum $50; for Frontiers or other confirmed presentation opportunities)
  • postage charges
  • books (only if an explanation of why borrowing from the library is not feasible is provided)
  • audio recording device (only if an explanation of why this is required for data security is provided)
  • data storage device (maximum $100; only if an explanation of why this is required for data security is provided)
  • software (if unavailable through SkyBox or other campus computing resources)
  • fees charged for time on shared equipment (e.g., cloud computing, microscopy time) or equipment rental

You must provide exact costs for these items in your budget.

The following expenses should not be included in your research expense budget as they cannot be covered by our funding sources:

  • travel expenses, including parking and mileage (should be included in a Plan B or Plan C budget for the $3,500 component of the award)
  • membership fees (Note: exceptions to this policy will be considered if a membership is required in order to access a data source or set needed for the project)
  • purchase of durable equipment (e.g., camera, computer, microscope)
  • transcription services
  • payment to individuals for services rendered (other than participant compensation as described above)
  • tuition for any instructional program

See Sample Research Expense Budgets below. If you have any questions about whether an anticipated expense is eligible, please contact our@uconn.edu.

 

SURF BUDGET TIPS

  • Include your name in your SURF budget file.
  • Indicate which budget plan (A, B, or C) you are using to construct your SURF budget request.
  • Your budget should address the SURF stipend, both how much you are requesting and how you intend to use it (as stipend and/or payment for travel expenses).
  • If you are applying for the additional $500 SURF research expense award, the second part of your budget should be a detailed listing of costs associated with your research (see samples below for appropriate level of detail re. items, quantities, and costs).
  • Make sure that your budget figures are as accurate as possible.
  • Seek out economical options and compare prices across vendors.
  • If your travel plans include driving a privately owned car, that expense should be based on the university’s mileage rate for the distance you will be traveling rather than an estimate of fuel costs.
  • Consult with your faculty advisor to obtain pricing information for university suppliers of consumable products you need for your project.

 

Sample SURF Budgets

Sample Budget 1 for a Plan A SURF Project

Item Explanation Amount
Stipend 9 full-time weeks (~40 hours/week) at $390/week TOTAL $3,510

Sample Budget 2 for a Plan A SURF Project – Extended Timeline

Item Explanation Amount
Stipend 14 part-time weeks (~25 hours/week), totaling 350 hours. As the project time commitment is equivalent to 9 full-time weeks, I request the maximum stipend amount. TOTAL $3,500

Sample Budget 3 for a Plan A SURF Project – Shorter Timeline

Item Explanation Amount
Stipend 6 full-time weeks (~40 hours/week) at $390/week TOTAL $2,340

Sample Budget for a Plan B SURF Project

(Note: Figures below are for illustration only and may not represent current travel costs)

Item Explanation Quantity Cost/Unit Amount
Airfare Boston to Heathrow, roundtrip 1 $1,200 $1,200
Lodging YHA London Central Hostel 14 nights $50/night $700
Meals Meals for 15 full days 15 days $100/day $1,500
Transportation 7-day Travelcards for zones 1-5 2 $85/card $170
Travel Health Insurance Registration fee ($25) and insurance cost for 2 weeks 2 weeks $20/2 weeks $45
TOTAL $3,615

Sample Budget for a Plan C SURF Project

(Note: Figures below are for illustration only and may not represent current travel costs)

Item Explanation Quantity Cost/Unit Amount
Airfare Hartford to Seattle, roundtrip 1 $470 $470
Lodging HotelCorp Seattle Downtown 8 nights $125/night $1,000
Meals Meals for 9 full days 9 days $70/day $630
Stipend Project work weeks after return from Seattle 4 full-time weeks (~40 h/wk) $390/week $1,560
TOTAL $3,660

Sample Research Expense Budgets

(Note: Figures below are for illustration only and may not represent current costs)

Example 1

Item Explanation Quantity Cost/Unit Amount
Participant compensation IRB-approved compensation for participation in interview study 25 participants $15/participant $375
Data storage device 1TB portable external hard drive. Per approved IRB protocol, audio data and other identifiable data can only be transported between the research sites on an encrypted data storage device like this in order to ensure data security. 1 $75 $75
Poster printing 36″x48″ poster printing at Document Production Center for Frontiers 12 square feet $4.20/square foot $50
TOTAL $500

Example 2

Item Explanation Quantity Cost/Unit Amount
Microcentrifuge tubes Fisherbrand Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes, 0.5 mL 500-pack $75 $75
Microcentrifuge tubes Fisherbrand Premium Microcentrifuge Tubes, 1.5 mL 500-pack $75 $75
Antibiotic treatment Kanamycin sulfate antibiotic 15 g $75/5 g $225
ABI Sequence analysis Sequencing of samples from all test conditions 200 samples $1/sample $200
Poster printing 36″x48″ poster printing at Document Production Center for Frontiers 12 square feet $4.16/square foot $50
TOTAL $625

Note: Costs above the $500 supply budget limit will be covered by the Husky Lab.

Example 3

Item Explanation Quantity Cost/Unit Amount
Coverslips To mount tissue samples 100/pack $35/pack $35
Slides To mount tissue samples 100/pack $90 $90
Aqua polymount To mount tissue samples 20 mL $75 $75
Advanced Light Microscopy Facility time Unassisted use of Leica SP8 Spectral Confocal Microscope 12 hours $15/hour $180
Antigen Gephyrin – mouse monoclonal, to detect splice variants 100 μg $300 $300
TOTAL $680

Note: Professor Doe has agreed to cover lab supply costs that exceed the $500 supply budget limit.