Writing a Budget

The College is committed to supporting student endeavors, including independent research, creative work, community service, and travel, insofar as the available funds permit. In order to provide support for the largest possible number of students, the following general policies apply to all funding from the Undergraduate Research Center:

  • Budget requests should include a detailed budget, with a description of what is to be purchased, the unit cost, and the source of the information. If applying for the Summer Research Program, you must also include a budget cover sheet.  For all programs, the budget description should include a complete description of the costs for the project and how funds to support those costs will be secured. In general, larger projects will require support from multiple sources and students should plan ahead in developing their budget to reflect these fiscal realities.
  • Funds for supplies are to be used for consumable supplies. In short, if the item will remain in a usable condition at the end of the project, it is not an appropriate item for purchase with URC funding. Exceptions can be made, but generally only for specialized items which are of use only for the specific project under consideration.
  • The URC will generally not provide funds to purchase books, videos, computers/laptops, computer memory, computer disk drives, software, etc. When exceptions are made, it is typically with the understanding that ownership of the items will be retained by the College, with provision for the widest appropriate access by students.
  • In addition to supplies, local travel costs to collect data for research, conduct interviews, etc. can be supported. This is presumed to include only mileage and parking costs or public transportation, and to be limited to the Los Angeles Basin on an occasional basis only. Please use the current IRS guidelines for mileage reimbursement. 2021 rate: 56 cents/mile.
  • In general, office supplies/equipment such as personal printers, ink cartridges, paper for printing, lab notebooks, etc. are not supported. Copying costs can be supported, if the copies are essential to the project and not just for the convenience of the researcher.
  • If an exception to these policies is requested, students should clearly explain the reasons for the exception, and the mentor should also address the exception in the letter of recommendation.
  • Students will be notified of the amount they will have available, and the items in their budget which are excluded. Any changes to the budget must be approved in advance by the URC.