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What to buy with research funds?


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At the school I will be attending this fall, I received a recruitment fellowship of a few thousand dollars for my first year.  However, I was told that there may be restrictions on what it can be used for; that it's not just added to the stipend, but has to be used for research-related purches, which I said was fine and I still wanted to apply for it.  I got the impression it didn't have to be directly related to a specific project, like subject payments, but could be anything reasonable related, like a laptop.

 

I'm starting to think about what I could spend it on, depending on the restrictions and how much support I'll have for my project already through my PI's grants. Here are some things I came up with:

  • Laptop computer (I have one but it's a few years old, and I'm sure I will be using it for work all the time)
  • Software (e.g. SPSS, SAS, Microsoft Office)
  • Conference travel and registration
  • Tablet(s) for data collection in the field (I don't really know yet if this is something I would need since I don't have a project outlined, but they seem useful)

I'm sure I won't have trouble spending the money, particularly if I do need to use it for subject payments or conference travel, but I'm curious about other things I may have missed.  Any suggestions?

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Don't plan to buy any software. Many universities have digital copies available for you once you are a student because of their licensing agreements. It is possible that you can get all of the software you need for free through them.

 

Tablets and electronics are the best for this funding, you will want to buy a brand new computer for your office and set it up with two monitors. Your productivity will skyrocket. Or you will become a more efficient redditor one of the two.

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I've received a fellowship with funding before and you really would need to find out from them. My fellowship was science research related so it needed to be spent on tons of the supplies I really required. 

 

I have had several colleagues come to me and ask whether they could spend their money on a laptop. Even math majors were denied. However, a computer science IT fellow was able to upgrade his computer and get a new Mac. 

 

Hope this gives some insight. My honest opinion, that money will be directed towards travel, conference funds, conference attending fees. 

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Sleepdr: Ooh, a second monitor is a great idea.  I got a second one for my work computer, and just like you said, everything goes so much faster; particularly for what I was working on that involved coding information from a document and entering it into a spreadsheet.  I can't imagine going back to one screen. 

 

I think that I will have a desktop at school already, though I don't actually know. so I may need the full set-up.  Since my laptop works fine, I can focus on a desktop and two monitors if I am limited by cost.

 

stephchristine: I believe that a laptop was one of the examples given of what to spend it on, but it's been a while since the conversation so I'm not sure.  Good to know that that's not a guaranteed option; I would have assumed it was.  I don't think I'll need a lot of physical equipment, since I will be doing mostly online surveys, but I agree that I should check before spending anything.  I'm not planning to buy anything yet (won't even get the money until I start attending in the fall), but I want to think of lots of ideas now so I have options no matter what the restrictions are.  Conference travel will likely be the biggest expense, but it's always possible it won't be allowed to be used on travel.  I don't know what the restrictions are and don't want to ask since I don't need it yet.

 

Thanks guys!  Any others?

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