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fund a project by myself


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I posted this in the RESEARCH forum. I thought things might be different across disciplines so here I post it again:


I'm doing my M.A. thesis research, which is a psychological/speech-perception experiment and that means--pay the participants. The expense is estimated $400-$500 and I will cover 60% of it by myself. I just want to ask is it common to fund one's own project (with relatively big budget) or usually there is fund sources (I have my program cover about 40% of it but I still need to pay hundreds), or it just varies from school to school. Not complaint. Just curious. 




P.S. people in the RESEARCH forum suggested I should seek funding from my PI's lab. But I suspect a Master student may not have the privilege to do so, especially I'm leaving to take my PhD elsewhere--at least it's a fact that it is my PI who asked me to seek fundings from elsewhere and I know PhDs (I don't know maybe undergrad's project too) working in her lab do get funds from the lab. Is it the issue of MA vs PhD students?

Edited by longforit
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I've never paid for anything by myself. My lab covered all of my expenses until this year, and now I have my own grant for my dissertation work. We don't have MA students, but I am willing to bet quite a bit of money that if we had any and they ran anything through the lab, the lab would cover those expenses. My department also has some "research money" fund that people can request money from to cover expenses such as payment for experimental subjects and consultants for field work, in case they don't have a PI who can cover their expenses.  


I can easily see students paying for experiments out of pocket in schools outside the US, though. 

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Thanks Fuzzy. It's at least a relief to know that I'll not pay for my research in my doctoral study. I can see my research is kind of independent from the research in my advisor's lab, though to submit the IRB application, she still acts as the PI of the project. Maybe that's why I was told to seek outside funding. I has been confused now and then about the common procedure of the research during the whole process since it's my first time to do such a study and do it in the US and I have received little guidance. I'm glad by talking with peer researchers here I can have an idea of what the common practices are and hopefully after this first time I could be more clear about most of these things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've always paid for my 'amateur' independent research myself (a video camera, RSL courses, consultants - I never paid them cash, but there were other expenses involved). One of the reasons I decided to apply to a grad school in the US: I am sick and tired of paying for everything myself, and then again, I can only afford that much (and I want to grow).

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