Budgeting Considerations

Planning and monitoring your program budget helps avoid unanticipated expenses during implementation.

The program administrator should take into consideration the additional complexities and costs associated with running projects abroad, including:

  • Visiting student fees, such as processing fee, registration fee, insurance, and student activities fees. These cannot be paid by sponsored accounts without written permission from the sponsor.
  • Technology, cell phone, per diem, travel, and cultural training expenses.
  • Business class travel is allowed with written permission from the sponsor.
  • Mobility cost and employee benefits for long-term international assignments.
  • The participation costs of MIT board/governance and advisory boards of outsiders.
  • Incentives to encourage participation of MIT departments, labs, centers, and personnel.
  • Health and safety planning.
  • Currency fluctuation. (See "Foreign currency" below)
  • Legal counsel, accounting, auditing, or tax advisory services.
  • Compliance costs, such as business registration, tax filings, and local taxes.
  • Overhead costs for non-research activities.
  • Other project-specific unique costs.

The program budget should be reviewed regularly to identify areas that may need your attention and revised accordingly as the financial situation of your program changes. Please contact the ICC for general assistance and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for specific guidance on research budget proposals.

Foreign currency

While projects are typically budgeted in U.S. dollars, many expenses will be paid in local currency. We recommend careful budget planning that includes a currency exchange premium, and that program administrators revise the budgets closer to the award stage to account for exchange rate variations and review exchange fluctuations on an ongoing basis. The authorized spending amount is based on cash received in U.S. dollars; fluctuating values could result in the reduction of services under the agreement.