May 12, 2017

Budgeting & Using SAS Funding

Through OSCAR, the Students as Scholars program awards funding through multiple programs: Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, the Undergraduate Student Travel Fund, Scholarship Development Grants, OSCAR Mentor Excellence Awards, and others.  This page provides information for you to use in budgeting and expending those funds.

General guidelines for budgeting and using SaS funding

  • Funding must be used in the academic year it is allocated (which runs May-May). Any funds not used are returned to the OSCAR budget.
    • Exception: URSP funds must be exhausted within the award period, either Fall, Spring or Summer.
  • Faculty stipends are paid out at the end of each semester (Summer stipends are paid in August, Fall stipends in January, and Spring stipends in June).
  • Significant changes to any budget must be approved by the appropriate sub-committee (Faculty and Curricular Activities, or Student Scholarly Activities)
  • Food and drink cannot be purchased with SaS funding.
  • Faculty course buy-outs are not supported (our goal is to put faculty in contact with undergraduate students!).
  • Faculty stipends normally do not exceed $3000 per year.
  • We process purchases rather than reimburse (travel has some exceptions).
  • If you have any questions, call (703-993-3794) or email (oscar@gmu.edu) us for help.

SDG Funding Requests

Departments should request reasonable funds that reflect the scope of their proposed curriculum or project and are directly related to the goals of the Scholarship Development Grant. Funds must only be used to directly support Students as Scholars curricular initiatives, and must be expended as stated in the proposal budget.  Significant deviations from the budget must be approved by OSCAR and receipts for expenses must be maintained by the funded department’s account administrator.

  • Departments will send OSCAR a report at the end of each fiscal/academic year that accounts for their expenditures and demonstrates progress towards the goals of their SDG before the following year’s funding will be distributed.
  • The budget justification must indicate whether each budget item is a one-time expense to be used to design or pilot new elements of the curriculum or if it is a recurring expense. Each recurring expense needs to include a plan for how the expense will be funded after the grant cycle ends.
  • OSCAR will deposit the budgeted funds in an E&G account annually (after receipt of the previous year’s report).  Therefore, budgets must be allocated by fiscal/academic years (July-June), and funds cannot be “carried over” into a following academic year. For funds budgeted in the 2012-2013 fiscal year and beyond, you will need to just give us the name and G number of the administrative assistant who will process the funds, and OSCAR will give him or her access to an account.
Examples of expenses that are allowed:
  • Stipends for faculty to design or assess Students as Scholars enhanced courses or other undergraduate-research focused activities. Stipends for summer course redesign are generally budgeted for up to $3000, and $1500 for curricular work during a semester. Course releases are discouraged, as the goal of the program is to have faculty working with undergraduates in the classroom.
  • Undergraduate or graduate student assistants wage or GRA/GTA funds to assist in the design, teaching, or assessment of the Students as Scholars enhanced course(s).  Graduate Assistants should be budgeted to match the minimum GRA/GTA stipends and tuition as determined by the Provost's Office. If the student assistant(s) is needed after the pilot period, a plan for on-going departmental support must be included (e.g., independent study enrollment or funding support, etc.).
  • Materials and equipment that are needed to support the undergraduate scholarly activities within the targeted courses.
  • Travel to directly support the curricular revision.
  • Support for piloting experiential learning and field trips, with a plan for sustaining the activity after the pilot period.
  • Funds to assess the effectiveness of the course in enhancing student competency vis-à-vis the targeted Students as Scholars student learning outcomes.
  • If funding is used for international travel, $50 per student needs to be budgeted for a travel insurance fee. They will also need to sign up on the Travel Registration Page.

Examples of expenses that are not allowed:
  • Additional faculty to lower course enrollment, unless program is able to show that they will be able to support smaller cap over a sustained period without Students as Scholars support or as a one-off pilot project that can be scaled to normal course enrollment.
  • Expendable course materials without a sustainable plan for department support after grant.
  • Attendance at professional disciplinary conferences, unless directly related to teaching and learning changes in the curriculum.
  • Student travel to present the results of their scholarly work. Students are instead encouraged to apply for funding through the Undergraduate Student Travel Fund, which prioritizes funding students from the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program and Students as Scholars courses.
  • Departmental retreats or faculty development activities for which Students as Scholars activities are not the focus.
  • Food and meals.
Budget Template
When submitting your SDG budget, please use a table like this to break your budget down into these categories (please note that you can extend the semesters if needed). You'll also need to submit a justification that includes details and names.

Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2018
Faculty Stipends $ $ $ $
Graduate Student Stipends $ $ $ $
Undergraduate Pay $ $ $ $
Materials (list) $ $ $ $
Other (list) $ $ $ $

URSP Supplies and Materials

  • URSP award funds may be allocated to purchase supplies and/or materials essential to the completion of the student project.
  • The faculty mentor's department purchasing officer will complete purchases on behalf of the mentor/student team and charge the purchase to an OSCAR org code. Contact OSCAR for the correct code for your college.
  • An OSCAR staff member will need to sign the reconciliation paperwork.
  • OSCAR will not reimburse students for items purchased directly. All purchases should go through the university and obey all the purchasing rules.
  • URSP supply and materials funds are available immediately upon the beginning of the award period and must be exhausted within the given term, either Fall, Spring or Summer.
  • If you have any questions, call (703-993-3794) or email (oscar@gmu.edu) us for help.