ESSE Bursaries: Budget Guidelines

In your application for an ESSE bursary, you should budget the cost of your trip carefully, even though it will be impossible to determine exactly what everything will cost in advance. Note that an ESSE bursary is a contribution towards the cost of a research trip, though it is possible that the award made will cover most of the expenses involved.

It is perfectly acceptable to ESSE that you combine an ESSE Bursary with grants from other sources, if you have other sources of funding available to you. Note, though, that you will be required to submit original receipts to ESSE for the expenditure financed by the ESSE Bursary.

Your budget should include the following items:

Travel costs. Include all travel costs to the place of your research, including travel within your country to get to the airport and travel within the destination country to the place of stay but NOT minor daily local travel during your research visit, e.g. local buses from your accommodation to the university. Bear in mind that plane costs vary quite dramatically according to when you book your flight and which days you travel. You should not budget your plane journey on the basis of a special offer available for only a few days at the time you make your application, but you should research the normal cheapest way of travelling to your destination, noting perhaps that travel is regularly cheaper on certain days of the week, or that a budget airline may be much cheaper than a more regular airline. In your budget, note down the airline and route you expect to take, and make a reasonable estimate on the basis of your Internet research of what the ticket is likely to cost at the time you book.

Accommodation expenses. If possible, find the actual cost of a suitable place to stay. If you cannot discover a place at the time of your application, then budget €60 per night for bed and breakfast. You may choose to stay somewhere that costs more than that, but ESSE will only pay more than €60 per night under exceptional circumstances and if you can provide very clear and convincing reasons as to why this is necessary.

Living expenses. ESSE will pay an allowance of €25 per day towards food, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses such as local bus fares or personal necessities such as shampoo. You will not be asked to produce receipts for these expenses. This allowance will be payable for each day from when you leave home to when you arrive home again. Note, though, that if you obtain funding from other sources to cover your living costs, you should not claim this allowance from ESSE.

Miscellaneous costs. Cost of visas, travel insurance, postage (including registered post of receipts to me after the trip), library access cards, photocopying of materials, and any other substantial costs that you envisage you will incur.

Bank transfer fees, currency exchange fees. Your local bank may deduct a charge for receiving money in euro from ESSE. You may also have to pay charges for currency exchange. Check with your bank. If you are told that your bank will make a substantial charge for receiving a transfer, then ESSE will pay this charge over and above the amount of your bursary. Please note that ESSE has a bank account in the UK and can transfer all or part of the bursary in Sterling into another UK bank account, if you have one that is accessible to you.

Book purchases. ESSE will consider contributing towards the cost of books that are essential for your research project, and which you may need to obtain to read before travelling or to buy at your destination to read on your return. If possible, you should list specific titles and briefly explain the importance of the books to your project in your application.

Partial funding from other sources. If you know that you will obtain other funding to cover part of the cost of your trip, please note this, and indicate which expenses are to be covered from the other source(s), and what you are applying to have covered by ESSE.


The total budgeted cost of your trip may be less, or more, than the maximum amount of an ESSE bursary (€1,500). ESSE will consider awarding you up to the full amount of your budget, subject to a maximum amount per award of €1,500.


In your application, you should specify the length of the trip planned, even if you do not know exact dates at the time of your application. You should briefly explain in your application the reasoning behind the length of your stay, which is likely to be related to the amount of relevant material you need to examine, for example. Please bear in mind that ESSE bursaries are intended to enable research visits to an institution in another country, for example to study material in an archive. You may well wish to extend your visit for other purposes – attendance at a conference, perhaps, or simply holiday. This is perfectly acceptable to ESSE, but ESSE will not pay for living expenses, additional travel (to another town, for example) or accommodation for the part of your trip that is not related to the purpose for which your bursary is awarded.

On your return from your visit, you will be asked to submit receipts to prove that money has been spent on budgeted items (except for the €25 per day living allowance, which is payable automatically without receipts, unless you received funding to cover such expenses from another source). It is not expected that the amounts spent will match the budget exactly, and provided that money awarded for the Bursary has been spent on reasonable items connected with your research trip for which ESSE would normally be willing to pay, then slight mismatches between budget and actual spending will be accepted. Thus, for example, it might be that you were able to obtain a cheaper flight than originally expected, but that the cost of your accommodation was a little higher than budgeted; or that you used the money saved on the cheaper flight to stay an extra day, or take extra photocopies related to the project and send them home by post. If, however, your total spending was €50 or more below the amount of your award, you will be asked to repay the balance. On the other hand, if you find that you unavoidably spent more than originally budgeted and you were awarded less than the maximum amount of €1,500, you may ask ESSE to consider making an extra contribution to make up all or part of the deficit.