Frequently Asked Questions
How does my Plan of Activity essay affect my budget?
Your budget must support your Plan of Activity. Your plan of activity outlines what you will be doing during your fellowship and your budget provides an estimate of how much it will cost. It is important to have the Plan of Activity correspond to the budget; not having this clearly outlined weakens your application. Activities mentioned in the budget must also be explained in your Plan of Activity . Details like, date, place, type of activity and relevance to the fellowship should all be discussed in your essay.
I need help with my budget, who can I ask?
You should be working with your US mentor and his/her US university’s Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) to develop a budget that should clearly aligned with your fellowship and meets all of the US university’s Sponsored Programs Office’s requirements. The budget must be approved by the US mentor and the US mentor’s university.
What is the Fly America Act?
The Borlaug LEAP Fellowship Program adheres to the Fly America Act. This act states that a traveler must use a US carrier to the maximum extent possible, there are exceptions though and you may be able to use a European airline, please see our Fly America Act page. Your budget and budget justification/narrative must clearly show that you are adhering to this condition, regardless of cost and/or itinerary.
Do I need to include health insurance in my budget when I am in the US?
Yes, all students who will be in the US during the course of the fellowship must have adequate health insurance during their time in the US. If the fellowship is not paying for your insurance, please note this information under leverage funds (funds that are being provided for your project by other institutions).
Do lodging costs need to be itemized?
Yes, a budget amount for lodging must be broken down by a time increment (e.g. days, months or semesters) and the corresponding amount. Please also note the source of the estimate.
How do I note ground transportation?
Ground transportation amounts must be broken down by distance/cost or driver/day amount. Please also note the source of the estimate.
I have software needs, how do I list them on my budget?
Please label what kind and what brand of software you are planning to purchase. Please also note the source of the estimate.
I’m not sure where to get information for my per diem and lodging rates for domestic and international trips where do I find these?
International per diem and lodging rates are listed in the State Department’s website. Your budgeted amounts must not exceed the maximum amount listed by the State Department. If the subgrant recipient institution (ie: US mentor’s university) has a written policy for international or domestic travel, you adhere to that policy. If the US mentor’s university has no written policy, then the state.gov amount is the maximum allowable. Please also note the source of the estimate.
What is considered domestic travel? What rates do I use?
If you live in the US and are traveling within the US, you use domestic rates.
What is considered international travel? What rates do I use?
International travel is considered travel outside of the borders of the country of residence. If you are from Kenya and are LIVING in the US and travel within the US, you do not use international rates. If you live in Kenya and travel to the US you use international rates. If you live in the US and travel to Kenya you use international rates.
What is in-kind support?
In-kind contributions are the value of non-cash contributions to the fellowship provided by any third party, including contributions from host country institutions, US university, and CGIAR. In-kind contributions may be in the form of space, equipment, supplies, expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to a participant or the fellowship program.
What is the difference between cost share/match and leveraged funding?
Cost Share, sometimes referred to as "Match", is a legal requirement for an institution to provide supplemental funds. Leveraged funding is complimentary funding that contributes to the research or student's degree. The Borlaug LEAP award does not require cost share but leveraged funding is considered in the review process.
If funded, how will the award be administered?
As this is a proposal submitted by the U.S. faculty member, it is processed as a grant proposal not as a fellowship application, and therefore will be processed by the Office of Sponsored Programs at the U.S. University. If the application is funded, the award will be made to the faculty member (on behalf of the student applicant) in the form of a subgrant to the U.S. University. It will be administered by the U.S. faculty member's academic department or equivalent. All US mentors must be able to receive subgrant awards. The award may not be reassigned to another institution without express written permission from the Borlaug LEAP Management Office.
What are leveraged funds?
Leveraged funds are support (cash or in-kind) from sources other than the grant award that contribute to the applicant's degree or research. Leveraged funding is taken into consideration in the application review process (see selection criteria). The purpose of the leveraged funding form is to show additional funding sources that support, either directly or indirectly, the student’s research. Leveraged funding reported on this form is not considered official cost share.
Are there any restrictions to buying equipment?
Tangible property over $5000 is considered equipment and must receive prior written authorization. By listing the equipment in your budget and having it approved by Borlaug LEAP you are receiving authorization. You cannot buy equipment that is not listed in your budget without prior written authorization. In addition, equipment must be of US origin and source meaning it must be comprised of at least 50% of US made components and manufactured by a US company. Please also note the source of the estimate.
CAN I USE BORLAUG LEAP FUNDS TO PAY SALARIES?
Funds cannot be used to pay faculty or mentor salaries. Funds may be used to support enumerators, translators, and other short-term research assistance. Funds may also be used for student support while in the field or on the internship and away from the student's university and place of residence.
What does a successful budget contain?
- The budget is $20,000.00USD or under.
- Every budget cost is explained in detail and provides information on how the costs were derived.
- All budget expenses are relevant to your Plan of Activity in your application.
- The completed budget complies with US federal regulations.
Can office supplies/administrative costs be included in the budget?
Administrative costs are not normally allowed under Borlaug LEAP but if they directly relate to your research and you are able to track the costs, the expenses will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
What are indirect costs and can I include them in my budget?
Indirect costs are expenses that cannot be directly identified with a particular grant or contract. These are the costs "of doing business" incurred by a university or institution such as utilities, building maintenance, office supplies, and administrative staff. Indirect costs, also referred to as overhead or facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, may NOT be included in your budget. Borlaug LEAP requires that all institutions involved in the fellowship waive indirect costs and fees. All of the institutions involved in managing the program have also waived indirect costs including UC Davis.
The Borlaug LEAP Fellowship is a cost reimbursable program, what does that mean?
Cost reimbursable means Borlaug LEAP will reimburse your US mentor’s university for budgeted costs incurred through your fellowship. Every quarter (every three months) your US mentor’s university will send Borlaug LEAP an invoice, asking to be reimbursed for budgeted costs incurred during those three months. Borlaug LEAP does not give funds for fellowships by sending one payment in the amount of the submitted budget.
In the event of a discrepancy between this document and the regulations set forth in the sub-award, the sub-award takes precedence and it is the legally binding document. The budget must meet both federal as well as the US university policies.