Ways To Spend Your Research Fund

Your research fund is some of the most flexible funding you will ever have, and, frankly, the NSF doesn't want it back (the bureaucracy to return it costs more than the cash itself!). So, spend it!

Here are several suggestions for using your research fund, from the responsible to the fun!

  • Health care (obviously) - this can include various types of insurance, gym membership, workout supplies, eyeglasses, other wellness costs (physical therapy, chiropractors, etc.)
  • Retirement account
  • Moving expenses. These can be more than you might think:
    • Airfare (including baggage fees), train fare, gas and tolls associated with the move
    • Shipping costs (including insurance on freight shipping) and/or moving van charges
    • Packing supplies
    • Hotel accommodations for travel related to the move (sometimes it takes all day just to get there!)
  • Travel
  • Conference fees
  • Membership fees to professional organizations like AAS or APS
  • Professional development: programming courses, outreach training, etc.
  • Page charges
    • These can in most cases be paid with a credit card (true for ApJ); just put yourself down as the point person on the contribution form.
    • If you pay your AAS membership fee on time you are eligible for a 15% discount on charges for one publication in an AAS journal that year. See here and here for info on eligible journals and how to claim the discount.
  • Printing/copying costs (papers, EPO material, posters, etc.)
  • Computer(s) & accessories
  • Video conferencing equipment
  • Ergonomics (e.g. desk chairs)
  • Small telescope or other outreach materials
    • The Galileoscope program sells inexpensive small telescopes in bulk for distribution to schools and other educational organizations.
    • Food and transportation for any volunteers you recruit to help your outreach efforts
  • Part of your cell phone bill (assuming you use it for work/EPO-related stuff)
  • Part of your car expenses, not just gas/mileage for work trips (assuming you use it for work/EPO-related stuff)