Budget-Building Guidelines

The following has been compiled to help you build a budget for your proposal. Dollar amounts listed below reflect current rates, as of Summer 2013.


Hotel: The Simpson Center’s preferred hotel is the Hotel Deca. Its nightly rate ranges from $125-$180 based on a variety of factors, primarily time of year. Winter is low season and late spring and early fall are high season. The Deca is within walking distance to campus and offers both a casual restaurant/bar and a coffee shop on site.

If you choose another hotel, check the UW contract rate, and make sure that the quoted rate includes taxes and fees. The Arts & Humanities Shared Services office can also provide you with current quotes. See a list of hotels near the UW.

Honoraria: variable. $500 is fairly standard for a visiting speaker; a larger honorarium is sometimes offered when the speaker is engaged in workshops, seminars, and/or class visits in addition to a lecture. Local speakers generally take less time out of their schedules for a lecture or visit; they often receive smaller honoraria.

Many conferences provide honoraria as well as travel expenses only for keynote speakers; conferences that feature only invited speakers or multiple plenary sessions may do otherwise.

Generally, we do not process honoraria for less than $200. If the intention is to give more minimal and symbolic forms of support, we suggest offering travel stipends or per diem expenses.

Airfare: $300‐750 national, $1,200‐2,000 international. When checking fares, it is best to use quotes from UW contract travel agencies and/or airline providers, as this is how the university will purchase and can reimburse airfares. (For UW Policies and Procedures on travel, consult the Travel Office.)

Airport shuttle/ ground transportation: $30 one‐way for shuttle; $60 one‐way for taxi. Calculate for roundtrips in Seattle and at home airport, unless you are making alternative pick‐up arrangements.

Catering costs (general guidelines). These estimates allow for drop‐off and/or service fees, and applicable permits.

  • $15-20/person: boxed lunch or UW Club
  • $28-35/person: catered reception or light buffet dinner
  • $65-75/person: restaurant dinner for groups of less than 15 people
  • $85-100/person: restaurant dinner for groups of more than 15 people
  • $100‐200: standard Simpson Center reception for 30 people

Room rental + Equipment rental or support: variable. The Simpson Center makes its space available gratis. Learn more about Simpson Center room details.

Otherwise, we suggest that you consult with the venue in question, as each will likely have its own equipment offerings and related policies.

On the UW campus, you might consider spaces such as:

See a full list of campus facilities and venues with UW contracts. Off‐campus facilities may provide contracts or invoices for use of their space.

If you have audio-visual needs, be sure to inquire about the availability and cost of equipment and/or support.

Publicity: Variable. The Simpson Center can provide print and electronic flyers, distributed on campus and available for circulation through your networks and ours, for $30 per event.

See our Publicity Assistance webpage for details about additional ways the Simpson Center may help publicize funded projects.

The Simpson Center is happy to talk with you about publicity as you prepare your budget and proposal. Additionally, you might find our Determining Your Project’s Publicity Needs webpage helpful.

Conference Programs: If you are planning a conference and plan to use Simpson Center conference programs, please budget for printing expenses. These expenses can vary, based on quantity and number of pages needed (ie: 50 single-sheet copies may cost $30, whereas 150 multi-page copies may run around $75-100). The Simpson Center generally prints no more than 50 programs for conferences taking place in Communications 202 that are open to campus audiences (keep in mind that the room holds about 35 people). For working conferences and workshops that are closed to the public, we print fewer programs, depending on the number of participants. If you feel that you will need more than 50 programs for your event, please let us know in advance.   

Stipends. The Simpson Center’s Executive Board may grant UW faculty a research stipend of $1,250 to teach a one-credit micro‐seminar in conjunction with a conference or symposium.

Hourly student assistance. The Simpson Center can fund student assistance, but we can’t appoint students on projects with the exception of Summer Research Assistant Hourly (GRSA) appointments, and, much more rarely, quarterly 50% GSA appointments. This means that your department would need to manage academic year student hourly appointments.

Learn more about the GRSA salary schedule.

Add benefits using the current load rate, and add to the total salary calculation.

Per diem expenses. As a practice, the Simpson Center encourages UW hosts to organize lunches and dinners with invited speakers; where this is the case, and an honorarium is provided, per diem provisions are not appropriate.


Budgets should detail anticipated expenses and sources of revenue. Where possible, expenses should be broken out in detail. See sample project budgets.


Questions? Contact us!

General proposal submissions: schadmin@uw.edu

Publicity: schcom@uw.edu

Events: scevents@uw.edu