3 minute read

Can you reallocate funds in your grant to make a video about your project?




Budgeting an explainer video as part of an NSF or NIH proposal is not common practice… yet. When we kick-off production in one of our animated videos for one of these funded projects, it’s very rare that it was actually budgeted at proposal time.

It’s only after the grant has been awarded and the project has been running for a while that most of our clients start thinking about the world of possibilities a high quality explainer video can open up for them:

  • Showing it at conferences and exhibitions.
  • Boosting the chances of publishing in prestigious journals and then using it as the video abstract of their article.
  • Attracting private investors to their spin-off.
  • Facilitating learning outcomes involving hard-to-visualize concepts in their lectures.
  • Posting it on the project’s website and social media channels.

The benefits of accompanying your scientific article with a video abstract are particularly tangible:

  • 20% more citations (source: Zong et al. 2019).
  • 80% more article views (source: Springer Nature).
  • 33% higher rankings than articles published in the same journal (source: Springer Nature).
  • 140% higher Altmetric scores (source: Springer Nature).

So, how can you budget a video that wasn’t contemplated in your proposal? It’s actually pretty straightforward.

For most types of NSF and NIH grants, moving funds from another category into Direct Costs for Contracted Services to produce the video for your project is allowed. You have the flexibility to make that adjustment within your budget, as long as you are not moving any funds out of Participant Support to cover the expenses. You will simply need to let your Program Officer know about it and contact your institution’s Office of Sponsored Research / Office of Sponsored Programs to determine the best line item for the video production service to be charged.

Easy as pie.