In order to hire a certain number of student in an office, I was wondering how much should one supervisor should think about the money involved. To restrict the answer, I'd like to focus in a biology program in a Canadian university.

Beside the stipends (which can be very different depending on the country or the university), what is the "basic" cost of the activity in which a student would need to develop professionally.

By basic cost, I would for example say, paying for conferences, fees of the equipment needed (laboratory accessories, computer, field equipment, office supplies, etc.), cost of publication or any activity you deem necessary to put.

closed as too broad by Massimo Ortolano, Anyon, Thomas, Buzz, Solar Mike Dec 11 '18 at 5:48

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Oh, thie GREATLY depends on a number of factors. – Sean Roberson Dec 11 '18 at 3:32
  • There's no general answer, and it depends on type of research and university organization. E.g., I don't pay for office supplies, which are paid by the department, and part of the travel expenses are covered by the PhD school. And given that we already have most of the equipment or we would buy it anyway, the added cost for a PhD student is almost zero. – Massimo Ortolano Dec 11 '18 at 3:42
  • That is interesting! I don't know how variable this is. But I thought that there might be just an order of magnitude. There is probably a budget range in certain universities? I imagine that if someone keeps record of the hiring costs of students, it could be possible to see how different supervisors are spending that money. – M. Beausoleil Dec 11 '18 at 4:25

As stated in the comments, this is impossible to give a general answer to; you would need to choose a field and a country.

That said, I think the factors you list are generally pretty negligible. The major expenses are usually the stipend, tuition, and overhead on the stipend+tuition. That can easily be $60K USD per student per year, often more. Also, students require considerable training (i.e., faculty time) before they start becoming useful. Those are the main drawbacks of hiring a student; no one is too concerned about the extra pens or an occasional conference fee.

  • Great! Let's say Canada and biology, and more precisely evolutionary biology! What are you concerned most about. Do you have a list of things where a price could be put onto? I imagine a tentative budget of a graduate student. Put differently, if there is a grant of 250K Canadian $ (this is just an example), how many students could you generally hire on that? – M. Beausoleil Dec 11 '18 at 4:24
  • My guess would be "3ish", but I'm not really qualified to answer (neither a biologist nor a professor nor Canadian). I suggest you edit your original question to specify this combination; maybe you will get a better answerer. – cag51 Dec 11 '18 at 4:29

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