Research Foundation Guidelines
the latest University Research Foundation Guidelines, revised as
of June 27, 2001.
Guidelines and additional information may be found on line at
For the recipients of the
Spring 2001 awards, see Almanac May 29, online at
Statement of Purpose
Research Foundation (URF) is an intramural resource to support faculty
research for a variety of purposes, including:
- Helping established faculty perform
exploratory research, particularly on novel or pioneering ideas,
to determine the feasibility and develop preliminary data to support
- Helping junior faculty undertake
pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for
extramural sources of funding, and aid in establishing their careers
as independent investigators.
- Providing support in disciplines
where extramural support is difficult to obtain and where significant
research can be facilitated with modest funding.
- Providing modest institutional
matching funds that are awarded contingent upon a successful external
peer-reviewed application that requires an institutional match
URF supports research in all disciplines, including international
research. For purposes of review, applications are assigned to four
broad disciplinary areas, liberal arts, social and behavioral sciences,
natural and engineering sciences, and biomedical sciences.
are given for a single year only. Applications for a second year
of funding may be submitted but usually receive low priority. Funds
must be spent within 12 months of the beginning of the grant, and
may not be "banked" for future use. Unexpended funds must
be returned to the Foundation.
up to $50,000 will be entertained, but most grants are for no more
than $25,000. Because the total cost of meritorious requests exceed
available funds by several fold, applicants are encouraged to request
only absolutely essential resource.
is limited to Standing Faculty (tenure track or tenured faculty),
Standing Faculty-Clinician-Educators, and Research Faculty.
are accepted twice each year, for November 1 and March 15 deadlines.
If the date falls on a weekend or holiday the deadline is the next
working day. Every effort will be made to process applications and
notify applicants of the outcome within 10 weeks after the deadlines.
Application--Brevity and clarity will enhance the likelihood
of success. All applications should be limited to 10 pages (applications
for > $25,000 can be up to 15 pages) and should include the following
- A Research Foundation Proposal
- An abstract, no more than 200 words,
written for the educated non-specialist.
- A description of the research proposal,
which should be no more than 5 single spaced pages for grants
up to $25,00 and no more than 10 pages for grants > $25,000.
Proposals should provide background, hypothesis or purpose of
the research, significance of the research, methods used, work
to be undertaken, and outlook for future extension of the research
and its potential for external funding (see also criteria for
evaluating proposals, below).
- A single page biographical sketch.
- A budget, with justification
for each item requested. Items that can be requested include faculty
release time, summer stipends, research travel expenses, supplies,
minor equipment specifically designed for the proposed research.
Items that are usually excluded include renovations of the physical
facilities, major equipment, and extension of projects that are
already well funded.
- Other research support, including
current funding with a list of titles, amounts, sources, and grant
periods, expired funding for the prior three years, plus pending
applications. Applicants with "start up packages" should
provide detailed dated budgets.
- All Assistant Professors in
their first three years are required to include a letter from
their department chair indicating their career plans within the
department, and listing all department funding, including startup
packages and the like. In addition, the letter should document
the degree of independence of these investigators.
- Regulatory issues--If research
involves human subjects, animals, biohazards, or other regulatory
issues, the application should identify those concerns and provide
documentation that they have been addressed. This may require
IRB or IACUC or Environmental Safety review and approval. It should
be emphasized that full regulatory compliance applies to Research
Foundation grants, which must meet the same standards applied
to larger extramural applications. Regulatory documentation can
be provided as an appendix to the body of the application and
will not be included in the page count. For advice please consult
the Office of Regulatory Affairs.
- Conflict of Interest--The applicant
should explicitly make a statement whether or not the application
involves any potential conflict of interest, and any such conflicts
should be described. For instance, if the research could forward
the interests of a company in which the applicant has a pecuniary
interest, this should be disclosed. Conflict of interest documentation
(if required) can be provided as an appendix to the body of the
application and will not be included in the page count.
original and ten copies of the complete proposal with the cover
sheet should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost
for Research, 119 College Hall/6303.
are reviewed by one of four faculty committees, in the four disciplinary
areas mentioned above. Every attempt is made to spread funding equitably
across the major disciplines. Each application is reviewed for a
variety of attributes, including:
- Scientific merit, creativity and
- Appropriateness for the modest
- Significance of the research
- Time-limited opportunities that
require immediate funding
- Prospects for future extramural
- Matching support from other sources
- Availability of alternate funding
- Career development of young researchers
- Evidence that junior applicants
will be working as independent investigators
- Forwarding of school or institutional
objectives, such as interdisciplinary research
found weaknesses should be avoided, such as:
- "Re-inventing the wheel"
due to ignorance of prior published work, often in cognate fields
- A fishing expedition without a focused
- Requests for equipment, such as
computers, that could be funded by the School
- Requests for faculty salary that
exceeds the scale of URF grants
- Repeated requests for research projects
that are eligible for but have failed to garner external reviewed
requests exceed available funds, reviewers often reduce budgets
to extend the number of applications that can be supported. The
review committees make their recommendations to the Vice Provost
for Research, who makes the final decisions about funding, based
on year-to-year availability of resources. Decisions will be made
shortly after review committees have met and should be distributed
by e-mail within 10 weeks of the date of submission.
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 7, October 9, 2001
October 9, 2001
Volume 48 Number 7