are the latest University Research Foundation Guidelines, revised
as of February 11, 2003. The
Guidelines and additional information may be found on line at www.upenn.edu/research/FoundationGuidelines.htm.
For the recipients of the Fall 2002 Awards see Almanac
February 11, 2003. The recipients of the Spring 2003 Awards
may be found on line at www.upenn.edu/research/URF%20Awards%20Spring%202003.htm
University Research Foundation Guidelines:
Statement of Purpose
University Research Foundation (URF) is an intramural resource to
support faculty research for a variety of purposes, including:
junior faculty undertake pilot projects that will enable them
to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding, and
establishing their careers as independent investigators.
established faculty perform exploratory research, particularly
on novel or pioneering ideas, to determine their feasibility
preliminary data to support extramural applications.
support in disciplines where extramural support is difficult
to obtain and where significant research can be facilitated
modest institutional matching funds that are awarded contingent
upon a successful external peer-reviewed application that requires
an institutional match.
compelling circumstances, established investigators may be funded
to support a well-justified brief gap extramural support
or a documented unanticipated short term need.
URF supports research in all disciplines, including international
research. For purposes of review, applications are assigned to four
broad disciplinary areas: humanities, 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 resources.
is limited to University faculty, in any track, at any professorial
level. Instructors and Research Associates may apply but need to
establish (by letter from the Department chair) that they will receive
appointment as Assistant professors by the following July 1st.
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:
Research Foundation Proposal Cover Sheet, which can be downloaded
from the Website for the URF.
abstract, no more than 200 words, written for the educated non-specialist.
The application should also be classified under one of the five
priorities listed above.
description of the research proposal, which should be no more than
5 single spaced pages for grants up to $25,000 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).
an application formatted for another sponsoring agency or failing
to conform to the guidelines will not be reviewed.
single page biographical sketch.
budget, with justification for each item requested. Items that can
be requested include 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. Faculty summer salaries or release time are usually not
funded, since priority is given to the actual costs of the research
project itself. Because it may not be possible to fully fund meritorious
proposals, the budget should prioritize items in order of their
importance to the project.
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.
If applicable, prior grants from the University Research Foundation
should be itemized, with dates, title, and amount of funding, plus
a statement whether external funding was received as a result of
the URF grant.
Professors in all tracks (including tenure track, CE track,
and research track) 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 establish that the applicant
will be working as an independent investigator or scholar. Instructors
and Research Associates are eligible only if it is planned to
appoint them as Assistant Professors by the following July 1st,
as certified in a letter from their department chair. This
letter should also document the department plans for their career,
future commitments of independent space and of department or school
resources, and convincing evidence of their independent status as
investigators or scholars. Additional documentation can be provided
as an appendix and will not be included within the page count.
8. Regulatory issues. If research involves human subjects,
animals, biohazards, or other regulatory issues, the application
should identify those concerns and provide documentation that they
will be addressed. Please note that IRB approval may be required
for human subject research in all disciplines, including the sociobehavioral
sciences and humanities as well as in the biomedical disciplines.
If IRB or IACUC or Environmental Safety review and approval is required,
it may be obtained after the application has been approved, but
before funds are expended or research has been initiated. It should
be emphasized that Research Foundation grants 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.
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:
merit, creativity and innovation
for the modest funding provided
of the research
opportunities that require immediate funding
for future extramural funding
support from other sources
of alternate funding sources
development of young researchers
that junior applicants will be working as independent investigators
of school or institutional objectives, such as interdisciplinary
frequently found weaknesses should be avoided, such as:
the wheel" due to ignorance of prior published work, often
in cognate fields
fishing expedition without a focused hypothesis
for equipment, such as computers, that could be funded by the School
for faculty salary that exceed the scale of URF grants
requests for research projects that are eligible for but have failed
to garner external peer reviewed support
meritorious 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.
of applications are not provided for successful or failed applications,
since this would place an excessive burden on the faculty who volunteer
their time as peer reviewers. Applicants are welcome to consult
the chair of the review committee for any informal information that
may be available.
be directed to: Lanese Rogers, Office of the Vice Provost for Research,
118 College Hall/6303, (215) 898-7236 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procedures for Approved URF Grants
of funds. Within one month following notice of award, recipients
are required to arrange a transfer of award funds from the Provost's
Administrative Office to their home department. This transfer should
be arranged by the Business Administrator for the home department.
The process is initiated by submitting the financial form, which
accompanies the award letter to: Stacy Fletcher, Office of the Vice
Provost for Research, 118 College Hall/6303, FAX (215) 573 2108,
approvals. If regulatory approvals (IRB, IACUC, and the like)
are required and have not been obtained at the time of the award,
they must be obtained prior to the utilization of funds or initiation
of the research. Failure to comply would be considered a serious
transgression of the policies of the University of Pennsylvania.
A brief (1-2 pages) report is required to be submitted to the Office
of the Vice Provost for Research one year after the date of the
award. This should describe the work accomplished, the planned date
of completion, and whether there are residual unused funds in the
budget. In general, it is expected that the scope of research would
be completed within one year of the date of award. Also, if alternative
funding has been obtained, recipients are expected to return unexpended
University Research Foundation Conference
conference support program is designed for scholarly meetings that
will be convened on the Penn campus, thereby providing enrichment
opportunities to interested faculty, students, and staff, most frequently
in the format of a 1-2 day colloquium. The intent is to support
meetings that are designed to enhance existing research and scholarly
programs, particularly in disciplines where external funding
is difficult to obtain. Funding will be limited to no more than
$3,000 per event, and should be dedicated to reimbursing the
speakers for travel and accommodations, but not for meals and
entertainment. It is expected that funding from the University Research
Foundation will supplement funding from other sources and will not
be the sole source of funding for the meeting. Grants will not become
"entitlements" and cannot be renewed in successive years.
for the Conference Support Program will be processed in the same
cycles that now are used for URF project applications (November
1, March 15), and will be reviewed by the same committees.
Applications should be brief, usually no more than 3 pages, and
and contact information for the applicant, who must be a faculty
member (tenure track, research track, or clinician-educator
description of the purpose of the meeting
proposed program agenda (appendix)
proposed list of presenters (appendix)
number of Penn students and faculty expected to attend
explanation of the benefit to Penn students and faculty
explanation of the benefit to scholarly or research programs
of the meeting to department, institute or center programs
names of faculty who are organizing the meeting
and contact information for the business administrator who
would be responsible for administration of the funds
budget, itemizing the types of proposed expenditures (appendix)
of matching funding from institutional or external sources
of institutional support in the form of no cost facilities
and AV support
URF review committee (humanities, social sciences, natural
sciences, or biomedical)
Please submit applications
in electronic format, Word for Windows, plus a single hardcopy to
Lanese Rogers, email@example.com,
Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 118 College Hall, 19104/6303,
Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 9,
October 21, 2003