RAC AY 2014 RFP

 Request for Proposals:

AY2014 Faculty Research and Scholarship Fund

Proposal deadline: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 11:59:59 pm

Project funding period: July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

Only electronic submissions will be accepted at psu-rac@plymouth.edu

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The Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Engagement requests research development proposals from PSU faculty for the next competitive cycle of the Faculty Research and Scholarship Fund (FRSF). These dollars are intended to support research, outreach, scholarship, and/or creative works—not classroom activities.   Proposals are expected to be funded in the range of $2,000-$10,000. For example, the average award during AY 2012 was $6,913. With approximately $50,000 available in this funding cycle, every project director/coordinator, artist, or author should carefully document and justify the cost-effectiveness of the proposed project. Your proposal will be competing with others for a limited pool of funds.

Eligibility: only tenured, tenure-track, or research-track faculty are eligible to serve as the principal project director/coordinator, artist, or author on a proposal. PSU contract, clinical, adjunct faculty may collaborate with a tenure, tenure track or research faculty on a project.  PSU faculty can be the principal project director/coordinator, artist, or author on only one proposal in any year. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which a person can collaborate, and no restrictions on who can serve as collaborators to help PSU build partnerships. Collaborative proposals with multiple partners are encouraged, including off-campus and non-academic collaborations. Project director/coordinators, artists, and authors are invited to contact the Vice Provost for Research & Engagement and Chair of the Research Advisory Council (RAC), Thaddeus Guldbrandsen (tcguldbrandsen@plymouth.edu) to discuss the submission in advance of developing a proposal.

Categories of proposals: Proposals will be evaluated by the review committee in one of two categories: “research/outreach” or “scholarship/creative works”. The project director/coordinator, artist, or author must clearly identify the category of the proposal.  Definitions of these category terms are noted below:

  • “research” refers to the ‘scholarship of discovery’ in sciences and humanites across all disciplines on campus.
  • “outreach” refers to projects that have a broader impact through engagement of audiences external to PSU
  • “scholarship/creative works” typically refers to writing a journal article, book chapter or publishing a book related to an academic discipline or support for a creative endeavor  in the fine and performing arts.

Each category of project will compete only with other projects in the same category.

Appropriate requests for funding: The FRSF is intended to support activity not already being supported with a grant, pay costs that do not have readily available alternative sources of funding,  provide seed funding to leverage additional resources in the current project, to provide funding to facilitate future proposals, and to support scholarly activity. Budget items may include:

  • Funding for release time to allow a faculty member to conduct research
  • Writing a grant proposal
  • Finishing a writing project such as a book
  • Stipends or hourly pay for student assistants for research or proposal writing
  • Research expenses not covered by another source of funding
  • Equipment for research use, and
  • Travel related to a proposed project

Summer salary is limited to $1,000 or less per project director/coordinator, artist, or author, and $500 or less per collaborator. Tuition is not an acceptable budget item. Professional development or conference travel will continue to be funded through the Provost’s professional development fund, not through the Faculty Research and Scholarship Fund.  For the purposes of this proposal, funding for course release should be estimated at $1,373 per credit, rather than a percentage of the investigator’s salary (as is the case with externally-funded projects).

Submission Criteria

Time frame:  Proposals will be submitted no later than Monday, November 11, 2013 at 11:59:59 pm. Only those proposals submitted on time, and containing all required elements, will be reviewed by the Proposal Review Committee (PRC).

Required format: Submit electronically in PDF to psu-rac@plymouth.edu with this subject line in the email: “Faculty Research and Scholarship Fund proposal from [“project director/coordinator, artist, or author’s name]”).  Proposal length is limited to two pages of text, as described below, plus a half-page budget and half-page budget justification. Appendices must include a 2-page CV for each project director/coordinator, artist, or author, and may include references. The required font is 12 point; margins must be 1 inch all around.  The proposal must be entirely self-contained and self-explanatory; no cover letter please.  Incomplete proposals or proposals not meeting these formatting requirements WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.

The following sections are required for ease of review by the PRC, with the section headings to be displayed in bold.

Review Criteria: The Proposal Review Committee will evaluate proposals based on 1) intellectual/creative merit; 2) impact: the expected contribution to the regional mission OR the faculty research direction OR the importance to a faculty member’s scholarly work (such as completion of a book), 3) the potential for follow-on activity or funding, 4) presentation, logic, and readability of the proposal for a general audience, and 5) budget.

The PRC will review all submissions and make recommendations for funding by the end of the semester. The Vice Provost for Research and Engagement will inform each successful project director/coordinator, artist, or author of the Council’s decision. The PRC membership will consist of the prior year’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Fund project director/coordinators, artists, and authors, the chair of the Research Advisory Council, the Vice Provost, and other members of the Research Advisory Council as necessary to create a committee with disciplinary balance. Members of the PRC are not eligible to submit a proposal in the year of participation on the PRC. Project director/coordinators, artists, and authors cannot be funded in two successive years by the FRSF. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on the frequency of proposal submission or cumulative funding that can be awarded to a project leader. A member of the PRC is allowed to be a collaborator on a proposal submitted for review.  In such an instance, appropriate conflict of interest procedures must be followed in consultation with the PRC.

Deliverables:  A final report of 1-2 pages will summarize salient results from the scholarly activity, how funds were spent, and how your FRSF-supported effort relates to the Strategic Plan of the University. Each successful project director/coordinator, artist, or author will make a 5-10 minute presentation of her/his work before a public gathering at PSU (usually this will be during Faculty Week, but another forum can be arranged if more presentation time is preferred by the awardee). Additionally, all PSU faculty are invited to serve on the next Proposal Review Committee (PRC). If you have any questions about these deliverables, or wish to serve on the PRC, please contact the chair of the Research Advisory Council.

Proposal Outline & Required Items

1.         Project Description (max. 2 pages)

  • Title: Descriptive project title
  • Category:  “research/outreach” or “scholarship/creative works”
  • Project Director:  Project director/coordinator, artist, author(s) name(s) plus affiliation(s)
  • Period of Performance: Begin and end dates of project/program funding
  • Funding Requested:  Amount, including match being leveraged, if any
  • Project Summary:  Synopsis/abstract for research; project description for creative and outreach (one short paragraph)
  • Project Narrative/Rationale
  • Objectives (bulleted only)
  • Methodology:  Outline of methods, for research only
  • Impact Statement:  Broader impact of project (one short paragraph)
  • Deliverables:  Explanation of deliverables, i.e., products, programs, reports
  • Project Timeline: Project workflow, who will do what and when?
  • Statement of Qualifications:  Statement of project director/coordinator, artist, or author’s qualifications for the specific project proposed (one paragraph)

2.         Budget & budget description (max. 1 page)

  • Budget (1/2 page) including all direct costs associated with the project, including salaries, student wages, release time, fringe, expendables, equipment, travel, and funding and support from other funders and/or organizations.
  • Budget justification (1/2 page).  Explain every line item.  Describe match or cost-sharing from collaborators.

3.          Required CVs: maximum 2 pages for each

4.          One additional page for references (when applicable)

5.          IRB needed:               ___yes    ___no

    IACUC needed:          ___yes    ___no

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