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Stephen F. Austin State University
Grants and Contracts Procedures Manual (GCPM)

Adopted by SFA policy 8.3

PART 2 - Find Funding

 

A. Internal Grant Funding - Use only the application forms found on this page.

URC - University Research Council

1. REP - Research Enhancement Program

  • RCA - Research/Creative Activity Grants
  • RGD/RPS - Research Grant Development & Research Pilot Studies
  • MG - Minigrants
  • 2. CRP - Comprehensive Research Program

    B. External Funding

    1. Benefits of External Funding
    2. Finding External Funding and PIVOT - FY20-21 program is pending
    3. Evaluating Funding Opportunities

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    A. Internal Grant Funding

    University Research Council (URC)

    The URC is responsible for recommending policies and procedures to encourage research activities and to improve the research environment of the university; developing and recommending university research policies based upon state and federal laws and regulations; recommending adjudication to variances to policies and procedures; and developing guidelines for and recommending awards from the Research Enhancement Program.

    Of the seven URC members, six members, one from each of the academic colleges of the University, are elected from the full members of the graduate faculty, and one member represents the Library. The URC Chair is appointed annually by the Provost based on the URC Council recommendation.

    The URC meets approximately six times a year to advise ORSP on research-related topics and to evaluate and award faculty grants from the Research Enhancement Program.

    URC Committee Information and Roster

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    1. Research Enhancement Program (REP)

    The purpose and guidelines for the management of Research Enhancement Program (REP) funds are outlined in SFA policy 8.11. REP funds are managed by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (formerly ORSP). REP guidelines are developed by the University Research Council and ORGS. The URC makes all awarding decisions for projects $5,000 and less and funding recommendations for projects over $5,000. The provost and vice president for academic affairs approves all projects over $5,000.

    Research proposing the use of human subjects, laboratory animals, or hazardous materials must be approved by the appropriate university committee prior to the initiation of the research project. In addition, projects awarded through the REP must conform to all other applicable SFA policies and guidelines, and local, state, and federal regulations.

    There are three categories of REP awards: Research/Creative Activity; Research Grant Development and Research Pilot Studies; and Minigrants.

    To assess effectiveness of awards, each recipient should provide notification to ORGS any time there is a presentation, publication, or grant that is a direct result of a Research Enhancement Program award.

    Eligibility for all REP programs

    Individuals with a full-time academic appointment as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, and librarian I-IV are eligible to apply. Non-tenure track faculty are not eligible.

    Applicants are limited to one competitive award (RCA, RGD, or RPS) per fiscal year. Other limitations include:

    1. Individuals cannot receive a competitive award (RCA, RGD or RPS) during the same semester(s) that they are on faculty development leave or sabbatical.
    2. Individuals cannot receive a Project Support award at the same time as an RGD or RPS award.
    3. Individuals who receive an RCA cannot receive a Travel Support or Project Support minigrant award during the summer.

    Requests submitted without all required items will not be considered for funding.

    Term

    The REP program runs annually from 9/1 to 8/31.

    Research/Creative Activity Grants (RCA)

    RCA grants provide faculty summer salary and up to $10,000 in other funds to support research and scholarly/creative activities.

    Use only the application forms found on this page. Updated guidelines and applications posted September 2020. (Refresh your page until you see the footnote with 09.2020 revision date.)

    All applications are form-fillable and savable. If you have trouble, please check your browser settings or open the form using Adobe Reader.

    Application Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

    RCA grants are intended for larger faculty research and creative projects that require more support and time than minigrants. RCA awards are not for the development or evaluation of curricular materials or instructional support. The annual RCA competition is held during the fall semester, and funded proposals are carried out in the spring and summer semesters (January – August).

    The URC reviews and evaluates RCA proposals divided into two categories – (1) Research and (2) Creative Activities. Each category is reviewed based on separate criteria (see the separate criteria for evaluation sections in the "RCA Policies, Procedures and Evaluation Criteria" document above).

    In addition to a faculty 6-week summer salary, funding of up to $10,000 is allowable to support travel to collect data (non-student), minor equipment (non-capital), supplies and materials, hourly student assistant wages, and specific services (i.e. contract services, sample analysis, translator, etc.). RCA funds do not support GA appointments or travel to conferences, and should not supplant other funding sources (i.e., department, state, federal).

    Eligibility

    Individuals with a full-time academic appointment as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, and librarian I-IV are eligible to apply. Non-tenure track faculty are not eligible.

    Applicants are limited to one competitive award (RCA, RGD, or RPS) per fiscal year. Other limitations include:

    • Individuals cannot receive a competitive award (RCA, RGD or RPS) during the same semester(s) that they are on faculty development leave or sabbatical.
    • Individuals cannot receive a Project Support award at the same time as an RGD or RPS award.
    • Individuals who receive an RCA cannot receive a Travel Support or Project Support minigrant award during the summer.

    The recipient of an RCA in a given year is ineligible to apply for a new RCA the following year.

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    Research Grant Development and Research Pilot Studies (RGD/RPS)

    RGD and RPS grant provide substantive support for research and scholarly/creative activities.

    Use only the application forms found on this page. Updated guidelines and applications posted September 2019. (Refresh your page until you see the footnote with 09.2019 revision date.)

    All applications are form-fillable and savable. If you have trouble, please check your browser settings or open the form using Adobe Reader.

    Eligibility

    Individuals with a full-time academic appointment as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, and librarian I-IV are eligible to apply. Non-tenure track faculty are not eligible.

    Applicants are limited to one competitive award (RCA, RGD, or RPS) per fiscal year. Other limitations include:

    • Individuals cannot receive a competitive award (RCA, RGD or RPS) during the same semester(s) that they are on faculty development leave or sabbatical.
    • Individuals cannot receive a Project Support award at the same time as an RGD or RPS award.
    • Individuals who receive an RCA cannot receive a Travel Support or Project Support minigrant award during the summer.

    View the sample REP report format for awarded projects (as required).

    Research Grant Development (RGD)
    • Award limit: adjunct salary to cover course release (spring/fall); or faculty stipend of $5,000 (summer semester)
    • Deadline: October 12, 2020 for spring 2021 semester, and March 15, 2021 for summer 2021 and fall 2021 semester
    Application Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

    RGD grants provide up to $5,000 to assist faculty with little or no grant experience, and who have the potential for obtaining significant funding from an external sponsor, to develop a fundable research proposal. Faculty applying for an RGD grants must target a specific grant solicitation and deliver a complete, submission-ready proposal by the end of the award period. Eligible faculty may apply for a RGD grant in the fall, spring or summer semesters.

    Faculty may request either (1) reassigned time (one course release) and the grant will reimburse the department for the actual cost of the faculty replacement or (2) a faculty summer salary payment of $5,000 for the equivalent of one summer session on campus at 50% effort. Faculty members are expected to work with ORGS throughout the award period to ensure the end product meets both university requirements and sponsor guidelines.

    Funds are not intended to support the conduct of research.

    Research Pilot Studies (RPS)
    • Award limit: $3,000
    • Deadline: October 12, 2020 for spring 2021 semester, and March 15, 2021 for summer 2021 and fall 2021 semester
    Application Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

    RPS grants provide support of up to $3,000 to assist faculty in initiating pilot projects to generate data for a specific project for extramural funding. Successful RPS awards must be tied to a specific research objective. Eligible faculty may apply for the RPS grant in the fall, spring or summer semesters. The URC reviews all RCA proposals and awards approximately 5 awards per competition (up to 15 a year). Allowable costs include travel to collect data (non-student), supplies and materials, minor equipment, and hourly student assistant wages.

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    Minigrants (MG)

    MG grants provide faculty with funds to cover unforeseen expenses in creative and scholarly work, to enhance research opportunities for faculty members by supporting innovative research, and to serve as seed money to increase a faculty member's competitiveness in the acquisition of external funds.

    MG funds are available in accordance with the fiscal year (Sept 1 – Aug 31) and eligible faculty may apply year round. Proposals received after July 15th may not be able to be reviewed and awarded before the end of the fiscal year, so submit your requests as soon as possible.

    MG funds are not intended to support or evaluate instruction, programs, or the development or evaluation of curriculum materials. Funds are not intended to replace departmental professional development travel funds.

    Use only the application forms found on this page. Updated guidelines and applications posted September 2019. Refresh your page until you see the footnote with 09.2019 revision date. All applications are form-fillable and savable. If you have trouble, please check your browser settings or open the form using Adobe Reader.

    Eligibility

    Individuals with a full-time academic appointment as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, and librarian I-IV are eligible to apply. Non-tenure track faculty are not eligible.

    Applicants are limited to one competitive award (RCA, RGD, or RPS) per fiscal year. Other limitations include:

    • Individuals cannot receive a competitive award (RCA, RGD or RPS) during the same semester(s) that they are on faculty development leave or sabbatical.
    • Individuals cannot receive a Project Support award at the same time as an RGD or RPS award.
    • Individuals who receive an RCA cannot receive a Travel Support or Project Support minigrant award during the summer.
    Categories and Guidelines for Minigrant Awards

    View the sample REP report format for awarded projects (as required).

    Project Support (PS)
    • Award limit: $1,500
    • Deadline: Rolling, 9/1 - 8/31

      Proposals received after July 15th may not be able to be reviewed and awarded before the end of the fiscal year, so submit your requests as soon as possible.

    Minigrant application - Project Support

    PS grants provide faculty support of up to $1,500 for a specific research project, exhibit or creative activity. PS funds are available in accordance with the fiscal year (Sept 1 – Aug 31) and eligible faculty members may apply year round. Allowable costs include supplies and materials, minor equipment, hourly student assistant wages, costs associated with exhibitions and performances, and specific services (i.e. contract services, sample analysis, translator, etc.).

    This grant is not intended to support instruction or the development or evaluation of curricular materials.

    Applicants are limited to one PS minigrant per fiscal year.

    Publication Support (PUB)
    • Award limit: $750 - 50% match required
    • Deadline: Rolling, 9/1 - 8/31

      Proposals received after July 15th may not be able to be reviewed and awarded before the end of the fiscal year, so submit your requests as soon as possible.

    Minigrant application - Publication

    PUB grants provide support of up to $750 per article to assist faculty with publication expenses. Successful PUB grants must be tied to a specific accepted publication and require a 50% match from the college, department, or applicant. PUB funds are available in accordance with the fiscal year (Sept 1 – Aug 31) and eligible faculty members may apply year round. An individual may receive a maximum of $750 in funding per fiscal year from this minigrant category. Allowable costs include page charges and publication fees related to papers accepted by peer-reviewed (refereed) journals.

    Applicants are limited to one PUB minigrant per fiscal year.

    Travel Support (TS)

    There are three different applications depending upon nature of travel. Please contact ORGS with any questions concerning which application to use.

    • Award limit: $750/trip, $1,500 a year (unlimited number of requests)
    • Deadline: Rolling, 9/1 - 8/31 (must be submitted at least three weeks before the date of travel)

      Proposals received after July 15th may not be able to be reviewed and awarded before the end of the fiscal year, so submit your requests as soon as possible.

    An individual may submit multiple applications in a fiscal year for a total of $1,500 from the Travel Support minigrant category.

    Collect research data

    Minigrant application - Travel Support - Collect Research Data

    Requests for travel to collect research data must be accompanied by the following:

    • Justification that includes:
      • Explanation of travel activities
      • Itemized budget/breakdown of costs
      • Why the travel is important to your research agenda
      • Description of your research project addressing the who, what, where, when, why, and how as well as your research methodology and plans for evaluation
    • List of matching commitments (either applied for or secured)
    • If multiple SFA faculty will apply for support for the same presentation/exhibit/performance, each faculty must provide justification on the necessity of multiple SFA faculty to travel.
    Participate in collaborative writing or to meet with a grant program officer regarding a specific grant funding opportunity

    Minigrant application - Travel Support - Participate in Collaborative Grant Writing or Meet with Grant Program Officer

    Requests for collaborative writing or meeting with a grant program officer must be accompanied by the following:

    • Justification that includes:
      • Explanation of travel activities
      • Itemized budget/breakdown of costs
      • Potential benefits for this meeting/activity
      • Why the travel is important to your research/creative agenda
      • Likelihood for external funding (include specific information such as program announcements, sponsor information, project concept, and if applicable, list of collaborators and their affiliations)
      • Confirmation from grant program officer or collaborators that they will participate
    • List of matching commitments (either applied for or secured)
    • If multiple SFA faculty will apply for support for the same presentation/exhibit/performance, each faculty must provide justification on the necessity of multiple SFA faculty to travel
    Present findings of original research data at a professional conference (e.g. concurrent or poster sessions) OR travel to exhibit or perform (faculty in the College of Fine Arts)

    Minigrant application - Travel Support - Present Research, Exhibit, or Perform

    Beginning in FY20: Exception on foreign travel to present findings, exhibit, or perform: Faculty may apply for a maximum of 1 (one) travel support minigrant for a maximum of $1,500 if the opportunity is for a presentation (not a poster). The justification should include why this opportunity should warrant the $1,500.

    Requests for travel to present research, exhibit, or perform must be accompanied by the following:

    • Confirmation of acceptance of the activity, exhibition, performance, or presentation
    • Brief explanation of why the travel is important to your research/creative agenda
    • For research presentations: an abstract of the published research OR an overview of your presentation that clearly demonstrates that it will cover the results of a systematic research study you conducted using appropriate research methodologies
    • Itemized budget/breakdown of costs
    • List of matching commitments (either applied for or secured)
    • If multiple SFA faculty will apply for support for the same presentation/exhibit/performance, each faculty must provide justification on the necessity of multiple SFA faculty to travel

    Requests submitted without the above items will not be considered for funding.

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    2. Comprehensive Research Program (CRP)
    (formerly the Research Development Program - RDP)

    The Texas Comprehensive Research Fund (CRF), created through HB 1000 (84th Regular Texas Legislative session), provides funding to promote increased research capacity at Texas academic teaching institutions. The purpose of the Texas Comprehensive Research Program (CRP) at SFA is outlined in policy 8.10.

    CRP funds are managed by the assistant director of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (formerly ORSP). Priorities for the award of CRP funds are based on a Research Development Program plan developed with input from deans, chairs, faculty, and the URC.

    This purpose of these funds differs from the Research Enhancement Program in that they are used for new, emerging, and innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration with individuals or entities that increase the University’s ability to obtain outside research funding. Requests for RDP funds must address the purpose of the Texas Comprehensive Research Fund; therefore, proposals which would benefit or address only the research interests of a single individual will not ordinarily be considered for funding.

    How do I request CRP funds? Faculty members should submit ideas and/or requests for CRP funding to the chair of their department who will then request a recommendation for funding from the dean of their college. Equipment purchases that benefit multiple research faculty and lines of inquiry, and that support research development of the University, have the greatest potential for funding.

    Please submit questions about the CRP funds to hanlonjd@sfasu.edu.

    * All CRP awards are contingent on appropriation of funds by the Texas Legislature.

    CRP Award Reporting Form

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    B. External Funding

    1. Benefits of External Funding

    Faculty and staff are encouraged to seek external funding for research, creative, and scholarly projects undertaken to further the mission of SFASU in teaching, research and public service.

    Sponsored projects enhance and expand the educational opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students at the university, enhance research, scholarly inquiry, and the development of new knowledge, and contribute to the academic achievement and stature of SFASU.

    External funding provides a number of benefits to individual faculty/staff members, as well as to SFASU. These benefits include:

    External funding can help faculty members accomplish their professional goals in several ways.

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    2. Finding External Funding

    Locating funding and then matching your project ideas to a funding agency's needs can be a challenge. There are a variety of online resources to assist you.

    PIVOT

    ORSP subscribes to Pivot, a valuable search tool from Community of Science, for locating external funding opportunities and collaborators. Pivot combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of current funding opportunities worth an estimated $33 billion with a unique database of 3 million scholar profiles. SFA faculty and interested staff are encouraged to register for an account where Pivot's proprietary algorithm matches your customized profile to funding opportunities and potential collaborators.

    To start, click here or contact ORSP.

    If you prefer to do all of the legwork yourself, continue reading!

    a. Federal Resources

    There are subscription listservs open to anyone that can be personalized to an individual's interests, and the web site, www.Grants.gov, offers a listing of opportunities by agency and is a centralized site for downloading grant application packages for submission in the Grants.gov system.

    In addition, federal agencies post grant information and grant guidelines specific for grants they fund on their websites. Here is a partial listing of federal agencies that offer sponsored project opportunities:

    b. State Resources

    Several resources are available for state funding opportunities. Many agencies post grant information and grant guidelines specific for grants they fund on their websites and some offer listservs for grant notifications. Here is a partial listing of state agencies that offer sponsored project opportunities:

    c. Private Resources

    If you seek cash gifts designated for any type of research, unrestricted cash gifts, or donations of equipment and other non-cash items used in research, contact the Office of Development.

    If you seek private grant funding from individuals, foundations, and/or corporations, contact ORSP for assistance. Note that some foundations limit the number of applications that can be submitted from an institution, so coordination is essential. Also, some proposals are best submitted by the SFA Foundation rather than the University. ORSP can help you with that decision.

    For help finding potential sources of private grants, contact:

    Office of Development/SFA Foundation
    (936) 468-5406
    Development Staff

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    3. Evaluating Funding Opportunities

    ORSP staff will help you review program guidelines and proposal application materials. Once a potential funding agency and/or program has been identified, ORSP staff will assist you in determining what information is already available, what documents/forms ORSP can complete, and which proposal items are developed by the PI/PD.

    To determine if a funding agency announcement is appropriate for your project, review the following areas:

    Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs) are solicited proposals that normally include representations and certifications to be completed and executed by the University and may include contract terms and conditions. Most of these have firm deadlines applicable to their receipt by the sponsor. Most applications to federal and state agencies are submitted on-line by the authorized organizational representative (AOR, at SFA the AOR is the President) or designee (all electronic proposals are submitted by ORSP). Some proposals may be submitted by e-mail (again by ORSP) or by mail.

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