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

Adopted by SFA policy 8.3 - Revised: January 20, 2017

PART 2 - Find Funding

 

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

1. REP - Research Enhancement Program
  • FRG - Faculty Research Grants
  • MG - Minigrants
  • GRA - Graduate Research Assistant Support
  • URC - University Research Council

    2. CRP - Comprehensive Research Program

    B. External Funding

    1. Benefits of External Funding
    2. How to Find External Funding (federal, state, and private sources)
    3. PIVOT locate grants and find collaborators
    4. Evaluating Funding Opportunities

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    A. Internal Grant Funding

    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 director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Guidelines for the award of REP funds are developed by the University Research Council (URC, see section A.3).

    Research proposing the use of human subjects, laboratory animals, or hazardous materials must be submitted to the appropriate university committee for approval 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: 1. Faculty Research Grants (FRG, annual and semester competitions); 2. Minigrants (MG, open submission), and 3. Graduate Research Salary (GRS, annual competition).

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

    Sample Reporting format

    Faculty Research and Creative Grants (FRG)

    Faculty Research Grants provide substantive support for research and scholarly/creative activities. The Faculty Research Program has been revised to provide more options for faculty and to decrease the time between applications and awards. FRG applications are reviewed by the University Research Council.

    Categories and Guidelines for FRG awards are as follows:

    FRG Guidelines

    Research/Creative Activities (RCA):

    Award limit: $10,000 + salary
    Deadline: Fall semester (October 31, 2016)
    Application Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria: Application Cover Page (form-fillable PDF), Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria, Deadlines, Checklist

    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 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 – based on separate criteria. In addition to a 6-week summer salary, funding of up to $10,000 is allowable to support travel to collect data (non-student), minor equipment, 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).

    Research Grant Development (RGD):

    Award limit: Adjunct salary to cover course release (fall/spring); $5,000 (summer semester)
    Deadline: Fall (November 16, 2016), spring and summer (April 14, 2017) semesters
    Application (PDF), Guidelines, Deadlines, and Evaluation Criteria

    RGD grants provide support of 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. RGD proposals are reviewed and awarded by the URC. Under the RGD grant, faculty may request reassigned time (one course release) where ORSP will reimburse the department for the actual cost of the faculty replacement or a 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 ORSP 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: Fall (November 16, 2016), spring and summer (April 14, 2017) semesters
    Application (PDF), Guidelines, Deadlines, 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)

    There are two minigrant programs at SFA.

    The first is managed by the Provost/VPAA, and provide support that targets innovation in instruction and research involving undergraduate students and excellence and innovation in assessment: Click here for a link to the Provost's minigrant guidelines and application process.

    The second is administered by ORSP using Research Enhancement funds with the Unviersity Research Council reviewing all applications.

    Minigrant awards from ORSP are provided to help faculty members with 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 applications are reviewed by the University Research Council. Categories for MG awards are as follows:

    Categories and Guidelines for Minigrants awards are as follows:

    Minigrant Guidelines

    Use only the application forms found on this page.

    Project Support (PS):

    Award limit: $1,500
    Deadline: Rolling, 9/1 - 8/31
    PDF application

    PS grants provide support of up to $1,500 to faculty 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
    PDF application

    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):

    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
    PDF application

    TS grants provide support of up to $750 each trip to assist faculty with travel associated with smaller research and creative projects and to present findings of original research in formats other than panel presentations or roundtable discussions. TS funds are available in accordance with the fiscal year (Sept 1 – Aug 31) and eligible faculty may apply year round. An individual may submit multiple applications in a fiscal year for a total of $1,500 from this minigrant category. Allowable costs include travel to present original research data at professional conferences (concurrent or poster sessions), travel to exhibit or perform (faculty in the College of Fine Arts), travel to collect data, travel to participate in collaborative grant writing, and travel to meet with a sponsor's program officer regarding a specific grant funding opportunity. This grant is 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.

    NOTE: Requests for travel to present research must be accompanied by: 1) proof of acceptance of the presentation; and 2) 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. Requests submitted without these two items will not be considered for funding.

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    Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Program

    The purpose of the Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Program is to provide support for graduate students working toward research-based theses (or equivalent) and dissertations.  Guidelines and Eligibility

    GRA funds are subsidized by the University’s Research Enhancement Program and administered in accordance with the fiscal year (Sep 1 – Aug 31).  The URC makes recommendations for funding to the chair of the council who then obtains approval for funding from the dean of the Graduate School, and notifies the provost and vice president of academic affairs of awards.

    Publications resulting from a GRA award shall acknowledge that the project was “Conducted with support from the Stephen F. Austin State University Research Enhancement Program.”

    The GRA Program categories are as follows:

    Graduate Research Salary (GRS):

    Award limit: $12,546/year
    Deadline:TBD
    PDF application

    GRS grants provide support to assist students who have graduate research assistantship appointments and are actively working on a thesis or dissertation. The deadline for GRS grant applications is in the spring for funding the following academic year.  The URC and graduate dean review all GRS proposals and award up to two (2) awards per year. Members of the graduate faculty serving as faculty advisors may apply for GRS support on behalf of their students. Awardees must be working toward a research-based thesis/dissertation or equivalent degree. Non-thesis graduate students are not eligible.

    Graduate Research Project (GRP):

    Effective: FY 2016
    Award limit:
    $1,000/year
    Deadline: Fall and Spring TBD

    GRP grants provide support of up to $1,000 ($500/semester) to assist students who have graduate research assistantship appointments and are actively working on a thesis or dissertation. The deadlines for GRP grant applications are in the fall and spring semesters.  The URC and graduate dean review all GRP proposals and award up to 20 (twenty) $500 awards per year. Graduate Research Assistants in good standing may apply for GRP support directly related to a research-based thesis/dissertation or equivalent degree. Non-thesis graduate students are not eligible.

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    University Research Council (URC)

    The University Research Council (URC), chaired by the director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 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 of university Faculty Research Grants.

    Of the ten URC members, six members, one from each of the academic colleges of the University, are elected from the full members of the graduate faculty. One member represents the Library. The remaining three members are appointed from the full members of the graduate faculty by the chair of the Council, subject to the principle of proportionate representation from each academic college on the basis of full and associate members of the graduate faculty in the respective colleges, and subject further to the approval of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    Both elected and appointed members of the Council serve three year terms. Upon expiration of a term, the council member is ineligible for re-election or reappointment to the Council for three years. A vacancy on the Council is filled either by election or appointment, whichever is applicable to the position vacated.

    The URC meets approximately six times a year to advise ORSP on research-related topics and to evaluate and award Faculty Research Grants.

    URC Committee Information and Roster

    URC Orientation Manual - Contains definitions, examples, and other helpful information regarding the Research Enhancement Program

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    2. Texas Comprehensive Research Program
    (formerly Research Development Program - RDP)

    The purpose of the Texas Comprehensive Research Program at SFA is outlined in policy 8.10

    CRP funds are managed by the Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Priorities for the award of CRP funds are based on a Research Development Program plan developed with input from deans, chairs, faculty, and members of the University Research Council (URC, see next section).

    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.

    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 and sponsored projects undertaken to further the mission of SFA in teaching, research and public service.

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

    The primary responsibility for the development of proposals rests with the Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD). All proposals are expected to be relevant to the interests and expertise of the PI/PD and consistent with the mission of SFA.

    Externally funded grants and contracts provide a number of benefits to individual faculty members, as well as to SFA. These benefits include:

    In addition, grants bring recognition and prestige to SFA and to faculty members and provide support for and evidence of research, scholarly/creative, and/or service activities for faculty tenure and promotion.

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

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    2. How to Find External Funding

    Locating funding and matching your project ideas to a funding agency's needs can be a challenge. There are a variety of online publications, searchable databases, and funding notice listservs that can be useful in a grant opportunity search.

    a. Federal Resources

    There are a number of federal grant resources. 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. There are subscription listservs open to anyone that can be personalized to an individual's interests.

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

    If you are seeking 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. PIVOT

    The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is pleased to offer Pivot, a valuable search tool from Community of Science (COS) 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.

    For more information, click here or contact:

    Shawn Fischer
    (936) 468-6606

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    4. Evaluating Funding Opportunities

    ORSP pre-award staff can help you review program guidelines and proposal application materials. Once a potential funding agency and/or program has been identified, ORSP staff can help you apply for a particular funding opportunity.

    It is highly recommended that you review the following to determine if a funding agency announcement is appropriate for your project:

    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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