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Appendix III: Major Research Grants Fund Guidelines

I. Purpose and Scope
II. Conditions for Released Time
III. Application and Evaluation Procedure
IV. The Proposal
V. Proposal Preparation
VI. Final Report

 I. Purpose and Scope

The MRGF has been established to support two general types of faculty research activity: 1) development of ideas or projects to be submitted to other agencies for more extensive funding, and 2) research or scholarly activity. Requests for funding should be submitted to the Research Committee through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The committee will consider requests for funds to cover expenses associated with research and scholarly activity which may result in publishable works and in the advancement of arts, humanities, sciences, and professions. Allowable expenses include the following types of items: travel, equipment, assistants, services, and released time (under special conditions). Requests will be considered for activities that are conducted at any time including academic and summer sabbaticals. The committee will not consider requests for development of new courses, course materials supporting graduate work, dissertation research, or for the purchase of reprints. Generally, the committee will only consider requests between a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of 10% of the total annual budget.

 II. Conditions for Released Time

In order for released time to be an acceptable funded item the following conditions must be met:

A. Before considering released time, the Research Committee must have a statement approved by the Chairperson and Dean explaining how the department or school will handle the faculty member's teaching load if the grant is approved.

B. The proposal on its research and scholarly merits must be judged worthy of support by the Research Committee.

C. The released time must be necessary for completion of research.

D. The time needed for research on the project must surpass the normal expected time allotment by a full-time faculty member to scholarly activities.

 III. Application and Evaluation Procedure

The Research Committee has appointed an MRGF proposal Review Committee, which evaluates proposals twice annually, and recommends obligation of up to approximately 50% of the available annual funds. Therefore, proposals should be submitted as early as possible before the submission deadline each semester. The Office of Academic Affairs announces these deadlines each semester.

After evaluation of the proposals received before each submission deadline, the Review Committee will make recommendations regarding funding to the Research Committee. The Research Committee will then make its recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall in turn make recommendations to the President.

 IV. The Proposal

A proposal is comprised of four major sections, a Cover Sheet, a Detailed Budget, the Narrative, and an Appendix (or Appendices). Proposals should closely follow this format in order to facilitate a fair and thorough review and evaluation.

 A. Cover Sheet. The cover sheet is provided with the proposal guidelines and should be submitted as the first page of the proposal. Note that proposals involving a request for released time require a plan on how the department or school will handle the released time. This statement must be approved by the Chairperson and Dean.

 B. Detailed Budget. The second page of the proposal should be the budget sheet (provided with the proposal guidelines). Detail all anticipated expenses which are to be covered by funds from the MRGF grant. Attach additional sheets if necessary to clearly explain the need for requested expenditures.

 C. Narrative. The narrative presents most of the important information in the proposal. It should be comprehensive, concise, and clear. Remember that the reviewers may not be familiar with your particular jargon, and that use of jargon may obscure rather than clarify your ideas. Any tables, or figures which are necessary for the presentation of your proposal should be included as appendices, and research involving the use of human or animal research subjects must also show compliance with the federal, state, and local laws governing research involving human and animal research subjects (See Appendices IV and V for additional information). This information may be included in the narrative or in an appendix. Funding is contingent upon approval of the Institutional Review Board. Applications for project approval are available in MO270, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

While it is not possible to anticipate all specific proposals, it is the judgment of the review committee that there are several important features of all potential proposals which could be objectively assessed to help determine the relative merit of a proposal. Accordingly, the narrative should be written following the outline below. This outline has been specifically designed to be the basis of the evaluation process. Since the terms used to identify each part of the narrative will not have the same meaning for each person, a list of sample questions has been included to help clarify the requested information. This list of sample questions is NOT an exhaustive list. It should not be interpreted as a restriction of information supplied. These questions would clearly be relevant for some proposals, but may not always be relevant, and should therefore be interpreted as suggestions, and not necessarily as requirements.

1. Description and Nature of the Research Project

In what activities will you be engaged? Will other people participate? What is the rationale for the proposed research? Is there any relevant background information which would help the reviewers place the proposed project in perspective? How will the project be implemented? Where will the activities take place? How does the proposed project fit in with an existing body of knowledge? How will you comply with requirements for treatment of subjects? How will informed consent be secured? Etc.

2. Goal/Purpose of the Research

What hypotheses will be tested? What questions do you hope to answer? What predictions will be made? What experimental results are anticipated? What product/entity will result from the project? Etc.

3. Project Significance/Professional Contribution

What is the potential professional significance of the proposed research? What is the anticipated contribution to your discipline? How will the project advance the body of knowledge in your discipline? How might the results of the project enhance the quality of life for humankind? Etc.

4. Implementation Schedule

What is the anticipated schedule of activities? When will the project be completed? Will your activities be contingent on the acquisition of equipment or materials? Etc.

5. Evaluation Plan

What criteria will be used to determine whether or not the goal of the project was achieved? What sort of statistical evaluation might be appropriate? Are there potential publication outlets for the results? Will you attempt to measure or ascertain the professional impact of this project? Etc.

V. Proposal Preparation

The first two pages of the proposal should always be the Cover Sheet, and the Detailed Budget (provided with the proposal information packet). The Narrative portion of the proposal should always conform to the preparation guidelines with respect to both the order and content of each section. Please endeavor to limit the length of the narrative to the typewriting space available on the application form. Please avoid unnecessary jargon or technical language in drafting the narrative.

 VI. Final Report

Recipients of major grants are required to submit final reports on their projects within a year following notification of the grant awards.

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