Objectives

The focus of Research and Creative Activity (RCA) program is to provide internal funding for new research efforts and innovative or collaborative activities.  RCA Funds are intended to address important needs not met by other support programs within or outside the university.  All instructional faculty may apply and applications are evaluated by faculty peers, one from each of the university’s five schools (CAS, SEHS, SHPS, SOM and SON).  The key evaluation criteria are scholarly merit, the value for the applicant’s own research potential and progress, and the likely impact on the field.  

Eligible Applicants

  1. All instructional faculty may apply (including non-tenure track faculty with UM-Flint contractual agreements covering the proposed project period).  Junior tenure-track faculty will be given priority.  There is a career maximum of $60,000 from the Research and Creative Activity Fund for any one individual as PI.
  2. Co-Investigator:  Tenured and tenure-track faculty, non-tenure track faculty and staff members may serve as Co-Investigators.  Multiple Co-Investigators may be involved in a project.

Scoring Proposals

A common scoring rubric will be used to evaluate each proposal.  The RCAC scoring sheet will be divided into 6 criteria, with space in the online review form for scores and comments in each section.  Comments from the reviewers will be shared with the applicants following the review process.

  1. Significance: potential impact or scholarly merit of the project is clear for the field or applicant(s) research potential and progress.
  2. Investigators: PI, co-investigators are well suited to carry out the project, with appropriate experience and training.
  3. Innovation: potential of project to develop novel concepts, approaches, methodologies or technologies.
  4. Approach: overall strategy, methodology and analytical strategies are appropriate to achieve aims.
  5. Environment: resources available to the investigators are adequate and the proposed budget justified.                                                               
  6. Mission: benefit to, or potential to enhance, the scholarly distinction of UM-Flint faculty and students, or enhance levels of community engagement or impact.     

Eligible Project Components

Faculty are encouraged to develop the research or creative activity project that will best meet their specific needs.  A research or creative project can include any or all of the following components:

  1. Spring/Summer Honorarium:  With permission from Department Chair and Dean, faculty can request compensation up to 1/9 of salary for research/creative work completed during the spring/summer semester provided they are contractually available. Up to a maximum of $5,000.
  2. Research Assistance:  Both student and non-student research assistants are eligible.  Whenever possible, however, the RCAC encourages the inclusion of UM-Flint students to serve as assistants on research projects supported with RCA funds and the latter will be given priority as per the rubric point system described above.  Student assistants must be enrolled at the UM-Flint during the project period.
  3. Re-assigned time (Fall or Winter Semesters): RCA funds can be requested to cover one-third (33% percent) of your effort during a given academic term, plus benefits. Please be sure to include the signed Reassigned Time Request Form with your RCA grant application.
  4. Clerical Assistance:  If necessary, clerical assistance such as typing, editing, grant management assistance, scheduling and event management tasks can be included in the request.  This cost should be calculated at a rate consistent with University current practice.  Please contact Human Resources or the Office of Research for assistance.
  5. Fringe Benefits and FICA
  6. Travel and subsistence for costs associated with conducting off-campus research/creative activity. Please note that travel costs associated with the dissemination of the project are NOT an eligible budget item.
  7. Materials, supplies and equipment:  Itemization and description of expenses is required.

Exclusions

The following items are not eligible for inclusion in RCA grants.

  1. Graduate research and dissertation writing for faculty and students;
  2. Computer hardware /software for routine use (in rare cases, funds may be provided for highly specialized computer hardware/software);
  3. Equipment necessary to contain health hazards in a laboratory;
  4. Funds for organizing conferences or colloquia. 

Project Budget

Maximum project budget:  $20,000.  The RCAC reserves the right to offer an award LESS than the amount requested. For example, the RCAC may determine that the requested amount is excessive for the proposed project, the available funds may require that projects be reduced, etc.

A completed budget form must accompany each grant proposal.

Project Timeline

Proposed projects are expected to be completed within a one-year time frame.  If special circumstances exist, a no-cost extension of time request (for up to one year) must be completed and submitted prior to the end of the award for committee review and approval. At the end of the project time frame/extension, unused funds will be recouped by the Office of Research. 

Call for Proposals

The fall semester proposal deadline is at the end of October with award announcements by the end of November.  The winter semester proposal deadline is at the beginning of March with award announcements by the end of March.  Exceptions to these dates may be necessary and current announcements should be referred to for exact dates.

Final Report

Within 60 days after the end of the period of the award, the Principal Investigator will be reminded to provide a brief report to the Office of Research of project outcomes, which will be made available to the RCA Committee.  The final report should include:

  1. The  work completed on the project relative to objectives stated in the original proposal
  2. Evidence of how project participants (ie. students, colleagues, or community members) have benefited from the work
  3. Level of progress in relation to the original project project timetable
  4. A sufficiently detailed report on actual expenses, measured against the proposed budget, and
  5. Any scholarly or creative work, publications and/or presentations that resulted from the work.