Faculty may apply for project development funding

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 12:44pm
Western Today staff

Project development awards are available to assist faculty members who have the potential for obtaining significant funding from external agencies by providing release time to develop fundable proposals. The extramural funding to be sought is for supporting research and scholarly activities which contribute to the mission of the university.

Under this program, a faculty member may request either the equivalent of one quarter teaching load release time (spread over two quarters during the academic year), or full salary for two summer months. RSP will reimburse the department for the actual cost of faculty replacement.

During the tenure of the award, the faculty member will work on developing a proposal for extramural funding. The intent of the award is to provide financial support while developing an external proposal, therefore the expectation is that those awarded summer support will not teach summer classes.

In addition to the course release time or summer salary a faculty member may request funds to hire students, purchase supplies, and travel, if necessary, or to conduct preliminary research provided there are sufficient justifications for the request.


  • All tenured and tenure-track faculty (with an employment agreement for the following year) are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty members who received Project Development awards within a five year period of the date of application are not eligible. Priority will be given to first-time investigators. First-time investigators are encouraged to seek guidance from experienced scholars/mentors.
  • Applications for the development of proposals to agencies that do not permit payment of indirect costs to the university are not eligible.

Project Development Awards are intended to allow faculty the teaching release time to obtain preliminary data and develop a proposal that will be ready for submission by the end of the award period. The scope of the project must warrant the amount of support requested. (Note: The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs offers a category of support called Pilot Project Grants which provide up to $4,000 to assist faculty in initiating pilot projects that will generate data needed to develop proposals for extramural funding.)

Specific agencies, foundations, and/or programs to which the funding proposal will be submitted must be identified in the application. Applicants are encouraged to study the agencies' programs and to discuss the project with program officers to determine the appropriateness of the agency.

The proposal resulting from the Project Development Award is expected to contain support sufficient to engage undergraduates in the faculty member's research, to contain support for some graduate students, and to fund a portion of the faculty member's time throughout the project period. Multi-year proposals for external funding are encouraged.

For faculty members who currently have externally funded projects, the proposal must not be for an extension of the current work nor for a renewal or continuation of the existing grant.

Results from prior Project Development Awards and whether they resulted in external funding proposals must be stated in the application. 

Application instructions:

Complete applications must be received by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by Feb. 6 and should include the following information:

  • Project Development Program Application Cover Sheet (last page of form)
  • Detailed project description (not to exceed five pages; organized like a typical extramural proposal). The description should be written in clear, non-technical language that a colleague from another discipline can comprehend and review fairly.
  • The expected budget for the proposal to be developed and the funding agency/program to which the proposal will be submitted.
  • A list of all prior internal awards and whether they resulted in external funding proposals or grants.
  • Bibliography
  • Two page current vita (suggested format)
  • Budget justification for the Project Development Award
  • Relevant supporting documentation

The award period is one calendar year, at the end of which the faculty member shall submit a short report to RSP on the results of the project.