Frequently Asked Questions
Competitive Campus Grants FAQ
Answers to frequently asked questions about Competitive Campus Grants can be found below. Please note these may not apply to our Open Invitation Grants.
For additional questions, please contact us at [email protected]
The Thematic Research Planning Grants (TRP), Research Initiation and Development Grants (RID) and the Scholars Grants (SCH) are the three competitive grants with fall cycles closing in October and winter cycles closing in February each year.
Applications to the Competitive Campus Grants programs will be evaluated by external experts in the related research areas. The external experts will use the criteria listed in the guidelines specific to the Competitive Campus Grants program you are applying to. Applicants will receive feedback not only on the adherence to the program requirements but also on the proposed research idea/s. When relevant, the feedback will include suggestions for strengthening the proposal.
We are open to any external funders, the program does not limit you to specific ones. We are collecting information about potential funders but we don’t have any specific in mind. We can help teams try to identify potential funders, if needed. Such requests should be made BEFORE the submission of the Campus Grants application.
Per the Standard Requirements of All Campus Grants Programs, a PI can only have ONE ACTIVE campus grant from the Competitive Programs. This criterion applies at the time of the application. Therefore, if the faculty member is a PI on an active competitive campus grant at the time of the application, they are NOT eligible to submit a new application. If the faculty member is a co-PI on someone else’s active competitive campus grant, they ARE eligible to submit a new application as a PI for a project that is substantially different from the one they are already part of.
Faculty are encouraged to use the matrix “Check Your Eligibility for Competitive Campus Grants” also posted on our Campus Grants webpage.
To submit a new application as a PI, faculty members are required to have finalized their prior competitive campus grant projects. If a PI submits a new application before their competitive campus grants is closed (final report- submitted to and accepted by the Office of Research), their application will be returned without review.
Project start dates should be *no earlier* than 3 months after the application deadline and competitive grants are limited up to 12 month projects. For example, Campus Grants with an application deadline of October 15 should plan to start January 15 or later.
Yes, funds may support both undergraduate and graduate students working on the project. However they should be current UM-Dearborn students and must be hired as temporary employees for the project. Graduate Student Instructor's and Graduate Student Research Assistants are not supported (students must be hired as temporary employees).
A course buyout is an issue the faculty members need to discuss and arrange with their own department. The Office of Research can neither arrange for, nor guarantee a course buyout even if the funds for the budgeted salary are enough to cover it and the PI included it in the submitted proposal budget*. We strongly advise all PIs and project participants who wish to use a campus grants award for buying out a course to discuss the issue with their Department Chair BEFORE applying for a campus grant and only plan on the course buyout if they have the approval of the Department Chair.
*The ORA-approved proposal budget template does *not* require information on course buyouts. It requires the percentage of effort (or months, AY or summer), calculated based on the amount of time the PI/faculty expects to spend working on the project. The UM-Dearborn faculty can use the CG Salary Calculator tool to calculate their salary for a campus grant budget.
Each Competitive Grant has different budget ceilings and floors as well as intended use of funds. Generally, we would like to support activities directly related to the research project- faculty/researcher time, research supplies needed to carry out the project, student research assistants, collaborative activities, etc. things that are not already supported by the department (e.g. general supplies). It depends on the needs of each team and the proposed activities. In any case, plans for the use of funds must be well-justified and specific to the project. Check each program guidelines for more details.
Note about Faculty Salary:
- The cost of faculty time is determined by the amount of "effort" or time being devoted to the project.
- Salary budgets may NOT use an arbitrary flat amount for salary, but should be calculated based on actual salary rates.
- The easiest way to calculate salary costs is to use a person's monthly salary rate x monthly effort
For help calculating salary, please use our Campus Grant Salary Calculator.
Proposals should be written for a varied audience, not necessarily people in your discipline. It is always best to write a proposal in a way that is understandable to people outside of your field, regardless of the sponsor you send your proposal to. All competitive proposals will be forwarded for review and evaluation to external experts in the respective research field.
The Research Initiation & Development grant require the applicants to use the funds to support activities and employees (faculty, students) on our campus.
Currently the Thematic Research Planning Grants and the UM-Dearborn Scholars grant allow some of the budget to be spent outside the UM-Dearborn campus. Please Check the specific program guidelines for details.
We encourage you to use existing internal resources, but if you present a compelling case for the need of an external writer, we will consider it.
The Office of Research provides consultation and writing services through a third-party consultation firm at no cost to faculty. They can find content experts to help with proposal content review, copy editing, graphic design and for large/complex proposals we may consider requesting a professional writer for your team. Keep in mind that the team should provide the main content of the project plan.
The competitive campus grants allow only expenses directly related to doing the proposed research, or research & scholarship related activities to be included in the proposed budget. Expenses related to disseminating research results (conferences and seminars) and/or trainings fit better in the professional development category and should not be included in the competitive campus grants budgets.
You do not need to identify all partners at the application stage. You can just list the type of expert you are planning to include, e.g. “a software engineer TBD”. Note that part of the planning for the TRP grants can be to assemble the team. For both TRPs and RIDs, you can modify the project team for the external proposal.
The Thematic Research Planning grant asks that you identify at least one funding opportunity you would be preparing to apply to. If you have not identified a specific funding mechanism yet and want to focus on the research rather than the proposal planning and writing, you should consider applying for a Research Initiation & Development grant.
Yes, you will be asked to identify a thematic research area but you will *not* be limited to just three areas. As of FY24 the TRP grants will accept applications for any research area.
What if our project crosses multiple areas?
If your project crosses multiple areas, you will have an opportunity to list them all in your InfoReady application
All competitive projects will be awarded for a period of 12 months after the project start date. However, if you finish your project earlier than planned you can contact the Office of Research Development and request to complete your final project report before the planned project end date. Note: your campus grant will be considered closed only after your final project report has been reviewed and accepted by our office.
Single PIs will not be considered for the Thematic Research Planning grants. The program guidelines specifically ask that you plan to work with others and form interdisciplinary teams.
Research Initiation & Development and UM-Dearborn Scholar grants allow single PI applications, however the applications with multiple PIs will stand a better chance for funding, everything else equal.
The Current and Pending Support and the Results from Previous Support form are required ONLY from the key project team personnel. A Co-PI who will be contributing significantly to the project work will need to submit theirs too. These forms are *not* required for team members who will have minimal effort on the project. Students, regardless of their effort on the project, do *not* need to submit the forms.
Please note only the applying PI can upload documents within the InfoReady system. The applying PI will need to collect all the forms from co-PIs and then merge them into a single PDF to upload to the application. For information on how to merge PDF files, you can may wish to review the Adobe tutorial on how to do so.