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Faculty Research Grant Review Guidelines

1. General Information

  1. The University Research Council (URC) designs the request for proposals (RFP), establishes the FRG review criteria, and appoints the FRG review committee members. The Office of Research distributes the RFP twice per year to all faculty and facilitates the program funding based on URC's FRG recommendations.

  2. Faculty member cannot receive FRG more than 3 times in the past 5 years.

  3. The Office of Research verifies the following peer review parameters:
    1. on-time and complete application;
    2. applicant eligible under University Statutes.

  4. Based on number of applications from each discipline, the Office of Research recruits and retains peer reviewers, primarily from prior three years’ of Faculty Research Grant recipients.

  5. The FRG review committee members receive recognition for their dedicated service.

2. The First-year New Faculty and Junior Faculty Applicants

  1. The first-year new faculty’s applications are not required to go through the review process with the objective of providing prioritized support to the first-year new faculty’s research.

  2. Junior faculty applicants’ first research projects beyond dissertation will receive an extra 0.25 points after the review process has been completed.

3. Peer Review

  1. FRG proposals by eligible non-first year faculty are normally reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers per application where
    • One reviewer is from applicant’s discipline;
    • Second reviewer may be from a relevant discipline

  2. Criteria for peer review:
    1. Clarity and completeness of the description of the proposed project;
    2. Confidence that the applicant will successfully complete project proposed during the grant period;
    3. Evaluation of the scope of work the applicant proposes to complete for the 9-month grant period given the current stage of the project;
    4. Likelihood and quality of a scholarly outcome, such as external support in the form of a grant or fellowship and/or publication; and
    5. Adequacy and appropriateness of budgeted items and their stated costs.

  3. The review committee is chaired by a URC member and consists of peer reviewers normally selected from awardees who have received an FRG in the previous years.

4. Review Questions

  1. The reviewers must address the following six merit questions (questions A to F), rating from 1 (strongly disagree) to 10 (strongly agree):
    1. The applicant's "Narrative" writing is clear.
    2. The applicant's "Narrative" is responsive.
    3. The amount of work proposed for the grant period is both appropriate and realistic.
    4. The budgeted items and their stated costs appear both appropriate and realistic for the project.
    5. Based upon the applicant's Narrative and CV, I am confident that they are capable of successfully completing the project as proposed.
    6. Successful completion of this project and its associated outcomes would make a substantial contribution to the applicant's professional development.

  2. In addition to the six merit questions, question 7 is “the overall funding recommendation of the application,” ranking from 1 (do not recommend funding at this time) to 10 (highest priority). The reviewers may consider the priorities for awarding FRGs listed in the University Statutes when ranking the application (“potential for publication”, “submission to external funding agencies”, “major emphasis on junior faculty”, “first research projects beyond the dissertation”).

5. Rankings

  1. Proposals are ranked based on the average score of the overall funding recommendation (FRG review question 7) after considering penalty points.

  2. If the average scores of the question seven are tied, the overall total cumulative score of the merit questions (A to F) will be considered.

  3. If there is a substantial discrepancy between the two reviewer's ratings and if the applicant's overall score is higher than or at the cutoff score of the funding available for the award year, a third reviewer may be invited to add his/her input. The discrepancy must be 4 points of 10 points or greater in order to be considered for further review.

6. Approval

  1. URC must approve each group of ranked applications (first-year applicant awards, awards with average score above the funding cut-off line, and declined applications ranked below the cut-off line) and discuss any of the outcomes on a case-by-case basis as necessary.

  2. All final awardees must be approved by the Provost or his/her designate.

  3. FRG award and rejection letters must be issued to all eligible applicants by the Office of Research no later than March 15.