Faculty Research Initiative Grants


The purpose of the Faculty Research Initiative (FRI) grant program is to assist faculty members in initiating research, scholarly, and creative activities that have the potential to become continuing programs supported by extramural funds. Research involving undergraduate and graduate students is encouraged.


Those with faculty rank who are first-time investigators or more established faculty who are interested in pursuing new areas or directions of research are eligible to apply. Academic staff are eligible if applying jointly with a faculty member.

There are three categories of Faculty Research Initiative funding:

  • Major Proposal Development Release Grant
  • "Seed Money" Research Grant
  • Proposal Writing Cohort Group Program

A description of each is below:

Major Proposal Development Release Grant:
This funding opportunity provides replacement costs for a one course release for one semester or equivalent summer session (two weeks). The outcome is to develop and submit a major proposal to an external funding agency. Major is defined as: A multi-year effort anticipating significant results appropriate to the discipline.

The proposal must be completed and ready for submission at the end of the funded semester/summer session.

"Seed Money" Research Grant:
These research projects are designed to collect a significant amount of data (qualitative or quantitative) relevant to the submission of a research proposal to an external funding agency; e.g., NSF, USDA, ED, foundations, or corporate sponsors. Funding primarily supports equipment, supplies, and travel needed to carry out the planned research. Projects are usually designed for one year, not exceeding two. Colleges and departments are encouraged to provide release time to conduct the research. The outcome is to be a submission of a major proposal to an external funding agency. This submission must be completed by the end of the semester following the end date of the award.  It begins in January for one year.

Proposal Writing Cohort Group:

A cohort group of up to eight individuals will be selected to participate in an intensive experience to learn the nuts and bolts of proposal writing. This is held during WinTerm and another session is held in late May/June for five, one-half days. The days are mutually agreed upon by the group participants. A services and supplies stipend of $1,000 is provided. The purpose of the group is to provide a network for new proposal developers. The group will receive individual assistance that is personalized to their needs. The outcome will be a completed proposal by the end of the following semester that must be ready for submission to a specific request for proposal. Those interested in applying for this group must submit an application as outlined below in the Proposal format for Proposal Writing Cohort Group.

Proposal Format for Major Proposal and Seed Money:

I. Title Page (for all three types of FRI grants)

A. Title of proposal
B. Proposer's name(s)
C. Campus address(es), phone number(s), and e-mail address(es)
D. Submission date (November 1)
E. Project period of the proposal
F. Amount of funding requested

II. Abstract (limit to 1/2 page)

III. Proposal Narrative (4-9 pages)*

A. Literature review and background information
B. Statement of problem
C. Objectives
D. Methodology
E. Evaluation procedure (system to determine if project objectives are met)
F. How proposed work will serve as basis for continuing program of research/scholarly/creative activities for the principal investigator, including potential funding sources
G. Projected overall benefits/impact of research project

IV. Other information to be included:

A. Detailed budget, without indirect costs   (See Budget Information Sheet)

B. Budget narrative explaining the request. For Major Proposal Development Release Grants, standard replacement costs will be used. The Seed Money Research Grants range between $5,000 and $8,000. It is the intent of the FRI program to support the costs of the research while providing some support for the principal investigator. It is understood that the full amount of effort being put forth by the principal investigator is not fully represented in the budget process.

C. Reference list or bibliography.

D. Abbreviated vita (1-2 pages).

E. Other pertinent information.

*For the Major Proposal Development Release Grant, when you are writing sections A-G, in each section describe the concept of the proposal you are planning to submit to the external funding source.

*For the "Seed Money" Research Grant, when you are writing sections A-G, in each section describe specifically what will be done in the research project.

Proposal Format for Proposal Writing Cohort Group:

I. Title Page

A. Title of proposal: Application for Proposal Writing Cohort Group
B. Proposer's name
C. Campus address, phone number, and e-mail address
D. Submission date (November 1)
E. Project period of the proposal: WinTerM and Spring/Summer
F. Amount of funding requested: $1,000 for services and Supplies

II. Proposal Narrative (1-2 pages): The proposal narrative should include the following:

A. A statement indicating your willingness to participate during the Win-Term/Spring proposal writing cohort and agreement to complete a major proposal for submission by the end of the following semester (one paragraph).
B. A brief description of the research that you would like to undertake. Specific funding sources, agency and program need to be identified at the time of application.

Review Process:
Research Services coordinates the transmittal and approval of proposals on campus. Proposals that receive endorsement at the department and college level are then submitted for review and comment to faculty or academic staff members with expertise related to the program area of the proposal. Panelists work independently in evaluating the proposal. An off-campus evaluator from another university may be selected, as necessary.

Panelists evaluate the quality of the proposal for Major Proposal Development Release Grants and Seed Money Grants based on the following criteria, rating each on a scale of one (poorest) to five (best).

1. The proposal outlines exactly what is planned.
2. The problem statement is clear.
3. The objectives address the problem and are achievable.
4. The methodology/research design is appropriate.
5. The evaluation procedures are appropriate.
6. There is potential for a significant research contribution.
7. The budget is appropriate to realize outcomes.
8. The research area proposed has the potential to be a continuing program of research funded by non-university funds.
9. The principal investigator(s) has the qualifications to do the work outlined in the proposal.
10. The research is planned appropriate to the extramural funding source/agency.

For comment only; not ranked:
A. Research is transdisciplinary (a group of faculty working in an area that crosses disciplines).
B. Research involves undergraduate and graduate students working with faculty members.

Criteria for the Proposal Writing Cohort Group include:
1. The willingness and readiness to learn proposal writing skills.
2. The potential for long term funded research at UW-Stout through the proposed research area.

Panelists' evaluations are reported to the Provost's Council. The Provost, in consultation with the Council and the Research Administrator, reaches a decision on awards and communicates that decision to the faculty members by December 15.

Fiscal Administration of the Award:
When an award is made, Research Services will hold a conference with the award recipient to go over fiscal procedures. The staff will continue to work with the recipient throughout the duration of the award period.

Report of Results:
At the end of the project period, a written report of results, including the developed proposal, is to be submitted to Research Services, rssubmissions@uwstout.edu

Grant Submissions

Due November 1

For more information, contact Research Services x1126

Submit applications to: