Research Infrastructure Award

The Research Infrastructure Awards support major equipment and foundational enterprises for departments or research groups. Two competitions – one for departments in the sciences, and a second for departments in the arts, social sciences and humanities – will be held per academic year. A total of $45,000 is available for each of the competitions per fiscal year. Funds must be expended or transferred to an appropriate departmental discretionary account by June 30th of the year in which the award was made.

ELIGIBILITY: Proposals may be submitted by departments or by research groups within or across departments. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a member of the Main Campus tenure-line faculty, with the exception of the MSB faculty who are ineligible. The definition of a research group is intentionally quite broad. In general, a research group is a collaborative body of scholars working together on a defined project or problem. Because such groups are defined in intellectual terms, they need not be established in any formal way. Research foci may be broad or specific. Groups should be under the direction of one or more members of the tenure-line faculty. The involvement of graduate and/or undergraduate students is encouraged. Research groups may be housed within departments or extend across departmental lines. The Office of the Provost will accept submissions from a department, intra-departmental research groups, or multiple research groups within the same department. Decisions will be made by a subcommittee of faculty representing the Faculty Research Awards Committee/Internal Review Committee. Accordingly, faculty are required to make their proposals accessible to non-specialists by avoiding the use of technical language and clearly articulating the importance of their work. At its discretion, this committee may move funds across the two competitions.

PURPOSES: Eligible purposes include the acquisition of instrumentation or research materials, the development of shared archives or databases, and the provision of research assistance to support efforts to secure external funding. Since the disciplines involved are quite varied, we are not attempting to be overly specific with respect to purpose. However, it is presumed that the awards will be used to support the long-term development of a research infrastructure supportive of department or group research.

CRITERIA: Proposals will be evaluated in terms of the contribution that the proposed expenditures will make to the department or group’s research infrastructure as measured by the number of researchers involved, the importance of the research activities that will be supported, and particularly the potential for these resources to generate extramural grant support.

APPLICATION: The following will comprise the proposal application with each component uploaded in PDF format:

  • A proposal of no more than 2,000 words, not including references cited, in a 12-point legible font, 1-inch margins all around, paginated and indicating the specific purposes to which the requested funds will be put and the specific research activities which will be enhanced by the award (4-page maximum)
  • The budget needed to carry-out the proposed activity. Since it is likely that the available funds will cover only a portion of the relevant costs, applicants also should indicate how additional costs would be covered using existing or anticipated matching funds. Indicate how the infrastructure or instrument will be maintained or supported in future years. (2-page maximum)

Failure to follow the required formatting and/or word and page limits will render the application ineligible for review.

Questions regarding the Research Infrastructure Awards Program should be directed to

DEADLINE: January 31, 2021

Final decision date: February 28, 2021

SUBMISSION: Electronic submission via e-mail to