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University Research Committee (URC) Guidelines

URC Chair:  Kristine Condic  (salomon@oakland.edu)

Introduction

The University Research Committee (URC) is comprised of ten faculty members, including two faculty representatives appointed by the Graduate Council. Membership also includes the Vice Provost for Research as an ex-officio and non-voting member. The charge of the Committee is “to encourage and promote scholarship, advanced studies, and research among students and the tenured and tenure-track faculty of Oakland University”. The URC’s responsibilities include, in particular, the evaluation of applications for intramural URC research funds and the allocation of these funds. More generally, they include protection and development of practices and policies conducive to URC funded scholarly activity. Scholarship is interpreted broadly and, in particular, includes creative endeavors.

The URC meets throughout the academic year to provide an uninterrupted flow of service to faculty and students. With the exception of URC members, students and faculty bargaining unit members at Oakland University are invited to apply for research support under the categories and conditions outlined in these guidelines. Faculty funded under URC programs must have an active employment contract at the time of the application and during the period of completing their research project. Students funded by the URC must be enrolled at Oakland University at the time of the application and during the period of completing their research project. All URC funded projects for faculty and students are expected to be performed on-campus. Any off-campus research activities must be clearly explained in the proposal and approved by the URC and committee Chair before starting the project. Requests for clarification of these guidelines or eligibility requirements may be obtained from the Chair of the URC.

University Research Committee – Award Time Table

Grant Type

Award
Amount

Application
Submission
Deadline

Award
Announced

Faculty Fellowship Award

up to $10,000

2nd Monday
of October

2nd Monday of December

Meadow Brook Hall  Research Conf. Award

$3,000

4th Monday
of November

4th Monday of January

Student Research Award

$300 UG
$500 Gr

No deadline

Six weeks after receipt. The committee does not meet during the summer months.

Faculty Research Excellence Award Nomination

$2,500

4th Monday
of January

4th Monday of March

Faculty New Investigator Research Excellence Award

$1,500

Faculty Research Award

$1,200

Student Travel Award

$400

No deadline

Six weeks after receipt. The committee does not meet during the summer months.

Faculty Books, Reports & Page Charge Reimb.

$350 max.

No deadline

Two weeks after request

Faculty President’s Colloquium Series Award

$1,000

Last day of March

Last day of May


Application Preparation for Faculty Fellowship and Faculty Research Awards

These general guidelines apply to all the various faculty research grants and fellowships that come under the jurisdiction of the URC. In preparation of proposals, please study these guidelines and then consult the individual sections that follow for more precise information regarding the specific grant application. Proposals must adhere to the limitations given in the guidelines, otherwise they will not be considered.

The composition of the URC includes faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines, and may not have expertise specific to your project. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the faculty applicant to articulate clearly the goals, methodology, significance and impact of the proposed research to the interdisciplinary URC committee without excessive use of technical jargon. It is recommended that the applicant use lay language and minimize the use of acronyms wherever possible.

An applicant may accept funding in only one of the award categories during each academic year. An applicant may, however, be a co-investigator mentioned in more than one funded proposal in one or more categories.

Each application must include all applicable items from the following list. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applicants are encouraged to talk to any member of the URC about the proposal preparation process. An information session will be held for prospective applicants during September of each year to review the guidelines.

  1. Application Form – Application submission is done online through the Research Application Manager (RAM) at: www.oakland.edu/research. You will be asked either to create an account or to login if you already have an account. Any attachments are to be submitted online with your application. Refer to the Award Time Table on page one for submission deadlines.
  2. Proposal – The proposal narrative is strictly limited to the equivalent of five 8.5″ x 11″ pages with one-inch margins on all sides, single-spaced, in Arial 11 point font or larger. The narrative may include figures and tables and these count toward the 5-page limit. The narrative page limits do NOT include the title page, bibliography and supplementary information (budget, CV, current/pending support, etc.). Proposals that exceed the 5-page limit for the narrative will not be considered for funding. Grant proposals and any supplementary documentation should be uploaded to RAM as a single file (preferably in pdf format) and should include the elements listed below. Please contact Susan Willner for technical help with forming a single pdf file if you need assistance.
  • Title Page: This page should include the project title, applicant name(s), affiliation, and a project abstract of 250 words or less. An abstract is a summary of the proposed work, in non-technical language, that includes brief statements about the significance, the goals, the research plan, and expected outcomes.
  • Project Narrative: This section may not exceed five pages (as noted above) and should, if applicable, include the following sections*:
  • Background/literature review to introduce the research or scholarly topic,
  • Significance/goals/hypotheses Research plan and methods (explain how you will collect data or other relevant information, how and/or where the research or scholarly activities will occur, how you will evaluate your findings or experiences, etc
  • Plans for obtaining relevant regulatory compliance approvals (e.g. IRB, IACUC, IBC, RSC)
  • Proposed outcomes of the funded project, and
  • Timetable (provide milestones for the period of the project, weekly, monthly, or other metric)
  • *If your project does not fit with the above format (e.g. creative arts, humanities), please consult with the URC Chair.
  • Bibliography (No more than one page): Select the most relevant literature or other references and be sure to include any that you have contributed to.
  • Budget and Budget Justification: The proposal file should include a budget [OU3] for the proposed project, including a breakdown of proposed expenditures (summer salary, student stipend/tuition, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.). The Budget Justification must explain the reason for each line item in the budget, and how you determined or calculated the cost. Please note that the proposed budget and budget justifications will be reviewed by the entire URC for final approval. Any changes in the approved budget will require a resubmission of the entire application for review by the URC again. Please be reminded that the URC will not be responsible for any delay caused by the resubmission of the application (e.g., to the summer of the following year).
  • Vitae: Faculty applicants must include a current curriculum vitae of no more than two pages. At a minimum, the CV should list the applicant’s education, professional appointments, 5-10 most recent or relevant publications (or performances/compositions for MTD faculty), and any other information that would indicate that applicant is able and qualified to perform the proposed research.
  • List of Current and Pending Grants: List all current and pending grants. For each grant, please provide the grant proposal title, name(s) of principal and co-principal investigator(s), funding agency, duration, dollar amount requested or granted and portion of budget allocated to faculty salary. Please also include university-provided start-up funds from the last 2 years. Please explain whether there is any duplication of effort or funds relevant to the URC application, and how these will be handled.
Other Requirements:
  • Regulatory Compliance: If the proposed project involves the use of human subjects, animals, or hazardous materials, approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and/or Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) must be obtained. The Principal Investigator (PI) is allowed to submit the compliance approval after the application is submitted to the URC. The PI must state the plans for compliance approval in the application. Confirmation of compliance approval is required before funding is received. The PI is solely responsible for submitting the compliance approval to the Chair of the URC before starting the project. For assistance, contact the regulatory compliance coordinator in the Office of Research Administration.
  • Final Report from most recent URC grant: Faculty applicants who have received prior fellowship or research grants from the URC should include a copy of the most recent final report that they filed with the Office of Research Administration. Please note that each award recipient will be expected to file a final report with the Office of Research Administration indicating specific publications, presentations, and other accomplishments that were achieved as a result of the grant. This report is due within 90 days of the conclusion of the grant-funded activity or the fellowship period.
Common application errors:
  • Not submitting the proposal narrative and supplementary material in a single file—please contact Susan Willner if you need technical assistance or instructions.
  • Cutting and pasting the narrative from other grant proposals. These are often geared toward a specific audience and are not written for a multi-disciplinary faculty review committee.
  • Providing too little detail on the project proposed. A solid faculty proposal uses the five allotted pages. Student travel and research requests may have less detail.
  • Exceeding page limits for the proposal. Those page limits are:
    • 5 pages - narrative
    • 1 page - bibliography
    • 2 page – curriculum vitae summary
  • Listing citations in the bibliography that do not have a direct connection to the proposal narrative
  • Not clearly identifying the methodology of the proposed faculty research as specified by your discipline. While there are no methodological preferences of the committee, a clearly articulated methods section is important in the evaluation of a research project.
  • Not including a detailed timeline and budget and budget justification for the project.