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Research Support Awards

Research Support Awards

The largest program of the Campus Research Board is the Research Support Awards program.

Research Support Awards:

  • Support research projects that are critical to full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members’ scholarship
  • Fund research in new and/or interdisciplinary directions
  • Support preliminary studies to improve the potential for attracting external research support
  • Support research in fields for which external support is either quite limited or unavailable

Research Support Awards are not meant to be an ongoing source of support.

Arnold O. Beckman Award

In 1980, Dr. and Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman initiated the Beckman Research Endowment with a major gift to the Campus Research Board and a challenge to the University of Illinois to develop matching private support. In the course of the regular review process, the Board selects projects of special distinction or promise for designation as Arnold O. Beckman Awards. No special application is required.

Eligibility

Full-time Illinois tenured/tenure-track faculty members are eligible for Research Support Awards

  • PIs and co-PIs cannot receive more than $30,000 of funding from the Campus Research Board within any two-year academic period. (For example, a PI who received $30,000 in Fall 2015 would not be eligible for additional funds for the rest of AY2015-2016 and all of AY2016-2017.)
  • Any individual, whether PI or co-PI, is allowed to submit only one application per funding round.
  • There are four application deadlines each year.

In exceptional cases of special merit, the OVCR may consider a small number of research proposals from Illinois faculty who are not eligible for CRB funding

Program Criteria

Key factors considered in the decision-making process include:

  • Quality and importance of the proposed research
  • Probable impact the proposed work would have on the field
  • Significance for developing the potential and progress of the applicant’s research
  • Productivity of the applicant and quality of their scholarship
  • Budget appropriateness, both in terms of the project proposed and of the Campus Research Board’s resources, including consideration of need and availability of external support. Funding in excess of $30,000 per application is never granted.

Type of Support

Support provided through Research Support Awards is in the form of research assistantships, research support, and/or publication subventions. Research assistantships must be for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate students. Research support encompasses such things as equipment, materials and supplies, wages, and travel.  Please note: while the Campus Research Board does not fund the replacement of computers, it does consider funding equipment that is necessary to complete work for a specific project submitted to the Campus Research Board for funding.

Funding Categories

Research Assistants

RAs must be currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Applicants are not required to indicate the percentage appointments and/or time periods for requested RA support. However, departmental business officers appreciate having this information when administering Research Support dispositions. Applicants may include the percentage and/or time periods in the budget justification if they would like to do so.

Research Support Awards do not support more than a 50% appointment and do not support more than 2 months in the summer.

The Campus Research Board strongly encourages applicants to verify their figures for requested RA support with their department’s business officer to confirm accuracy and ensure that fringe benefits rates are calculated at current rates.

The PI is fully responsible for any overages if the funding request is not calculated to include benefits costs.

Other Project Personnel

Undergraduate students currently enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can be included in proposals as hourly workers.

The Campus Research Board strongly encourages applicants to verify their figures for requested wage support for all project personnel with their department’s business officer to confirm accuracy and ensure that fringe benefits are calculated at current rates.

The PI is fully responsible for any overages if the funding request is not calculated to include benefits costs.

Equipment

The use of requested equipment in relation to the proposed activity should be made clear in the proposal narrative. Please Note: The Campus Research Board does not fund the replacement of computers.  It does consider funding equipment that is necessary to complete work for a specific project being submitted to the Campus Research Board for funding.

If the application is an equipment request to upgrade existing research capabilities, the proposal narrative must include a complete description of at least one planned project utilizing the new equipment.

For major equipment requests, a price quote must be uploaded through the Supplemental Information page of the application.

Travel

Requests for research-related travel are considered. Applicants should include per diem figures in the request. Include an itemized travel budget in the “Budget Justification” section of the application.

Please note: Travel to scholarly conferences/venues is not eligible for funding through Research Board Support Awards but rather is handled through the Scholars’ Travel Fund for faculty members in eligible departmental units.

Software, Supplies, and Other Expenditures

Describe and provide a justification for any software, participant or subject fees, publication subventions, photocopies, mailing fees, or any other miscellaneous expenses related to the proposed activity.

A Special Note about Publication Subventions

A publication subvention is sometimes required by a publisher to help defray the expenses of publishing a scholarly book. The Campus Research Board normally only provides publication subvention assistance in cases where the publisher is a non-commercial press; uses a peer-review mechanism for selecting books to publish; and stipulates that the subvention is necessary for the book to be published. 

The Campus Research Board’s policy for publication subventions requires that the Board must be advised of the specific terms of the proposed contract between the author and publisher, including the subvention required and the terms under which any revenue generated by the sale of the work shall be returned to the author. Upload a copy of this letter from the publisher through the Supplemental Information page of the application. Note that authors should not suggest the possibility of a publication subvention in their communications with the publishers.

The author may wish to provide one copy of the publication to the University of Illinois Library.

For a publication subvention, the proposal narrative should include the following items in addition to the normally required items:

  • Title of work to be published.
  • Description of work: its nature, place in the field, potential significance, length, language used, and special features, if any.
  • Context of proposed publication in scholarly work of the applicant.
  • Copy of comments of the press’ expert reviewer(s).
  • Name and address or the publisher.
  • Description of publisher: commercial or non-commercial, reputation for quality of publications in the field of the work involved, review process used for selecting works to be published.
  • Amount of subvention requested and reason publisher requests subvention.
  • Copy of letter from the publisher requesting a subvention. This should include an explanation of the need for subvention and a budget for production and sale of the book.
  • Copy of the contract for publication.
  • Description of the arrangement between the author and the publisher for royalties, unless covered in the contract.
  • Other support requested or received toward the subvention, if any.
  • All material in a foreign language should be accompanied by a translation in English.

Items/Requests Not Funded by the Campus Research Board

Please note that this is not a complete list. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Campus Research Board regarding requests for unusual purposes or for categories normally not funded by the Campus Research Board.

The Campus Research Board does NOT fund:

  • Faculty salaries
  • Academic Professional salaries
  • Other Academic salaries
  • Full-time appointments of any kind
  • Post-doctoral research associates
  • Research technicians
  • Computer programmers, except where the primary focus of the research is programming and the programmer is integrally involved in research
  • RA appointments for greater than 50% time
  • RA appointments for more than two months during summer session
  • RAs not currently enrolled as graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the academic year
  • Ordinary research supplies and materials of the kind usually available in departmental laboratories, storerooms, and libraries
  • Travel to conferences, meetings, and symposia
  • Travel to principal sabbatical leave destinations
  • Travel for graduate students that is not directly related to proposed activities
  • Book publication subventions for non-refereed or commercial presses
  • Dissertation project research costs that are not related to proposed activities.
  • Publishing-related costs (e.g., indexing, proofreading, editing)
  • Construction and remodeling of facilities
  • Equipment maintenance costs
  • Non-research costs
  • Clerical duties
  • Retroactive funding
  • Sponsor conferences, workshops, symposia, etc.
  • Computers (new and upgrades)

Application Deadlines

Please carefully review all eligibility and submission requirements before applying. Please note deadlines vary by program.
Submissions are due by 3:00 p.m. on the posted date. Applications submitted after the deadline will automatically be held over for the next deadline.

See Current Deadlines