Review Process for Faculty Research Grants

Review Criteria

The Committee reviews FRG proposals and makes recommendations regarding funding to the Dean of CAS using the following criteria.


The Committee will evaluate all proposals on their merits as presented in the proposal and will consider this the primary criterion for assessment.  Quality refers first and foremost to the nature of the project:  projects should have the potential to advance scholarship in the applicant’s discipline as well as support the applicant’s professional development.  But quality also refers to the application itself:  applicants should make every effort to make the most cogent and persuasive case possible in the documents submitted to the Committee.  A well-written grant proposal may well have an advantage over a very promising project that has not been adequately presented or presented as well as a competing project.  At a minimum, the proposal format and guidelines should be attended to closely.

Specificity and Clarity

Proposals should be written clearly in non-technical and jargon-free language for an informed general audience or they will not be recommended for funding.  Proposals must conform to the word limit and include specific details for all information requested in Proposal Format and Guidelines.  Proposals that do not conform to these requirements will not be reviewed.

Prior FRG Funding

If a proposal is submitted by a faculty member who received an FRG in each of the past three award cycles, the committee will only consider funding that proposal after all other worthy proposals have been funded. In the case of proposals of equal merit, applicants who have received fewer FRGs in the previous three years will have an advantage.

In instances involving applicants who have received prior FRG funding, the Committee will also consider the quality of the final reports submitted and the results of prior grant projects (e.g., successful publication of an essay, exhibition or performance of artistic works, successful book contract, etc.). Incomplete or nonexistent final reports and/or a record of past projects that did not result in productive final outcomes may affect the Committee’s decisions about awards for the current grant cycle.

Simultaneous Applications

The Committee encourages faculty members to seek outside funding whenever possible. If an outside agency funds what is effectively the same proposal, the applicant is obliged to report that to the Committee; the FRG may be reduced or rescinded as appropriate. The Committee also reserves the right not to fund a project receiving funds from other University sources. Finally, if separate applications are simultaneously submitted by collaborators for the same project, the Committee reserves the right to evaluate the proposals together for joint funding to be shared by the applicants.

Grant Applications by Committee Members

To avoid conflict of interest, project proposals from members of the Committee will be reviewed only when the Committee member submitting the proposal is not present. The Committee’s recommendation about the grant proposal will be conveyed directly to the Dean and will not be shared with the Committee member who made the proposal. Committee members are also expected to recuse themselves and leave the room for consideration of proposals by collaborators, by family members, and in other cases where a conflict of interest could potentially arise.