Faculty Research Fund

Proposal Deadline for Fall 2022 FRF Cycle: Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at midnight.

Submit proposal + budget sheet to FRFSubmissions@du.edu

Find the Budget Template here:


Information & Proposal Guidelines for FRF Applicants

Read below to learn the purpose of the Faculty Research Fund (FRF), the kinds of activities that are and are not supported, and the principal criteria and priorities used in making funding decisions. This program is different from the PROF fund in that it targets smaller projects with grants of up to $3000 for actual costs incurred. Funding decisions will be made by the Academic Planning Committee of the Faculty Senate (APC) in collaboration with the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education.


FRF grants aim to stimulate research, scholarship, and creative activity by DU faculty. 


All appointed faculty are eligible for FRF grants (adjunct faculty are not eligible for this grant). All eligible faculty are encouraged to apply; however, in allocating funding, higher priority may be given to the following: 

  • Assistant Professors 
  • Applicants who have not received a grant from this fund within the past three years 
  • Applicants who have not received other internal funding within the past two years 
  • Development of scholarly and creative products (e.g., research or fabrication) versus only dissemination (e.g., publication or exhibition) 
  • Applicants from units in which external funding or flow-back funds are rare or scarce 
  • Applicants from the Teaching and Professional Faculty and Library series. 

*Please note that there is a limit of one application—with a funding request for only one project—per faculty member per funding cycle. 

Use of the Funds

FRF funds are intended to cover faculty expenses beyond normal departmental support. They are not intended to relieve departmental budgets. Most expenses for research and creative activity are eligible. For example, funds can be used to cover materials, specialized equipment, research assistants, copying from archives and special collections, transcribing interviews, coding data, duplicating and mailing questionnaires, and publication page charges. Funds can also be used to cover necessary travel (e.g., transportation, housing, and meals). 

A small number of expenses, however, are explicitly excluded from FRF support. No funds will be provided for: 

  • Faculty salary 
  • Course release 
  • Student research (i.e., for the student's own project) 
  • Conference attendance  
  • Curriculum development 
  • Routine office expenses 

Ordinarily, grants are made only for expenses that have not yet been incurred. However, if a time-sensitive opportunity presents itself in the period between FRF application deadlines—for example, an interview subject becomes unexpectedly available, or while working in an archive in city A, one becomes aware of material in city B—a request for retroactive funding may be submitted at the next application deadline. (Be sure to explain the nature of the unexpected opportunity in the budget justification.) Such requests will be evaluated solely based on the established criteria, without consideration of the timing of the expense. 

Funds ordinarily must be spent within 24 months of the grant award date. However, if you know of a research opportunity a year in advance, you need not wait until the closest deadline to request FRF support. 

If in doubt about whether your activity meets the guidelines for funding, please contact the Senior Associate Provost for Research (corinne.lengfeld@du.edu) or the Chair of the Faculty Senate Academic Planning Committee (jennifer.campbell@du.edu).  

Selection Criteria

Evaluation of proposals will be based on the following: 

  • Clear conceptual development of the research issue 
  • Clear rationale for the project and a discussion of why it is important 
  • Appropriateness of budget—each funded expense must be eligible for support and explicitly justified 
  • Importance of the proposed work to the faculty member's professional development 
  • Potential for enhancing the reputation of the faculty member, the academic unit, and the University of Denver as seen in the likelihood of eventual publication, exhibit, or performance 
  • Likelihood of successful completion of the project within the timeline and budget 
  • Eligibility criteria 

Instruction for Formatting & Submitting Your Proposal

Please email your proposal as a single PDF file and your completed Excel budget template to FRFSubmissions@du.edu. (Include your last name and “S22 FRF” in the file title for each). 

For your proposal, please use single-spacing, 12-point font, and 1-inch page margins, and please include the following five sections (numbered 1-5): 

  • 1. Contact Info

    Name, department/unit and School, rank/appointment, and contact email

  • 2. Title & Abstract

    Please provide a project title plus an abstract of no more than 100 words describing your project in a manner understandable by a general audience. (If you are awarded an FRF grant, your abstract may be posted on DU web pages).

  • 3. Current Funding Profile

    Please provide information about grants or funding awards you have received over the past 3 years, or any grants or funding awards with which you are currently working; specify the name of the award and/or source of funding and the project for which the funding was received. Please note that when comparing two equally excellent proposals, unfunded or under-funded applicants will be prioritized. 

  • 4. Narrative

    Taking great care to write in a way that is understandable to members of the APC (who are from many different disciplines) and keeping to a 1000-word limit, please provide a brief narrative describing your project and HOW YOU PROPOSE TO USE FRF funds. Note that your narrative will be judged by the following six criteria, so please plan to address each clearly: 

    1. Concept: Your project itself, including the methodology you plan to employ (if applicable) and how you will use or disseminate the completed work 
    2. Rationale: The significance of the project to your field 
    3. Development: The project's relationship to your professional development 
    4. Reputation: The ways in which the project will enhance your academic reputation, your department's reputation, and the University's reputation 
    5. Completion: Your timetable for the project's completion and your ability to complete the project based on the budget you have proposed 
    6. Eligibility: Why the eligibility criteria should be interpreted in a manner that qualifies you as a high-priority applicant 

    Please use these subheadings so that the APC can easily tell where you address each of these six criteria. And remember, the APC is made up of your colleagues from across campus who may not be knowledgeable about your field; please make sure that your narrative is clear, concise, and non-technical.

  • 5. Budget & Budget Justification

    The 7th criterion used to evaluate your application is your Budget Justification. Please provide a justification for your budget and upload your completed Excel budget template in addition to your main PDF upload. Your budget justification should not exceed 500 words, and it should address each item in your budget. If justification for an item is not specific, the APC may deduct the item from the amount awarded. If your academic unit (or any other funding source) is providing support for this project (e.g. administrative support, graduate research assistance, partial departmental funding, reduction in other assignments, grants, etc.), you should include that support in the budget, but deduct it from the amount you are seeking from the FRF by listing it on the “Less amount covered by other sources of funding” line. Here are some useful tips: 

    • If you want the FRF to pay for a research assistant, specify: How much are you paying the person per hour? What is the justification for this pay rate based on university scales and/or professional field scales? How did you determine how many total hours the research assistant would need for a given activity? 
    • The norm across the University for student labor is $10 to $16 per hour. 
    • If you want the FRF to pay for airfare or other transportation, specify: How did you arrive at the dollar amount you are seeking? 
    • If you want the FRF to pay for meals, specify: What is the U.S. government's per diem for meals for the city in which you will be staying? 
    • If you want the FRF to pay for lodging, specify: What is the U.S. government's per diem for lodging for the city in which you will be staying? 
    • If you want the FRF to pay for a budget item that might on the surface appear to some APC members to be ineligible for FRF funding—e.g., faculty salaries, course releases, student projects, conference attendance, curriculum development, or routine office expenses—specify: Why should the APC view the item as eligible? For example, why should the APC view the item as something other than a routine office expense? 

Final Report

A brief (one page) written report must be submitted electronically to the Office of the Office of the Associate Provost for Research (Kimberly.Bender@du.edu) as soon as possible after the close of the project period, and no later than six months after the funds from the grant have been spent. The report should compare the project's outcome or progress against what was laid out in the proposal, and it is required before the applicant is eligible for future funding from the DU Faculty Research Fund. 

4D Infusion Grants

There is an opportunity for funds in addition to the Faculty Research Funds (up to $2000 from the 4D Faculty Research Fund). These additional funds aim to stimulate faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity that supports the four-dimensional (4D) model of holistic student learning and development as defined by advancing intellectual growth, exploring character, promoting well-being, and careers and lives of purpose.  

If you would like to be considered for an additional $2000 from the 4D office, please add a Section 7: 4D Proposal at the end of the application that explains in 250 words or less how your project specifically addresses one or more of the following 4D dimensions, values, or design elements:   

  • The 4 Dimensions, Core Values, & Design Elements

    The Four Dimensions  

    • Advancing Intellectual Growth  
    • Exploring Character  
    • Promoting Well-being  
    • Pursuing Lives and Careers of Purpose  

    4D Core Values  

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  
    • Intentionality  
    • The Public Good  

    4D Design Elements  

    • Evolving Personal Experience  
    • Mentoring  
    • Reflection  
    • Integrative Learning  
    • Global Integration  
  • 4D Infusion Grant Selection Criteria

    Evaluation of proposals will be based on the following:  

    • Clear conceptual development of the research issue   
    • Clear rationale for the project and a discussion of why it is important  
    • Connections to the 4D Experience and how this research project aligns with one or more components of the 4D 

Questions? Contact 4D Faculty Co-Director Faculty Laura Sponsler (laura.sponsler@du.edu) or APC Chair Jennifer Campbell (jennifer.campbell@du.edu). 

Previous Grant Recipients