Eastern Michigan University

Internal Research Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Which proposals require University Research & Sabbatical Leave Committee (URSLC) review?

The URSLC reviews Sabbatical Leave, Faculty Research Fellowship (FRF), and Provost’s New Faculty Award proposals.


What is the URSLC looking for in my proposal?

  • Study the URSLC scoring rubrics for each award  (available at the URSLC page ~ http://www.emich.edu/aa/internal_research/urslc.html) for details on the committee’s evaluation categories.
  • Write for the lay reader and avoid jargon. Your proposal is being scored by committee members from different colleges, departments, and areas of expertise.
  • If you cite external funding, departmental cost sharing for SS&M expenditures, a publishing contract, collaborative opportunities, etc. submit documentation of this with your proposal, if at all possible.
  • Don’t under estimate the value of the letter of support from your Department Head/School Director. Such letters give the committee a disciplinary perspective on your proposal.
  • Make sure your timeline is clear and the work involved justifies the release time requested, without being overly ambitious.
  • Be specific as to the outcomes of your project. If applicable, include a literature based rationale for your work. Why is this work important? What makes it relevant?
  • Make sure your CV illustrates that you are capable of the work outlined in your proposal. Emphasize your track record of scholarly production and/or productivity at the University.


What internal letters of support are required?

Faculty Research Fellowship: Letters of support are not a requirement, but are valued by the URSLC. With regard to internal support the only requirement stated in the guidelines is: “Proposals require signature approval by the department head or school director and the college dean.” These signatures appear on the application form.

Sabbatical: Evaluation letters by the department head and department review committee are required and should be appended to the applicant’s proposal after it has been submitted to the department head and before it goes on to college review.

The guidelines state:

The proposal is reviewed by both the department review committee specified in the Department Input Document and the department head.  Each submits an evaluation letter assessing the significance and potential contributions of the proposed project, the relevant capabilities of the applicant, and the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed.  Any special merit and/or deficiency of the project should be noted and discussed in these letters.  (Problems related to departmental staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal must not be addressed in these letters.)

Copies of both evaluation letters should be appended at the end of the proposal before it is forwarded to the college committee.

At the college level, the signature of the dean on the application form is a requirement, but a letter of support is not.

Provost’s New Faculty Award: The endorsement of the department head is a requirement. The guidelines state:

Applicants must have the endorsement of their department head or school director.  This endorsement must be more than a sign-off on the proposal; it must specifically address the merits of the proposal in accomplishing the intent of this program, the quality of the proposed research to be done, and the potential of new faculty members to make significant contributions to their discipline over the long term.

Provost's Research Support Award: Proposals only require the signature approval by the department head or school director on the application form; no letters of support are necessary.


Are application forms required?

Application forms are required for FRF, Sabbatical Leave, and Provost’s New Faculty awards and can be downloaded from the Internal Research Award website (http://www.emich.edu/aa/internal_research/irhome.html).


How often can I apply for a FRF?

Only one FRF is allowed during two consecutive fiscal years.


Can I apply for a FRF across academic years (e.g., 50% release for winter semester 2013 and 50% release for fall semester 2014)?

Released-time requests can only be split between semesters in the same academic (and hence fiscal) year. Release spanning two separate academic years is, effectively, a request for release in two consecutive fiscal years, which is not allowed under the FRF guidelines.


Can I apply for a FRF and a Sabbatical during the same academic year?

Yes, but if both applications are successful, you must choose to receive only one award.


Can I apply for a FRF and a Provost's Reseach Support Award in the same year?

Yes. The Provost's Research Support Award is considered a “minor” award and you remain eligible for major awards (FRF and Sabbatical Leave) in the same year.


Can I apply for a Provost's Research Support Award in consecutive years?

While it is possible to receive this award in consecutive fiscal years, the award is intended to encourage and support the research, creative, artistic, and scholarly endeavors of faculty, not to substitute for alternative sources of funding.


Can a FRF be used for grant preparation?

Typically, FRFs are given for research efforts that are likely to lead to grant preparation/submission. Release time for preparation of grants usually falls under the purview of ORD (http://ord.emich.edu/).


Provost's Research Support Award expenditure FAQs:

  • Can I request funds for normal lab consumables? While the award can fund the purchase of laboratory consumables needed for a specific project, it is not intended to purchase the regular supplies needed to keep a lab running.
  • Can I factor in taxes when deciding what to pay my GA? Yes. When requesting funds to pay a GA an honorarium for working on your project (i.e. the work is outside the scope of their normal GA responsibilities), remember the IRS taxes honoraria as a corporate bonus (25% to 30%). Make certain the budget requested is consistent with the market value of the labor the GA is doing.
  • Can I request funds for travel? You can request up to $500 for travel to archives and research sites when the data collection is likely to result in scholarly publication or grant proposals. Travel to professional meetings or conferences are not covered by this award.



Rev 08/12