Frequently Asked Question

The Research and Development Committee recently answered some Frequently Asked Questions about the internal grant process and decided to post them here. If you have any questions that you would like to see answered here please send them to the Office of Research so they can be posed to the committee.

The committee would also like to point out that the question on all internal grant guidelines, "What efforts are underway to obtain additional funding for this project?" is very important. Efforts to seek, at the very least, departmental and divisional funds is seen as absolutely necessary and could determine funding by this committee.

  • Will travel requests be funded?

    Our guidelines for Faculty Research and Curriculum Development Grants state clearly that "grants will not ordinarily be made to fund attendance at professional conferences, unless the proposal demonstrates the conference's relevance to the research project." Keep in mind that it is not the relevance to one's scholarship, one's overall research agenda, but the relevance to a particular proposed research project. To get conference travel money, you should be able to demonstrate why attending this conference is integral to the successful completion of your research project. If you cannot do that, don't ask for it.

    Fundable Travel: actually conducting research at such conventions, serious planning sessions or working sessions at conventions with co-investigators, attendance at workshops or other training sessions to gain skills necessary for the research project.

    Non-Fundable Travel: Paper presentations that present results from the research, but which are not integral to the research proposal. It is common practice for academics to present the results of our research at professional meetings. If we need better support for these activities on campus, then we should encourage the Academic Affairs office and the Deans to come up with ways to provide that support outside the framework of the R&D Committee.

  • What constitutes significant revision to an existing course?

    This is determined on a case by case basis.

    Some examples:

    • Adopting new text materials that will entail major reorganization of a course or the need to significantly restructure class presentations and course requirements.
    • Adding a laboratory, service, or research component to a course where such requirements have never existed before and where the faculty member needs to invest energy in developing laboratory resources or in locating field sites and arranging research opportunities.
    • Moving a course to a team-taught or other collaborative learning framework where the faculty member must perform a major reorganization of the course to accommodate team teaching or to articulate well with the linked course or courses.
  • What is course development? What is course implementation?

    Course development is the process by which a faculty member either conducts a major revision of an existing course (as per the above), or puts together a new course. Activities which can be considered part of this process might include: time spent locating field sites and arranging research opportunities for students; salary support for the time required to do the above.

    Course implementation covers whatever resources are necessary to actually begin to teach the course.

  • In how much detail should applications for ONLY salary support describe projects? As much as a mixed application?

    It should not matter whether an applicant is applying only for salary support or for expenses and salary. The description of the research project for each should be detailed enough that the committee has a clear idea of the objectives and significance of the project, the planned activities, the investigator's qualifications, and efforts to obtain additional funding. Individuals who are asking for equipment or other related research expenses, however, may need to include additional information with their budgets that justifies these expenditures.

  • Does curriculum development include video tapes?

    If we make a distinction between course development (which we fund) and course implementation (which we do not), it would seem to follow that we would not approve curriculum development funds to purchase video tapes for class use, but we would fund the costs of previewing videos and of producing videos that would eventually be used in courses.

    Previewing or producing videos would fall under the category of course development. You may need to preview a number of different videos to find those best suited for actual classroom use. At $10 or more per preview, it can begin to add up and departments often do not have resources to cover these charges. The rationale for producing a video seems even more straightforward.

    Purchasing them for actual class use would fall under the category of curriculum implementation and should be the responsibility of the department, school or division budget. Where such resources are not available, faculty can still acquire the necessary materials by asking the Bloomington Media Archive to purchase them. Bloomington seems to be very good about acquiring films that faculty recommend and request.