Committee on Faculty Research program guidelines

Updated August 7, 2020 for AY 2020-2021


The Committee on Faculty Research (CFR) is an appointed Committee of University Senate charged with supporting and encouraging the development of externally funded research at Miami University. The Committee interprets research as creative endeavors that seek to add to the sum of human knowledge; as well, the Committee supports a wide range of professional activities and recognizes that research varies from discipline to discipline.

One of the major sources of funds for support of the CFR program is the indirect cost recovered by the University on grants from external sources. The Committee encourages investigators to aid the Committee and the University generally in securing funds from such sources.

In considering proposals, the Committee takes into account whether the investigator has previously sought outside funding. Help in seeking external funding for research is available from Research & Sponsored Programs.

The Committee on Faculty Research currently administers three programs that are funded by the University. They are the:

Specific information regarding these programs is provided in the following sections.

In keeping with broader university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts, a portion of available funds will be reserved for research, scholarship, or creative activities in the areas of social justice, human rights, diversity, and inclusion. Proposals in these areas must address a scholarly question that will lead to testable objectives or measurable outcomes. Regular eligibility criteria and application procedures, as outlined here, apply.


I. Eligibility Criteria

With the exception of the individuals who review the applications, all continuing tenure-eligible or tenured faculty, including librarians holding the M.S.L.S. Degree or equivalent, are eligible. Degree and rank at the date of application shall determine eligibility. The Committee encourages proposals from all disciplines and campuses at Miami University. Funds from the Committee on Faculty Research are not to be used toward completion of any advanced degree on the part of the principal investigator.

II. Restrictions

A. Annual Limits

A faculty member may request support for only one research project in a given year.

B. Previous Recipients -- Ineligibility Period

Individuals who have received Faculty Research Grants are ineligible for another grant for a four-year period following the academic year in which the previous grant was won:

Date of Award Eligible to Reapply
2016-2017 or earlier 2020-2021
2017-2018 2021-2022
2018-2019 2022-2023
2019-2020 2023-2024

C. Previous Recipients -- External Proposal Submission Requirements

A faculty member who has previously received Faculty Research grant(s) from CFR is eligible for future awards, provided that he/she has submitted external proposal(s) for funding equal to or greater than the amount of the last CFR funds awarded.

D. Preference for New Projects and Novel Ideas

CFR funds are considered seed money for obtaining preliminary data or information that will lead to submission of proposals to external funding sources. Proposals addressing new avenues of research and scholarship for the investigator, initiating new projects and pilot studies, or testing novel or controversial research/creative ideas are favored. CFR expects investigators to seek other support for continuing research and scholarship in established areas.

E. Multiple Authors

Applications with more than one author are allowed. In the event that a proposal has more than one author, the maximum award will include one summer research appointment, one research graduate assistantship, and one grant to promote research. Each author must satisfy the eligibility requirements, and restrictions in II.A.-D. still apply.

III. General Conditions for Award

A. Faculty Participation

Awards will be made only for projects that are initiated and supervised by faculty.

B. Employment Restrictions

Awards cannot be used to employ other members of the Miami University Faculty.

C. Ineligible Projects

The limited funds available do not allow the Committee to consider funding projects for (1) the improvement of the applicant's teaching; (2) the writing of textbooks; (3) the editing of anthologies, except those in which the editing involved original research on the part of the investigator; (4) the subvention of publication costs for books; (5) professional memberships; (6) travel to professional meetings, except in extraordinary cases; (7) research which is primarily beneficial to the administrative structure of Miami University; or (8) research which is similar to that currently supported by other internal and external sources.

D. Acknowledgement of CFR Support

In signing the standard application form, each proposer agrees to acknowledge any Committee on Faculty Research support in publications, exhibition catalogs, and the like, which may result, and to send the Committee a copy of this acknowledgment. In addition each awardee commits to serve on CFR if they are asked.

E. Oversight

Research methods may require approval by an ethics or safety oversight committee(s):

    1. For awarded proposals involving the use of select agents, human pathogens, or other bio hazardous material the application must be submitted to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for review and approval before research begins. Contact the Research Compliance Office for application information (513-529-3600). The proposer must also:
      • Demonstrate knowledge of how to store and maintain; or
      • Submit a waiver to the IBC verifying previous training and/or skill in storage and maintenance practices at the time of proposal submission.
    2. For awarded proposals involving regulated human subjects research, researchers must:
      • Have completed human subjects ethics training components (application orientation and on-line training), and
      • Obtain approval by the Institutional Review Board before beginning research through submitting an application to the board.
      For information on training dates, the online ethics training requirements and descriptions of research requiring approval, contact the Research Compliance Office at 529-3600.
    3. For awarded proposals involving interaction with live vertebrate animals, the proposer must obtain approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before research begins. Information regarding IACUC training requirements and application procedures can be found at:
    4. Please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at or 529-2829 for information on the approval requirements for proposals involving the use of radioactive isotopes.

    F. Outcomes Report

    Individuals receiving support from the Faculty Research Grants program will submit a report to the CFR summarizing the project outcomes upon completion. In addition, it is expected that award winners will participate in the CFR Scholarship Forum during the project and/or after the project is complete.

    G. University Policies

    All awards are subject to University policies on leaves, copyrights, patents, royalties, and conflicts of interest. (See Miami University Policy and Information Manual.)


IV. Categories of Support

The Faculty Research Grants Program awards funding within three categories: Summer Research Appointments, Research Graduate Assistantships, and Grants to Promote Research Applications may include requests for funding from any combination of these three categories. (Any one component or combination of all three components.) The individual description of each component is presented below. Awards are made in competition on the basis of a proposal submitted to the Committee on Faculty Research. Applicants should be aware that if an award is received from any of these components, the awardee will have to wait four years before applying for another award from the Faculty Research Grants Program.

A. Summer Research Appointments

The Board of Trustees has authorized a number of Summer Research Appointments (SRA) for faculty members each year. Each SRA carries a salary of $6,200. Recipients are expected to devote significant effort on scholarly research during at least four (4) weeks of the summer following the date of the award. Recipients are allowed to supplement their salaries from internal or external sources only if they are working on the CFR or closely related research project and if they do not exceed 100% effort (based on salary) during the term of the award. The recipient should neither accept classroom teaching or workshop assignments nor obtain support for the revision or development of teaching materials or practices during the term of the award unless these are included and clearly part of the proposed CFR project. The award cannot be deferred or extended beyond, and the recipient must remain on the Miami University faculty in the academic year following, the summer of the award. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship and the Director of Academic Personnel Services or their designees.

B. Research Graduate Assistantships

A number of Research Graduate Assistantships (RGAs) are available. The Committee will endeavor to fund Research Graduate Assistantships at the support level of the department involved. The assistantships also provide a remission of the Instructional Fee and Out-of-State Surcharge. The tenure of the assistantships is restricted to the regular academic year (2021-2022).

The CFR recognizes that different disciplines use graduate assistantships in diverse ways and encourages individuals to devise creative uses of graduate assistants.

To become a research assistant, a student must be appointed through regular academic channels, and be subject to the same regulations as are other graduate assistants.

C. Grants to Promote Research

Budgetary items for Grants to Promote Research (GPR) may include wages for student labor, supplies, and travel expenses directly related to the performance of research/creative endeavors, and duplicating and graphics production. Awardees will have a 12 month time period in which to expend funds (a special request to the CFR Chair needs to be made if an extension is desired.

    1. Awards may be made to a maximum of $3,000.
    2. In the event that CFR determines that it can make an award, but at a level less than 75% of the request, the Chair of the appropriate subcommittee will contact the applicant to determine if the applicant wishes to receive the reduced award.
    3. Additional points of information:
      1. The Committee will not award funds for use in covering expenses incurred prior to the time a grant is made.
      2. Software purchases will be supported only if the required software is not available from another on-campus source. All software purchased with CFR funds is the property of Miami University. The Committee will not assume responsibility for providing any supplement for later price increases.
      3. Travel funds will be limited to the least expensive mode of travel practical to and from the proposed site(s).

V. Applications Procedures

A. Application Forms

Applications for the Faculty Research Grants Program follow the guidelines listed in Section IV. To apply, please complete the CFR Faculty Research Grants application form online.

Proposals are reviewed by one of three subcommittees:

    • Applied and Natural Sciences (ANS),
    • Business, Education, and Social Sciences (BESS), and
    • Fine Arts and Humanities (FAH).

Any faculty member may apply for funding from any of these subcommittees. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to designate the most appropriate subcommittee for his or her proposal and in cases where the designation is not obvious to justify the choice. For co-authored proposals, the applicants must select a single sub-committee for the review.

Applications for these programs are considered once each year in the fall. Faculty members are notified of the application deadline in the summer.

B. Guidelines for the Faculty Research Grants Program

    1. Provide the following information on the Summary of Grant Support Sheet:
      1. your most recent project funded from the Faculty Research Grants Program.
      2. a listing of all internal and external support (grants, contracts, endowments, or other sources) for this and related projects, including effective award dates. If you have support for this or a closely related project, provide ample explanation for the need for CFR support in the body of the proposal.
      3. a listing of all proposals submitted for external funding since your last funded CFR award or the last four years. Include the proposal titles, dates of submission, sources (agencies, foundations, etc.), the amounts requested, and outcome of proposal: awarded, declined, or pending.
      Inclusion of this information is necessary for evaluation of your proposal. If you have questions regarding the dates and amounts of past, current, or submitted proposals, contact the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship.
    2. Present your project under the following headings. The maximum length of the proposal text shall not exceed five single-spaced pages with one-inch margins, 11 pt minimum. Any proposal that exceeds the five-page limit on text will not be considered.

      Proposal reviewers are not necessarily experts in all fields. Therefore, the proposal should be written clearly for the educated layperson.

      1. Description. Briefly describe the nature and goal of the proposed project in terms clear to those outside your immediate discipline.
      2. Context. Explain the background and context of the project. Compare your proposal to existing work. If your proposal breaks new ground, explain how.
      3. Project Aptness. Why is this particular project appropriate for you to undertake at this time? Describe any preparations or progress you have made or any special qualifications you have which are significant to the proposal.
      4. Method or Plan. Describe the specific methods, techniques, or procedures you will use to accomplish the project’s objectives. Give approximate times for completing each phase of the project. For applications within the Summer Research Appointment category, indicate what you plan to accomplish during the four-week summer period. For Research Graduate Assistantships, indicate activities to be assigned to the assistant.
      5. Communication of completed activity. Explain how the results of your work will be made accessible to a wider audience.
      6. The following sections of the proposal are excluded from the five-page limit:
        1. Literature cited in proposal or selected bibliography. Please cite here materials relevant to your proposed project.
        2. If, in your judgment, the methodology employed in your proposal requires additional elaboration, a technical appendix of up to three pages may be appended.
        3. If you are applying within the Grant to Promote Research category, a detailed budget will also be required. Using the categories below, include a justification for any items or amounts for which the need may not be obvious to CFR members. (Please round to the nearest dollar.) Maximum length: one page.
          1. Personnel: indicate total hours times hourly wages and include benefits (faculty 16.44%; students 1.7%);
          2. Supplies (itemize);
          3. Travel;
          4. Other.
    3. List your scholarly or creative achievements (publications, presentations, exhibitions, performances, etc., in the form of a two-page curriculum vitae). You may wish to highlight those that are most recent and/or most relevant to this.



VI. Evaluation of Proposals

Subcommittees from Applied and Natural Sciences; Business, Education and Social Sciences; and Fine Arts and Humanities discuss and rank proposals. This ranking is a process whereby each proposal is judged on the criteria outlined below.

The most important component of the evaluation procedure is the project itself. Factors that the project will be judged upon are: significance of the research or scholarship, soundness of methodology, feasibility, and likelihood of the work being communicated to the profession in an appropriate time period. Proposals which allow new faculty to initiate their research, or which allow experienced faculty to enter a new area of research, will receive more favorable review than proposals to support continuing scholarship.

Of secondary importance, but certainly weighing on the overall ranking of a proposal, are factors such as clarity and conciseness. The bibliography will be reviewed to assess the investigator’s familiarity with the area of work. The subcommittees will review proposal budgets and recommend funding levels according to feasibility, and the total CFR budget.

Subcommittees may consider the applicant’s record of scholarly achievement relevant to the feasibility of completing the work. Subcommittees may also take into account regional campus faculty teaching loads and scholarship expectations when evaluating proposals.

Authors of proposals are encouraged to consult and receive feedback from previous awardees when writing their proposal. A list of recent faculty participants is available from the Office for Advancement of Research and Scholarship.

The full Committee makes awards based on the subcommittees’ evaluations/recommendations. Unsuccessful applicants may request a written summary of the subcommittee report. Such a request should be made directly to the chair of the subcommittee.

VII. Organization of the Committee

The Committee on Faculty Research consists of a chairperson elected by the members, nine regular members and three alternates, appointed by the Senate. For 2020-2021 the CFR chair is Dr. Richard Page, Chemistry & Biochemistry (, 529-2281).

Committee members and alternates will be appointed for three-year terms, or to fill the remainder of a non-expired term. Participants will serve no more than three years as a member and/or an alternate in any five-year period, unless this rule is waived by the Committee.

Members who have an official release from academic duties may request a temporary leave from the Committee. The alternate to the member will assume duties as a full member for the leave period. A temporary alternate will be appointed for that same period. Members or alternates who resign from the Committee will be replaced by appointments approved by Senate. Regular members of the Committee are the voting members. Alternates serve on the subcommittees and as discussants at full Committee meetings. The alternate serves as a voting member when the full member is absent.

Besides the members and alternates, additional reviewers will be appointed by CFR for the purpose of evaluating grant applications. The number of reviewers will vary depending on the needs of each subcommittee. These reviewers are chosen in order to provide appropriate expertise within each subcommittee. CFR will seek reviewers whose areas of expertise supplement those on the Committee. Individuals who have had successful CFR applications in the recent past will be strongly considered for participation in the review panel. CFR members, alternates, and reviewers are not eligible to receive a Faculty Research Grant. However, all persons who meet the criteria in (Section I. Eligibility) are eligible for PREP account funds.

VIII. Applications and Awards 

Applications and awards made in the previous year (2019-2020) are as follows:

Summer Research Appointments

Subcommittee Number Requested Number Awarded
ANS 26 11
BESS 18 7
FAH 8 3

Research Graduate Assistantships

Subcommittee Number Requested Number Awarded
ANS 22 9
BESS 3 1
FAH 1 0

Grants to Promote Research

Subcommittee Number Requested Number Awarded
ANS 21 ($61,577) 11 ($31,500)
BESS 49 ($24,208) 25 ($13,869)
FAH 2 ($3,000) 0 ($0)


The Miami University Faculty Scholar Award honors faculty whose sustained excellence in research or other creative activity has brought them prominence in their fields.

The following three Faculty Scholar Awards may be made:

  • One in the humanities and fine arts (FAH),
  • One in the applied and natural sciences (ANS), and
  • One in business, education, and social sciences (BESS).

All three of these awards by subcommittee will be conferred on faculty members with a substantial and continuing record of outstanding scholarly or creative work.

The Miami University Junior Faculty Scholar Award honors assistant professors that have demonstrated great potential in research or artistry and achieved significant standing in the field. The following three Junior Faculty Scholar Awards may be made:

  • One in the humanities and fine arts (FAH),
  • One in the applied and natural sciences (ANS), and
  • One in business, education, and social sciences (BESS).

Candidates for the Junior Faculty Scholar Award must have rank of assistant professor by due date of the CFR application.

Except in the case of junior faculty, the award will not ordinarily be given to the same person more frequently than every ten years.

Any faculty member may nominate or re-nominate any other regular tenured or tenure track faculty member for a Faculty Scholar Award. Faculty Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar applications can be active for 3 years; updates to the applications will be requested for submission by the deadline date.

Nominations should be inclusive with respect to the faculty member’s accomplishments, but special consideration will be given to the nominee’s record in research or creative activities while at Miami.

The nomination letters are important in the evaluation process and should include:

  • A perspective on the contribution of the candidate to his/her field that is understandable to the non-specialist; and
  • Information on the importance/ impact of the candidate's contribution on the national/ international level (also understandable to a non-specialist).

The deadline for submitting nominations this year will be Friday, December 4, 2020. Nominations will be reviewed, and awards decided, by the Committee on Faculty Research (CFR).

Each recipient of a Faculty Scholar Award or Junior Faculty Scholar Award will receive a grant of $2,000 for the pursuit of further research or creative endeavor. All persons selected for this award will be honored publicly.

Nominations will be solicited annually by the CFR. Each nomination should include:

  • The original completed nomination form (signed by both nominators),
  • A separate letter of nomination from each of the nominating Miami faculty members, and
  • Current curriculum vitae of the nominee.

Nomination letters should speak to and document the nominee’s standing in the field, highlighting particularly acclaimed works and any professional recognitions, honors, and leadership roles.

To nominate a colleague, please complete the CFR Faculty Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Award nomination form online.


I. Eligibility Criteria

All continuing faculty members tenure-eligible or tenured, including librarians holding the M.S.L.S. Degree or equivalent, are eligible.  Retired, and/or emeriti faculty who meet these criteria also are eligible to apply for support from this program for up to three years.  Degree and rank at the date of application shall determine eligibility.

II. General Description

Under certain conditions, the Committee on Faculty Research will approve payment of up to $500 toward the following costs. (The $500 limit holds for page charges, publication costs and reprint charges combined and for articles or books with more than one author. It also holds for exhibition costs when more than a single piece of work is involved and for performance/competition costs when more than a single composition is involved. No faculty member may receive more than $500 in this program in any academic year.)

A. Journal Page Charges and Book Publication Costs

Journal page charges and book publication costs for a single article, book or book chapter will be considered for funding. Textbooks are not eligible for this program. Book publication costs may include the production or reproduction of maps, charts, graphs, photographs or other graphic material; the facsimile reproduction of unique artistic or textual material such as manuscripts and incunabula; permission charges; and the preparation of indexes.

Applications for journal page charges must document that:

    1. The article is published in a refereed journal,
    2. The imposition of page charges is a standard practice of the journal and not simply a means of obtaining early publication,
    3. The page charges fulfill a necessary condition for publication, and
    4. The applicant has been unsuccessful in obtaining a waiver of the charges and has no outside resources at his/her disposal.

Applications for book publication costs must document that:

    1. The book is under contract for publication,
    2. The book publication costs fulfill a necessary condition for publication, and
    3. The applicant has been unsuccessful in obtaining a waiver of the charges and has no outside resources at his/her disposal.

Documentation may take the form of a copy of the journal’s or publisher's masthead page (when that indicates editorial policy), copies of correspondence with editors of the journal or publishing house, a copy of the book contract, and other appropriate material.

B. Reprint Costs

Reprint costs for each article or book chapter in a refereed publication, regardless of the number of authors, will be approved for the minimum number of reprints which a publisher will sell, unless the publisher provides fifty or more free. Further, the purchase of additional reprints may be approved by the Committee if the need is known. Documentation of costs and schedule of charges must be provided. Copying costs are not covered by this program.

C. Exhibition/Competition Costs

Exhibition/competition costs incurred by a faculty member while submitting and returning works of art, architectural plans or models, and so on, to and from a professional competition will be considered for funding provided that:

    1. The exhibition/competition is juried,
    2. The work is accepted for exhibition and/or competition and
    3. The applicant has had no outside resources at his or her disposal. All applications for exhibition/competition costs must document costs, e.g., framing, packaging, shipping, and insurance.

D. Performance and Composition Costs

Performance and composition costs incurred by faculty members for submission and performance of their musical works in a professionally competitive concert or contest will be considered for funding provided that:

    1. The work has been selected for performance or awarded a prize and
    2. The applicant has no outside resources at his or her disposal.

All applicants for performance/competition costs must document these points.

Performance and composition costs may include the following:

    1. Entry fees,
    2. Packaging,
    3. Mailing,
    4. Insurance,
    5. Performer fees,
    6. Rental of special instruments,
    7. Reproduction of the final copy of music including the score, and
    8. Travel including transportation but excluding housing and meals.

E. Music Performance Costs

Music performance costs incurred by a faculty member for his or her performance in a professional music setting will be considered for funding provided that:

    1. The performance has been invited,
    2. The performance has the potential to be reviewed, and
    3. The performance is endorsed by two professionals in the field external to the University verifying the professional level of the performing site, or by evidence of selection by a jurying process.

All applicants for music performance costs must document these points.

Music performance costs may include the following:

    1. Entry fees,
    2. Packaging,
    3. Mailing,
    4. Insurance,
    5. Performer fees,
    6. Rental of special instruments,
    7. Reproduction of the final copy of music including the score, and
    8. Travel including transportation but excluding housing and meals.

To apply, please complete the CFR PREP program application form online. Application for support in this program may be made at any time.

Contact us: CFR program guidelines

Administrative questions: Vanessa Gordon
Administrative Assistant to CFR
102 Roudebush Hall


Programmatic questions: Rick Page
CFR Chair (2020-2021)