Faculty Research Grants



Email a single PDF document including all proposal elements (discussed below) to grants@nmu.edu. Note faculty applicants are responsible for obtaining appropriate department head signature on the cover sheet. Hard copies of the cover sheet are acceptable, if submitted by the October due date, if you do not have means to scan/email electronic copies. Electronic signatures from Adobe documents are acceptable and binding signatures. See instructions here if you are not familiar with creating and saving PDF documents.


Award Synopsis

The purpose of the Faculty Research Grant Program is to offer resources that allow faculty to seek advancement in their respective fields through significant scholarly achievements such as publications, creation of artistic works, research projects, manuscripts, etc. with the ultimate goal of capitalizing on project potential to gain future external funding.

Curriculum development and instructional improvement projects are not eligible.

Successful proposed projects should either result in a tangible deliverable such as a publication, manuscript, model, artistic creation etc. OR result in substantial gains toward external funding opportunities for research or scholarly projects.

Proposals will be judged on overall completeness of the proposal; merit and creativity of the project; soundness of the research design and methodology; value and relationship of the project to department and University goals; and soundness of the budget justification. 


All full-time AAUP and NMUFA faculty members are eligible for Faculty Research Grants.  A faculty member may be funded for only one proposal per year, and not more than three within any five-year period.  The applicant must agree to return to the University for one full academic year immediately following the award of the grant or repay in full all compensation paid by the University.  Persons failing to file annual or final reports are ineligible for grants in subsequent granting cycles.

Award Information

The maximum award for Faculty Research Grants is $7,000.  The project can begin upon notification of the award.  Projects must be completed and funds encumbered within a 24 month funding period.  Extensions for projects may be granted at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Education and Research. 

Proposal Preparation

It is helpful to look over the evaluation criteria on the evaluation form. Proposals will be evaluated based up scholarly significance, guided by these proposal requirements. Proposals that do not follow the guidelines will lose points.

Applicants must submit a cover sheet (available here) signed by appropriate Department Head.

** NOTE: If your project involves human subjects or animals in ANY WAY you do need IRB or IACUC approval. See the Compliance page for information. If your project involves human subjects but you believe it to be exempt per policy 45 CFR 46.101 you still need an exemption form.

Applications must include the following:

I. Project abstract: 250 words or less, including a clear, concise description of proposed project need/purpose, objectives/methods and deliverable(s).

II. Project narrative: 10 numbered pages with last name in footer of each page, double spaced, 1’ margins, no smaller than 12 pt font in Times New Roman; use clear language applicable to non-specialty reviewers in the following sections:

  1. Significance: Explain specific objective of the proposal, and what need it will meet. (If it is a continuation of a previously funded project discuss the project, results and relation to new proposal).
    1. Statement of need: What issue does your project address/why is it a valued pursuit. Explain what, if any, benefit it will bring to your department and/or college, or NMU as an institution.
    2. Literature review: Provide sufficient literature review to demonstrate how the proposed project fits into scholarship of your academic specialty.
    3. Deliverable: What is your proposed outcome, and how will it benefit your discipline and/or professional portfolio? How will it benefit NMU?
  2. Methods: Provide sufficient detail as to how the project will be conducted.
    1. What facilities, if any, are required? Where appropriate, describe arrangements made/expected to be made for use of facilities/equipment at NMU or elsewhere.
    2. Provide an appropriate timeline.
    3. If animal or human subjects will be involved in the proposed project, applications must be submitted to the appropriate IACUC or IRB committee prior to submission of the Faculty Grant Proposal, and a copy of the IACUC or IRB application must be included in this proposal.
    4. If the work is to be conducted on public lands or involves wild animals and endangered plants, appropriate permits must be obtained. Contact the Assistant Provost of Graduate Education and Research for assistance in complying with State and Federal regulations.
  3. Personnel Qualifications: Describe your qualifications to lead this project/investigation, and qualifications of other personnel if applicable.


III. Budget: A detailed budget and corresponding budget narrative/justification is required. An itemized budget of all anticipated expenditures must be included with the following categories:

  • Faculty salary and fringe benefits
  • Student assistant salary and benefits
  • Supplies (items greater than $200 require specific statement of justification in budget narrative)
  • Contractual services
  • Travel
  • Equipment

Contact Erica Lynn Goff (efranich@nmu.edu) in the Grants and Contracts Office for assistance with budget development. A budget justification template is available here.


IV. Appendices
    1.  List of references cited.
    2.  Curriculum Vitae: Include for each major participant (limit to two pages per CV; template available here).
    3.  Results of Prior Funding: Explain what was accomplished as a result of your most recent Faculty Research Grant funding. Include a copy of your last Final Project Report or provide a status report for current funding.
    4.  Additional Documentation (e.g., Dean/Dept.Head letter of support for project and/or reassigned time, IRB Application, IACUC Application, Other Permits that may be required such as those issued by the National Park Service, City of Marquette, etc.)

Additional Budget Information

Contact Erica Lynn Goff (efranich@nmu.edu) in the Grants and Contracts Office for assistance with budget development.

  • Salary: Remuneration for faculty time may be requested. Applicants may request up a maximum of four credits of reassigned time per semester, throughout the time period of the grant activities. Reassigned time during the fall or winter semester is calculated as the cost needed to hire an adjunct to replace the faculty member for the appropriate number of credit hours. Proposals planned for fall or winter semesters must contain a detailed description of how any request for reassigned time will be handled within the department. The department head and appropriate dean must approve requests (letter must be attached to proposal) for reassigned time when the proposal is submitted to the Grants and Research Office.
    Remuneration requested during the summer session must not exceed the maximum amount per the AAUP master agreement exclusive of fringe benefits. Remuneration should be justified based on the estimated effort to be spent on the project.  Fringe benefits must be listed at the current blended fringe rate (Contact Erica Goff or Kathy Frazier for additional budget information).
  • Student Research Assistants Salary: Students not enrolled must be paid fringe benefits at temporary labor rates. Fringe benefits should be included in requests for student assistants where appropriate. Payment to graduate and undergraduate research assistants should be based on the current pay rates as defined in the Student Employment Handbook.
  • Supplies and Services: Reasonable supplies and contractual services may be included. Office & lab supplies, postage, educational supplies, rentals, printing and duplicating, telephone, and professional services should be itemized. These are expenses over and above normal departmental support of the faculty member.
  • Travel and Living Expenses: Travel and living expenses are allowable, but cannot exceed current University established rates. They must be itemized.
  • Equipment: Each grant should justify the need for and cost of equipment relative to the project's objective and methodology.  Any equipment purchased through a Faculty Grant is the property of the University and must be registered with the Inventory Control Department.

Proposal Evaluation

The evaluation rubric used by the Faculty Grants Committee can be downloaded here.

  • Evaluation Criteria: Proposals from eligible applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria: a) scholarly/creative significance, b) soundness of the project plan, c) qualifications of the investigator and  staff, d) strength of the budget and budget justification, and e) adherence to format and content requirements. 
  • Procedures: Committee members will read each proposal, but one committee member will act as the lead reviewer for each.  The lead reviewer will give the proposal an especially thorough reading, and will present a short summary of the proposal to the full committee, along with the lead reviewer's analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.  Discussion of the proposal will follow.  Committee members will come to the grant review session with preliminary ratings of proposals, but may modify these based on committee discussions.

When all proposals have been presented and discussed as detailed above, the committee will begin a two-stage ranking process.  Any proposal that fails to adequately address one or more of the grant requirements (as determined by a majority of the committee) will not be ranked.  Some examples of reasons for not ranking a proposal include lack of an identifiable scholarly product, an ineligible faculty member applying for a grant, failure to include a copy of the most recent final report, failure to obtain letters of support from Dean and Department Head to reassign course time during the Fall or Winter term, lack of a CV, and gross violations of the formatting guidelines. All other proposals will be ranked by each committee member, with the highest being "1" and successive ratings receiving 2” and "3”.  The total of all committee members’ rankings for each proposal will be used to determine a final ranking.

Rankings and recommendations of the committee will be forwarded to the Academic Senate, with notation made of first-time applicants.  Notes concerning perceived strengths and weaknesses of each proposal will be kept by the lead reviewer during discussion of each grant.  The lead reviewer will forward a summary review to each grant writer after the Academic Senate has acted on the committee's recommendations.

  • Voting Policy:  Each proposal must be read and evaluated by a minimum of five (5) voting members of the Faculty Grants Committee. In the event that less than five committee members are available for grant assessment, alternate committee members will be called upon to fill in. Committee members who have a grant under consideration will be excluded from any deliberations concerning the Faculty Grant Program.  Alternates will take the place of these members.  Ex officio committee members may contribute to discussions, but will not take part in the actual ranking of proposals.

Patents and Copyrights

The University recognizes that certain discoveries may result from the primary business of the University.  These inventions and materials may be eligible for copyright or patent protection.  All NMU employees are responsible for following the current Intellectual Property Policy of Northern Michigan University.


Reporting - 

  • Final Project Report: The recipient of a grant must file a final project report 24 months after the grant was awarded. If a grant recipient fails to submit a final report, s/he may not apply for a new grant for at least one year from the submission date of the belated final report, and a final report must be submitted to all necessary offices and individuals prior to filing a new grant application. 
  • Extension: If the project lasts more than 2 years, an extension request must be submitted describing the project activities, reason for extension, actual budget expenditures to date, and indicating an expected project completion date. 
  • Final Report Due Date: January 31st 2 years after the award was given. The date will be listed in the award letter.
  • Persons failing to file annual reports are ineligible for grants in subsequent granting cycles.
  • All reports are to be sent to the Grants and Contracts Office (grants@nmu.edu).