College Funding Initiative

Faculty Initiatives Fund

The College of Social Science invites applications for competitive awards under the Faculty Initiatives Fund (FIF). The FIF was established by Dr. Gwen Andrew, Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the College of Social Science with the support of the College's faculty, staff, friends and alumni. The FIF is limited to faculty members holding appointments in the College of Social Science. The endowment recognizes and encourages the innovative and creative work of these faculty members. 

The FIF promotes the production and dissemination of knowledge by supporting faculty research initiatives, the development of new outreach and engagement efforts, and the publication of "pioneering" works that otherwise would not find outlets among commercial publishers. Applications that represent pilot activities that will lead to proposals for external funding are particularly encouraged. During recent award cycles, roughly $20,000 has been available to award to one or more applicants. A minimum match of $1,000 from the applicant’s unit is required. The average award in recent years has been $5,700. 

Applications for the FY 2017-18 awards are due in the Dean’s Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Proposals are limited to two pages (eleven-point font, one-inch margins, references, CV, and detailed budget should be included as appendixes), and must clearly articulate methods, offer a concise statement of expected outcomes, and justify the use of this particular funding mechanism. A brief letter from the unit chair/director with a commitment for the required matching funds must accompany each application. Applications must be submitted electronically by COB, March 15 to the Associate Dean for Research at researchdean(at)ssc.msu.edu.

Awardees will be selected by members of the College Research Committee and will be notified by, Monday, May 15, 2017. Instructions for accessing funds will be provided at the time of notification. Funds may be used for expenses related to the project as submitted, consistent with University Policy and Procedures, but may not be used for faculty salaries. A brief report is required within 12 months of the award date explaining results and plans for follow-up.


Review Questions
I. QUALITY AND TECHNICAL MERIT

a. Does the proposal demonstrate an awareness of the state of current research?
b. Does the proposal describe a sound methodology, analytic or technical approach?
c. How feasible is the proposed project?
d. Does the proposal suggest an innovation and creative approach to address a problem?

II. IMPACT OF THE PROJECT

a. Does the proposed work hold potential for the advancement of science?
b. Is the proposed work relevant to policy and practice?
c. Is this project likely to attract additional sponsored activities?

III. CAPABILITIES, DEMONSTRATED PRODUCTIVITY, AND EXPERIENCE OF
APPLICANTS

a. Does the PI demonstrate the ability to complete the proposed effort?
b. Does the applicant demonstrate a record of successful past performance?

IV. BUDGET CONSIDERATION

a. Is the FIF an appropriate mechanism to advance this work?
b. Are the budgeted project costs appropriate for the level of effort?

Impact

Impact/Priority Score Descriptor Additional Guidance on Strengths/Weaknesses

High

1

Exceptional

Exceptionally strong with essentially no weaknesses

2

Outstanding

Extremely strong with negligible weaknesses

3

Excellent

Very strong with only some minor weaknesses

Moderate

4

Very Good

Strong but with numerous minor weaknesses

5

Good

Strong but with at least one moderate weakness

6

Satisfactory

Some strengths but also some moderate weaknesses

Low

7

Fair

Some strengths but with at least one major weakness

8

Marginal

A few strengths and a few major weaknesses

9

Poor

Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses

Definitions
Minor: easily addressable weakness that does not substantially lessen the impact of the project.
Moderate: weakness that lessens the impact of the project.
Major: weakness that severely limits the impact of the project.