Faculty Initiatives Fund

Call for Proposals

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 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 tenure system faculty members holding primary appointments (51% or higher) in the College of Social Science and who have not received FIF funding during the past three years. 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 development of new research/scholarly initiatives 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. A minimum match of $1,000 from the applicant’s unit is required. The maximum award request including match is $10,000. Up to five proposals are expected to be funded.



Applications for the FY 2023-24 awards are due in the Dean’s Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022 (no time extension requests will be allowed). Proposals are limited to two pages (single-spaced, 11-point Arial or Times Roman font, one-inch margins. References, curriculum vitae, detailed budget and budget justification 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 as a single PDF file by 5:00 p.m., November 18, 2022, to the Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives HERE. All proposals will be evaluated in terms of (1) quality and technical merit; (2) impact of the project; (3) capability, productivity, and experience of applicants; and (4) budget considerations.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the College Research Committee and award recipients will be notified by Monday, December 19, 2022. All award decisions are final.

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 or conference travel and expenses. Any equipment valued at $500 or more purchased from these funds becomes the property of the University. A brief narrative and financial report are required within 12 months of the award date describing outcomes and plans for follow-up.


Faculty Initiative Fund Review Criteria


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


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


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


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


Scoring for FIF Research Grants (adopted from NIH guidelines)

The scoring below indicates the priority score, descriptor and additional guidance on strengths/weaknesses.

High Impact

  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 Impact

  1. Very Good - Strong but with numerous minor weaknesses
  2. Good - Strong but with at least one moderate weakness
  3. Satisfactory - Some strengths but also some moderate weaknesses

Low Impact

  1. Fair - Some strengths but with at least one major weakness
  2. Marginal - A few strengths and a few major weaknesses
  3. Poor - Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses


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



Please contact SSC.Researchdean@msu.edu