Faculty Research Grants: School Research and Travel Grants

School Research Committees Funding:

The Academic Senate Council on Research, Computing and Libraries (CORCL) receives an annual appropriation from the campus Instruction and Research budget. CORCL re-allocates more than one-half of its funds to the academic units’ School Research Committees (SRCs) to award competitive faculty research grants to:

  • Individual researchers for small research projects,
  • Pilot efforts leading to proposals for extramural funding,or
  • Travel for research or for presenting research findings at conferences.

CORCL allocations to the School committees shall be made on a fiscal year basis. The major distribution of funds will be announced prior to November 15. All funds are to be expended or committed by the SRCs by June 30th of the same academic year. Awards must be expended in accordance with University accounting requirements. The following year’s allocation of CORCL funds to SRCs will depend on its judgment regarding the efficacy and utility of awards made by SRCs.

Eligibility and Funding Criteria:

School Research Committees annually issue competitive calls for proposals within their unit. Only full-time members of the Academic Senate, as well as emeritae/i, holding appointments in the unit are eligible.

All monies awarded by CORCL through the SRCs, and equipment purchased with the awards, are intended for the conduct of research by members of the Irvine Academic Senate and are not transferable to another campus or university.

The following factors merit special consideration in the awarding of grants by SRCs, although CORCL recognizes that not all criteria will be equally relevant in all schools:

  • CORCL believes strongly that holding a well-publicized, fair, and open competition for a limited number of awards (i.e., compared to the number of faculty members eligible) is more preferable to the “simpler” process of allocating some funds to all eligible faculty members.
  • Preference in awards should be given to untenured ladder-rank faculty.
  • Awards made to seed research projects that have a high probability of obtaining additional extramural funding as a result of the seeding is encouraged, but also encouraged is funding of meritorious research which lacks any alternative source of funding. Both are preferable to funding projects that could obtain extramural funding without CORCL support.
  • Funding basic and applied research in the field is more preferable to funding course development or administrative support for research in general.
  • Funding for research or for travel that is a necessary part of a research project is generally preferable to funding for travel to attend conferences to present research findings.
  • CORCL has found that the most effective projects have supported graduate research assistance, materials and equipment not otherwise available, and travel and field expenses associated with gathering data.
  • Funds to support faculty summer salaries should be awarded only if the SRC undertakes an open, fair competition for faculty fellowships.
  • Awards need not be limited to individual investigators. CORCL encourages support for research which involves several faculty across departments within a school and sees merit in funding conferences held at UCI.

NOTE: SRCs may choose to fund research according to different criteria than these, but CORCL will want to know the basis for these decisions, especially if they run counter to CORCL’s own criteria.

School Research Committee (SRC) Membership and Responsibilities:

The faculty in each school shall choose a faculty research committee according to its own bylaws. All members of the SRC must be members of the Academic Senate. At most, one member of the committee may simultaneously hold an administrative position (e.g., Dean, Director, Department Chair). 

The SRC chair shall approve all grants on behalf of the committee, and monitor the transfer and disbursement of funds. Administrative assistance should be provided by the School administration, but no award by the faculty committee may be abrogated by an administrator if the University’s requirements for financial accountability are satisfied. 

Reporting Procedures: 

CORCL faculty research grants are meant to serve both the traditional travel needs of Academic Senate members and as a source for small individual grants. By June 30th of the academic year in which awarded, each SRC is required to file a report with CORCL (Click here for a downloadable report form you may customize to your needs). Reporting responsibilities include notification of each unit’s faculty about that year’s activities and awards. The report to CORCL should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • The composition of the School Research Committee, and the process used for its selection (e.g., appointed by Chairs, elected, etc.)
  • Listing of each grant, with faculty name, academic rank, award amount, and whether the award was for research or travel.
  • Statistical analysis, including total amounts dedicated to travel vs direct research support; distribution of awards according to academic rank, in each category; selectivity and competitiveness in each category; and general selection criteria.
  • Description of method used for informing faculty about availability of funds (or attach copy of call for proposals that was sent to faculty).
  • A statement about the method used to notify the unit’s faculty about the year’s awards. (The simplest way to meet this requirement is to send a copy of the report you send to CORCL to every faculty member in your school.)

The annual reports from the SRCs will be reviewed and evaluated by CORCL. As needed, Schools will be contacted for information, comments, or questions during the review process.

Questions About SRC Funding?
Michelle Chen
CORCL Analyst