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Faculty Research Enhancement Funds (FREF)

The UMN Morris Faculty Research Enhancement Funds (FREF), supported by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), provides funding to help UMN Morris faculty members support their research-related activities. These funds are awarded in the following categories to full-time faculty:

  • I) Large-Scale Research and Creative Projects
  • II) Project-Based Faculty Research Support
  • III) Travel Differential Support
  • IIIi) International Travel Support

Faculty with less than full-time appointments (a 25-74% faculty appointment) may apply for funding in Category IIIA but are not eligible to apply for the remaining categories.

FREF funds can be used to support travel (including bringing collaborators to UMN Morris), materials, supplies, equipment specific to the project, and other justifiable research expenses.

The funds will not be used for salary, wages, or conference registrations.

A final report is required at the end of the funding period for categories I, II, and IIIi. Proposals are reviewed three times a year (September, January and April) unless otherwise noted.

Forms

Download one of the Application Forms: (Cat-I, Cat-II, Cat-III, Cat-IIIA, Cat-IIIi)
Download the Final Report Form (.doc)

Category I: Large-Scale Research and Creative Projects (Reviewed in April grant round)

Category I is designed to fund up to $5,000 for large-scale research and creative projects that will provide major contributions to the field of study. Unlike Categories II and III, Category I will occur once a year and will follow a more detailed and comprehensive application process than the other categories. Category I grant proposals are currently reviewed during the April grant round. Successful applicants will have up to three years to spend these award funds.

Recipients will be required to present research findings or creative works to the campus community. Faculty members receiving funding in this category will not be eligible to apply for Category I funding for three years after receiving the award.

The FREF Review Committee recognizes that a large-scale project may be different depending upon the project and the discipline in which it takes place. Therefore, clarity and detail in the description of the project proposal are extremely important. Examples might include:
Production, development, performance/presentation of artistic/creative works to larger audiences in the region or beyond
Development of projects that can attract additional external funding
New research for projects with likelihood of major publication
Research that requires human subject payments
Multi-phased projects with extensive data collection, resource and literature reviews, archival research and analysis.
The proposals will be reviewed according to: a) importance to the field, b) coherence and clarity of purpose, c) potential for success, d) degree of imagination and innovation in concept and approach, and e) need for funds to successfully complete the project.

Category II: Project-Based Faculty Research (Reviewed each grant round)

Category II is designed to fund up to $1,000 for small/medium-sized research and creative projects (an article, production, installation) or individual portions of a larger project (e.g. a chapter of a book). There is no limit to the number of times applicants may apply for Category II
funds, but progress toward project outcomes will be a deciding factor for future requests. Support for ongoing projects must be for separate components not previously funded. Category II will also fund up to $1,500 for collaborative projects involving two or more UMN Morris
faculty. These proposals must clearly identify an authentic collaboration between faculty involved in the project. Also, project activities must clearly contribute to the research and/or scholarly activities of all faculty involved in the project.

Category III: Travel Differential Support (Reviewed on an on-going basis)

Category III is designed to fund up to $400 to offset the cost of research and scholarly-related travel. The intent of Category III is to help cover the added travel costs associated with UMN Morris's geographic location. Faculty can receive Category III support up to three times in an academic year.

These funds are not intended to be used to replace UMN Morris Out of State Travel Funds given to tenure-track faculty members. Requests for travel funds should include itemized costs for mileage, per diem, and lodging. The research or creative activities supported by the travel funds should be clearly stated.

Part-time faculty with an appointment of 25-74% can apply for travel differential support with the approval of their division chair. Please use the Category IIIA application, which includes a signature space for division chairs.

Faculty are encouraged to submit Category III applications well in advance of their travel and no later than two weeks prior to the travel departure date listed in the application.

Category III and IIIA proposals are reviewed on an on-going basis with proposals submitted to Adele Lawler in the Dean’s Office (raymonda@morris.umn.edu; 320-589-6018).

Category IIIi: International Travel Support (Reviewed on an on-going basis)

Category IIIi will provide up to $1,200 to offset the cost of research/scholarly-related international travel. The intent is to help cover the added travel costs associated with international travel. This fund will support travel to research conferences as well as travel to
conduct research.

Faculty can receive Category III support three times in an academic year with the possibility of being awarded more than one Category III award in the same grant period. Category IIIi awards do count towards the limit of three Category III awards within the academic year. Requests for travel funds should include itemized costs for mileage, per diem, and lodging. The research or creative activities supported by the travel funds should be clearly stated.

Category IIIi proposals will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Faculty are encouraged to submit Category III applications well in advance of their travel and no later than two weeks prior to the travel departure date listed in the application.

Category IIIi was developed to address a reduction of faculty travel support available through the University’s Global Programs & Strategy (GPS), which now allows faculty members to apply for travel support every other year. Category IIIi funds are not intended to be used to replace UMN Morris  Out of State Travel Funds given to tenure-track faculty or applications to the GPS Alliance. It is anticipated that faculty will apply for all available sources of funding to support international travel and evidence of such will be considered during the funding decision process.

Deadlines

UMM Faculty Research Enhancement Funds

Deadlines

To request funds, please complete the appropriate Faculty Research Enhancement Funds application forms (see list below) and submit to the Dean’s Office (Room 315 Behmler Hall). Proposals for Category III, IIIi, and IIIA, differential travel support, will be reviewed on an going basis. The application must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the travel departure listed on the application.

Category II proposals for project-based research and creative activities will continue with grant rounds three times a year (September, January, and April). Category I proposals for large-scale research and creative projects will be reviewed during the April grant round.

Category II deadlines will be:

  • September (for travel in October, November, December and January)
  • January (for travel in February, March, April and May)
  • May (for travel in June, July, August and September)

Email will be the primary method of notification when funding has been awarded. A brief report of project activity and results will be required to receive reimbursement for funded activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are Faculty Research Enhancement Funds (FREF)?

The FREF program, supported by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), provides funding to help UMN Morris faculty members support their research-related activities.

The funds are awarded in five categories:

  1. I – Large-Scale Research and Creative Projects
  2. II – Project-Based Faculty Research Support
  3. III – Travel Differential Support
  4. IIIA – Travel Support for Part-time Faculty
  5. IIIi – International Travel Support

Q: Who may apply for FREF funds?

  • Tenured, tenure-track, and full-time faculty may apply for funding in Categories I, II, III, and IIIi.
  • Faculty with less than full-time appointments (a 25-74% faculty appointment) may apply for funding in Category IIIA, but are not eligible to apply for the remaining categories.
  • Members of the campus community with combination faculty and staff appointments may apply for funding based on the percentage of their appointment that is considered “faculty.” For example, someone with an appointment that is 75% faculty and 25% staff may apply for funding in Categories I, II, III, and IIIi. Someone with an appointment that is 75% staff and 25% faculty may apply for funding only in Category IIIA.

Q: How are FREF proposals reviewed?

FREF proposals are peer reviewed by a committee that includes the chairs of each division and at least one faculty member from each division; representatives from the Grants Development Office and Dean’s Office serve in an ex officio capacity. Category I proposals are reviewed only in April of each year. Category II proposals are reviewed in September, January, and April of each year. Category III, IIIA and IIIi proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. The review process is reviewed periodically and discussions take place each grant round regarding recommendations to proceed for subsequent grant rounds.

Q: How hard and fast are the deadlines listed?

All proposals submitted by the deadline date will be reviewed for that grant round (please see the next question for more detail). Proposals submitted after the deadline date will not be reviewed.

Q: Can I submit a request for a trip out of the deadline timeline listed (i.e. can I submit a request in January for a project beginning six or nine months later)?

You can submit an early request, but, depending on the amount of funding available and the number of requests, the proposal may be deferred until the appropriate grant round. A funding continuance can be granted from the Dean’s Office, but the funds are intended to be
spent in the round awarded. Funds cannot be awarded retroactively; all work must take place after the time of award.

Q: How many FREF awards can I receive in a year?

  • Category I: A faculty member may receive one Category I award in a three-year funding period.
  • Category II: There is no limit to the number of Category II awards a faculty member may receive in a year, but progress toward project outcomes will be a deciding factor for future requests. Support for on-going projects must be for separate components not previously funded.
  • Category III: A faculty member can receive up to three Category III awards in one fiscal year.

Q: Since an applicant can receive up to three Category III awards each year, what is the funding cycle for them?

Only three Category III proposals will be approved in any given fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). If travel is approved in one fiscal year and takes place in another, it will count towards the limit of three for the fiscal year in which it is approved.

Q: For Category III proposals, how far in advance do I need to submit?

Category III, IIIi, and IIIA applications must be submitted two weeks prior to the travel departure date identified in the application.

Q: Can FREF funds be awarded retroactively?

No.

Q: Are funds for student salary allowable?

No. As FREF awards were originally established, salary of any kind is not allowable. For primary support of student/faculty research, the FREF review group encourages faculty to look at external funding opportunities as well as programs such as Morris Academic Partners (MAP), Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Grant-in-Aid (GIA), and Imagine Fund Awards for projects in the arts, design and humanities.

Q. Can FREF funds help cover costs of editing, indexing, transcription services, image charges, lab fees and charges, etc.?

Yes. Funding for editing, indexing and similar expenses will be considered in Category II by the FREF committee. Justification is needed as to why these expenses are necessary for the project and why other alternatives and resources are not being used. These activities will only
be funded up to the Category II limit of $1,000.

Q. Can I purchase books using FREF funds?

Funding for book purchases will be considered in budgets in Categories I or II by the FREF committee. Justification is needed as to why these books need to be purchased and not borrowed. An itemized list of book purchases is requested; proposals without book lists will be considered less competitive.

Q. Can I submit two applications for Category II funding in the same grant round?

If each application is clear that they are for independent projects, more than one Category II proposal can be submitted.

Q. Can more than one Category II application be submitted for the same project in the same grant round?

Multiple applications for the same project are not permitted.

Q: Can I apply for more than one category in a round for one activity?

Yes, but the same activity can only be funded in one category (i.e., you cannot get funded in both categories I and II for the exact same activity). If you make more than one request in a grant round, you will be asked to include a priority rank for each proposal. You may submit
multiple applications in the same grant round for the same category if you provide a priority rank for each application.

Q: Can I apply for more than one project/activity in a round?

Yes, but the activities must be distinctly different.

Q: Do I need to use the forms?

Yes. Updated applications with information and budget requirements have been developed to make the process of applying as simple as possible. If you have questions about completing the applications, please contact the Grants Development Office.

Q: How and when will I be notified of the funding decision?

The goal is that all applicants will receive e-mail notification no later than 15 business days after the submission deadline. If you will not be accessible via email, please indicate that on your application, and an alternative form of notification can be arranged.

Q: If I am awarded funds, how do I receive them?

This will be handled similarly to the Out of State Travel fund. Submit your receipts with your final report to your division support staff.

Q. What happens if I cannot complete my project within 1 year?

Contact Adele Lawler, Dean’s Office, raymonda@morris.umn.edu to request a time extension on your project.

Q: If I have questions, comments, or concerns about this program, to whom do I send them?

As this program is still developing, feedback is encouraged and appreciated. At this point, please send comments to Adele Lawler, Dean's Office, raymonda@morris.umn.edu.

Q: What are some examples of what is funded by FREF funding?

Category I examples:

  • Travel to discipline-specific research/scholarly venues (e.g., travel to an archive, laboratory, library, theater, art gallery, etc.) that will advance applicant’s individual or collaborative research project (if project is new)
  • Funds to purchase supplies or to cover extraordinary expenses related to or supporting creative activity
  • Funds for duplicating archival materials

Category II examples:

  • Travel to meet with colleagues from the UMN System or other institutions (or to bring colleagues to the Morris campus) for the purposes of advancing a collaborative research agenda
  • Travel to create or participate in a scholarly collaboration
  • Funds for editing indexing, page charges, image charges, etc.
  • Funds similar to those eligible in Category I

Q: How did UMN Morris receive these funds?

In the fall of 2005, during a visit to the Morris campus, former Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy heard from a number of faculty members that Morris's rural location often served as an impediment to conducting research and collaborating with colleagues from other institutions. In response to this unique challenge, Vice President Mulcahy, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Grants Development Office, and with faculty input, created the Faculty Research Enhancement
Funds Program. Through the generous support of current Vice President for Research, the program continues to support faculty research activities.

Q: How has this program changed since conception?

The mission for FREF has not changed. The funding categories have evolved in response to faculty need and input. Category I, a Large-Scale Research and Creative Projects category, reviewed during one grant round each year (April), is available to faculty to support research that will make a major contribution to the field; this category is often where “new research” is supported. Category II, the Project-Based Faculty Research Support category, provides funding for shorter-term research projects or lengthier projects (with various components or stages eligible for multiple awards in various grant rounds and for non-duplicative components) if project progress is demonstrated. This replaces the earlier FREF category for collaborative research or works, however, collaborative work can also be funded in this category. This category is reviewed three times a year (September, January and April). The last category, Category III, is Travel Differential Support. This category will help offset the cost of research and scholarly-related activity specifically for the cost of travel from our rural location. We have added a new component, Category IIIi, to this category to address the increasing costs of international travel. Category III also evolved to allow for an increase in the funding amount and to enable part-time faculty to apply. To better accommodate faculty travel cycles, this category is now reviewed on an ongoing basis.