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Research Forms


Student Research Initiative (SRI) proposals

Faculty Research Initiative (FRI) proposals

Graduate Student research

External funding

Supporting Talent for Research Trajectories (START)

With support from Research and Economic Development Affairs, the Office of Sponsored Programs announces the rolling seed grant competition, Supporting Talent for Research Trajectories, or START. We request proposals that will stimulate the growth and/or diversification of Dakota State University’s research portfolio. This program supports faculty efforts to build research capacity and garner external funding. Funds must support preliminary research efforts leading to at least one confirmed proposal submission for $50,000 or more.

The START grant focuses support on new faculty, first-time proposal writers, newly formed research teams, new funding sources, and/or new directions within a PI’s research portfolio. Faculty may be part of one or more START Proposals, but new applicants will receive priority over prior START grantees. Proposals must meet all compliance and assurance requirements, as well as university submission policies and procedures. External proposal submissions must be made through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Application Window

Review of applications will continue throughout the academic year. Meritorious applications will continue to be funded on a first-come, first-served basis while funds remain available.

Eligibility requirements

  • PIs must be full-time, tenure-track faculty.
  • Instructors/post-docs may be named as co-PIs/collaborators on proposals with tenure-track PIs.

Funding limits

  • Individual PIs may compete for up to $3500
  • Collaborative teams may compete for up to $5000
  • Allowable expenses will be as flexible as standard fiscal guidelines will permit, but proposals should specify how funds will be used.
  • The proposal must be targeted to funding solicitations with deadlines, target dates, or submission dates that fall within 12 months after the submission of the PI’s START Seed Grant proposal.

Format and Submission Guidelines

The title page (will not count against the page limit) should include the following: faculty rank, college, contact info, Dean’s authorization/signature, and project abstract.

3-page limit, inclusive of the following elements:

  • Project description, including detailed work plan and clear timeline
  • Budget and justification
  • Impact statement detailing external funding mechanisms and their deadlines

Bibliographies will not count against the page limit, but applicants should avoid appendices.

Please submit applications and related correspondence to DSU.ResearchAffairs@dsu.edu.

Criteria for review

The committee will evaluate proposals for clarity of purpose; feasibility; and strategic importance to the PI, the College, and the University. PIs and teams must demonstrate that this funding will help them make compelling cases to external funders for additional support of their projects and programs. Allowability of indirect costs with those agencies will be among the criteria for committee consideration, but it will not be a prerequisite for eligibility.

FRI Application

Research and Economic Development Affairs announces our Faculty Research Initiative (FRI) intended to encourage and facilitate faculty research and creative activity. This year’s competition offers up to $3,000 for individual faculty or up to $5,000 for collaborative teams.

DEADLINE: September 12, 2022, 9:00 p.m. Central


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) may be full-time faculty in any classification.
  • The review committee extends priority funding consideration and encouragement to new tenure-track faculty establishing their research agendas. However, all faculty are eligible and encouraged to submit proposals.
  • The FRI may not fund projects currently funded by other sources.
  • Any faculty member with outstanding deliverables on any internal DSU award in the prior three cycles will be ineligible for this competition.

Project Description (Parts A-D)

Please submit a proposal narrative addressing parts A-D as described below. Appendices are prohibited. Required format: 3-page maximum, excluding the cover sheet and bibliography, single-spaced, 12 pt. standard font with 1in. margins. Proposals that fail to comply with the format will be returned without committee review.

Part A:  Project Goals and Outcomes

  1. If appropriate, provide background information or context needed by reviewers to fully understand the scope of work, including
    1. A brief on the innovations and limitations of scholarship/research/creative activity that has preceded this project (done by the PI/team or someone else), thereby justifying additional activity in this area;
    2. A description of the expected processes and/or methods for the project; and
    3. (optional, space permitting) any other evidence that will help the reviewers better understand the scope of the proposed project.
  2. Articulate a clear hypothesis or guiding research question pointing to projected findings/outcomes, regardless of discipline.
  3. Describe the project and its goals and outcomes/deliverables, defined broadly to include presentations; manuscripts for publication; works of visual, performing, or literary art; artifacts or other products for dissemination or use in future research.
  4. Include a brief plan for dissemination of the project results, being clear about format and venue. Reviewers will privilege projects that contribute to a culture of peer-reviewed research and creative activity (e.g. selective conferences; peer-reviewed journals, book publications, and the like; juried exhibitions or performances)

Part B:  Project Significance

  1. Explain the intellectual and/or creative merit of the project. What makes it interesting and novel?
  2. Describe the value of the scholarship/research/creative activity to the PI/team, to DSU, and to the discipline(s).
  3. If applicable, state the value of the project to the greater good, the general public (broader impacts). The committee understands that this is not immediately apparent for many early-stage projects.

Part C:  Timeline and Budget

  1. Provide a timeline for accomplishing various phases of the project.
  2. Summarize project costs, e.g. research time, materials and supplies, equipment, and/or travel, and any other expected costs that will be incurred in the process of completing the project) and provide an explanation of how those costs will be covered. Projects requiring the purchase of materials to complete the proposed scope of work must include estimates in the budget. Otherwise, award funds for research time will be disbursed at intervals during the project and at the completion of the project pending satisfactory final reporting.

notate bene:

  • Do not assume that REDA will automatically calculate the difference between the proposed budget and the maximum award to be used as compensation for faculty time. This is a common error that results in maximum disappointment.
  • Do not assume that unspent funds in any category of a FRI award budget can be converted to salary support.

Part D:  Relationship to PDP

  1. Summarize the scholarship/research/creative activity goals from your Professional Development Plan and explain the relationship between this project and those goals.
  2. Build PDP submission and presenter participation in DSU Research Symposium into your timeline, as both are relevant to on-campus PD efforts and to building a vibrant intellectual community.

All proposals must be submitted electronically in a single .pdf to Research@dsu.edu by the submission deadline (9/12/22, 9pm). Late proposals, those without a signature from a supervisor/dean, and proposals that do not comply with formatting guidelines will be returned without merit committee review (see template).

Other Important Dates:

  • Sept. 12, 2022 – Proposal submissions due to Research@dsu.edu
  • Week of Sept. 19-23, 2022 – announcement of awards
  • Week of March 20-24, 2023 – DSU Research Symposium/Doctoral Residency Week
  • May 29, 2023 – final report due to Research@dsu.edu 

Proposal Evaluation

Each project proposal will undergo a two-stage review:

  1. Technical review by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will ensure format compliance and completeness. Note that OSP will offer optional preliminary reviews up until one week ahead of deadline.
  2. Blind peer review using a scoring rubric based on these criteria:
  • Project goals and outcomes/deliverables/created works
  • Significance, value and/or benefit to the faculty member, DSU and others in the discipline
  • Feasibility and ability to deliver project goals within the stated timeline and budget
  • Expected findings and plans for dissemination; for creativity activities, the work must be completed within spring research symposium deadlines and aspirations for showing/publishing elsewhere should be clear
  • Clear link to the faculty member’s PDP
  • Funding consideration for new faculty or faculty establishing a research agenda.

Projects will be evaluated under the auspices of the University Research Committee with coordinating and funding support from Sponsored Programs and Research and Economic Development Affairs.

Post-Award Requirements

Budget spend-down: funded projects will need to supply a quarterly spending report to the research office. Details will be provided to funded PIs. Successful applicants will also be required to present their work at DSU’s annual Research Symposium in March 2023 at the poster session. A poster template will be provided to aid with poster development (20” x 30” is the standard size for physical posters; digital template will be provided if we’re virtual again this year). Other presentation formats are possible; we encourage faculty to align with the standard practices in their respective fields. Successful applicants must meet all deadlines and adhere to guidelines set forth in Symposium planning communications. Recipients will also be required to provide REDA with a written summary of their project and findings at the conclusion of the project. This written summary may also include (as appropriate for the project), additional content, such as software or hardware, photographs, manuscripts, etc., as outlined in the proposed deliverables.

Fri Application