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Research Forms

Student Research Initiative (SRI) proposals

The Undergraduate Student Mentored Research Initiative (SRI) Program is intended to encourage and facilitate empirical research or creative collaborations between faculty and students. Each collaboration will involve the leadership of a faculty, and up to two (2) undergraduate students. Projects may be initiated by either students or faculty and are expected to apply a methodologically appropriate research design or creative process and achieve a significant level of academic sophistication beyond typical class projects or research papers. Faculty are expected to be active leaders in the ongoing project, and students are expected to be dedicated participants in their assigned roles. The SRI proposals are reviewed by a committee in a juried process. Each faculty mentor of an awarded collaborative will receive $400 while each student member will receive funding from $300-$500 (as designated in the budget) when the project is concluded.

Project Narrative (Parts A-E)

A proposal narrative not exceeding 3 pages (single-spaced, pt.12 font) addressing parts A-E as described below should be submitted.

Part A: Project Goals and Outcomes:

  • Provide a clear statement of the project goals and outcomes
  • For a research project: provide a clearly stated purpose and the project outcome or deliverable.
  • For a creative project: discuss the scope or project intentions.

Part B: Project Significance:

  • Provide background information or context that explains the research or creative project itself and the necessity of the project.
  • For research project: discuss the project’s significance, benefit, or contribution to yourself, to others, and/or to the discipline. Identify the limitations or faultiness of earlier research.
  • Provide a brief statement about the relative scholarly, artistic, or merit of the proposed project which may include intellectual contributions to the discipline.
  • For creative projects: Discuss the critical influences of earlier works on this project. Include a statement of progression that demonstrates artistic independence and coherent expression of style or vision.

Part C: Understanding the Work of Others

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of other work in the field and how that work informs or influences this project.
  • For research projects: include a literature review and/or analysis of previous work
  • For creative projects: include citations of influences on your creative work and this creative project

Part D: Methods and Analysis

  • Discuss the methods and procedures to be used in the project.
  • For a research project: describe the methods, procedures, and the process of analysis or evaluation that will be used to draw conclusions.
  • For a creative project: describe the methods, form, content, and techniques to be used.

Part E: Timeline and Budget:

Provide a timeline for accomplishing various phases of the project and discuss the feasibility of delivering the project’s goals within the stated timeline.

Summarize project costs (stipend, materials and supplies, equipment, and/or facilities needed, 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 can make those acquisitions pre-award. Those materials and estimates must appear in the budget. Otherwise, research awards are disbursed at the completion of the project.

All projects must include a faculty mentor and at least one student. The proposal should discuss the role of each member of the collaboration. The narrative should show how the faculty-student interaction develops a deeper understanding of the empirical research process or creative endeavor for the student. The proposal may also include other outlets that the participants have/may seek for their work (research poster sessions, conferences, etc.). Projects that are already funded by other sources must make clear how the SRI proposal contributes to additional research.

One student or set of students will be chosen to participate as DSU’s representatives in the South Dakota Student Research Poster Session in Pierre, SD (travel expenses paid for by Undergraduate Research). The date is generally early March.

Proposal Evaluation

  • Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following FIVE criteria:
  • A clear statement of the project goals and outcomes, including the scope of a creative project or the purpose of a research project.
  • The expression of a clear artistic or creative vision for creative projects or an explicit statement of the project’s significance for research projects.
  • A clear understanding of other work in the field and how that work informs or influences this project.
  • A clear statement of form and technique for creative projects, or methods, procedures, and analysis to be used for research projects.
  • Reasonable and appropriate timeline and budget.

Submission Information

All proposals must be submitted electronically to artsandsciences@dsu.edu. The deadline is announced each Fall and is usually near the end of September. Email artsandsciences@dsu.edu for specific information. Late proposals, and those without a statement of support from a faculty advisor and without a signature from the faculty member’s dean, will not be considered for funding.

Projects will be evaluated under the auspices of the review committee and the Undergraduate Research Coordinator.

Post-Award Requirements

Successful applicants will be required to present their work at DSU’s annual Research Symposium (anticipated to be the third week of March) via poster session (other formats for presentation are available for creative projects). A poster template will be provided to aid with the process. Additionally, successful applicants will be required to provide the Coordinator of Undergraduate Research 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.

DOs and DON’Ts:

  • DON’T submit a proposal merely as part of a class assignment.
  • DO carefully proofread and refine your proposal. The proposal is the only thing reviewers have to judge your project; ensure that it is representative of your very best work.
  • DON’T cut and paste the work of others into your proposal. Your proposal may refer to or account for the work of others, but make sure that information appears in your own words.
  • DO explain your proposal so that a reviewer from outside the field can understand your project. If you need to use a discipline-specific term, explain it so that reviewers understand its context.
  • DON’T propose a research project intended to teach you a skill or process. Research should operate from a platform of known data and/or processes and procedures to gather the information that benefits the discipline and informs the work of others.
  • DON’T propose a creative project intended merely to repackage the artistic or creative vision of others. Creative work should demonstrate an independent, coherent expression of your style and vision.
  • Do work closely with your faculty mentor.

SRI Application forms

Application Cover Sheet (PDF)

Project Narrative Template

Proposal Scoring Rubric (PDF)

Graduate Student Research

The Graduate Student Research Initiative (GRI) supports research endeavors by graduate students. Projects may emerge as class assignments but the submitted proposal should lead to research beyond the classroom toward juried presentations and publications. Proposals are expected to apply a methodologically appropriate research design or creative process and achieve a significant level of academic sophistication beyond typical class projects or research papers. This program does not fund concept papers or literature reviews.  Rather, proposals that address the full scope of empirical research are invited.  A cohort of graduate peers will review the proposals in a blind/juried process. Each proposal will receive a maximum of $500 for any activities relevant to the research project or the dissemination of its results.

Project Narrative (Parts A-E)

A proposal narrative not exceeding 3 pages (single-spaced, pt.12 font) addressing parts A-E as described below should be submitted.

Part A:  Project goals and outcomes

Provide a clear statement of the project goals and outcomes

  • For a research project: provide a clearly stated purpose and the project outcome or deliverable.

Part B: Project significance

Provide background information or context that explains the research or creative project itself and the necessity of the project. 

  • For research project: discuss the project’s significance, benefit or contribution to yourself, to others, and/or to the discipline. Identify the limitations or faultiness of earlier research.
  • Provide a brief statement about the relative scholarship or merit of the proposed project which may include intellectual contributions to the discipline.

Part C:  Understanding the work of others

Demonstrate a clear understanding of other work in the field and how that work informs or influences this project.

  • For research projects: include a literature review and/or analysis of previous work

Part D: Methods and analysis

Discuss the methods and procedures to be used in the project. 

  • For a research project: describe the methods, procedures, and the process of analysis or evaluation that will be used to draw conclusions.

Part E:  Timeline and completion

  • Provide a timeline for accomplishing various phases of the project and discuss the feasibility of delivering the project’s goals within the stated timeline.
  • Projects requiring the purchase of materials to complete the proposed scope of work can make those acquisitions pre-award. Those materials and estimates must appear in the budget.  Otherwise, research awards are disbursed at the completion of the project.

Statement of Faculty support

All projects must include faculty oversight. The faculty must sign a consent of support on the proposal application cover sheet.  The proposal should discuss the role of each member of the collaboration. While ideas may emerge from a faculty participant, the work on the funded project should be the students’ alone.  The proposal may also include other outlets that the participants have/make seek for their work (research poster sessions, conferences, etc.).

Proposal evaluation

Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • A clear statement of the project goals and outcomes, including the scope of the research project.
  • A clear understanding of other work in the field and how that work informs or influences this project.
  • A clear statement of form and technique for creative projects, or methods, procedures, and analysis to be used for research projects.
  • A reasonable and appropriate timeline ensures project completion.

An evaluation rubric is provided so that applicants better understand the review process used in the evaluation of individual projects.

Submission Information

All proposals must be submitted electronically in MS Word to mark.hawkes@dsu.edu by the submission deadline, Sept. 21, 2022.  Late proposals, and those without a statement of support from a faculty advisor and without a signature from the faculty member’s dean, will not be considered for funding.

Projects will be evaluated under the auspices of the University Research Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.  Successful applicants will be required to present their work at DSU’s annual Research Symposia on the week of March 20, 2023, via poster session/media slides (other formats for presentation are available for creative projects). A poster template will be provided to aid with the process.  Special arrangements will be considered for remote students unable to travel to the Research Symposia.  Additionally, successful applicants will be required to provide 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.

DOs and DON’Ts:

  • DON’T submit a proposal merely as part of a class assignment.
  • DON’T submit a proposal covering themes of a previously funded proposal (if you are a repeat proposer).
  • DON’T cut and paste the work of others into your proposal. Your proposal may refer to or account for the work of others, but make sure that information appears in your own words.
  • DON’T propose a research project intended to teach you a skill or process. Research should operate from a platform of known data and/or processes and procedures to gather the information that benefits the discipline and informs the work of others.
  • DO carefully proofread and refine your proposal. The proposal is the only thing reviewers have to judge your project; ensure that it is representative of your very best work.
  • DO explain your proposal so that a reviewer from outside the field can understand your project. If you need to use a discipline-specific term, explain it so that reviewers understand its context.

Application Cover Sheet (PDF)

PROPOSAL SCORING RUBRIC (PDF)

Faculty Research Initiative (FRI)

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

Eligibility:

  • 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 the 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, and 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:

  • 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 the deadline.
  • 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 creative 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; a 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.

Faculty Research Initiative (FRI) proposals

Proposal Template


Proposal Scoring Rubric (PDF)

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.

External funding