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Multidisciplinary Research Awards

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Guidelines for the FY15 Multidisciplinary Research Awards

Important Dates


Download Program Guidelines and Materials


Multidisciplinary Research Awards (MRA) provide seed funding on a competitive basis to SIUE faculty and staff to support the formation of multidisciplinary teams that will develop and conduct preliminary research and seek external funding.  Seed funding is to encourage the initiation of new research directions or new research projects.  Seed grant funding is not intended to sustain or supplement current research programs.  Each proposed multidisciplinary research team must consist of two or more faculty and/or research staff members representing at least two disciplines.  The participation of colleagues from other institutions is encouraged but may be included only as cost share. Multidisciplinary teams can include individuals of different schools, different departments and possibly different disciplines within the same field. Partners external to SIUE may also be included. A convincing argument must be made as why the disciplines of applicants are distinct and why a multidisciplinary approach is necessary for the proposed problem.


All full-time continuing members of the faculty may apply to the MRA program.  Research staff members on continuing appointments who have served as an investigator or co-investigator on an externally sponsored grant are also eligible for the MRA program.  The terminal degree must be completed by the time of submittal. All applicants must have submitted completed final reports and fulfilled the terms and conditions, including submission of an external grant proposal, of projects previously funded by the SIUE Graduate School at least 5 business days before this program deadline in order to be eligible for this program.

Definition of Research and Creative Activities

Research and creative activities are broadly defined as all creative, critical, scholarly, and/or empirical activities that expand, clarify, reorganize or develop knowledge or artistic perception.  This definition includes the theorization, demonstration, implementation, and application of research.

Ineligible Activities

The following activities are ineligible for funding from the MRA program:

  • faculty development – activities such as learning a new technique, language, methodology or completing a thesis or dissertation
  • institutional research – studies related directly to the operation of the University that are not generalizable and have little application beyond SIUE
  • public service and consulting
  • departmental curriculum development, such as the preparation of curriculum materials, curriculum modifications, and student interest surveys. (Curriculum development that includes empirical studies of the effectiveness of new program formats, or techniques and content that are generalizable and have application beyond SIUE may be considered research for this grant program.)


Total expected funding available is $100,000. Funding is for one fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th) and is awarded by line item.  All line items except faculty or staff salary are allowable.  (Student salary and wages are allowed.)  Awards will not exceed $25,000; typical awards will range from $10,000 to $15,000.

Terms and Conditions

As a condition of the award, each recipient (including all Co-I's) must submit a final report and a proposal for external funding through the Graduate School’s Office of Research and Projects before being eligible for any additional funding from the Graduate School.  Failure to submit either the final report or a proposal for external funding makes the recipient of a MRA ineligible for all other Graduate School sponsored support.


Applications are not considered complete without signatures from department chairs and school/college deans. Complete applications including signed cover page should be scanned and emailed in PDF to by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2014.

Evaluation Criteria

The R&D Committee will oversee the review process under the direction of the Associate Dean for Research.  Proposals will be evaluated and scored according to the following criteria:

  1. The alignment of the project with the MRA purpose (25%)
  2. The research proposal’s potential for external funding (25%)
  3. The clarity and appropriateness of the research design and procedure (20%)
  4. The originality/creativity and significance of the proposed research or creative activity (20%)
  5. The appropriateness of the budget and strength of the budget justification (10%)

Application Procedures

1. Cover Pages:  Please download and complete the Cover Pages. Include all appropriate contact information along with a brief summary of the research project in terms understandable to the non-specialist. Applicants should identify on the cover page any individual who has a conflict of interest or should otherwise not review the proposal.

2. Narrative (10 pages):  The narrative should be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages with 1” margins and minimum font of Times New Roman 11 or Arial 10. The page limitation does not include the cover page, endnotes or references, appendix, budget, budget justification, and vitae.  Please note that proposals may not be reviewed by specialists in your specific discipline and care should be written to be understood by an educated general audience. Your narrative must include the following sections.

  • Alignment with MRA purpose: Explain how the proposed project aligns with the purpose of the program, as stated in the guidelines above.
  • Introduction and Background: Provide an overview of the research project or creative activity, including a clear statement of the problem and the objectives of the proposed project.  Describe the background to the project, including a review of the appropriate literature in the field.  Clearly explain the significance of the research or creative activity to the discipline. Clearly explain in what way the proposed project differs from your team members’ currently supported research programs.
  • Pprocedures or Project Plan: Provide a detailed description of the methodology used to conduct this research or creative activity.  The description should reflect the nature of the project.  Research projects that are experimental in nature should clearly describe the design of the experiment and the methods for acquiring and analyzing data.  Non- experimental projects, such as those in the humanities and fine arts, may wish to describe the works to be examined, research sources (e.g. library and manuscript collections), and an appropriate plan for carrying out the work.  Include a timetable showing when each major step of the project will be started and completed.  Note that the project must be completed by June 30, 2014.
  • Anticipated Results: Include a description of the anticipated results. Stronger proposals will describe both scientific outcomes and concrete productions.  The narrative should also describe how the results of the research fit into any larger long-term research plan.
  • Plan to Obtain External Support: Include the identification of specific potential sources of external support for the continuation of the project.  This information will include, for example, the sponsor, the specific program(s), and the expected submission deadline.  Include a description of how the MRA project fits with the sponsor and program’s goals/mission.

3. Endnotes or References(1 page): Include a one page maximum list of references showing your familiarity with the pertinent literature.

4. Budget: Provide a detailed budget using the cover page (download above or in the Downloads section).  Applicants may request funding for graduate assistantships, student wages, travel, commodities, contractual services, equipment, auto, and telecommunications.  Please note the following when preparing your budget.

  • Project expenditures must be spent within the project period (July 1 – June 30). No funding is available outside this timeframe.
  • Travel funds are awarded only for the purposes of data collection and collaboration, including face-to-face meetings.  Generally, no funds are available for the purposes of consulting or for attending professional conferences.
  • No funds are available for equipment maintenance or repair.
  • No funding is available for telecommunications, except for the purposes of telephone surveys.
  • Funding for equipment is limited and only for specialized items essential to the nature of the research.
  • Funding for commodities and contractual services must be documented and justified.
  • General supplies and items that should normally be provided by a department are not considered as allowable costs.

Budget Justification(2 pages): Justify the funding request in narrative form (max. two pages). Each individual line item request on the Budget Request Form must be fully explained and carefully justified in an item-by-item narrative. Applicants are advised to keep in mind that the review committees rely heavily on the Narrative Budget Justification when making decisions about funding. Explanations that are cursory or justifications that are weak can result in a project either not being funded or having its requested funding reduced substantially. Stronger proposals will explain the math and reasoning behind the subtotals.

Previous Funding Form(s): Complete and attach the Previous Funding Form, available here and in the Materials Downloads section of this website. This form applies to funding previously received from both external sponsors and the SIUE Graduate School for the previous three years. Applicants may use one page per previous grant.

Appendix: Information may be included in an Appendix if it is necessary to the reviewers’ understanding of the research project and to provide evidence of access to needed resources and people. Such appendices may include but are not limited to: letters of commitment from consultants, sub-contractors and supporting facilities; letters of commitment from foreign contacts and institutions; letters of commitment from library or archive administrators, sample surveys or protocols for human subjects’ research. Appendixes may not be used to provide data that belongs in the narrative.

C.V.(2 pages) or COS Pivot Profile(unlimited): If applicants do not have a current COS profile, they may choose to submit a  two-page curriculum vitae with a listing of activities relevant to the proposed project. This document should include activities most relevant to the proposed project and demonstrate expertise to carry out the proposed work.

Final Reports

Final reports are due to the Office of Research and Projects by October 1 following the completion of the project. Both the final report and the submission of an external grant through the Office of Research and Projects are required to remain eligible to receive Graduate School funding.

Program Timeline

Application Deadline: 4:30 PM, Monday, February 03, 2014.  Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to

Announcement Date:  End April

Project Period: July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

Final Report Due Date: October 1, 2015

Program Materials

1. Multidisciplinary Research Awards FY2015 Guidelines (PDF)
2. Cover Pages
3. Previous Funding Form

Program Contacts

Patience Graybill Condellone
Internal Grants Program Coordinator
The Graduate School/Office of Research and Projects

Susan Morgan
Associate Dean for Research
The Graduate School

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