Request for proposals
The KU Office of Research, in partnership with the Hall Center for the Humanities, invites proposals for the Racial Equity Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Awards.
These awards will support members of our research and creative community as they apply their expertise to profound and persistent challenges related to attaining the goal of racial equity. Racial equity is generally defined as a state where race no longer determines one’s ability to thrive because systemic barriers to quality housing, education, employment, health care, public safety and other needs have been removed. As one of America’s leading research universities committed to diversity, inclusion and racial equity, KU must advance these goals, in part, through its research mission. We believe in the power of research, scholarship and creative activity to bring about change. Our objective is to foster progress toward racial equity through a combination of research, dialogue and action.
Award criteria + eligibility
Research, scholarship and creative activity supported by the new fund must be innovative or reflect a new application of existing research and have the potential to make a significant contribution to understanding the genesis and impact of inequities based on race, exploring impediments and/or charting a course toward racial equity. Attentive to KU’s vital role as a place-based institution, funding decisions will include as priorities community-engaged projects that address a local problem identified in collaboration with one or more community partners — injecting research, scholarship and/or creative activity to achieve both immediate progress and long-term sustainability while advancing generalizable knowledge and understanding. To address racial equity issues as broadly as possible, funding will be available to all Lawrence and Edwards campus faculty and academic staff (whether or not tenure-track), without regard for field or discipline. We hope to attract a diverse pool of applicants for this award. Projects that involve students or partnerships with colleagues at other universities, industry or nonprofit organizations are encouraged.
The program will support up to 4 awards of up to $20,000 each.
The Office of Research and the Hall Center’s Research & Grant Development Office will work with awardees to identify and secure external funding to continue or expand the scope of projects, but the potential to attract external funding is not a review criterion.
In conjunction with the award program, an ongoing Racial Equity Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Workshop series will connect researchers working on racial equity issues and engage other members of the university community.
Racial Equity Awards Info Session
Eligibility, submission + review details
- Lawrence and Edwards campus faculty and unclassified academic staff (whether or not tenure-track) may submit a proposal individually or as teams.
- Proposed project duration must be 2 years or less.
- Budget requests of up to $20,000 will be considered.
- Incomplete or late applications may not receive full review and consideration.
Proposals must be submitted as a SINGLE PDF (including the budget template provided below) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.
If you would like the Office of Research to screen your budget for any potential issues before you submit your final proposal, please send it to Nancy Biles at email@example.com by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24 to allow time for review and potential corrections.
All proposals must be completed in 11- or 12-point font with single spacing and 1-inch margins on each page.
The proposal must include the following in one single PDF:
- Cover page (1 page)
Include the following information:
- Title of the proposal
- Name and detailed contact information for the lead applicant (title, mailing address, email address, phone number)
- Department/center that will administer the award
- Funding amount requested
- Narrative (2-3 pages, including abstract, excluding references)
Present an abstract of not more than 250 words, followed by a detailed description of your proposal, including answers to these questions:
- How does the proposed work foster progress toward racial equity?
- If applicable, what local problem does the project address and how does the proposed work engage one or more community partners?
- What is novel, innovative and/or inventive about the proposed project?
- How does the proposed project build upon KU’s existing work and resources in this area rather than duplicate them?
- What are the metrics and outcomes that will signal success of the project?
- If applicable, how does the proposed project involve students and/or collaborations with colleagues at other universities, nonprofit organizations or industry partners?
- PI Biosketch (2 pages per PI; if co-PIs, submit for each)
Similar to the ones for major federal funding agencies, the biosketch should demonstrate current research strength and capacity in the proposed area. It must include professional preparation; current and past positions/appointments; a list of up to 5 most recent publications and/or other outcomes (exhibitions, films, grant proposals for a nonprofit, etc.) closely related to the proposed area; if applicable, a list of applications to externally funded sponsored awards in the last 5 years, including those that are currently awarded or pending (with information about sponsor, duration, budget amount and role of individual); collaborative and/or community-engaged research activities, and other relevant research achievements.
Examples of biosketches:
- Budget (on the provided template)
Budgets may include funds to cover:
- KU investigator(s) salaries and fringes (not to exceed 2 weeks of salary per investigator)
- KU staff salary and fringe
- Summer salary and fringe for KU students, plus minimal summer tuition costs
- Hourly payments for KU students who do not incur tuition costs
- Non-conference travel (conference travel is not allowed)
- Materials and supplies
- Small equipment (not to exceed a cost of $5,000)
- Collaborative activity on the KU campus
- Subrecipient agreements
- Spring/fall tuition
- Indirect costs
- Cost share. Contributions from other units are, of course, welcome. Although not required, other contributions should be mentioned in the narrative.
- Equipment over $5,000
- Budget Narrative
Describe and justify overall budget plan, planned expenditures and timing of expenditures.
All proposals will be reviewed following the Nov. 1, 2022 deadline by the review committee. Funding recommendations will be provided to the Vice Chancellor for Research for review and final approval within 6 weeks of the application deadline.
Review criteria include:
- Merit and degree of novelty/innovation of proposed work
- Evidence of the PI(s)’ capacity to lead the proposed work
The review committee reserves the right to ask proposers to revise their proposals, and funding may be awarded for lesser amounts than requested.
The names of peer reviewers for KU's Racial Equity Awards are confidential. Committee members are selected based on their knowledge, skills and experiences, per the following criteria:
Preferred skills and experience
Peer reviewers must be:
- Faculty or academic staff on KU’s Lawrence-Edwards campus.
- Able to analyze grant proposals effectively against published submission and evaluation criteria.
- Able to express their evaluations in writing following established submission and evaluation guidelines.
- Interested/invested in the advancement of racial equity through research, scholarship and creative activity as demonstrated in administrative, philanthropic, community, scholarly and/or creative activity/record/service.
Racial Equity Award sponsors (Office of Research and Hall Center for the Humanities) are interested in potential peer reviewers with:
- Demonstrated history/experience in racial equity research, scholarship, creative activity, community engagement and/or community organizing.
- A diverse range of identities that includes representation of groups historically excluded from higher education.
- Scholarly experience representing a range of disciplines, including arts and humanities, social sciences and STEM.
- Reviewers are needed annually in late fall to evaluate proposals that arrive by the Nov. 1 deadline.
- Time commitment varies depending on the volume of applications and the number of proposals assigned to each reviewer. Reviewers will meet twice: once for an orientation that includes bias training and later to discuss proposals after scoring.
- In addition to scoring each proposal, reviewers must provide written comments for each proposal that speak to how they evaluated the level of the proposal and be willing to support their scores with evidence from the proposal. Reviewers must also be willing to listen to input from other reviewers, engage in discussion, and work to resolve discrepancies in scoring.
- At the present time, reviewers are not compensated monetarily for their service.
Detailed budget template instructions
The calculation cells of this budget template have been locked, and you will not be able to alter their contents. Cells highlighted in blue are unlocked and data can be entered on those cells. If you need to add budget lines or otherwise alter the budget template, please contact Nancy Biles for assistance.
- Enter the start date of your project in Cell B2.
- Choose the appropriate tuition rate type from the drop-down menu in Cell A5. If no GRAs are included in your budget, or if they will not be enrolled in the summer for which you are requesting student salary, you can skip this step.
- Enter the PI name in Cell B6.
- 5. and 6. Enter the names of any co-investigators in Cells B8, B10, B12, as applicable.
- Enter the name of non-co-I senior personnel in Cell B14 as applicable.
Principal Investigator (PI) – Enter the biweekly rate for the PI in Cell N7. Enter a percentage value in Cell J7. This represents the portion of salary requested for the PI. If requesting the full 2 weeks allowed, the percentage should be 100%
Co-Investigator (Co-I) or Non-Co-I Senior Personnel – Enter the biweekly rate for each co-I or senior person in Cells N9, N11, N13 and N15, as applicable. Enter a percentage value for each individual in Cells J9, J11, J13 and J15, as applicable. This represents the portion of salary requested. If requesting the full 2 weeks allowed, the percentage should be 100%
The total salary amount requested for senior personnel (PI, co-Is and other senior personnel) will populate in Cell R16.
Postdoctoral Associate – If requesting salary for a postdoc, enter the name of the postdoc in Cell E19. Enter the FTE for the postdoc in Cell I19. Enter the number of biweeks of salary requested in Cell J19. Do not exceed 26. Enter the postdoc’s biweekly rate in Cell N19.
Technician – If requesting salary for a technician, enter the name of the technician in Cell E21. Enter the FTE for the technician in Cell I21.Enter the number of biweeks of salary requested in Cell J21. Do not exceed 26. Enter the technician’s biweekly rate in Cell N21.
Graduate Student (GRA) – Graduate students who are doing work that is related to their degree program should be categorized as GRAs. If requesting summer salary for a graduate research assistant(s), enter the number of students in Cell H24. Enter the FTE for the GRA in Cell I24. Enter the number of biweeks in Cell J24. Enter the biweekly rate for the GRA in Cell N24. The minimum biweekly rate for a GRA is $954.
Undergraduate Student or Hourly Graduate Student (GA) – Graduate students who are doing work that is not related to their degree program can be categorized as GAs. Enter the number of undergraduate students or GAs in Cell H26. Enter the number of hours per student in Cell L26. Enter the hourly rate in Cell N26.
Other personnel – Enter the name of other personnel who do not fit into the categories above into Cell E30. Enter the number of biweeks of salary requested in Cell J30. Do not exceed 26. Enter the biweekly rate for other personnel in Cell N30. The total salary amount requested for other personnel will populate in Cell R31. Total salaries and wages for all personnel will populate in Cell R32.
Fringe benefits will be calculated based on standard rates for each type of appointment. All of the cells in the fringe benefits section are locked. The total amount of fringe benefits will populate in Cell R38.
Travel costs should be budgeted using the Travel Worksheet tab at the bottom of the budget spreadsheet. Do not enter data directly into the Travel section of the budget spreadsheet.
Click on the Travel Worksheet tab.
For trips requiring airfare, use travel table (a). For regional travel using a personal car, use travel table (b).
Travel Table (a) – Enter the number of persons traveling in Cell F19. Enter the number of trips in Cell H19. Enter the number of travel days/trip in Cell J20. Review the rates for airfare (Cell L20), meal per diem (Cell L21), lodging (Cell L22), and car rental (Cell L23) and adjust as needed depending on your destination. You can access allowable per diem and lodging rates for your destination city using the widget at the US General Services Administration website. Travelers requesting a lower per diem rate than the approved rate for their location must complete a per diem exception form before travel.
Travel Table (b) – Enter the number of persons traveling in Cell F31. Enter the number of trips in Cell H31. Enter the number of miles per trip in Cell I31. Enter the number of travel days per trip in Cell J31. If returning home on the same day, do not enter anything into Cell J31. Review the rates for meal per diem (Cell L33) and lodging (Cell L34) and adjust as needed depending on your destination. You can access allowable per diem and lodging rates for your destination city using the widget at the US General Services Administration website. Travelers requesting a lower per diem rate than the approved rate for their location must complete a per diem exception form before travel.
When you click back to the Year 1 tab, the total travel request will populate in Cell R47.
Participant Support Costs
This section is only for non-employee, non-student participants in training. Incentive payments to human subjects should not be included here. They should be entered as Other Direct Costs. Many proposals will not include any participant support costs.
Enter the number of participants in Cell E53. Enter the stipend amount per participant in Cell N49. Enter the stipend amount per participant in Cell N50. Enter the subsistence amount per participant in Cell N51. Enter the other costs per participant in Cell N52. Total participant support costs will populate in Cell R54.
Other Direct Costs
The descriptions in Cells E56, E57, E58, E59, F67 and F68 have been included as common types of project expenses. They can be revised to accommodate other types of expenses that may apply to your project, including incentive payments for human subjects or usage fees for KU service labs, for example.
Research materials and supplies – Equipment purchases of $5,000 or above unit price are not allowed. Costs for other materials and supplies should be entered in Cell R56.
Publications – Includes publication costs for electronic and print media to disseminate results.
Consultant Services – KU employees are not allowed to serve as consultants on sponsored projects. They must be paid through the payroll system at their current rate of pay. If you are requesting salary for KU employees for this project, they should be included in the Senior Personnel section above.
Tuition – If requesting tuition for GRAs, enter the number of GRAs to receive tuition in Cell N66. Summer tuition rates will be populated in Cell H65 based on the tuition rate schedule you selected in Cell A5. This rate will be multiplied by the number of GRAs specified in Cell N66, and the total tuition amount will be populated in Cell P66.
Total other direct costs will populate in Cell R73.
The total budget amount will populate in Cell R74.
Project reporting expectations for awardees
Awardees will communicate any project developments, challenges and/or achievements — such as evidence of positive changes for the community or in relevant public policy, publications, external grant applications, invention disclosures, patents or patent applications, conference presentations, creative work, press releases, licenses, etc. — to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, and for up to three years beyond the initial funding period, so that they can be disseminated through KU Research and KU News. Any publications (or other “products”) arising from this request for proposals should acknowledge that it was "Made possible through support from the KU Racial Equity Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Fund."
- A final report will be submitted to email@example.com within 60 days of the project end date. The report must:
- Summarize the extent to which original proposal goals and objectives have been achieved, highlighting metrics for measuring project success as included in the proposal.
- Highlight any other significant achievements and outcomes.
- Address plans for future work.
- Awardees must follow all KU Office of Research policies and procedures, including research compliances.
- No extensions of project end dates will be approved, except where exceptional circumstances substantially impeded progress on the work proposed. Unused funds will be retained by the Office of Research to support future Racial Equity Fund competitions.
- Rebudgets over 10% of total award amount must be approved by the Office of Research. Any rebudgeting must still adhere to the budget requirements above.