Introduction + program goals
The KU Research Grant Opportunity (KU Research GO) program is a KU Office of Research-funded program dedicated to providing strategic research investment at the University of Kansas. KU investigators bring the university’s research mission to life and contribute to the health and economic vitality of the state and region through cutting-edge research, experiential opportunities for students, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and dynamic entrepreneurial activities. KU Research GO aims to expand the university’s research enterprise by supporting work needed to prepare competitive proposals for external funding opportunities with application deadlines in the near future. The 2024 KU Research GO funding cycle will be conducted in a single round with a proposal deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. The Office of Research has set aside $250,000 for this strategic reinvestment.
Please note that the Kansas Consortium Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence, based at KU, is offering awards through a similarly structured program to support national security research.
Eligibility, submission + review details
- Any member of the KU-Lawrence research community (research faculty and staff, including postdoctoral fellows) may submit a proposal.
- Proposal must be related to a planned submission to an externally sponsored funding opportunity within 3 to 12 months after the Jan. 24, 2024 deadline.
- The externally sponsored opportunity should be clearly identified and the external funds that will be sought should substantially exceed the amount of the internal budget request.
- Proposed project duration must be 12 months or less.
- Budget requests of up to $30,000 will be considered.
- Incomplete or late applications may not receive full review and consideration.
- Resubmissions will not receive high priority in the review process
Proposals must be submitted as a SINGLE PDF (including the budget template provided below) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 24, 2024.
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
- External funding opportunity that will be sought in conjunction with this proposal
- Narrative (2-3 pages, including references)
Provide an overview of the scope of work, including answers to the questions:
- How does the proposed work strengthen KU’s mission in terms of research, service, instruction, and/or economic development?
- How does the proposal enable growth in external sponsored program activities in this area?
- What is KU’s existing research strength in this area?
- What are the metrics for measuring the success of the project?
- How does the proposal support the application to an externally funded sponsored research proposal?
- 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
- Clearly justified participant incentives for the purpose of gathering preliminary data to build a stronger external proposal submission
- 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.
Please note that the purpose of Research GO is not to pay salary for proposal writing, but to assist in situating you to be more successful in your external funding application. If you need assistance covering you salary, you may be interested in the Proposal Preparation Fund.
All proposals will be reviewed following the Jan. 24 deadline by a faculty committee. Funding recommendations will be provided to the Vice Chancellor for Research for review and final approval within 60 days of the application deadline. Review criteria include:
- merit of proposed work
- external funding opportunity that will be pursued and how the internal funding will help pursue it
- feasibility of a successful submission for funding within the time frame of the proposal
- PI(s)’ research record.
The review committee reserves the right to ask proposers to revise their proposals, and funding may be awarded for lesser amounts than requested. Notification will be made within four weeks after the submission deadline.
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, you can skip this step.
- Enter the PI name in Cell B6
- 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 personnel 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 number of bi-weeks 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 number of bi-weeks 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 # of bi-weeks in Cell J24. Enter the biweekly rate for the GRA in Cell N24. Recommended minimum biweekly rate for a GRA is $1,908. This can be adjusted upward based on your departmental guidelines.
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 bi-weeks 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 R37.
Travel costs for KU personnel 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. Travel for participants should be included on the travel line under participant support costs (N49). Travel for external consultants should be included on the consultant services line (P58) under other direct costs.
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 U.S. 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 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 U.S. 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 R46.
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 E52. Enter the stipend amount per participant in Cell N48. Enter the travel amount per participant in Cell N49. Enter the subsistence amount per participant in Cell N50. Enter the other costs per participant in Cell N51. Total participant support costs will populate in Cell R53.
Other direct costs
The descriptions in Cells E55, E56, E57, E58 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. Additional categories can be included in Cells E66 and E67.
Research materials & supplies — Equipment purchases of $5,000 or above unit price are not allowed. Costs for other materials & supplies should be entered in Cell P55.
Publications — Includes publication costs in Cell P56 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. Payment to external consultants as well as any travel costs for external consultants can be included in Cell P57.
Tuition — Summer tuition will be calculated for GRAs based on the tuition rate schedule you selected in Cell A5 and the number of GRAs specified in Cell H24. The amount will populate in Cell P65.
Total other direct costs will populate in Cell R71.
The total budget amount will populate in Cell R73.
Project requirements + reporting expectations for awardees
- PIs must submit a final report within 90 days of project end date to email@example.com.
The report must:
- summarize the extent to which original proposal goals and objectives have been achieved, highlighting the metrics for measuring the success of the project as included in the proposal
- detail application/submission timeline for the external opportunity/opportunities
- Final reports are due June 30, 2025.
- All KU Office of Research policies and procedures, including research compliances, must be followed.
- 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 KU Research GO competitions.
- Rebudgets over 10% of total award amount must be approved by an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Any rebudgeting must still adhere to the budget requirements above.