Guidelines for University Research Institute (URI) Proposals 2017-2018

Members of The University of Texas at El Paso Faculty are invited to submit research proposals for funding by the University Research Institute (URI).

The Texas State Legislature appropriates funds each biennium for the support of research on each campus of the University System. This appropriation is independent of and in addition to funds provided by national, state and private agencies in support of University research. However, this is intended to assist in the generation of outside funding through the support it offers to pilot projects, institutional resources and individual researchers. The president of each institution then allocates that money to individuals and offices on campus which engage in or support faculty research.

Recommendations for URI awards are made to the Vice Provost for Research by the Faculty Senate Research Committee. This Senate committee, whose membership is composed of faculty from each college, solicits applications for funding from faculty members, reviews proposals submitted, and recommends projects for funding to the Vice Provost for Research. The committee recommends funding for those proposals that:
  1. Assist in the professional development of new junior faculty members.
  2. Assist in the development of research programs that will attract external sources of funds.
  3. Make maximum use of resources and facilities available within this institution.

Within 2 months of completion of the research project, i.e. prior to 5.00 PM, October 1, 2018, a report must be submitted to by the grantee. This report should contain an executive style summary of the key research findings; list of any publications and presentations stemming from the research conducted; list of proposals submitted (or in progress); a statement of personnel development; and any other details that can be used to evaluate the utility of the funds provided. If such an appropriate report is not forthcoming, this absence will jeopardize future funding for the Grantee’s home department.

URI proposal applications must be submitted on or before 5 pm, Thursday, November 30, 2017. Proposals should be submitted as a single, merged PDF document to Incomplete proposals will not be reviewed.

Awarding Period
The funding period will cover the single prevailing fiscal year and the proposed budget must reflect that one budgetary period. The overall budget period will be from January 17, 2018 to August 31, 2018.

Faculty Status
Since the URI grants are intended to produce long-term benefits for the University, as well as for the individual researcher, awards will be made only to individuals in full-time positions for which research productivity is an expected outcome. Such positions include tenured and tenure-track positions as well as Research Assistant Professors, Clinical Professors, etc. Applicants that are not tenured or tenure-track must provide evidence (such as a letter from their Chair or Director) verifying the requirement of research to fulfill the duties of their position.

The Faculty Senate Research Committee gives priority to those high quality proposals submitted by new junior faculty members and to projects with potential for extramural funding. Proposals should include a statement of future plans to attract outside funding. Only one proposal from a faculty member as Principal Investigator will be considered in any funding cycle. Principal Investigator(s) who receive a URI grant must wait two years after completion of the grant before another proposal will be considered; however, documentation of productivity accomplished with the previously awarded URI must be provided.

Use of Existing Resources
The researcher should be careful to insure that he/she is not requesting equipment or materials which are already available on campus. No funds will be provided for computer time.

Funds from the URI cannot be used for faculty summer salaries but can be requested for the support of graduate or undergraduate students if the success of the proposed project is dependent on student salary support. The URI is a state-funded program; thus, URI funds cannot be used for fringe benefits (including health insurance) to supplement student salaries.

Project Goals
Each proposal must define the proposed research, contain clearly stated goals and demonstrate that the goals can be reached with the funds requested. The expected results of this research (devices, patents, publications, further proposals, etc.) must be clearly stated.

It is the applicant's responsibility to present the committee with a clear, consistent, and comprehensive proposal. Since the committee is composed of members representing all six colleges, the applicant must address the proposal to a lay audience, which may not be at all knowledgeable of the applicant's field. It is to the applicant’s advantage if the proposal is written in layman terms.

The committee makes no moral or political judgments upon proposed projects. It is expected, however, that a researcher will have thoroughly investigated the legal ramifications of the intended research before he/she submits a proposal to the committee. The proposal must not entail any potential violation of either civil or criminal law. Proposals for research with third parties must contain appropriate certification, permission, or commitment documents, and include IRB or IACUC approval as necessary. The IRB or IACUC approval can be obtained after the project is funded; however, it must be submitted prior to release of funds to the investigator.

The URI [Faculty Senate Research Committee] will fund only expenses clearly described and justified in the research proposal. The University can award a limited number of these proposals with the funds available. Thus, URI awards for individual projects must not exceed $5,000. However, the Faculty Senate Research Committee may make budgetary adjustments if deemed necessary.

The URI [Faculty Senate Research Committee] will not fund the following:
  • travel to professional or scholarly meetings
  • foreign travel
  • faculty summer salary
  • personal computers
  • entertainment expenses (food, drinks, etc.)
  • participant support/payments (stipends, surveys)
The URI [Faculty Senate Research Committee] will fund the following if clearly justified as required for success of the proposed work:
  • travel to research sites
  • proposals for equipment only
  • consultants
  • student salaries
  • research computers
Funds for foreign travel are not available through URI because of state policy. Travel funds to foreign sites must be obtained through other mechanisms. Travel to Mexico or Canada is considered the equivalent of domestic travel when using state funds.

[updated: 08-15-17]
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