To Apply  |   Philosophy and Purpose of Funding   |   Eligibility   |   Joint Proposals    |  Proposal Review and Criteria for Evaluation   |   Review Criteria   |   Application Process   |   Proposal Format   |   Acknowledgments for Publication   |   Final Report  |  Budget Guidelines  |

 

 Research Funding Guidelines

To Apply

The Women + Girls Research Alliance Research Committee (Alliance Research Committee) is soliciting proposals for the 2014-2015 program. Each individual project may have a maximum budget of ($6,000), including a stipend of up to ($3,000) per faculty member.  Faculty submitting joint proposals may request up to $12,000 ($6,000 per faculty member; maximum stipend of $3,000 each).

The deadline for submissions is 5:00 PM on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Faculty should email an electronic copy (in PDF format) to cacorrel@uncc.edu with an email copy to your department chair and dean. Name your file in the following manner: Last name_first name. Joint proposals should use the last names of both faculty members.  The subject line of the email message should read “WGRA Research Proposal.

Funds from these programs may be used for research expenses, but not for the following:

  • Academic-year release time or reduced teaching loads.
  • Research that informs curriculum or teaching or retention at the local (course, department, college, University) level. The Alliance will not consider these proposals, and they will be returned without review. 
  • Preparation of textbooks or other manuscripts with a primarily pedagogical purpose.
  • Projects conducted primarily to produce financial reward for the investigator.
  • Production costs for books or other manuscripts, including manuscript preparation or copyediting, page charges and illustrations.
  • Travel to conferences for disseminating research results.
  • Computers (expected through departmental funds).
  • Professional transcription services.

The Women + Girls Research Alliance will consider only those proposals that adhere strictly to the following guidelines, procedures, and deadlines.  Proposals that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned without review.  Questions about the suitability of a proposal may be directed to Suzanne Leland, sleland@uncc.edu.

Philosophy and Purpose of Funding

Alliance research serves as the foundation of the Biennial Summit of the Women + Girls Research Alliance; and is used to promote public dialogue, inform public policy and programmatic priorities and is focused in exploring novel aspects of the social and economic wellbeing of women and girls in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Our focus areas include:

  • Education, employment and economic change
  • Civic and political engagement
  • Poverty and income security
  • Health and safety
  • Work and family

Research proposals should include the following outcomes:

1) Examination of topic addressing differences in socio-economic, ethnic, family structure and sexual orientation, where present

2) Utilization of qualitative and quantitative data

3) Evaluation of existing policies and/or programs

4) Examination of local, state or national models addressing similar issues

5) Identification of policy and/or programming priorities

 

Support by the Alliance of a project does not constitute a grant and should be considered the basis of a collaborative agreement between the Alliance and funding recipient(s). An expectation of funding is that recipients will participate in disseminations activities, including, but not limited to the Biennial Summit of the Women + Girls Research Alliance, and will produce a written report and a PowerPoint presentation for the project to be used by the Women + Girls Research Alliance.

Funding decisions will be based strictly on the merit of the proposal submitted; however, because funds are limited, the Women + Girls Research Alliance cannot fund all meritorious proposals.

The objective of the Women + Girls Research Alliance research support programs is to promote research at this institution on the social and economic wellbeing of women and girls. Therefore, an individual who leaves employment at UNC Charlotte by that action immediately forfeits any claim to funding under this research program. This means, for example, that a faculty member who resigns from UNC Charlotte effective the next fall semester is automatically declining any offer of research support, including the faculty stipend.

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Eligibility

The Women + Girls Research Alliance Research funding program is available to all full-time faculty with the title of Assistant Professor or higher whose job description includes professional expectations for research. In addition to tenure-track faculty, this includes Atkins Library faculty and faculty on research or clinical appointments.

A recipient may hold funding for only one (1) Alliance Research Project during any single award period. That is, if you are awarded funding one year, you may not apply the following year. For example:

In Spring 2014, you are awarded funding for 2014-2015
In Spring 2015, you are not eligible to apply for 2015-2016
In Spring 2016, you may apply for funding for 2016-2017

Faculty members are eligible with either 9-month or 12-month appointments. (Faculty with 12-month appointments may not receive faculty stipends; however, they may still apply for the entire $6,000.) Members of the Alliance Research Committee are eligible to apply; however, they neither rank nor participate in the discussion of their proposals.

EPA staff, lecturers, visiting professors, adjunct professors, postdoctoral associates, and faculty on phased retirement are NOT eligible to apply. Faculty with active Alliance Research funding who enter phased retirement must give up the remaining funds.

A faculty member may participate in only one proposal for the Alliance Research program during a funding cycle.

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Joint Proposals

Joint proposals prepared by two faculty members are allowed. Joint requests should be submitted in one proposal. The Project Description may be increased by one page for joint proposals, and the extra page must be used to justify the need for collaboration. If you are submitting a proposal with two researchers, you must show clearly how the expertise of each researcher is needed in order to conduct the research. Each faculty member on a joint proposal may ask for up to $6,000; therefore, two faculty members as co-PIs on one proposal may receive $12,000. The co-PIs will produce a joint budget request form.

Proposal Review and Criteria for Evaluation

Proposals are evaluated by the Alliance Research Committee, which consists of members selected by the Chair of the Research Committee and the Co-Director of the Women + Girls Research Alliance, with the Director of Proposal Development as an ex-officio, non-voting member.  Where appropriate the research committee will be supplemented by ad hoc members with expertise in the appropriate disciplines (Social Sciences, Business, Health and Education). Ad hoc committee members will be appointed to one-year terms and will be full members of the Alliance Research Committee for purposes of reviewing proposals only. Ad hoc members will not participate in policy decisions. Each committee member will evaluate proposals in the context of disciplinary expectations using the Alliance Research criteria. Committee recommendations are forwarded to the Co-Director of the Women + Girls Research Alliance.

The Alliance Research Committee will strongly consider the researcher’s publication record for work supported by past grants. Awards duplicated by outside granting agencies will be returned to the Women + Girls Research Alliance research fund.

The review committee will send written feedback to each applicant.

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Review Criteria

Applicants are urged to write their proposal with non-experts in mind. Because the committee is comprised of faculty from across the curriculum, the best proposals are those that are easily understood by faculty outside the applicant’s discipline. The review committees will be constituted along broad disciplinary lines, and you cannot assume that someone from your exact discipline or sub-discipline will be on the committee. Proposals will be evaluated by the Alliance Research Committee using the following criteria:

  • Has the author documented the significance of the project?
  • Has the applicant placed the research in context with the existing scholarship or other works of this nature?
  • Are the proposed activities related well to a specific question, problem, or hypothesis?
  • Does the applicant show sufficient familiarity with recent developments in the field and/or provide a context for his or her research?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate his or her ability to carry out the project?
  • Does the applicant clearly explain the (appropriate) process and/or methodology?
  • Are the project goals and design clearly and adequately stated?
  • Does the proposal research relate to the applicant’s previous work and is it clearly explained? Or does it represent a new research agenda that is clearly explained?
  • Is the proposal intelligible to an audience outside the proposer’s research discipline?
  • Is the budget cost-effective?
  • Can this project serve as a catalyst for further research, suitable for external funding?

Application Process

2014-15 WOMEN + GIRLS RESEARCH ALLIANCE  Application Forms.

  • Download the RFP, and sign and submit it with your proposal.
  • Prepare proposals according to the guidelines in this document. Proposals that do not conform to the guidelines will be returned without review.
  • Email your proposal before 5:00 PM on Thursday, May 1, 2014, using a SINGLE PDF FILE ATTACHMENT to cacorrel@uncc.edu  with an email copy to the department chair and dean.
  • Name your file in the following manner: Last name_first name. Joint proposals should use the last name of both faculty members. The subject line of the email message should read “WGRA Research Proposal “
  • Do not send more than one version of your proposal. The Women + Girls Research Alliance will process the first proposal received and ignore subsequent proposals.

If you have questions about this process, contact Carol Correll at cacorrel@uncc.edu or (704) 687-1309.

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Proposal Format

The proposal should be prepared in a word processing program and submitted via email as a SINGLE FILE ATTACHMENT in PDF format.  Each proposal should include the following components in the order listed.  These items constitute a complete application.  If any item is missing, the application will be considered incomplete and will be returned without review.

The components in 1 through 6 below should be MERGED INTO A SINGLE FILE submission via email. Appendices are not allowed.

  1. A completed application face page.
  2. A Project Description with the following sections:

a.   An Introduction that is clearly written and understandable to a person outside the applicant’s discipline. The ad hoc review committees will be constituted along broad disciplinary lines, and you cannot assume that someone from your exact discipline or sub-discipline will be on the committee. 

b.   The Significance of the project. Because the committee members come from many disciplines, they must be able to understand the context in which your research is situated. You should explain how your project relates to current developments in your field and/or how the project builds on previous work you have done.

c.   The Objectives of the proposed activity.

d.   The Methods or Steps to achieve the objectives.

e.   The Method of Dissemination of completed activities.

f.   Works cited/ References (limited to one page)

The Project Description is restricted to six pages.  Pages should have 1” margins and use 12-pt. type. Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than three lines of text per vertical inch. Sections a-e are limited to five double-spaced pages, and section f is limited to one page. The works cited/references page (section f) may be single spaced, and you may use 11-pt type. In the case of a joint proposal, the Project Description may be increased by one page, which must be used to justify the need for collaboration and explain how the expertise of each faculty member is necessary to the project.  Proposals that do not adhere to these formatting restrictions will be returned without review.

  1. A detailed budget request and justification.
  2. A brief biographical sketch. Joint proposals should include one biosketch for each investigator. Please note the two-page limit. An 11-point type size is acceptable for this section. 
  3. In one page, provide a description of your efforts to secure external funding for research (including development, training, evaluation, etc.) during the last five years by listing each proposal during that period, including the date, title, agency and whether you were the PI or a co-PI. Indicate the amount of the grant and if it was approved, funded, or is currently under review. Include a description of your plans to seek external funding in the next two years, either related to this proposal or in another area. If your history of proposal activity will not fit on one page, please limit your description to the last three years.  An 11-point type size is acceptable for this section. Joint proposals may use one page for each faculty member.
  4. A brief progress report for any previous funding received from the  Women + Girls Research Alliance. Joint proposals should provide this information for each investigator.

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Acknowledgments for Publication

Any research published that has received support from a UNC Charlotte Women + Girls Research Alliance Research Program should have a citation as follows:
 

This work was supported, in part, by funds provided by the Women + Girls Research Alliance, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Final Report Form

In addition to the project report and Power Point presentation, a final report following the suggested format (in Microsoft Word or PDF format) and summarizing the project funded by the Alliance Research Program should be sent to cacorrel@uncc.edu no later than two months after the end of your award period. Faculty who fail to submit a final report will be ineligible for future funding.

Budget Guidelines

UNC Charlotte’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 each year, and this award is state-funded and will cross two fiscal calendars. Because you cannot carry funds over from one fiscal year to the next, you should carefully consider how you allocate funds between Fiscal Year One and Fiscal Year Two.

Fiscal Year One funds will run from May 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014.  Fiscal Year Two funds will run from July 1, 2014 through December 30, 2015.  Funds must be expended by May 30, 2014, for Fiscal Year One budgets and December 30, 2015, for Fiscal Year Two budgets. The maximum stipend amount allowed by the Women + Girls Research Alliance program is $3,000 per faculty member. If your stipend in Year 1 is less than that amount, you may include funds that total up to that maximum in the second year.

Round all budget figures to the nearest dollar.

If you are submitting an individual Women + Girls Research Alliance proposal, the maximum amount of funding you may request is $6,000. For joint proposals, your total budget must not exceed $12,000 ($6,000 per PI). Faculty stipends on joint proposals are limited to a total of $6,000 ($3,000 per faculty member). PIs on joint proposals must produce one budget request document and designate one PI to receive the funds.

The Committee reserves the right to modify any budgetary requests that it considers unreasonable, unexplained, or not in keeping with the allowable expenses. The Committee may also reduce allocations to all funded proposals to accommodate the funding of a greater number of projects.

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Budget Documentation: A budget justification is required. You must include precise documentation for items such as travel and equipment. Describe how you arrived at your cost estimates. You may name the vendor you consulted, but do not attach quotations. If faculty from more than one department are involved, specify which department is the home department for budget purposes.

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Allowable Expenses: Allowable expenses include the following:

  • Stipends: Faculty with 12-month appointments may not receive faculty stipends (they may still apply for the entire $6,000.) For those faculty with 9-month appointments who receive a stipend, the stipend is treated as salary and subject to state and federal income tax, as well as social security tax and retirement deductions. You are not required to request a stipend, in which case you may still request up to the full $6,000.
  • Graduate Student Salaries: The Women + Girls Research Alliance Program is not intended to fund graduate assistantships (at either the master’s or doctorate level), and this program should not be construed to be a means of funding departmental assistantships. Applicants who propose paying more than 50% of the budget funds to student salaries should carefully explain how the graduate student’s work will advance the faculty member’s research agenda. Generally, graduate students are paid at a rate of $12 per hour. An investigator who proposes to pay a higher wage rate should justify this in the budget justification. All investigators who propose hiring students should specify what duties the students will carry out.
  • Special Pay to Faculty other than Grantee: Fees for normal peer consultations will not be paid to UNC Charlotte faculty. Budgets may include resources allocated to UNC Charlotte faculty other than the proposers, but such allocations must be specifically justified and are subject to special scrutiny by the Committee. Such allocations must be justified in terms of “specialized expertise.” In each case, you must identify the UNC Charlotte faculty member(s) who will provide the service and attach to the proposal a statement of his/her ability and agreement to provide the service, along with documentation of how the service will be provided and how it differs from the normal scope of peer consultation.
  • Non-Student Temporary Wages: If you employ someone who is not currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte, including a recent graduate, that employment assignment is subject to policies relating to non-student temporary wage employment (PIM-8). Hourly pay rates are determined by the type of work performed and the candidate's experience, based on the current N.C. state grade and salary schedule. Non-student temporary wage employees are typically paid at the minimum of the grade level considered by Human Resources to best match the level of the duties performed. A rate above the minimum of the salary grade level may be approved providing the rate is justified, does not create salary inequity with other current employees doing similar work, and the candidate qualifies for the rate requested. Investigators needing assistance on estimating hourly rates for temporary employees should contact the staff employment manager in Human Resources.
  • Student Temporary Wages (Graduate or Undergraduate): Funding for undergraduate student support is allowed only to the extent that student participation is central to the proposed project. Applicants who propose paying more than 50% of the budget funds to student salaries should carefully explain how the student’s work will advance the faculty member’s research agenda. Applicants are encouraged to provide an exact hourly rate for all student help. Generally, undergraduate students are paid at a rate of $7.25 per hour (these rates may change from year to year). An investigator who proposes to pay a higher wage rate should justify this, as well as the amount of student time required, in the budget. All investigators who propose hiring students should specify what duties the students will carry out.
  • Honoraria: Consultants may also be included, if justified and if the expertise is not available at UNC Charlotte.
  • Supplies and materials.
  • Travel: Women + Girls Research Alliance will fund foreign and/or domestic travel, to libraries, archives, museums, laboratories, computer facilities, natural settings, government agencies, corporations, etc. that are essential to the research. Women +Girls Research Alliance does not fund travel to conferences to disseminate the results of your research.

You must fully justify the need for travel and explain what materials and/or facilities you will use, and you should document travel expenditures as completely as possible with price quotations from specific vendors. Airfares must be tourist class, with every effort made to obtain the most economical rates. Mileage and subsistence expenses are normally allowed up to the state guidelines for in-state and out-of-state travel; requests for subsistence expenses in excess of these limits must be fully documented.

  • Communication.
  • Printing and photocopying.
  • Computing Equipment: This program funds project-specific software, but does not fund computer equipment (that is the responsibility of your department). If you propose to develop a computer software package, you must document that similar software is not already available in the public domain (contact Information and Technology Services at (704) 687-5500).
  • Educational Equipment: required for the proposed project. Equipment purchased with Women + Girls Research Alliance funds belongs to the Women + Girls Research Alliance.
  • Other Contracted Services: e.g., payments to the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute or Conference Services.
  • Participant Incentives: for payments to human subjects.

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Funds from the Women + Girls Research Alliance Program may not be used for the following:

  • Academic-year release time or reduced teaching loads.
  • Research that informs curriculum or teaching or retention at the local (course, department, college, University) level. The Women + Girls Research Alliance will not consider these proposals, and they will be returned without review. 
  • Preparation of textbooks or other manuscripts with a primarily pedagogical purpose.
  • Projects conducted primarily to produce financial reward for the investigator.
  • Production costs for books or other manuscripts, including manuscript preparation or evaluation, copyediting, page charges and illustrations.
  • Travel to conferences for disseminating research results.
  • Computers (expected through departmental funds).
  • Professional transcription services.