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VPRP/Faculty Senate COVID Relief Fund (CRF)

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VPRP/Faculty Senate COVID Relief Fund (CRF)

Program Overview

The VPRP/Faculty Senate COVID Relief Fund (CRF) is intended to offer research support to those faculty members whose research/scholarly and creative activities were severely and continually impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many scholars faced severe challenges during 2020-2022 due to illness, travel restrictions, interruption of sabbatical, care for children or other family members, or increased departmental duties in support of colleagues facing these challenges. The CRF program, to be administered through the Research Council, provides a one-time funding opportunity to assist faculty members in regaining their scholarly momentum.   

Eligibility and Award Limitations

Proposals for CRF must come from tenured/tenure-track/ranked renewable term faculty members. Priority will be given to faculty members who will be considered for tenure and/or promotion in the next two years and those who have not received other forms of internal funding during FY 2021 and/or FY 2022. 

Funding may be used for a course buyout, summer salary (only if the PI is not teaching in the summer), or other research-related expenses. Funds should be spent within twelve months of receiving the award. Course buyouts should be used in Spring 2023 or Fall 2023. 

Awards will be capped at $8,000. If you are applying for a course release and your department/college requires funding at a greater level, we ask that you request they accept the funds offered here as sufficient payment.  

The Application Process

A complete application consists of:

  • Statement of Recent Work, one to two pages. The researcher should explain their most significant work during the three years pre-COVID (work completed or in progress during 2017-2019). This statement is intended to convey the quality and trajectory of your research and creative activities prior to the pandemic. The researcher may mention work that has not yet appeared in published format, but at least some of the work should have appeared in high-quality publications or exhibition/performance.  
  • COVID Impact Statement, one page maximum. The researcher should briefly explain the pandemic’s specific impact on their scholarly/creative program.  In what ways were you held back? The COVID Impact Statement can be the statement you used for your annual evaluation in 2021, if you wish.
  • Proposed activity, one page maximum. Briefly explain how the CRF fund will be spent (e.g., course buyout, travel, supplies, summer salary, etc.) and the results you anticipate from the proposed activity. 
  • Budget and budget justification, one page maximum. Funds should be spent within twelve months of receiving the award (or the end of Fall 2023 if it is a course buyout).
  • If requesting a course buyout, download and complete the CRF Teaching Release Form.
  • List of current (active) and pending internal and/or external grant proposals.

The application should be submitted as a single PDF. Questions about this program should be directed to Ying Wang (, Chair of the Research Council.

Budgeting and Available Resources

The total budget for this CRF program is $50,000. We anticipate funding 7-10 awards.  

Evaluation Criteria

The proposals will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Research Council in collaboration with the Faculty Senate. The proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Significance and impact, and momentum of research/creative activity pre-COVID
  • Scope of the impact that the pandemic had on scholarly work
  • Quality of plan for funds, and the potential for recovered momentum

Proposed Timeline for COVID Relief Fund

  • Oct. 13, 2022: Applications are due
  • Oct. 28, 2022: Completion of internal peer review
  • Nov. 1, 2022: Award notification
  • Nov. 7, 2022: Earliest start date 

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