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Internal Support and Seed Funding

Internal Support and Seed Funding

The University of Oklahoma provides several avenues for internal support and seed funding, both within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) and across campus. The dropdown tabs include links to OVPRP supported programs, with program descriptions and links to program pages.  

The Big Idea Challenge (BIC)

The Big Idea Challenge at the University of Oklahoma encourages the formation of transdisciplinary, convergent research teams focused on solving global grand challenges. BIC is designed to help nucleate teams and ideas and create opportunities for new and significant external funding that will position OU as a national and global leader in the areas of inquiry proposed, charting new pathways to discoveries, innovations, and social and policy solutions, while training the next generation of future interdisciplinary talent.

Program Information

Strategic Equipment Investment Program (SEIP)

The Strategic Equipment Investment Program (SEIP) is administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships. Awards from the SEIP can be used to support the purchase of all types of equipment, ranging from scientific to creative arts. The SEIP provides funding on a competitive basis for the purchase of truly strategic equipment that will have significant impact on enhancing a team’s capabilities and competitiveness in research and/or creative activities at a national level. The expectation is that acquiring the proposed equipment will provide new opportunities for advancing the team’s ability to achieve new goals in terms of creativity, discovery, innovation, and securing external funding. 

Program Information

Significant Impact Research Grant Program

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) is inviting applications for a research stimulus program that is intended to incentivize and support lead Principal Investigators (PIs) in their efforts to prepare and submit significant impact, often large-scale, grant applications to a broad array of extramural funding agencies. In the context of this program, "significant impact" is defined as a complex innovative collaborative research or creative activities proposal focused on tackling the most challenging problems at a national scale, e.g., a center or institute type of proposal that helps builds capacity and reputation for the university.  The long-term benefits of successfully competing for such an external large-scale grant funding opportunity are expected to significantly advance OU's national reputation in one or more research or creative activity areas that align with the university's Lead On strategic plan.

To incentivize lead PIs to step forward and spearhead such efforts, the OVPRP will provide funds to cover a teaching release for the lead PI for one course in the semester of (or leading up to) the grant submission deadline. It is expected that release from teaching will allow the lead PI to devote the necessary time and effort in advance of the deadline to prepare a strong and highly competitive grant application. The OVPRP in conjunction with the Center of Faculty Excellence will work closely with the selected awardees in providing additional grant preparation and writing support. 

Program Information

Bridge Funding Investment Program

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) is inviting applications for a research investment program intended to support faculty with an established track record of extramural funding who experience or anticipate experiencing a temporary disruption of external funding that, without VPRP support, will have a substantial adverse impact on the long-term viability of their research program. The purpose of the Bridge Funding Investment Program (BFIP) is to ensure the continuation of research projects that have the highest likelihood of restoring external funding to Principal Investigators (PIs) and align with the Strategic Research Framework (PDF). By definition, the bridge funding must connect a previous (expired or soon to expire) grant award with a new expected grant award.

Program Information

Initiative for the Humanities and Arts in Society Seed Grant Program

The Initiative for the Humanities and Arts in Society (IHAS) Seed Grant Program aims to accelerate research and creative activity of tenured or tenure-track faculty on the OU Norman and Tulsa (Norman Campus programs) campuses in the humanities and arts through convergent and collaborative projects addressing the grand challenges. Some areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the medical humanities; ethics and technology; data and the definition of the human; disparities and security; and culture, energy, and environment.

Program Information

Faculty Recognition Investment Program

By offering modest financial incentives to faculty in recognition of their research accomplishments, our aim is to cultivate an environment that promotes research excellence and sustained growth. This incentive program aligns with the Lead On Strategic Plan (P1S1T4, P1S3T5, P5S1T1, P5S5T8) by encouraging cutting-edge discoveries and patents, as well as high impact publications, performances, and art, all of which contribute to the institution's reputation and standing in the global academic community. Ultimately, monetary incentives can serve as one of many strategic tools to attract and retain top-tier talent, thereby positioning the institution at the forefront of academic excellence and industry collaboration.

Program Information

Program description:

In support of the Provost and Graduate College’s policy to increase graduate stipends (PDF), effective July 1, 2024, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) is offering a transitional funding program that will assist Principal Investigators (PIs) to fill the gap in financial support of graduate research assistants appointed on externally funded research grants in Fiscal Year 2025, starting July 1, 2024, up to the new Provost’s minimum stipend level $27,276/year for STEM* or $22,560/year for all others.

*STEM rate applies to College of Engineering, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, College of Earth and Energy and College of Arts & Sciences School of Biological Sciences, Departments of Physics & Astronomy, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mathematics and Economics

**Note: Some colleges may have additional increases to the GRA minimum stipend levels; however, this OVPRP funding program will help fill the gap between current grant funded stipend levels and the new Provost’s minimum.

How to apply:

  1. Submit a statement (1 paragraph) describing the need (Statement of Need Template (DOCX)) and any mitigation efforts that have been or can be made, for example, rebudgeting, changing student appointments, etc.
  2. Download the Grad Support Request Table Template (XLSX) and fill out your grant information and graduate research assistant (GRA) support request for FY2025.

Submit your Statement of Need and Excel spreadsheet to with Subject Line:  PI (last name) GRA gap request FY25

FY25 program closing date: June 10, 2024 (the review of applications will begin June 11, 2024).

NOTE: Deadline is extended until June 24, 2024.

Questions?  Please send an email to


Will there be another opportunity to apply if I missed the June 10, 2024 (extended to June 24, 2024) closing date?

Yes, we will likely have a second round of application review in the late Fall of 2024.

Can I apply to this program again for FY26?

We would like to offer this in subsequent years of a multi-year grant award, however, it will be contingent upon availability of funds.

If I have multiple grant awards, how should I apply to this program?

Fill out the Statement of Need and list each grant award to you (as Lead PI) in the Excel GRA file.

Should fringe benefits be added to the Excel template?

No, just enter annual stipend amounts. Fringe benefits will be added by the OVPRP.

Does the Provost minimum stipend rate for STEM departments apply to the PI or student?

The stipend rates (STEM or all other departments) is based on the student’s department affiliation.

What if I have a new grant award starting in FY25 and I missed the June 10, 2024 deadline for gap funding?

Apply for VPRP gap funding when announced in the late Fall of 2024.

Faculty Investment Program (FIP)

The Faculty Investment Program provides funding on a competitive basis to develop and expand the scholarly, i.e., research and creative, activities of Norman campus faculty, including faculty associated with Norman campus programs at OU-Tulsa. Program Information

Junior Faculty Fellowship Program (JFF)
The Junior Faculty Fellowship Program is designed to help new tenure-track faculty members establish their research/creative activity and make progress to tenure by providing support in areas critical to the development of their programs. The awards can be used as summer (June and July) stipends to enable faculty members to carry out full-time research and scholarly activity during that period. However, the awards are not limited to summer stipends, and faculty members are urged to utilize the awards to provide maximum benefit to their research programs. This might include supplies, equipment, personnel, and travel. Program Information

Other Research Council Information

Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship Program (AHFF)

The purpose of the AHFF program, administered by the Arts and Humanities Forum, is to support dynamic and innovative research and creative activity projects proposed by regular faculty in the arts, fine arts, and humanities by providing them the opportunity to focus on a scholarly and/or creative activity that significantly transforms the faculty member’s research program and makes notable contributions to the field. Program Information

For information about other resources, please visit the Arts and Humanities Forum.

Research Publication Subvention Funding

The publication of faculty scholarship by academically respected presses, scholarly journals, and multimedia venues is among the most important and valuable contributions of a comprehensive research university. In some cases, following a rigorous peer review that recommends publication, subvention funding is required to meet the total costs of typesetting, printing, editing, translation, cover art, recording, mixing, and distribution, with costs typically ranging from $2,000-$6,000. Additionally, many publications require funding for page charges. More recently, open access publishing now encompasses journals, book chapters, and even monographs. Open access increases the visibility, readership, and impact of an author's works, democratizing access across all institutions, regardless of size or budget. Although access to users is free, the cost of such publication typically falls to the author or the associated institution in the form of fees and/or subsidies.

The Research Publication Subvention Funding program provides funding to help ensure that all peer-reviewed scholarly work produced at OU is formally published. The administration of this program is now within the University Libraries, as an addition to the existing open access program. For more information about program guidelines and the internal application process, contact Jessica Davila at

Norman Campus – Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP)


The Faculty Travel Assistance Program (FTAP), operated by the Norman campus Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, provides regular faculty (as defined in the Faculty Handbook Section 3.1.1) with funds to help defray the cost of domestic and international travel for professional meetings (e.g., to present a paper, organize and/or chair a session, networking) or to support the development of new or expanded research programs (e.g., by visiting with potential collaborators, agency, or other funding organization officials, or to conduct research). FTAP operates by reimbursing funds following approved travel requests by the OVPRP.

Procedures for Applying

NOTE:  We will now start reviewing FY25 Q1 applications as of July 1, 2024 for travel dates between 7/1/24-9/30/24.  When all Q1 funds have been met we will update you here that it is closed for the current quarter.

To request FTAP funds, faculty should submit the Request for Travel Funds form to; instructions are provided with the form as well. 

Last Revised: Summer 2023

In addition to internal support through the OVPRP, there are several internal funding programs across campus that may help in supporting your research endeavors. Some other internal resources to consider are those offered through the Office of the Senior Vice President & Provost, the Faculty Senate, and your individual college.