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Faculty Investment Program

Faculty Investment Program (FIP)

The Faculty Investment Program (FIP), operated by the Norman Campus Research Council, provides funding on a competitive basis to develop and expand the scholarly, i.e., research and creative, activities of Norman campus researchers, including researchers associated with Norman campus programs at OU-Tulsa. FIP is designed to provide maximum flexibility in meeting faculty needs via strategic investment of funds with a high degree of expectation and accountability. Ultimately, FIP is expected to enhance the national and international reputation of the University of Oklahoma via excellence in scholarship.

FIP specifically seeks to assist researchers with the following:

  • Stimulating new areas of intellectual inquiry
  • Developing collaborations with other disciplines or redirecting scholarly research into new areas within a given discipline
  • Developing collaborations with other institutions, including private industry and major national centers and laboratories
  • Promoting scholarly outcomes via support for projects that lead to publication*, presentation, performance, and/or exhibition (*for support of publication costs alone, see Research Publication Subvention Funding)
  • Increasing the visibility, especially internationally, of OU scholarship
  • Supporting data collection and processing
  • Supporting activities that position a project to be competitive for external funding
  • Addressing issues to improve the competitiveness of a proposal for external funding that previously was rejected
  • Enhancing the educational mission of the university via the linking of research and teaching, particularly at the undergraduate level
  • Enhancing the educational mission of the university via the integration of research and teaching, particularly at the undergraduate level
  • Promoting development and/or innovative technologies and approaches in support of research, creative activity, and scholarship.

The goal of obtaining external funding is not a requirement. However, proposals requesting seed funding to develop projects that may lead to external funding, particularly if such projects involve multiple disciplines, are highly encouraged. This includes proposals from faculty in disciplines that traditionally may not have been perceived as having as many opportunities for seeking external funding, e.g., humanities and fine arts, though many such opportunities exist.

If you need funding by:Proposal Submission DeadlineResearch Council Review DatePI Notification of Review OutcomeFinal Report Due

If faculty need reviews of their written proposal narrative, the OU Writing Center is available to provide that assistance.

*Dates subject to change

** During the pre-review, the Research Council secretary will look for overt errors (i.e., missing signatures, budget errors, missing pages, blatant grammatical errors). If you would like to take advantage of the pre-review, the proposal must be submitted via the online link three business days prior to the proposal submission deadline.

Funds are provided for the personal research of tenured or tenure-track faculty of all ranks, as well as research faculty, ranked renewable term faculty, and permanent professional or technical staff members who hold the terminal degree appropriate to their discipline. Non-ranked renewable term and temporary faculty, instructors, lecturers, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, research personnel funded from external grants and contracts, postdoctoral researcher/associate/fellow, and students are not eligible for this particular program. Human Resources categories are used as the basis for eligibility. Proposals that request support for non-OU personnel, such as travel funds to bring a collaborator to campus, must provide a strong justification for the request in the budget section (see Proposal Preparation and Submission).

The maximum award under FIP is $15,000, and proposals are welcome in any amount up to the maximum. Matching funds from colleges and departments are not required for FIP. This is a reimbursement program. If funded, the OVPRP will reimburse the department for expenditures up to the award amount. The reimbursement will be made after the completion and approval of the Final Report. Faculty separating from the university subsequent to notification of an FIP award, but prior to beginning work, generally will not be allowed to proceed with the award. If an FIP-awardee separates from the university while performing FIP-funded research, s/he is strongly encouraged to complete the research prior to departing from the university and submit the final report so that the department can be reimbursed for expenses incurred.

Eligible individuals may receive no more than one award from FIP in a given fiscal year (1 July-30 June). However, proposals for new funding may be submitted during a fiscal year in which an award is active provided the requested funding begins in the subsequent fiscal year. Additionally, the Research Council may place additional limitations on new proposals. For example, if a proposal funded by the Council states as a goal the submission of a proposal to an external funding agency, the Council may require proof of submission before agreeing to consider a new FIP proposal. Eligible individuals may receive funding simultaneously from more than one Research Council or Vice President for Research and Partnerships program. However, such information must be disclosed for each funding request and clear and compelling arguments made as to why the requested funding does not duplicate funding already awarded. For example, a faculty member may receive funding from the Junior Faculty Fellowship, Faculty Travel, and Faculty Investment Programs simultaneously, provided no duplication of purpose exists.

If a faculty member would like to confirm eligibility prior to submitting a proposal to the Faculty Investment Program, they should contact Kate Mukomolov at Eligibility is determined using HR classifications of faculty positions as part of the “Regular Faculty” (section 3.1.1 of the Faculty Handbook; see also section 3.5.2 Appointments).

Proposal Content and Format

Proposals must use a font of 11 points or larger. Page margins should be 1” on all four sides. Line spacing must not be smaller than 1.5 lines.

A complete Faculty Investment Program proposal includes six required components and supplemental materials that may be required for certain projects.

1. Cover Sheet

The proposal cover sheet is available as a separate download. Complete the proposal cover sheet (PDF) form and obtain all required signatures. Incorporate a scanned copy of the signed form into the final proposal.

2. Project Description (limited to 6 pages, formatted as described above)

Keep in mind that your proposal will be read by a diverse group of faculty, many of whom will have little or no background in your field. One reviewer will have some knowledge in a discipline closely related to your own but will not be from your department or field of scholarship. Therefore, the project description should keep jargon and acronyms to a minimum.

To aid in the review process, the Project Description sections below should be clearly delineated in the proposal.

A. Intellectual Merit: Discuss the intrinsic intellectual significance, purpose, and value of the work being proposed in the context of the discipline(s) involved, showing clearly how the project will contribute to the existing body of knowledge and how it builds upon work conducted previously by the investigator or others.

B. Technical or Creative Approach: Describe the project’s methodology and corresponding analyses and provide other details of the work to be performed, e.g., procedures, productions, protocols, experiments, studies, observation, information and data collection, surveys, analyses, performances, practices, exhibitions, in a manner that will be accessible to faculty reviewers outside of the disciplines included in the proposal. Provide a timeline for the project (major milestones or decision points).

C. Outcome and Impact on the Field of Scholarship: Explain how the selected technical or creative approach will lead to a successful project. Clearly describe the project’s expected outcome(s). In addition, indicate how a successful outcome to the project will advance the field of scholarship, such as by adding to the knowledge base, developing new methodologies, or performing or displaying new works. Note that an outcome (e.g., publication of a book) is different from an impact (e.g., the book is expected to be used by certain organizations to broaden understanding of a particular subject). Where appropriate, highlight the originality of the outcome(s) and/or the significance of the impact.

D. Impact on Investigator's Scholarship: Place the project in context relative to the investigator’s previous scholarship and also future plans, i.e., the “trajectory” of the investigator’s career. Help reviewers understand where this project fits in your overall research/scholarship program. How does the project build upon previous work, and does it provide a foundation to move in new directions? Be specific. Will the project generate results that will be published in the peer-reviewed literature or used to make the investigator more competitive for external funding? Comment on how this funding from FIP will have a vital, positive impact on the success of your research program.

E. Qualifications and Collaborative History of the Investigator(s): Demonstrate that the investigator(s) is/are qualified to perform the work, and if appropriate, that a successful history of collaboration exists, especially for projects involving personnel at other institutions. Note: this section should supplement, not replace, the two-page CV and should highlight those accomplishments that enhance the project’s likelihood of success.

F. Rationale for Funding Request: Explain why funding is being sought from the Research Council in comparison to other available sources, and whether one or more proposals for the same or similar purpose have been submitted elsewhere. For faculty in their first one or two years of employment, if start-up funding was provided by the university, discuss the rationale for requesting Research Council funding rather than using start-up support.

3. References (no page limit)

Provide complete references for all work cited in the Project Description.

4. Budget and Budget Justification (maximum of two pages)

Include an itemized budget with a compelling narrative for how funds will be spent and why they are needed. Especially important is a direct linkage between budget items, e.g., funding for a student, and the project narrative, e.g., the collection and analysis of data by the student. If appropriate, provide supporting documentation such as quotes from vendors for purchases of equipment, etc. If the project seeks funding for specific individuals, e.g., a student having expertise, note why they in particular are required. The support can be used for any legitimate purpose associated with the project if justified in the proposal. Note that proposals must adhere to State of Oklahoma travel guidelines (PDF), teaching release policies (subject to approval by the chair/director and dean), student stipend rates, data collection practices, tuition, equipment, summer salary, and support for staff. Additional information regarding budgets and justification can be found in Budget & Justification Guidance.

5. Investigator and Co-Applicant Curriculum Vitae (limit 2 pages each)

Submit a two-page curriculum vitae for the applicant and each co-applicant (NSF versions are acceptable) that includes a list of the individual's undergraduate and graduate education and postdoctoral training, professional appointments, up to five publications, exhibits, or other works most closely related to the proposed project, and up to five other significant publications, exhibits or other works, whether or not related to the proposed project.

6. Funding History (limited to one page)

a) List all current (active) and pending (submitted, under review) internal and external funding with a statement of how this funding is or is not related to the proposed FIP project. If no relevant funding history exists, indicate this.

b) Provide a brief synopsis of accomplishments (outcomes and impacts) from the most recent project(s) funded by the Research Council, whether or not related to the current submission.

7. Supplementary Documentation (no page limit, but content limited to the items listed)

These items are project-specific, and not all proposals will include them.

  • If the project will involve human subjects, laboratory animals, rDNA and/or radioactive materials or biohazards, you must describe your plans to obtain necessary approval letters or other relevant documents by the time a Research Council award is expected to be made. The appropriate committees are: Human Subjects-Institutional Review Board; Laboratory Animals-Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Radioactive Materials-Radiation Safety Committee and the Biosafety Committee.
  • If the proposal seeks funding for teaching release, approval letters are required from both the department chair/director and the college dean at the time of proposal submission.
  • If the proposal requests support for an activity for which you have documentation, such as a book contract, or identifies matching or in-kind support, include a copy of the documentation in your proposal.
  • Applicants who believe reviewer comprehension of their proposal would be enhanced through the inclusion of audio files, video, images, and other material, e.g., art, complex figures, diagrams, illustrations, or other non-written expressions of content, may upload these files as supplementary documents to a written proposal following the guidelines above. Applicants may not use this supplementary document allowance to introduce additional ideas, concepts, or perspectives that are not included in the written proposal or circumvent the page limitations as part of the FIP guidelines.


Applicants are reminded that all Research Council members read, review, and vote on all FIP proposals, regardless of their expertise in the proposed research. Therefore, applicants should provide more detailed descriptions and justifications than might be needed for proposals reviewed by domain experts. For example, if a particular methodology is utilized for the proposed research because of disciplinary norms, this should be explained/rationalized to reviewers.

Proposal Submission

Submission of new proposals: Proposals to FIP must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file, using the online submission form found at the bottom of this section, by the 1st of the month (or the following Monday if the 1st falls on the weekend) and will be reviewed at the Council meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

Resubmission of Declined Proposals: A declined FIP proposal is limited to one resubmission. Letters for declined proposals will provide proposal review feedback. Each resubmission must include a cover letter (maximum of two pages) describing how each of the comments in the feedback letter has been addressed in the resubmitted proposal or via information provided in the cover letter. When information is written into the proposal, the cover letter should indicate the corresponding proposal page number.


The Research Council review will consider all of the following aspects of the proposal in making funding decisions:

  • Intellectual Merit
  • Technical or Creative Approach
  • Outcome and Impact on the Field of Scholarship
  • Impact on Investigator(s) Scholarship
  • Qualifications and Collaborative History of the Investigator(s)
  • Appropriateness of Budget and Justification of Resources Requested

Proposal review form (PDF)

The review of proposals submitted to the Research Council is an extremely important activity that is conducted with the highest standards of ethical integrity per Council policy. FIP proposals will be reviewed as follows:

  • Proposals that are incomplete or incorrectly formatted will be returned without review.
  • Proposals that are complete and meet the guidelines will be sent to the Chair of the Research Council to determine, based on information on the proposal cover sheet (PDF), whether any conflicts of interest exist between those submitting the proposal and members of the Council. All conflicted Council members must recuse themselves from participating in the review and will leave the room when the remaining Council members discuss and vote on the proposal.
  • Drawing from the remaining unconflicted Council members, the Council Chair will assign two individuals to serve as lead reviewers, one having expertise in a discipline closely related to the proposal. If the latter does not exist, two Council members will still serve as lead reviewers and the Council Chair, in consultation with the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, will identify an unconflicted OU faculty member, external to the Council and having expertise in a discipline closely related to the proposal, to serve as a reviewer. In this manner, all FIP proposals will be reviewed by an unconflicted individual having expertise in a discipline closely related to the proposal topic. If the Council Chair is conflicted, the Vice President for Research and Partnerships will assign reviewers.
  • The two Council lead reviewers, and the external reviewer, if utilized, each will provide an independent written proposal review, with the latter participating in the Council meeting discussion via telephone. External reviewers will not, however, vote on the proposal, though they will be subject to the same confidentiality provisions as Council members. Guided by input from all assigned reviewers, unconflicted Research Council members will vote on the proposal.

The Research Council Secretary, in collaboration with the Council Chair, will prepare a narrative summary of the reviews and discussion, then this summary and the vote will be forwarded to the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, with whom the final funding decision rests. A decision letter with Council feedback will be sent to the lead applicant/principal investigator as soon as possible after the meeting at which the proposal was reviewed. Note that the reviews, discussion, and vote regarding all Research Council actions are held in strict confidence. The project investigator(s), project title, and proposed and approved budget amount for all funded projects are posted on the Research Council web site.

Recipients of research council funding are subject to the following requirements.

Reporting At the end of the project or by the date outlined in the award letter, the principal investigator is required to submit a final report with required documentation using the online submission form. This report should describe the outcomes and impacts of the project on the field of study, on the scholarly programs of the investigators, and on the university as a whole. It also should describe any deviations from the work from that originally proposed and include activities in progress (e.g., proposals, performances, manuscripts) that relate directly to the project and provide a detailed accounting with documentation. Once the final report has been received and approved, the funds will be reimbursed* to the applicant/principal investigator’s department up to the award amount.

An extension may be requested by emailing The extension must be requested prior to the deadline and should include a justification as to need.

*Any FIP awarded prior to FY17 received funds at the beginning of the award, and the applicant/principal investigator’s department will be expected to return any unspent funds to the OVPRP.

Serving as a Reviewer By accepting funding from the FIP, faculty members are obligated to review no more than three Research Council proposals, in a subject area familiar to them, within a two-year period that begins when their proposal is approved for funding.

Acknowledging Research Council Support All written publications, whether in hard copy or electronic form, that have benefitted from Research Council funding must contain the following statement of acknowledgment: "This research was supported (in part, if appropriate) by a grant from the Research Council of the University of Oklahoma Norman Campus."