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COFRS Program: Request for Proposals

The Committee on Faculty Research Support (COFRS) program provides faculty with summer salary (or allowable research related expenses - see budget section below) to assist with research and creative endeavors that encourage external funding.  The COFRS program is different than the special program for First Year Assistant Professors (FYAPs), though they have similarities. 

  • The maximum award amount for the COFRS program is $14,000.
  • COFRS grant funds can only be used to support research and creative activity.
  • The COFRS program does not permit Co-PIs.
  • Recipients of a COFRS award will be expected to serve as a COFRS reviewer during the three years of their hiatus period.
  • Participation is open to all full-time, active FSU faculty who are eligible to apply for CRC funding.  
  • Visiting professors, whose only reason for being labeled “visiting” is the expectation that they shortly will attain permanent residency status, are eligible to apply for this award.
  • Three-year hiatus: For example, Principal Investigators (PI) who received COFRS funding in the academic years 2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017 are not eligible for consideration.
  • Generally, PIs will not be awarded more than one CRC grant during an academic year.  Eligible applicants who have received an award from a CRC program during this academic year remain eligible to request funding from the Funding Agency Travel (FAT) grant and the Equipment and Infrastructure Enhancement Grant (EIEG) programs.
  • Only one proposal per PI may be submitted to the COFRS program per competition round.
  • Students and post-docs are not eligible to be a PI on CRC grants.
  • FAMU faculty members are not eligible to receive funding from the CRC; any applications submitted to the CRC by FAMU Engineering faculty may be eligible for funding by the Dean of Engineering at the Dean's discretion.
  • Twelve month faculty members cannot apply for PI salary support.  These faculty members can use the funding for student salary and other research expenses.
  • Application Deadline: November 8, 2017, 4:59 p.m.
  • Award notification: February 2018
  • Award Period: May 14, 2018 - August 3, 2018

*NOTE: If you would like your proposal to be reviewed for technical errors, you must submit it seven business days before the program deadline for a pre-review by the CRC Coordinator; the pre-review will ensure that the proposal follows the program guidelines, the budget is accurate, required documents are incorporated, etc.  Please note the following:

  1. In order for your proposal to count as having been submitted in time for this pre-review, your application must have the "Pending Technical Review" status, which means you have obtained all required Chair and Dean approvals prior to the opening of the seven day window.  Until your proposal has all these approvals, it will not be considered ready for a technical review.
  2. If your proposal is submitted after the opening of the seven business day window, there is no guarantee that it will be pre-reviewed.  Thus, choosing to submit after the opening of the seven day window leaves you at risk, as any technical errors, no matter how minor they may seem, will render your proposal ineligible.  However, if you meet the seven day pre-review deadline and make the required corrections, as per instructions, by the final program deadline, your proposal will not be rejected on technical grounds.
  3. Your proposal's accuracy is your responsibility, and not that of the CRC.  The CRC will not make corrections, and revisions cannot be accepted after the deadline.
  • The proposal must be written in clear, concise language so that reviewers from any discipline will be able to understand; field-specific jargon and acronyms are discouraged unless they are plainly defined within the proposal text.
  • Proposals with incomplete required fields will not be able to submit until all required fields are completed; any fields left incomplete will result in the proposal being disqualified from competition.
  • Applications that do not adhere to the RFP instructions will be ineligible for funding.
  • Go to Section H. Proposal Submission Process for instructions on how to apply.
  • The following sections must be completed in your proposal application:

-- PROPOSAL TRANSMITTAL --

For CRC submissions, this document is now a part of the electronic submissions application.  All applicants will now complete these sections directly within the CRC program application.

Once the application is submitted, the Director/Chair and Dean of the PI will be contacted automatically via email for approval of the submission.  Please provide sufficient time for electronic approvals prior to the program deadline.  It is advisable to check on the availability of those who are required to approve your application if you are intending to submit close to the deadline.  Directors, Chairs, and Deans have 24 hours after the award deadline to electronically approve applications.  Submissions that lack the necessary approvals within the provided time will not be accepted.

If you need assistance with completing any of these forms and want a staff member from your department to assist you, you can grant access to a staff member by adding a “proposal contact” to your application.

-- ABSTRACT --

This section is completed within the electronic CRC program application.  Your abstract cannot exceed 250 words.

-- CURRICULUM VITAE (Word Doc) --

The CV form in the link above is the preferred form for this requirement.  If you choose to not use this specific form, your CV must contain the same information: Education from baccalaureate-level forward including Institution, Degree, Field of Study, and Completion Date; Previous Positions; Publications related to the proposal; and Research Support including completed and ongoing grants related to the proposal.  You may also include other data pertinent to the research or activity proposed.  Regardless of which form you use, the CV must be no longer than 2 pages at no less than 11 point font.  All CVs must be submitted in PDF format.

To view CV examples, please click on the subject area that is closest to your field of research: Arts, Engineering, Humanities and STEM

-- PAST, CURRENT, & PENDING GRANTS --

This section is completed within the electronic CRC program application.  List all internal and external grants you have received in the past 5 years, as well as pending external grant proposals.  Concurrent submission to other agencies will not cause prejudice in the review of your proposal.  If you have received previous CRC funding, explain in the comments section of the award the outcomes of that funding, including research and creative results, and any external awards won as a result.

-- BUDGET --

This section is completed within the electronic CRC program application.  The maximum award amount is $14,000.  Use the tips below as a guide for your specific budget items:

  • Typically, COFRS funding is applied as support toward the PI’s salary during summer 2018.  The funds will be disbursed over the award period through the bi-weekly pay cycle.  Deductions and fringe benefits will be taken from this amount as they would in a typical paycheck. 
    • Fringe benefits rates are available here.
  • PIs may waive the salary support and apply the award to other expense items such as travel, supplies, and/or salary support for a student.
  • Award funds may be used to support a stipend for a student hired on the proposed project, but may not be used to pay for student tuition or matriculation fees.  If awarded funds are used for a student stipend, the required fringe benefits and tax considerations must be included in the total requested amount, which cannot exceed $14,000.
  • Computers, computer devices, or similar purchases are not encouraged, but can be considered, subject to PI's full justification and CRC approval.
  • Equipment purchases (Capital Outlay over $5,000) are strongly discouraged under this program.  However, if you believe an equipment purchase to be essential to this proposal, you must include in the Proposal Text a detailed and verifiable explanation to support your request.  PIs are encouraged to make their equipment available to others on campus when appropriate.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  CRC grants are awarded in part based on the appropriateness and feasibility of the proposed budgets.  Approved budgets must be followed as proposed/awarded, unless a budget amendment request is approved in advance by the chair of the CRC.  A variance of up to 10% in any category will be tolerated in the absence of a budget amendment, but any unapproved expenditures beyond this limit will result in the grant being frozen until the overage is refunded to the grant.  The same applies to any unapproved expenditures that fall outside a grant's budgetary categories.  In addition, no further CRC grant proposals will be accepted from applicants (as PI or Co-PI) on any grant that is out of budgetary compliance until the situation is rectified.

-- PROPOSAL TEXT (Word Doc) --

The Proposal Text cannot exceed 8 pages (not including references and appendices).  If you do not have information to submit for a given section, enter None or N/A for that section.  Only a PDF version of your proposal will be accepted.  Below are the required sub-sections for the Proposal Text:

  1. Project/Issue and Goals  
    • Describe the project/issue your proposal will address.
    • Briefly describe the goals/objectives of the project.
  2. Research Methods/Creative Activities
    Write a description of your proposed project, including scientific or creative objectives, data or materials to be used, methods of analysis, or performance of the project.  Project should be clearly understandable and jargon should be avoided.  Please note that your proposal WILL be reviewed by some who are not at all familiar with your field of work.
  3. Significance of Intended Outcomes
     Describe the basis for the evaluation of results and/or conclusions and the importance or significance of the contribution of your project to the field.  
  4. Anticipated External Funding        
    • Describe how the proposed research or creative activity will enhance the prospects for external funding.
    • List anticipated outside funding sources to support follow-up activity, including specific grant programs, the goals of those programs, and the amount of funding available.
    • List the approximate date(s) by which you intend to request external funding from one or more of the funding sources you identified.
  5. Schedule of Project Activities        
    • Provide a statement indicating the amount of progress anticipated during the grant period and the intended schedule for completion of the plan (including start and completion dates), publication, performance, etc.
    • If appropriate, briefly describe the related research and/or creative activities that will take place before and after the grant period.
  6. Budget
    Provide a detailed and clear budget explanation.  The information should mirror the items you will be placing in the budget section, but should be significantly more detailed.  The description should be narrative in nature and should include quantifiable financial information.  If travel is included in the budget, specific projected travel dates and locations must be given.
  7. Professional Obligations
    List any professional obligations the PI has for the award period.  If any of these obligations include active grants, please explain the relationship of the proposed funding to any other funding you will have for this period.
  8. References
    Include a references list, if applicable.  References do not count as Proposal Text pages.
  9. Appendices
    Include appendices as needed, including approval forms and other supplementary materials pertinent to your proposed project.  Please be considerate of reviewers' time and file space; avoid excessive appendices.  If your project has already received approvals for Human Subjects or Animal Subjects use, you may include your approval letters in this section as well.
  • Examples of successful proposals are available on our SharePoint website. Your FSU username and password will be required.
  • Research activities requiring compliance review and approvals (human or animal subjects, DNA, RNA, hazardous materials, or marine lab facilities for example) require the completion and submission of forms to the appropriate FSU department or group.  You must seek and receive approval before such research is attempted and before any funds can be released, if awarded.  See Human Subjects, Animal Care and Use Committee, Environmental Health & Safety, or Research Compliance for other compliance requirements that may apply to your research or performance plan.
  • You may pre-apply for human subjects or animal use approval prior to funding notifications.  While not required in advance, having prior approval will prevent delays in receiving grant funds, if awarded.
  • If you have already received approval for proposal-related certifications, you may include the approval paperwork in the appendices of your proposal text.
  • Go to CRC Submissions Portal.
  • Login using your FSU username and password.
  • Start a new proposal by selecting one of the CRC programs listed under the apply tab.  Complete all the sections and upload each of the required elements. 
  • You will have the ability to submit/save your proposal elements and update/edit them until the posted deadline for the program.
  • Proposals with incomplete required fields will not be able to submit for Chair/Dean approval until all required fields are completed.  Minor changes can still be made to the proposal after it has been submitted for Chair/ Dean approval.
  • Once the application is submitted, the Director/Chair and Dean of the PI will be contacted automatically via email for approval of the submission.  Please provide sufficient time for electronic approvals prior to the program deadline.  It is advisable to check on the availability of those who are required to approve your application if you are intending to submit close to the deadline.  Directors, Chairs, and Deans have 24 hours after the award deadline to electronically approve applications.  Submissions that lack the necessary approvals within the provided time will not be accepted.
  • Reviewers will use these review guidelines for scoring the proposal.  In addition, reviewers will take note of the proposals submitted by the PI as a result of previously-awarded CRC funds.
  • Each reviewer will provide “blind” electronic feedback, not just a numeric score, which will be shared with the PI.  Reviewer identification will not be released to the PI.
  • The CRC makes final funding decisions based on the funding allocated to the program, the number of proposals received, and merit scores of each proposal.

  • CRC grant funds can only be used to support research and creative activity.
  • Capital outlay (over $5,000) equipment purchases are discouraged.  Generally, any equipment purchased on the grant will stay with the lab/PI that wrote the grant or with his/her department.  PIs are encouraged to make their equipment available to others on campus when appropriate.
  • Computers, computer devices, or similar purchases are not encouraged.  However, they can be considered, subject to PI's full justification and CRC approval.
  • This CRC grant may support a stipend for a student hired on a grant; matriculation and tuition fees cannot be paid for with COFRS grant funds.
  • COFRS grants do not support student travel to conferences.
  • The CRC approved the project budget as submitted with the proposal. Budget deviations greater than 10% per budget line item (cumulatively) require the prior written approval of the CRC.  Budget revisions should be requested via a Budget Amendment Form. The Budget Amendment form, which can be downloaded from the Forms Portal, must be electronically signed by the PI and submitted via the CRC No Cost Extension and Budget Amendment Submission page.  An example of a completed Budget Amendment form is available here.  If the budget revision is approved by the CRC (limit 2 per award), the OMNI Project Budget will be modified to reflect the newly-approved categorical amounts. Budget amendment requests must be approved before any changes can occur.  You may not submit an amendment request after the fact, and all budget amendment requests must be submitted no less than 30 days prior to the award expiration date.
  • The CRC approved the scope of work as submitted with the proposal. The written approval of the CRC is required prior to implementing any change to the scope of work.  Actions likely to be considered a change of scope include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Change in the goals or specific aims approved at the time of the award;
    • Any change from the approved use of animals or human subjects;
    • Shifting the emphasis of the research from one area or another; or
    • Transferring the performance of substantive programmatic work to a third party by contract or any other means.
  • Budget or scope of work violations may result in loss of CRC funding eligibility for multiple years.
  • The CRC reserves the right to withdraw remaining funds from a project if unauthorized spending occurs, and may also require misspent funds to be repaid by the PI/Department.
  • No cost extensions (limit 1 per award) require the prior approval of the CRC.  Any request and justification for a no-cost extension should be submitted to the No Cost Extension and Budget Amendment Submission page no less than 30 days prior to the award expiration date.  The CRC will consider your request and will advise you of the outcome electronically.  It is possible that the CRC may need to discuss this request with your department Chair or Dean before rendering a decision.
  • Faculty members who receive CRC funds during a sabbatical will be asked to repay those funds if they leave the university during the year following the award.
  • By accepting this award, you are agreeing to be a reviewer for the COFRS program during your three-year hiatus period.

 

 

  • Grant account closeout will automatically occur within 60 days following the award period end date.
  • No-cost extensions require the prior approval of the CRC (limit 1 extension per award).  Any request and justification for a no-cost extension should be submitted to the No-Cost Extension and Budget Amendment Submission page no less than 30 days prior to the award expiration date.  The CRC will consider your request and will advise you of the outcome electronically.  It is possible that the CRC may need to discuss this request with your department Chair or Dean before rendering a decision. 
  • PIs who later find that they have funding from another source for similar or the same support are requested to decline acceptance of this COFRS award so that funds can be redirected to provide support for other applicants who would otherwise go unfunded.
  • In the event that a PI leaves the University, involuntarily or voluntarily, prior to the end of the award period, the awardee’s Dean or Department Chair has the responsibility of notifying the CRC Program Coordinator and returning the award amount to the CRC.
  • Faculty members who receive CRC funds during a sabbatical will be asked to repay those funds if they leave the university during the year following the award.

Contact Us

Grace C. Adkison
Council on Research and Creativity Coordinator

2022 Westcott North Annex
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1330
Ph: (850) 645-5751
Fax: (850) 645-0108
gadkison@fsu.edu