Funding Sources

Internal Funding for Faculty Scholarship

Research Development Award Program

Application Deadline: February 22, 2013

Awards Announcement: May 1, 2013

The Research Development Award (RDA) program assists faculty and professional /administrative staff in advancing their research plans by providing a series of development activities designed to facilitate the process of securing external funding for their projects. Support is typically to early-career/pre-tenure faculty, but may be provided to faculty who are novices in regard to seeking external funding. Under the conditions of the program, the vice president for research makes as many as 20 awards annually.


Eligible faculty members are all Western Michigan University bargaining-unit members in a tenured or tenure-track appointment who:

  • have been awarded a terminal degree appropriate for their discipline,
  • will have completed at least two academic terms by the start of the program, and
  • demonstrate interest in grant seeking through such means as submission of proposals for external funding.

Eligible professional/ administrative staff will have demonstrated an interest in grant seeking, such as gathering data for a proposal, serving as reviewers for proposals, or being employed in some role on funded projects.

Previous Research Development Award recipients may not re-apply.


Two components comprise the RDA award:

  • The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) will award each RDA faculty and staff member $2,500 to support expenses related to grant seeking and research or creative activities. A portion of the award shall be used for travel to visit an external funding sponsor. In addition, equipment, student employees, postage, and supplies are examples of approved uses of the award; the award cannot be used for salary of the RDA faculty or staff member.
  • The college or vice presidential unit may also award each of its participants up to $1,000 in the same manner and for the same purpose.


RDA program participants agree to complete the following program activities during the period of June 2013 through December 2014.

  • Informational meeting
  • A series of workshops on grant-related activities (dates to be announced) including follow-up activities.
  • Identify a WMU grant mentor. A grant mentor is a WMU faculty, administrator, or staff person that has substantial experience in obtaining external funding.
  • Individual meetings with their WMU mentor and WMU research officer to work on a research plan and assess progress in achieving goals.
  • Make one trip to Washington, D.C. or sponsor location to talk with sponsoring agency.
  • Submit two proposals, at least one for federal support, before December 2014.

Application Process

The OVPR, in collaboration with the deans, will announce the RDA opportunity to faculty and staff. All applications are made to the appropriate dean or vice president and to the vice president for research. The application consists of:

  • A description of the research problem for which funding is being sought, including its significance, a brief review of current research or programs in the area, the scope of work necessary to address the problem, and the result or benefit to society (three pages maximum);
  • A statement of sponsored funding goals (one page maximum);
  • Evidence of demonstrated interest in research and grant seeking (e.g., proposals submitted, member of grant review panel, publications in refereed journals, theses or dissertations advised, professional service such as editor of journal) (one page maximum);
  • A hardcopy printout of an e-mail or signed note from a WMU grant mentor that begins "I agree to serve as a grant mentor for ____________" A grant mentor is a WMU faculty, administrator, or staff member that has substantial experience in obtaining external funding. If you cannot identify a grant mentor contact Chris Allred Scheller.
  • A proposed budget for expenditure of the $2,500 award, using the RDA budget template.
  • A budget justification describing the proposed budget using the RDA budget justification.
  • To see a sample of the RDA budget justification, click here.
  • To see a sample of the RDA budget worksheet, click here.
  • Completed expertise profile available on Community of Science

Application Procedures

  • Interested faculty and staff should communicate their interest to their college or unit leadership and prepare their application. Deans and vice presidents will also solicit RDA applications from their faculty and staff.
  • A copy of the application should be submitted by the deadline to both the associate dean of the applicant's college AND to Dr. Paula Kohler, Associate Vice President for Research. Applications may be submitted electronically as email attachments or by hard copy delivered to 210 W. Walwood Hall in person or by campus mail.


Proposals of merit will demonstrate that:

  • The applicant's efforts are likely to lead to increased external funding for the college or unit.
  • Significant funding exists for the proposed research.
  • Interest in grant seeking convincingly demonstrates likelihood of full RDA program participation.
  • The applicant's academic preparation and experience indicate appropriate expertise.
  • A WMU grant mentor has agreed to assist the applicant.

Review Process

Deans and vice presidents will review their college or unit applications according to the criteria and forward to the associate vice president for research a rank-ordered listing of applications for funding. In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of awards available, the vice president for research reserves the right to determine distribution of awards.


Proposals for FY 2013-14 awards must be submitted to the associate dean or appropriate vice president and the OVPR no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2013. The dean's office will send the reviewed applications to the Office of the Vice President for Research by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013. Awards will be announced by May 1, 2013. Please direct questions to the Office of the Vice President for Research, at 387-8298 or e-mail Chris Scheller.

Updated February 12, 2013


Office of the Vice President for Research
Western Michigan University
210 W Walwood Hall
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5456 USA
(269) 387-8298 | (269) 387-8276 Fax