ERIF Guidelines for Submission

The ERIF objectives are to provide seed funding to initiate innovative multi-investigator, multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary research and education programs that will use the results obtained during the project period for developing proposals seeking external funding. Proposals on new research and education concepts that are multidisciplinary in scope are solicited.


  • Only tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible
  • Maximum funding is $25,000 and each grant will be funded for a maximum of one year
  • Note: These Instructions Deviate from OSRP’s Routine Procedures.
  • Please start a Cayuse routing sheet as early as possible, but do not submit the routing sheet for departmental and college approval until you have uploaded the final proposal document in Step 5 below.
  • In the “Sponsor” field, search for “ERIF” (and select “ERIF” - Educational and Research Initiative Fund) as the sponsor.
  • Submit your proposal by uploading the final proposal document in the attachments tab in Cayuse. The deadline for submissions is March 7th of each year. If the deadline should occur on a weekend or a national holiday, submissions will be due the following business day.
  • After the final proposal has been uploaded, please submit the routing sheet for departmental and college approval. The Cayuse timestamp of the file upload, not the timestamp of the departmental approval, will be used to determine if the proposal has been submitted on time.

Recipients are required to submit a progress report at the end of the first half of the project period and a final technical report. The funds awarded will be released in two installments, at the beginning of the project period and after the review of the mid-term progress report. The budget will be limited to tuition and stipend expenses for students, except for a small amount of funding (up to 5%) that may be allocated for supplies, if necessary. Note: Indirect cost not allowed; no cost share will be provided.



The proposal is limited to eight pages including figures, tables, budget, bibliography and appendices (excluding current and pending support and curriculum vitae). Proposals should be submitted in either Times New Roman or Arial typeface and the font size should be no smaller than size 12. Proposals must have margins of at least 1 inch on each side. Proposals not meeting these formatting requirements will not be reviewed.


List the broad, long-term objectives and what the specific research or education initiative proposed is intended to accomplish.

Background and Significance: Briefly sketch the background leading to the proposed work, critically evaluate existing knowledge, and specifically identify the gaps that the project is intended to fill. State concisely the importance and relevance of the proposed work by relating the specific aims to the broad, long-term objectives.


Include relevant preliminary studies or progress reports, if applicable.


Describe the research design and the procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Describe any new methodology and its advantage over existing methodologies. Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims. As part of this section, provide a tentative timetable for the project. Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and the precautions to be exercised.


Identify the office and/or laboratory space and specify the facilities to be used for the conduct of the proposed research. Describe capabilities, support services, and important equipment items. List individuals involved in the development or execution of the project and their qualifications.


Describe the proposals that will be developed after the conclusions of the ERIF project, list the funding agencies and/or industries targeted, provide an estimate of the expected funding level and the potential for funding. State how the resources requested from ERIF will enable the development of these external proposals.


Include a budget that does not exceed $25,000. Budget justification and explanation on how the expenditure of ERIF funds would lead to results for developing strong proposals for external funding agencies must be provided. The budget is limited to tuition and stipend expenses for students, except for a small amount of funding (up to 5%) that may be allocated for supplies.  

Note: Indirect cost not allowed; no cost share will be provided.


Include a list of current and pending support for all investigators.


Include a 2-page curriculum vitae.


Below are the review criteria used for the evaluation of the proposals in general. Other factors affecting funding under this program include past ERIF support provided to the applicant(s) and the outcome of that project, the current external funding level of the applicant(s), and the amount of funds available for this RFP.


Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?


Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?


Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?


Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed work appropriate to the experience level of the applicants?


Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed activities take advantage of unique features of this environment?


Is the budget appropriate to carry out the work proposed?


Is the plan for seeking external funding appropriate?