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Research and Artistry Facilitation Grants

The 2018 application period has ended.

Facilitation Grants:
The Facilitation Grant facilitates high quality research, scholarly and creative activities by faculty members working in areas where extramural support for such endeavors is extremely limited. Generally, these areas may include, but are not limited to, the visual and performing arts, the humanities and multidisciplinary efforts in the social sciences that have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods.

General Submission Guidelines

Please follow the prescribed format for the proposal development. FAQs and the online application are available on the Research and Artistry page.

To ensure uniformity across the university, the submitted proposal should adhere to the format detailed below. Proposals that do not follow the format described below will not be evaluated.

Sample formats have been provided:  Proposal recommended formatBudget recommended format

Part 1: Project Summary

Provide a brief summary of the project, not exceeding 300 words.

The summary should be written in language understandable to non-experts; jargon and overly specialized technical language should be avoided. Reviewers are selected from a broad array of disciplines and may not be expert in the applicant’s domain. A successful summary must be accessible to all reviewers.

The summary should be a self-contained description of the activities that will be completed in the proposal is funded. The summary should include a statement of objectives, a description of the methods that will be employed and an explanation of how the project will impact the applicant, the discipline and society. In addition, the project summary should address the sources of support for the incomplete work on which this application is based, the progress to date, the extent of the work remaining and the reasons supplemental funding is needed for the project goals to be realized.

Part 2: Project Description

The Project Description (excluding references cited) should not exceed five single-spaced pages with one-inch margins in all directions and font size no smaller than 11 point.

The project description should communicate all aspects of the applicant’s plan:

    • An explanation of how the project qualifies as a Facilitation Grant.
    • The hypotheses to be tested, the questions to be answered and/or the concepts to be explored should be stated clearly and should be related to prior work in the field by the applicant and others.
    • Please include a justification and explanation of sample sizes, where applicable.
    • The methods that will be used to achieve the project objectives and to evaluate project impacts should be defined, irrespective of whether the field is artistic, scientific or humanistic.
    • A short description of the contribution of this project to the applicant’s program of research, scholarship or artistry should be included. The description should make clear the extent to which the proposed work builds on successful work already carried out by the applicant or, if the proposed work is in a new area, the motivation for the change in direction should be explained.
    • A short section with a clear description of how you will include student involvement in the project, or why there is none.
    • The questions to be asked, the concepts to be explored, and/or the hypotheses to be tested should be stated clearly, and should be related to prior work in the field by the applicant and others.
    • A plan for dissemination of project results should be presented. (The vehicles employed for sharing the work product will depend on the nature of the project and may include: exhibitions, performances, presentations, journal articles, books, web sites).

Because of the wide-range of activities supported by these grants, not all of the suggested elements will receive equal attention in all proposals.

Glossary of Abbreviations

Please include a glossary of abbreviations used in your proposal. This does not count in the five page limit.

Part 4: Budget and Justification

The total budget requested may not exceed $10,000 – including summer salary.

Provide an itemized budget request and detailed justification. Examples of appropriate budget categories include faculty summer salary; trainee salary; supplies (includes consumables and minor equipment); travel to conduct research, scholarly or creative activities (but not conference travel); publication costs; contractual services (e.g. transcription services, participant payments).

For summer salary, faculty members may request up to one month’s salary or $4,500, whichever is less. Budget categories other than faculty salary do not have to be expended during summer 2018, but must be expended before June 30, 2019 (and may not be spent prior to May 16, 2018).

Part 5: Other Supporting Documentation (required for the PI and co-PI, where applicable)

History of prior Research and Artistry support from NIU:
Provide a list of projects, amounts, and dates of support received from NIU. For each item, indicate how the results of the supported research, scholarly and creative activities were disseminated. Contact Julie Miller, Electronic Records Coordinator for Sponsored Programs Administration at and request this information.

Publications & Professional Activities (Past 5 years):
List all your publications (books, book chapters, proceedings, refereed articles, monographs, etc.) and related professional activities (ex: presentations or exhibits to reputed national and international meetings) during the last 5 years.

Additional Information


If the proposal discloses ideas, practices or processes for which patent protection will be or is being sought, the word “Confidential” should appear at the top and bottom of each page which contains such information. In addition, the following statement should appear on the cover sheet:

“The data in this proposal are confidential and proprietary. This material shall not be duplicated, used or disclosed in whole or in part for any purpose other than internal evaluation of the proposal without the explicit written permission of the applicant.”
Evaluation Criteria

The scholarly, technical or artistic merit of a proposed project will be the primary criterion used for evaluation. Specific criteria are:

    • The potential for the proposed activity to advance the field or discipline;

      The potential for the proposed activity to advance the applicant’s reputation and to expand his/her research, scholarly or artistic accomplishments;

      If appropriate, the potential for the proposed activity to engage students in mentored research, scholarly and creative activities;

      The applicant’s training, previous accomplishments and estimated potential for future productivity;

      Achievements resulting from the applicant’s previous receipt of Research and Artistry support (if applicable);

      Research, scholarship and creative activity is an area where external support is limited.

Evaluation Process

Proposals will be reviewed and scored by each member of Research & Artistry Selection Committee according to the following scale and an average score calculated. To develop their scores and formulate their final recommendations, the Research & Artistry Selection Committee will evaluate each submitted proposal in the context of the program specific criteria detailed above. Each proposal will then be discussed by the full Committee and scores (and the averages) adjusted if warranted. Proposals will be ranked by the final averages.

Final Selection and Budgets

The vice president for Research and Innovation Partnerships will make final selections based on the Selection Committee recommendations and rankings and a balancing of categories, disciplines and career stage representation. The budgets of the selected proposals will be reviewed and adjusted (if necessary) by the vice president of Research and Innovation Partnerships.


  1. Award recipients must be on full-time regular appointments during both the 2017-18 and 2018-2019 academic years; however, they do not have to be members of the graduate faculty.
  2. Tenured faculty members who received Research & Artistry awards in 2017 are not eligible to apply for 2018 funding. Untenured faculty members may apply for funding in two consecutive years.
  3. An application may be submitted for a project proposed jointly by more than one faculty member. Collaborative proposals may include interdisciplinary submissions by faculty from different units/departments/colleges. (Note: Each of the submitting faculty members must meet application eligibility requirements. Joint proposals will be assigned a single score.)


Proposals must be submitted by close of business on October 20, 2017. The process is completely electronic; no hard copies of documents need to be submitted. Please see General Submission Guidelines for details on submitting your proposal.