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Equipment and Infrastructure Fund

Equipment and Infrastructure Fund

The Scholarly Activity and Research Incentive Fund (SARIF) provides up to $300,000 annually in Equipment and Infrastructure Awards to enhance UT’s research mission by providing support for equipment purchases, upgrades, and repairs. Generally, there is at least a one-to-one, and preferably two-to-one, cost-sharing requirement by departments and colleges. Due to the source of the SARIF funds, this program is limited to faculty whose primary appointment is associated with the Knoxville campus (excluding Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine).

Proposals can come from individual faculty or groups of faculty and must include statements of support from departments, colleges, and centers indicating the level of cost-sharing commitment. A committee of the Research Council will review the proposals and make recommendations for awards. Decisions will be made and awardees will be informed in November. Equipment must be purchased by June 30, 2017.  Carryover requests will be considered if there are extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member.  SARIF support will be transferred to the department after payment documentation has been provided to the Office of Research and Engagement.

>> See the most recently funded proposals

How to Apply

The Office of Research and Engagement issues a call for proposals from faculty and units once per year. Proposals must include:

  • A statement of the individual or unit research agenda. Requests for new resources should explain how the equipment or infrastructure addresses that agenda. Requests to repair, replace or enhance infrastructure should emphasize how the request addresses a vital and continuing need in the unit.
  • A justification of impact showing the number of faculty and research projects that will be affected both within the unit and across campus. Indicate if the equipment or resource is part of an existing or planned UT Core Facility or recharge center.
  • A budget summary identifying costs, agreed upon cost share from each source, and amount requested from ORE.
  • Signed cost share memos from each source.

Proposals are restricted to five (5) pages in length, excluding letters of support. Proposals exceeding five pages will be returned without review.

Submission Process

  • Deadline: Complete application package described above must be submitted electronically in a single PDF document by the applicant to AVCRD (avcrd@utk.edu) no later than Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 12:00 Noon.
  • A&S Cost Share Deadline: Faculty members who intend to submit requests to this program and intend to request a financial match from A&S must submit their full proposals electronically to the College no later than Noon, 1 week prior to ORE’s deadline. Submit proposals to Chris Boake at cboake@utk.edu and copy Cathy Parks at cparks7@utk.edu. Chris would like each proposal to be a single PDF document.
  • Evaluation: A subcommittee of the Research Council will evaluate the applications and make recommendations to Taylor Eighmy, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement (VCRE). The committee recommendations will be based on the review criteria as described above. The VCRE will seek to distribute the awards over a wide range of disciplines.
  • Selection Results: ORE will notify all applicants of the selection results by early November 2016.
  • Awards: All equipment must be purchased by June 30, 2017. Carryover requests will be considered if there are extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member. SARIF support will be transferred to the department after payment documentation has been provided to the Office of Research & Engagement.

Selection

Criteria to be used in making awards from this fund are:

  • Scholarly merit of the proposal and the significance of the research agenda;
  • Strength of justification of need for items of basic research infrastructure;
  • Number of faculty and students benefiting from the award;
  • Cross departmental or college use of the equipment;
  • Potential for increasing scholarly achievement and external research funding;
  • The level of departmental/college/other cost-sharing. Generally, there is at least a one-to-one, and preferably two-to-one, cost-sharing requirement by departments and colleges.

 

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