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ORU Budgeting General Guidelines

  • Funding is primarily provided to increase the competitiveness of research groups in winning external funding sufficient to make them financially independent. The funding is not intended to support primary research or projects except when creating the foundation (e.g. preliminary data) for new grants.
  • Identify where the ORU will be housed and what administrative support services will be available. Typically a new faculty ORU would be housed in a department or college. If the ORU proposes to be a proposal submitting unit, identify how F&A will be shared (submitting through a department /college would assume the F&A sharing practices in place).
  • Given the nature of ORU funding, it should not be considered as general operational support (graduate student support, professional staff, travel, equipment, etc.) except with regard to increasing the number and caliber of research proposals.
  • Hiring a graduate student or post doc to assist in identifying potential funding opportunities or coordinating proposal development is not a particularly productive approach and will unlikely be funded if included in the ORU proposal.
  • Future funding is strongly dependent on performance, particularly with regard to the preparation of grant applications and awards.
  • All funding is considered one-time and there is no guarantee for future funding. New ORUs will generally be eligible for funding for three to five years to become self-sustaining unless there is a convincing case to sustain an ORU with significant return on investment to the campus.
  • The funds are provided for the sole purpose of fostering the mission and objectives as defined in the proposal.
  • Support of seed grants if included should be appropriately balanced with proposal and program development that can leverage the research programs of the various faculty.
  • Funds are from annual campus budgeting and are to be fully utilized by June 30. Carryovers require a very strong justification and are not likely to be approved. Any funds not utilized represent a loss to the research community and will impact future funding decisions.
  • Additional funding to be provided by units and individuals in support of the ORU is encouraged and sometimes required in order to secure funding from the Office of Research.
  • ORU funding must cover the cost of benefits for anyone charging to the account.
  • ORU funds, including those transferred to pilot studies, are not to be used for faculty salaries, administrative supplements, additional pay, or course release time. Research faculty salary charges are still allowable on the ORU account.
  • The terms “Center” and “Institute” cannot be used in the name of your ORU unless formally recognized and approved by the University. A term often used instead is “Initiative”. Please keep this in mind when deciding upon a name. If your ORU does want to pursue becoming a formal Center or Institute, you will need to complete the Center Establishment Criteria and Request Form. Becoming a formal Center or Institute has no impact on the funding decision.
  • The early identification of a funding opportunity and targets are particularly helpful in setting the agenda and focusing the activities of the ORU. The Office of Research, and the Proposal Development Team in particular, stand ready to provide assistance and support in the identification of potential funding opportunities and in the crafting of high quality proposals. These services are available at any time and not only to funded ORUs.
  • Funding provided often differs from the amount requested and a revised work plan may be requested.

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