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OVPR Funding

Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry & Scholarship Program


Administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research, Grant-in-Aid Program (GIA) funds are awarded in the belief that the quality of faculty research or artistic endeavors is a major determinant of the overall vitality of the institution. Note that these funds are used to support independent research. In most cases grants are not meant to provide sole support for research activities, but instead to act as seed money for developing projects to the point of attracting more complete, external funding.


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Request for Proposals

Learn more about the spring deadlines and the purpose of the GIA program

Proposals for Fall 2015 Competition

Deadline Dates:

Application routed to approvers by: Monday, September 21, 2015
Applications routed to the OVPR by: Thursday, September 24, 2015

We are pleased to announce the Fall 2015 Grant-in-Aid Program administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. This program represents an important means by which this office is able to promote the scholarly and artistic activities of the faculty and their graduate students and to foster academic excellence within the University. Guidelines have been established to ensure that the available funds are distributed fairly, are effective in sustaining the vitality and quality of research at the University, and as seed money, help to stimulate the development of funding from external sources. See program summary below.

Faculty members whose needs fall into one of the fundable categories and do not currently hold a Grant-in-Aid are encouraged to submit applications. Application will be reviewed by either the Biomedical Research Advisory Committee or the General Research Advisory Committee according to the area of the research. Applicants are encouraged to consult the evaluation criteria used by the review committees prior to writing their proposal.

While there is no rigid maximum amount, funds are limited and we hope to support as many worthy projects as possible. In FY15, 111 grants were awarded with an average award of $28,685 and a median of $30,000.

The grant period for proposals awarded in the Fall begins January 1, 2016 and ends June 30, 2017. Guidelines prohibit a faculty member from holding more than one Grant-in-Aid during a grant period (with the exception of shared equipment awards) whether or not funding has been fully expended. Therefore, the next grant period for which January 1, 2016 awardees could seek additional Grant-in-Aid funding is that beginning July 1, 2017 (submission deadline in February 2017).

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Funding categories

Read descriptions of the five GIA funding categories

Bridge Funding

Interim support necessary to maintain ongoing research efforts during a temporary lapse in external funding which is beyond the control of the faculty member. It is expected that faculty members who are supported will vigorously seek renewed funding in timely ways so as to avoid further lapses. This category applies only to projects that have previously been supported by an external agency not to new, previously unsupported projects. This category is inappropriate for support to complete a project that has not been submitted to an external agency for renewal or to augment an external award—even if the external award amount was inadequate to complete the project. Proposals in this category are accepted three times a year; fall (September deadline), spring (February deadline) and summer (June deadline). See Bridge Funding Special Instructions.

Fields With Limited External Funding

Support for faculty members in fields where there is little external funding available. It is expected that possibilities of external funding will be pursued in these fields also, with the advice of department chairs and heads, college research development officers, and the University's Office of Sponsored Projects Administration. These efforts should be documented in the proposal. This category does not include fields where there is significant external funding available, albeit this funding may be difficult to obtain because of the level of competition.  This category would be inappropriate for a multidisciplinary project where any of the disciplines involved had the opportunity for significant external funding.

New Assistant Professors

Funding of new members of the faculty who need assistance in establishing research, scholarly, or artistic programs. This category is restricted to Assistant Professors* in the first four years of their appointment at the University. Junior faculty holding an appointment for longer than four years may be considered if they present convincing, well-justified reasons for consideration beyond their first four years. This category is given the highest priority, but should not be considered a substitute for departmental and college funding owed to such new faculty.  It is expected that only one award in the New Assistant Professors category would be awarded per faculty member unless there is an exceptional need.  New assistant professors are strongly encouraged to obtain feedback from a senior colleague before submitting a proposal to the Grant-in-Aid Program.

*Senior faculty are not eligible to apply under this category.

New Research Direction

Support for faculty members moving into significantly different areas of research or scholarship. This could also include new multidisciplinary directions. Proposals in this category must include a cover letter with specific language explaining how this project is indeed a new direction and is not an extension of current research. This category does not provide support for faculty applying new techniques to ongoing research, but rather to those faculty proposing a very different set of research questions that will likely lead to new sources of external funding.  See additional information on cover letters under the Applying for GIA tab.

Shared Equipment

Support or partial support for major capital equipment that is not currently available, that will be shared by several faculty members, and that will increase the likelihood of external funding. Note that proposals funded in this category must include 30-50% cost sharing and must include a quote for the specific instrument. See Shared Equipment instructions.

Special Requests for Established Investigators’ Pilot Projects

This category is only being offered on a temporary experimental basis and is given the lowest priority.

Funding for established investigators (Assoc. Professor & Professor) to obtain pilot data for projects involving a new research team, a new research direction or a unique extension of existing work and that has promise to lead to substantial future external funding. A new research team would include faculty members who have not worked together before. Although there might be some history of collaboration between individual faculty members in the new research group, the group itself should not have worked together for more than approximately one year. A new research direction would involve a set of research questions not previously addressed by the investigators. See additional information on cover letters under the Applying for GIA tab.

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Evaluation criteria

Learn more about the format for GIA reviews


1. Intrinsic scientific, scholarly, or artistic merit of the project as judged by its a) importance to the field; b) coherence and clarity of purpose; c) apparent potential for success; and d) degree of imagination and innovation in concept and approach.

2. Need of the applicant as judged by a) availability of alternative internal and external sources of funds; b) current resources of the applicant for all funded activities; c) evidence of ongoing attempts by the applicant to obtain other funds; and d) previous support to the faculty member from this or other internal sources, especially in areas where outside funds are potentially available.

FORMAT FOR REVIEWS: Committee Guidelines

DESCRIPTION: Only a few sentences, if possible, to convey the substance of the project or basis of request.

CRITIQUE: Strengths and weaknesses that relate to timeliness, feasibility of approach, best scenario outcome, creativity

INVESTIGATOR: Indicate competence and independence.

BUDGET: Is it justified?

1 - 5 for scholarly merit.
A-C for financial need.


Need refers to the total picture of support already available to the applicant (relative to the discipline), including start-up funds. The need score should also reflect the applicant’s effort to secure support elsewhere. The reviewer should analyze the Need Justification stated in the proposal, and previous support from the Grant-in-Aid program or other internal sources. Proposal budgets should not be included when considering need.  Concerns about the adequacy of the proposal budget should be addressed in the reviews not in the need scores. 

Need A
  • A crucial need exists; the project would not proceed without this funding.
  • Alternative internal and external funds are not currently available, are restricted or are already committed to specific expenditures.
  • PI has not been funded by a Grant-in-Aid in the past five years.
  • When the project is completed, potential for external funding would be high (except for category #5).
  • Applicant has a track record for publishing as well as a record of submitting proposals to external agencies (whether successful or not).
Need B
  • A strong need exists: the project might proceed without funding, albeit not as rapidly.
  • The project has received some funding already from the Office of Vice President for Research or other sources.
  • Partial funding may be an option for a very high quality project.
Need C
  • The need for funding at this time is marginal or below.
  • Applicant has more than $50,000 of non-sponsored/internal funding, e.g. start-up, matching, Imagine Funding, funds associated with position. (The Need Justification section should clearly state why the proposed study could not be financed by start-up money or other unrestricted funds.)
  • Applicant has received more than one Grant-in-Aid in the past five years.
    Exception: Funding provided for Category 2, shared equipment, is not included in the two GIA maximum.
  • Applicant has a Grant-in-Aid project in process.

Applicants will not be penalized for having simultaneously submitted the same proposal to other sources of funding, as long as a funding decision is still pending.

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Eligibility requirements

Get details on eligibility specifications for GIA applicants

Applications are accepted from U of MN faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor) conducting independent research and who hold (or will hold during the 2015-2016 academic year) full time (100%) tenured or tenure-track appointments (Employee Class FAR). New faculty must begin their appointment by the start date of the grant.

U of MN faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor) holding full-time (100%) salaried multiple year contract, annual renewable contract or fixed term contract appointments (Employee Class FAC, FTD, or ACP) and who are annually evaluated like tenured and tenure-track faculty (in terms of their research accomplishments, independence and ability to secure external funding), are also eligible for Grant-in-Aid support.

A faculty member may be principal investigator on only one application at a time or one awarded Grant-in-Aid during a given grant period. Exception is made, however, for investigators applying under shared equipment.

Consideration will not be given to:

  • Proposals from principal investigators who have held two Grant-in-Aid awards within the past five years. (Exception: Funding provided for the shared equipment category, will not be included in the two GIA maximum.)

  • Proposals that have been reviewed three times previously, unless the PI was specifically encouraged to resubmit the proposal following the most recent submission.

  • Applications directed primarily toward curriculum or educational development, e.g., preparation of textbooks or course materials, or toward product development, market surveys, etc. These are more appropriately funded by the faculty member's department or college, or by industry, respectively.

  • Projects which are evaluations of educational (e.g., classroom) experiments, industrial processes, etc. are generally not eligible for funding unless it is clear that the research is part of a broader hypothesis that is the basis of the scholarly work of the faculty member and that the evaluation is not an end in itself.

  • Graduate student thesis research per se (although graduate students are often major participants in projects receiving support).
  • Applicants who have more than $50,000 of uncommitted non-sponsored/internal funding, e.g. start up, matching, Imagine Funding, funds associated with position. (Exception: Shared Equipment Category which has a 30-50% cost sharing requirement)

By approving the Application, the department chair guarantees a commitment for salary and space for the term of the grant.

Terms of Support

Specific projects are generally supported only once. Should faculty wish to apply for a second term of support, a new proposal must be submitted that addresses the following issues: a) there must be a strong indication that the potential for useful results and/or outside funding would be markedly improved by the additional term of support; b) the first term must show appropriate progress; and c) concrete efforts should have been made (whether successful or not) to obtain external funds. Note: new projects will have priority for funding, other factors being equal. Support for a specific project beyond the second term is granted only in exceptional circumstances.

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Budget management

Learn about general budget information and other accounting definitions

PDF IconDownload a printable version of budget management information

General Budget Information

General Operations & Maintenance (1000) and Restricted State Special (1801) support the Grant-in-Aid program. The fund will be assigned by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR).

The DeptID is a 5 digit code that identifies the department which is most closely linked to the GIA project.  If the Primary Investigator (PI) is linked to multiple DeptIDs please see the accountant who would be responsible for monitoring the budget for the project.

20562 – Program value assigned to the Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship. This is the ONLY program value that can be used.

Fin EmplID
As financial activity must be tracked, the Employee ID of the Grant-in-Aid award recipient is required as part of the EFS string.

Accounting Management of Award

The EFS string is established by the budget officer in the faculty member's tenure department.  The departmental budget officer receives all financial reports for the Grant-in-Aid and is responsible for grant monitoring and accounting.  Expense documents must be signed with an authorized departmental signature; OVPR signature is not required.  All document preparation, accounting, and reporting occurs within the department.

Expense Budget Lines
The departmental budget officer establishes all approved Account Values, including Revenue Transfer In Value 600202 (used to award funds) and Transfer Out Value 610202 (used to revert unexpended funds at the end of the grant period).

Fund Transfers
When all required documentation has been received (see HOLDS section, below), the OVPR budget officer transfers funds to the faculty member’s DeptID via Journal Entry. FUND TRANSFERS INTO OR OUT OF GRANT-IN-AID AWARDS BY ANYONE OTHER THAN THE OVPR BUDGET OFFICER IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

HOLDS: Human/Animal Subjects, Hazardous Biological Agents, or Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training:
The OVPR transfers funds for Grant-in-Aid awards pending approval for the use of human, animal subjects or potentially hazardous biological agents if applicable. In addition, funding will be held if the PI has not completed all required RCR Training. Funds will not be transferred until:

Therefore, expenses may not be incurred until all approvals are on file at the Office of the Vice President for Research. All compliance issues must be satisfied within six months of the start date of the grant or award will be rescinded. If applicable, an addendum regarding incomplete requirements is included with the Grant-in-Aid award letter.

Approved Budget
An approved budget is enclosed with each Grant-in-Aid award letter. The faculty member and his/her budget officer are responsible for expending the award as approved. OVPR oversight of these funds is retrospective; the OVPR monitors grant activity quarterly to ensure that expenses incurred are reasonably consistent with the approved budget. The faculty member and his/her area budget officer are responsible for the removal of any over-expenditures or unauthorized expenditures.

Grant Period
Grant-in-Aid projects must be completed within the one and one-half year grant period. Current grant periods are January 1, 2016- June 30, 2017 (for Fall 2015 awards) and July 1, 2016-January 15, 2018 (for Spring 2016 awards). Funding is effective on the start date of the award and expenditures must be charged within the dates of the grant period.

Requests for no-cost extensions must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the end date of the grant. The request must include:

  • Proposal number
  • EFS string number
  • Justification for the request in terms of the overall goals and objectives of the original proposal as reviewed and approved by the faculty peer review committee
  • A revised timeline.

PLEASE NOTE that extending the term of an award may affect future eligibility. Send requests to:, attention Frances Lawrenz, Associate VP for Research. Typically, requests are reviewed and a decision distributed via e-mail within a week.

Effort Reporting
If personnel supported by a Grant-in-Aid are not supported by sponsored funds, effort certification is not required. If, however, personnel supported by a Grant-in-Aid are also supported by sponsored funds, effort on the Grant-in-Aid must be reported.

Research Assistant (RA) Salary and Fringe

Students may be employed on Grant-in-Aid accounts as undergraduate or graduate research assistants. Other student classifications (lab assistant, etc.) and non-academic short term employment (temp casual) appointments are typically not appropriate unless specifically justified in the proposal and included in the approved budget. Contact Human Resources or your departmental HR officer for procedures on hiring research assistants.  The faculty member may allocate the total amount to different RAs at different percentages of time and term, as necessary. Departmental policies regarding RA pay rates should be followed.

Please note that the Office of the Vice President for Research provides no augmentations for annual salary or fringe increases.  If the amount awarded for salary and fringe is not sufficient to support students at the pay level desired, the grant must be supplemented by other funding sources or the term of support shortened to provide sufficient funds.

The Grant-in-Aid award does not cover fringe benefit charges for Social Security and Medicare. Salary and fringe rates should not include the Social Security and Medicare fringe components (totaling 7.65% of gross salary) charged for graduate research assistants who do not meet minimum credit hour requirements (i.e., are registered for fewer than three credits, or less than one credit for advanced master’s and Ph.D. candidates). Should the graduate research assistant fall into this category, another source of funding must provide the additional 7.65% fringe charge or the term of support must be reduced. See the Graduate Assistant Employment Services website for a thorough description of graduate student assistant information.

Salary and fringe expenses may be transferred to the GIA EFS String using a Direct Retro (formerly called an HSA) provided the original expense is within the grant period and the salary charges posted in the current Fiscal Year. Salary expenses crossing Fiscal Years cannot be moved to the grant.

If necessitated by the nature of the project, an investigator is allowed to reallocate up to 25% of the amount originally awarded for a given expense category (Account Value) to another approved category (for instance, from equipment to supplies, from supplies to travel, etc.) without obtaining permission from the OVPR. Reallocation between Account Values in excess of this allowance requires advance approval from the OVPR.

Re-budgeting  (See Expenditures Allowed)
Should the faculty member find it necessary to re-budget the grant beyond the 25% reallocation allowance, a written or e-mail request must be submitted to the OVPR at The following must be included:

  • Proposal number
  • EFS string number
  • Description of new budget item (or budget item in need of more funding)
  • Description of the existing approved budget item from which funding should be taken
  • Dollar amount
  • Justification for the request in terms of the overall goals and objectives of the original proposal as reviewed and approved by the faculty peer review committee.

Typically, these requests are reviewed and decisions distributed via e-mail within two weeks. Exception: If a faculty member wishes to substitute an undergraduate Research Assistant for a graduate Research Assistant or vice versa, no re-budgeting permission is required.

Additional Account Values, if required, must be authorized by the OVPR , and if approved, established by the departmental budget officer. This requirement ensures that expenses are consistent with the overall goals and objectives of the proposed research project as reviewed and approved by the faculty peer review committee.

The total allotment in travel may be reallocated within the expense line without obtaining re-budgeting permission. Similarly, if multiple trips are approved, the total travel allotment can be reallocated among the trips as necessary. The approved per diem for foreign travel is based on the U.S. State Department per diem allowances, or the faculty member’s lower estimate at the time the proposal was submitted. Rates should be reduced proportionately for visits longer than 1 month in one locale, when it should be possible to make more economical arrangements. Explanation of long term arrangements must be included in the budget justification section of the GIA application. Per diem and other travel information can be found at

Purchasing Procedures

Approved supplies, services, equipment, are purchased following the department's standard purchasing procedures and policies.  Travel expenses and reimbursements are also processed by department's budget office.  Please do not send copies of these documents to the OVPR.  Expenses may be transferred to the Grant-in-Aid using transfer/expense redistribution journal entry, provided the original expense was incurred within the grant period.

Prohibited Expenditures

  • faculty or visiting faculty salary support; regular full-time civil service salary or full-time non-faculty P&A salary support (except Bridge Funding category)
  • support for personnel to edit or index publication material, or to word process manuscripts or proposals
  • subcontracts
  • computer time charges for U of M computer use; U of M computer time application fee; charges to connect to a network
  • computer equipment that was not included in the final, approved project budget
  • routine maintenance/repairs of equipment
  • books, subscriptions, reprints, publication costs other than journal fees
  • travel to or from sabbatical and single semester leave sites
  • travel expenses associated with professional meetings, conferences, and short courses
  • fees & expenses associated with conferences
  • small, general-purpose items, furniture, or maintenance contracts
  • utilities (e.g., phone lines)

Fiscal Year-End
The funding period of a Grant-in-Aid always crosses one fiscal year-end (June 30,) and awards beginning on January 1 also end on June 30 (one and one-half years later.)

Resignation, Termination

In the event that a faculty member leaves the U of M during the award period, remaining GIA funds will revert to the Office of the Vice President for Research.

End of the Grant Period

Ending Date
Grants-in-Aid awarded on July 1 end on January 15, one and one-half years from the start date. Grants-in-Aid awarded on January 1 end on June 30, one and one-half years from the start date. No further expenses should be charged after the end date of the grant; although grants remain active through the end of the next month so outstanding invoices can be paid. All encumbrances must be cleared by either June 30 or January 31, depending on the grant period.

Account Balance
The OVPR reverts unexpended funds. If the account is in deficit, expenses must be transferred to another source of funding via expense transfer/redistribution journal entry. Note that journal entry fund transfers by departmental budget officers are strictly prohibited on these grants and cannot be used to remove positive balances or cover deficits at year-end.

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Applying for GIA

Read about GIA application instructions, required attachments, and approver routing.

Click HERE to download a printable version of the instructions

Application Instructions

Systems Requirements

Preferred Internet Browsers:

Internet Explorer version 8.0 or higher or FireFox version 13.0 or higher.

Adobe Reader

**Note: All GIA competitions are currently closed.**

Required attachments must be saved as PDF.

Cover letter if Bridge Funding, New Research Direction, Resubmission, or Special Request For Established Faculty Pilot Data.

Vita and publications (ONE page maximum)

Abstract (150 word maximum-Exception: Shared Equipment category)

Proposal (2000 word maximum for items #2 & #3 listed under Required Componants)

Past, Present, Potential Funding (Use Funding Template provided on application)


  • PI submits application to approvers: Monday, September 21, 2015
  • Approvers submit applications to the Office of the Vice President for Research (instructions below): Thursday, September 24, 2015

Special Instructions

PLEASE NOTE that fax, e-mail and paper copy applications will not be accepted.



REQUIRED ATTACHMENTS: When naming your attachments, please include your name with a one-word descriptor, e.g. JDoe_Abstract.pdf


Cover letters are required for the categories listed below (two page maximum). If cover letter does not answer the specific questions listed under each of the separate categories included below, the proposal may not be reviewed.

  • Bridge Funding – see Special Instructions.
  • New Research Direction-Explain:
    1. How the proposed research is significantly different from current or past work.
    2. How the proposed research is not an extension of current research.
    3. What preparations have been made to be able to make the transition.
  • Resubmissions – summarize the changes made in response to the previous reviewer comments.
  • Special Requests for Established Investigators' Pilot Projects – Explain:
    1. Why the pilot data can not be obtained without GIA funding.
    2. Where the proposed research will lead; list what competitions you would be able to apply for.

Limit to one page and include the following information:

  • Highest degree: Indicate your highest degree, degree date, institution, major and minor programs, advisor(s) and dissertation title.
  • Other Appointments: Provide the following for post-doctoral and/or faculty appointments during the previous five years: rank/title, institution, department, supervisor (if post-doc) and time period.
  • Publications: List your recent publications from the past five years. (Artistic applicants should list exhibitions, commissions, performances, etc.) This information is needed to help document the recent productivity and areas of expertise. If your expertise in the proposed area is not clear from your publications, please add a brief statement documenting relevant experience.
  • Provide a non-technical abstract of the proposed research.
  • Limit to 150 words (Exception Shared Equipment category).

Be careful to write both the methodology & content in terms that can be understood by other university scholars (humanists, scientists and engineers, social scientists, etc.), not only by specialists.

It is strongly recommended that proposals be read and critiqued by colleagues both in and outside of your field prior to submission to ensure ultimate clarity to review panel members who are not experts in the particular field. This is particularly important for proposals in creative and performing arts. See special instructions for creative and performing arts.


  • Approximately four single-spaced pages prepared in point size of 12 or higher with 1" margins
  • Limit to 2,000 words for items #2 & #3 listed under Required Components.
  • References are not included in this space limitation but should be kept to a minimum.

Other Documentation

  • One additional page may be added for figures, digital images (1200 to 1500 pixels not to exceed 2MB per image) or letters of collaboration, which are not included in the 2000-word limit.
  • Do not attach other documents or appendices except by special instructions.
  • Reviewers may choose to disregard any additional information listed in this section unless it is specifically required by special instructions (see special instructions section).

Required Components

  1. Category Justification:
    • Short paragraph explaining specifically how this proposal meets the criteria for the category in which it is being submitted
    • Limit is 50 words
  2. Present Status of Knowledge:
    • Provide a brief overview indicating the nature and importance of the project; place its importance within the context of general knowledge in your field and indicate possible practical significance, if applicable.
    • Include appropriate references from relevant literature to help place the project in context and further indicate your familiarity with the field.
  3. Plan of Work:
    • Description and a timeline of the work you propose to undertake
    • History of the project
    • Elements of the project you expect to complete during the grant period
    • Materials and methods to be used
    • Hypotheses to be tested or the specific questions to be addressed, and the approaches you will take to reach your goals (where appropriate).
    • Use sufficient detail to permit a critical evaluation of the project's likelihood of success and address potential significance of the work.
  4. Need Justification:
    • The need justification should state why the proposed study cannot be funded with any other non-sponsored/internal funding (e.g. startup, endowed chair, McKnight professorship, matching funds, etc.). If the PI does not have any funding of this type, a brief mention of attempts to secure other funding, limited availability of other funding sources, etc. would be appropriate.
    • Eligibility rules prevent those with over $50,000 uncommitted non-sponsored/internal funding from applying. If you have over $50,000 in internal funds of any kind, you must include a thorough explanation of how these funds are otherwise committed.
    • Insufficient need justification may result in the assignation of a low need score and automatic elimination of the proposal from further consideration.
  5. Word Count: Please provide the word count of items 2-3 above.

Provide a record of your research funding for the past five years and applications submitted but not funded within the past two years on the Funding Template provided on the application. This information is important in reflecting the efforts of the applicant to obtain other funds, especially in the case of renewal applications.

Please list:

  1. The unit in which you are employed and the percentage of your salary that is paid by that unit.
  2. Non-sponsored/internal research funding including:
    • start-up
    • matching and Imagine Funding, and
    • funds associated with your position, e.g., endowed chair, McKnight Professorship.
  3. Sponsored/external research fudning

Include in the Need Justification section of your proposal, an explanation of any real or apparent overlap (monetary or subject) of other funded projects with this proposal, or why uncommitted money cannot be used to finance the proposed project.


See Expenditures Allowed
Provide an itemized budget using EFS account values. Consult with your departmental budget officer/accountant to identify the most appropriate six digit account values. Items MUST be justified in the designated section.

  1. Justify how the items in your budget fit into the plan of work.
  2. Personnel duties must be described and justified.
  3. Funding requests for third-party payments for scholarly or creative work such as honoraria, artistic commissions and consultants may not exceed $5,000 or 20% of the total GIA project cost, whichever is smaller.*
  4. Funding requests for professional and/or lab services outside the U of MN may not exceed $5,000 or 20% of total GIA project cost whicever is smaller.*
  5. Requests that are not submitted under the Shared Equipment category and that include the purchase of a piece of equipment that is equal to or greater than $5,000 should include matching funds, typically 30-50%. When listing the piece of equipment on the Budget Template, indicate only the amount being requested from the Grant-in-Aid program. Information on matching funds, the total cost for the piece of equipment and whether the equipment will be shared by others, should be indicated in the Budget Justification section.  Please attach copies of commitment letter(s) under "Other Documentation".
  6. In most cases, computers are not allowable expenses.  It is expected that departments or other University resources (OIT MSI) will provide computer support.  The justification for a computer request must include the following: (1) specify the special features of the computer that are necessary and integral for supporting the project; (2) explain why other University computing resources (e.g. MSI, departmental computers) cannot meet the needs of this project, (3) explain what will be done with the computer when the research is finished.

    * $5,000 total allowed for non-U of MN personnel, professional and/or lab services outside the U of MN.




The following approvals are required to ensure that appropriate administrators are aware of the proposal and that the objectives are in keeping with departmental and collegiate goals.

• Division or Department Head/Chair (except when your Department/Division/School/College does not have a head/chair)
• Dean or Chancellor or Provost (Approver List)

It is strongly recommended that you check with your respective departmental division/college/school offices to confirm the identity of your approvers, and to check their availability for approvals by their deadline of 9/24/2015. Applications will NOT automatically route to an alternate approver.

Routing to Approvers

  • You will not be able to edit your application after routing it to approvers!
  • Enter internet ID (x500 only) for each approver (click on enter button), verify that application will be routed to correct approver, then click "Submit to Approvers" button at the bottom of the online application form when you are ready to route to approver(s).
  • Each approver will receive an email with a direct link to your application notifying them that the application is ready for their approval
  • When approvers have reviewed your application, you will receive email messages notifying you that your application has been approved or not approved. Once it has been approved by both approvers you will be notified that your application has been received by the Office of the Vice President for Research.


Questions regarding the application process may be directed to, 612-625-2356 or 612-625-7585

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1. Can I submit the proposal electronically?
Yes! All proposals must be submitted electronically.

2. Do I have to use the Funding and Budget templates provided in the electronic form?
Yes. Detail regarding budgets can be included in the "Budget Justification" section of the budget template.

3. Will I need matching funds for equipment even if it is NOT a Shared Equipment request?
Non-Shared Equipment requests that include the purchase of a piece of equipment that is equal to or greater than $5,000 should include matching funds, typically 30-50%. Please attach copies of commitment letter(s) under "Other Documentation".

4. Is there flexibility with the 2000 word limit?
It should be possible to limit to 2000 words as requested; however, some flexibility will be allowed for resubmission and Shared Equipment proposals. Illustrations and graphs may be incorporated into the proposal body. Note that one additional page may be added for figures, digital images(1200 to 1500 pixels not to exceed 2MB per image) or letters of collaboration, which are not included in the 2000-word limit.

5. Is there a particular time on the deadline day that the application is due?
No, you hve the full day until midnight.

6. If I still have more than $50K in start up, does that mean I'm not eligible?
No, but you need to include a very thorough justification in the "need justification" section of your proposal for how those funds will be used and why they cant be used for this project. If you still have over $100K, we often suggest you wait a year or two and spend some of those funds before applying here.

7. Why wont my file upload?
The file size limit is 4MB, make sure your file is smaller than that.

8. What is HRPP approval? Do I need it?
HRPP stands for “Human Research Protection Program.” The HRPP office oversees the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the review and approval of research involving human subjects, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for the review and approval of research that involves recombinant DNA, infectious agents or biologically derived toxins.  If your research involves animal subjects, approval is required from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in the Office of Animial Welfare.  Any Grant-in-Aid funds awarded are not released until the required approvals are obtained.  If you do not have approval at the time of submission, please check “Pending” in the compliance section of the on-line form. Once approval(s) are received, documentation must be submitted to our office via e-mail to

9. Do I need to include a Proposal Routing Form (PRF)?
No. The "Compliance" section of the on-line application along with the required on-line approvals serve this purpose.

10. Do Co-PIs and their Department Chairs and Deans need to review and approve this proposal?
No. Starting in the fall competition, 2008, Co-PIs and their Chairs and Deans will no longer be required to review and approve Grant-in-Aid proposals.

11. Is there a standard allotment for Grad RA salaries and fringe?
No. As of Fall 2011, departmental policies regarding Grad RA pay rates should be followed.

12. When will I find out if I have been awarded the Grant-in-Aid?
Typically the first week of December for the fall competition: the first week of May for the spring competition.

13. When are Grant-in-Aid proposals due?
Typically deadlines are fall - the third Monday in September, and spring - the first Monday in February. Bridge Funding requests (Interim Support) may also be submitted the second Monday in June.

14. I have indicated who my PI Support Person is, but they cannot access the proposal - how do I give them access?
Scroll to the bottom of the application page and click "Send to PI Support".

15. Where do I find the Account values for the Budget page?
Please contact your departmental budget officer/accountant to help you identify the correct six digit account values.

16. I can't fill in the Funding template. What's wrong?
You may be using an older version on Adobe Reader. We recommend that you update your Reader to the most recent version. Click on "Adobe Reader" in the application instructions to upload the latest version. It is also recommended that you use IE or Firefox.

17. How will I know if my proposal has been approved by my designated approvers?
You will receive e-mails when each of your approvers have reviewed and approved (or not approved) your proposal.

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More Information

Fall 2015 Application Deadline

PI to Approvers:
Monday, September 21, 2015

Approvers to OVPR:
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Spring 2016 Application Deadline

PI to Approvers:
Monday, February 1, 2016

Approvers to OVPR:
Thursday, February 4, 2016

GIA Information Session

View via UMconnect

Grant-in-Aid Recipients

Click here to learn more about the latest GIA awards.

Exemplary Proposals

Click here to see a sampling of exemplary proposals from previous years.

Awarded Equipment

Click here to see a listing of GIA awarded equipment on campus.

Contact Us

Please e-mail or call 612-625-2356 with any questions.