Research

Internal Research Grant Fund

The Internal Research Grant Fund (IRGF) is the main source of internal research funds available to eligible faculty at Mount Royal University. This program is designed to support faculty in developing their research programs through the funding of:

  • Pilot projects
  • Projects designed to lead to larger-scale external funding applications
  • Projects that are not well-suited to external funding opportunities

COMPETITION DEADLINES

Fall Application Deadline:  Friday, September 28, 2018 (CLOSED)
Notice of decision letters will be sent out the week of Oct. 29, 2018

Winter Application Deadline:  Friday, January 18, 2019 (CLOSED - Will open in December)

Applications will be accepted until midnight on the submission deadline. Competition results will be announced 4-6 weeks from the submission deadline.

 

New SSHRC Awards

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) recently merged the Aid to Small Universities and SSHRC Institution Grants into a single program to be administered by eligible institutions. MRU will receive a $36,503 block grant in each of the next three academic years to be awarded as SSHRC Explore (for research activities) and SSHRC Exchange (for dissemination activities) grants.

The application process for the new SSHRC Grants will be fully integrated with the Internal Research Grant Fund (IRGF) for Explore Grants and Faculty Conference Travel Fund (FCTF) awards for Exchange Grants.

Applications for these new awards will be conducted through ROMEO in the IRGF and FCTF competitions respectively. Applicants with SSHRC eligible activities will automatically be considered for the SSHRC Grants by the Scholarship Review Committee. The top 3 ranked IRGF and top 2 ranked FCTF SSHRC eligible applications from each competition will be awarded SSHRC Explore and SSHRC Exchange Grants respectively. These SSHRC awards will be administered identically to existing internal awards, but they will be 'branded' as SSHRC awards and will have specific acknowledgement and reporting requirements.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be full-time Mount Royal University faculty at the time of application. Part-time faculty members interested in applying are required to partner as a co-applicant with a full-time faculty member.

Effective Winter 2019, applicants may hold one IRGF (or SSHRC Explore) every 2 years. Previous IRGF grants must be completed at least 12 months before applicants are eligible to apply again. A grant is completed when all expenses have been incurred and the final research report has been submitted. This applies to the Principal Investigator only. NOTE: grant extensions will impact your eligibility period.

Ineligible applications will be returned without adjudication.

Program Opportunities

Eligible applicants can apply for two categories of IRGF funding:

STANDARD GRANTS are led by an individual eligible applicant. Part-time faculty members may apply as a co-applicant with a full-time faculty member.
The maximum value of an IRGF Standard Grant is $5,000 over one year.

TEAM GRANTS are led by an eligible applicant with one or more co-applicants or collaborators.
The maximum value of an IRGF Team Grant is $10,000 over one year. 

Adjudication Process and Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be adjudicated by the Scholarship Review Committee (SRC). The SRC is composed of faculty members from across Mount Royal University. Each academic Faculty has representation on this committee. As a whole, the Scholarship Review Committee has a wide range of research experience covering quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies. Therefore, it is important to understand that all SRC committee members will review and adjudicate all IRGF applications - please ensure that you write your proposal so that it can be reasonably evaluated by all faculty on the SRC.

Each application will be assigned three members of the Scholarship Review Committee as Primary reviewers. All proposals will then be discussed by the full committee for final allocation decisions.

The ORSCE will notify applicants of the results of their applications and will provide committee comments to applicants who were not selected for funding.

* If you are concerned about a potential Conflict of Interest with your proposal and a particular committee member, please be sure to explain this in the Conflict of Interest section of your application. The ORSCE will work with your Faculty Dean to explore and mitigate potential conflicts that have been identified to us.*

The SRC Criteria for Internal Research Grant Review

     Scoring:
                  1 - Unsatisfactory
                  2 - Lacking, requires additional information or clarity
                  3 - Satisfactory to good: adequate, moderately addressed, some uncertainties of lack of clarity remain
                  4 - Good to very good: meets expectations
                  5 - Very good to excellent: very clear, exceeds expectations

Applications must receive a score of 3.0 or higher for each criterion to be recommended for funding
 
Criterion                                                  Score 1/2/3/4/5                                                          Comments
Literature Review    
Literature review is clear and situates the proposed research. Selected references are current and there is evidence of information/knowledge synthesis. (What do we know and need to know about the proposed area of research, scholarship or community engagement?)    
Problem/Research Question    
Problem and/or research question is clearly articulated. (To what question/problem is this project the answer?)    
Research Program    
Project is situated (placed in the context of) previous and/or future research program of the applicant. (How does this project fit into the scholarship activities of the applicant?)    
Research Contribution    
The applicant describes how the work will contribute to the proposed field of study. (What is the potential significance and originality of the project outcomes?)    
Proposal Understandability    
The proposal is written in a manner that makes the topic understandable to an educated, but non-specialist, audience. (Does the applicant use 'plain language' and avoid the undefined use of jargon and technical terms?)    
Methodology    
The methods to conduct the work are described in enough detail to understand all phases of the project from data collection to analysis. (Is it clear what the applicant intends to do and how it will be done?)    
Research Outcomes Plan    
A plan for communicating research outcomes is clearly presented. (How will the results of the research be shared with the appropriate communities of interest – including knowledge mobilization if appropriate?)    
Undergrad Research Assistants    
The role/benefit and training of undergraduate researchers is included in the project or an explanation is provided as to why this is not needed or appropriate to conduct the work. (What are the benefits to undergrad students in the project? What is the potential role of undergraduates in the project? If undergraduate students are not included, is the rationale understandable?)    
Budget Justification    
The proposed budget is reasonable. (Are the proposed expenditures appropriate for the activities being conducted?)    

 

Application Guidance

PROJECT INFORMATION

Project Title
Provide the name of your project. Indicate if this is a continuation of a previous IRGF project.

Proposed Project Start Date/End Date

Provide the proposed start and end dates of your project. The maximum project term is one year. The committee may use this information to determine feasibility.

Research Team (max 2800 characters, approximately 400 word count)
If you are applying for a Standard Grant with a co-applicant or a Team Grant, provide a list of team member names, their academic affiliations (if not MRU), and a brief description of each member's contributions to the project.

Summary (max 2100 characters, approximately 300 word count)
Use this area to provide a summary of your project. This will be each committee member's first impression of your project, so take the time to craft it carefully. It should speak briefly to context, and to the originality and importance of the research you are proposing.

Project Description (max 7000 characters, approximately 1000 words) References are to be uploaded as an attachment.
As part of your application, you must provide a detailed description of the research project addressing the following sections:
  • Introduction/Statement of the Problem: Use a brief review of the current literature related to the topic to demonstrate gaps in knowledge and the importance of the study.
  • Research Aims/Purpose
  • Research Questions
  • Proposed Methods: Consider subject selection, recruitment, data collection, analysis and methodological framework. Provide enough detail for the committee to be able to assess the quality and feasibility of your proposed study. If you are engaging a very specific methodological approach, be sure to be clear on why that approach is best-suited to the successful completion of your project.
  • Research Timeline

     As appropriate, provide information on the following topics:

  • Plan for student engagement and training (where appropriate)
  • Likelihood of impact beyond the academic research community
DISSEMINATION (max 2800 characters, approximately 400 word count)

Describe your plans for dissemination in as much detail as possible (maximum 400 words). Dissemination plans are increasingly important to the fundability of a research project. Use this area to explain the different ways in which you plan to disseminate your findings. Remember that, in many cases, dissemination might not only happen at the end of the research project, but might happen throughout the lifespan of the project. Dissemination and/or knowledge mobilization can take many forms including presenting at conferences, publishing in academic journals, authoring books, reports to public bodies or community organizations etc.

BUDGET

Budget Summary
Provide a detailed budget for your project. This budget will be assessed by adjudicators to determine the feasibility of your project. Review the FAQ to get some tips for your budget and learn about eligible expenses. PLEASE NOTE: any knowledge dissemination activities you plan to carry out as part of your research/scholarship activities, should be included in your budget.

The Budget Summary includes a box that allows you to further detail any expenses listed under the heading “Other”.

Other Funding
If your proposed budget exceeds the funding available through this program, you must provide details on the other funds that you will use to compensate for the shortfall.

Budget Justification (max 3500 characters, approximately 500 words)
The budget justification is designed to provide the adjudication committee with more details on the expenses associated with your project. A well‐crafted budget justification will contribute to the committee’s understanding of the feasibility of your proposed project. It should contain a list of the items included in your project’s budget with explanation of the roles each of these items will play in the completion of the proposed research.

ATTACHMENTS

All applications must include the following attachments:
  • Project Description References
  • CVs
NOTE: It is important that applicants adhere to the allotted word counts. Do not attach supplementary information (i.e. tables, diagrams) as only  project description references and CVs will be reviewed.

Budget FAQ

Most expenses that reflect the direct costs of research are eligible under the Internal Research Grants fund. Examples of common costs are:
  • Personnel/student Research Assistant (RA) costs
  • Data collection costs (including related travel)
  • Conference/dissemination travel (although please see the note below on this)
  • Small equipment purchase
  • Specialist services not available at Mount Royal University (e.g. translation)
Personnel costs: Include rates (as a guide, the "standard" RA rate is $14-17 per hour at Mount Royal University), hours and total costs. Eight percent (8%) benefit costs should also be included for budgetary purposes (this covers CPP and CEI employer costs) and is an additional cost charged to the grant account.

Equipment: Include a reasonable estimate of what the required equipment will cost. Estimates can be determined by contacting suppliers or consulting appropriate websites. Don't forget costs for taxes, shipping, exchange and duty.

For travel/conferences: Be sure to include expenses for conference travel in your budget (maximum grant amount has been increased to $5000 to compensate for this). Try to estimate the full cost. If the conference has not yet been scheduled or is some time in the future, estimate the costs.
             For example: Domestic conference presentation: $1250.

Note:
  • Applications whose budgets are comprised of only conference- or dissemination-based travel will not be funded through the Internal Research Grants Fund. Faculty should apply to the Faculty Conference Travel Fund and other faculty-specific sources for conference travel funds.
  • Applications that include more than one conference in a funding year are likely to have only one conference funded if successful.
Ineligible expense examples:
  •  Personnel Costs for Primary and Co-Applicants
  • Teaching Release: These are not funded in any IRGF competition unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you feel you have exceptional circumstances, contact us to discuss your options.
  • Office Supplies: General office supplies and photocopying are not eligible expenses. Printing that is specifically related to the project (e.g. printing of paper surveys to be used in data collection) is an allowable expense. For current rates, check with PrintSys (formerly Document Services). Be sure to provide appropriate justification for these costs.
Mount Royal’s policies and procedures must be observed when spending any award made under the Internal Research Grants Fund. You can find the relevant policies and procedures on the ORSCE website, the Financial Services website or through Lotus Notes. Once funding has been secured, our Research Finance Analyst will be happy to sit down with you and explain key finance procedures associated with your project, however by accepting funds from the Internal Research Grants Fund, you are agreeing to use those funds in accordance with all policies and procedures governing research at Mount Royal University.   

Research Compliance

Compliance certification (human ethics, animal, biomedical, etc.), is not required before applications have been approved for funding. However, successful awards will not be released until all required certifications have been secured. Please contact Priscilla Wamucii (pwamucii@mtroyal.ca), Research Compliance Officer, for more information.

Assistance and Proposal Review

Melissa Deane (mdeane1@mtroyal.ca), manager of the ORSCE, will be able to answer many of the questions you may have on the IRGF process. In addition, you may access assistance in developing all grant proposals, including those for the internal research grants, from the Research Development Officer. Ask Melissa to connect you with the Research Development Officer for support. We encourage you to make contact early in the process.