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Graduate Student Research Support

Proposal Preparation and Submission

Student Profile

The research opportunities in biological sciences are very diverse here at the University of Arkansas. Also, the faculty in my program have been excellent mentors and instructors. And there are great fellowship opportunities here at the U of A that very few universities can compete with! I would definitely recommend the U of A to other students in my field.

Nicole Mitchell-Calhoun, Ph.D. Candidate, Cell & Molecular Biology

For assistance and advice with proposal development and submission, contact the Office of Research Support and Sponsored Programs (RSSP), Room 120 Ozark Hall, Phone (479) 575-3845, FAX (479) 575-3846. You can also email RSSP at rsspinfo@uark.edu rsspinfo@uark.edu. Do not submit confidential information to this email address. There are multiple recipients who will have access to the information submitted.

All student research must be supervised by a faculty member.

Internal Forms

The following forms are required for all proposal submissions.

Routing

  • Department. Your proposal must be signed by your faculty advisor and the department head/chair.
  • Research Support and Sponsored Programs (RSSP)
  • Agricultural Experiment Station Business Office (USDA and commodity proposals) Contact Mike Sisco for information proposals to be submitted through the College of Agriculture (479) 575-4449

Approvals

All proposals must be signed by the student investigator and the faculty supervisor/advisor. They must be approved by the department head/chair and RSSP prior to submission.

Compliance Issues/Committees

Many areas of research are governed by federal and/or state regulations and require the oversight of a university compliance committee. You need not have approval of the committee prior to submission of a proposal for funding. However, should you received an award, you must have committee approval prior to beginning the research. In most cases, you will not be allowed to access sponsor funds until your project has been approved by all of the appropriate compliance committees.

If you have questions regarding compliance issues or committees, please contact the Research Compliance Office at (479) 575-4572 or email Rosemary Ruff at rruff@uark.edu.

The committees and their areas of oversight are:

  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

    From the University's Animal Care and Use Policy

  • All research and teaching using live vertebrate animals conducted at the University campus, or by University faculty, staff, or students when acting as representatives of the University at off-campus locations. In addition, it has been adopted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture for application to all research and teaching using live vertebrate animals conducted at the Agricultural Experiment Station, or by individuals acting as representatives of the Agricultural Experiment Station at off-site locations. This policy does not apply to services provided by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) - Human Subjects

    From the University's Policy And Procedures Governing Research With Human Subjects

  • This policy and the attendant procedures apply to all research involving human subjects which fits into any one or more of the following categories:

    • It is sponsored by the University.
    • It is conducted by or under the supervision or control of university employees in
    • connection with their institutional responsibilities.
    • It is conducted by or under the supervision or control of university employees or
      students using any property or facility of the University.
    • It involves the use of the University's non-public information to identify or contact
      subjects or potential subjects.

    Research which is subject to these policies and procedures includes the gathering of
    information about or directly from human subjects, whether or not the information is intended
    to be published or disseminated.

  • Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) - The use of radioactive materials and equipment containing sealed sources of radiation, x-ray and related bioimaging equipment
  • RSC Policies, Procedures and Forms
    All Radiation Safety documents and current information may be found on the UofA Environmental Health and Safety web site.

  • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) - Recombinant DNA and hazardous biological agents and materials (human pathogens, human blood and other body fluids, toxins, etc.)

    From the University's Biological Safety Policy and Procedures

    This policy governs the receipt, storage, transport, use and disposal of hazardous biological agents and materials. It applies to all research, teaching or other activities using hazardous biological materials conducted at the University campus or by University faculty, staff or students when acting as representatives of the University at off-campus locations. In addition, it has been adopted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture for application to all research, teaching or other activities using hazardous biological materials conducted at the Agricultural Experiment Station or by individuals acting as representatives of the Agricultural Experiment Station at off-site locations. This policy does not apply to services provided by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Conflict of Interest

You, your faculty advisor, and any co-investigators will be required to file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form prior to proposal submission. In accordance with University policy, each of you should fully and clearly disclose any potential conflicts of interest which might be encountered in the performance of the proposed research.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

All parties involved in the conduct of the proposed research will be required to conduct themselves responsibly and to perform the scope of work as proposed according to the highest professional and ethical standards.

From the University's Research And Scholarly Misconduct Policies And Procedures (2008)

Research or scholarly misconduct means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism,
deception, or other ethical practices which seriously deviate from those commonly accepted within the research community for proposing, conducting, or reporting the results of research.

It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Research and scholarly misconduct also includes abuse of confidentiality which means stealing ideas and/or preliminary data during the process of peer review for journal articles or proposals submitted to funding agencies.

Proposal Writing

If you have never written or read a proposal, you will need some assistance in preparing your first proposal for submission to the sponsor. Your advisor may have so successful proposals which you can read to gain an idea of the basic components of the proposal and the style(s) of writing normally. The Foundation Center also has a brief, on-line tutorial on proposal writing which you will find helpful.

  • Proposal Text

Before you start writing your proposal, read carefully and take notes on the sponsor's requirements, if any. Follow the instructions carefully and exactly because they may vary widely from sponsor to sponsor. You may find that their are page limits (on the entire proposal or on the components of the proposal), font size restrictions, and even limits on the length of the proposal title. Your proposal may be rejected, without being read, for failing to follow the sponsor's guidelines.

  • Budgeting

Many investigators find the budget development the most difficult and/or time consuming part of proposal preparation. Be sure to read the sponsor's guidelines carefully to see what costs are allowable. If a sponsor provides forms, you should use those forms. Because UofA is a non-profit institution of higher education and subject to specific rules and regulations prescribed by the federal government, our method of budgeting may differ from a sponsor's method. You may need to use a separate budget form, provided by Research Support and Sponsored Programs (RSSP) and found on the RSSP web site, to demonstrate how the categories required by the sponsor fit into our budgeting categories.

Direct and Indirect Costs — Direct costs are those costs which can be directly attributed to the benefit of the project. They include the readily identifiable items such as salary and wages for the individuals working on the project, the associated fringe benefits, travel, supplies, tuition, and equipment. Indirect costs are those costs which are incurred in doing a project but which can't be easily identified (and quantified) as benefiting a specific project. Examples of indirect costs are the building maintenance, electricity, water, libraries, parking lots, streets, the research administrator who assists you with our proposal submission, the salary of the deans and department heads/chairs, etc. At UofA, we are required to negotiate indirect costs rates with a federal agency. Our rate agreement will tell you which rate to apply for the project you are proposing. If your sponsor limits indirect cost recovery to less than our negotiated rate, you should request a waiver of indirect costs for the difference between our rate and what is allowable. Always attach written documentation from the sponsor regarding the restriction.

Finding Financial Support

University Libraries - The university library has the following publications which may be of assistance.

Peterson's Grants for Graduate Study Call No. LB2337.2 .P46 3rd ed.
Peterson's Grants for Graduate and Postdoctoral Study Call No. LB2337.2 P458 4th ed. 1995
Peterson's Grants for Graduate and Postdoctoral Study Call No. LB2338.P47 1995
The Foundation Center Source Book Profiles Call No. NV97.A3 F624 1989

On the Web - The following are links to requests for proposal and announcements of funding opportunities.