Research Support Guide

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The programs listed in the UK Faculty Research Support Guide are available to full-time faculty members — regular, special, research or clinical title series, and to senior research staff who are eligible to serve as a PI on external grants.

All requests for internal support require the approval of and electronic submission through the college administration and department chair or center & institute director.

Requests and proposals are to be submitted to VPR Grants. Indicate PI's name and program name in subject line.

For questions contact:
Office of the Vice President for Research
311 Main Building, 0032
257-5090, fax: 323-2800

Research Support Grant Program

This internal grant program is designed to enhance UK's research enterprise by assisting individual investigators in accelerating their research programs.

The program will be offered annually, and will support the following:

  • Pilot studies to obtain preliminary data to enhance the competitiveness of extramural research grant applications, or for new creative research avenues.
  • Studies to obtain preliminary data requested by reviewers of an externally-submitted grant.

Awards will generally be from $4,000 to $20,000 (maximum allowed) and costs should be commensurate with the proposedwork.  Awards will be for one year only from the date of award. No more than one application per faculty member will be funded in a three year period from the time of the award. If an investigator has received research support funding through other programs offered by the Office of Research or from other institutional grant support mechanisms (e.g., COBRE Pilot Projects, CCTS Pilot Projects, NSF EPSCoR, College of Medicine MVP Program, etc), they are ineligible to compete for these funds for the same project (or in the same year). Investigators who have significant amounts of research funding or start-up funds will be less competitive for these grants.

Eligibility: Full-time faculty members in the regular, special, research, librarian or clinical title series and senior research staff (who are eligible to serve as a PI on external grants).

This program will not support faculty salaries, travel that is unrelated to the research project, routine office equipment or laptop computers.


  • March 1 (for funding to begin July 1)

Proposal Format: Use 12-point Times or 11-point Arial font, single-spaced with 1 inch margins. Please assemble, in this order, into a single PDF document.

I. Cover sheet

II. Abstract (250 words)

III. Plan of Project –sections A – F are limited to five pages; citations are not included in the page count.

A. Overall goals and objectives or specific aims. If you are revising and resubmitting a proposal, please paraphrase the reviewers' criticisms and indicate how you would address the problem or concern.

B. Relevant background.

C. Significance of project.

D. Approach/Methods and procedures.

E. Justification – Address how proposed work will advance your research and identify the external funding opportunities for which pilot data will be used, if applicable.

F. Budget and budget justification - Indicate whether funds from other sources will also be used to support this project.

G. Citations.

If you are requesting funds to address external reviewer requests for additional preliminary data, include the grant critique as an appendix. The grant critique will not count toward the total page limits, and it is the only occasion for which an appendix will be accepted.

IV. Brief biographical sketch (not to exceed 5 pages), that includes education, positions and honors, selected peer-reviewed publications or other scholarly works, and all pending, current and completed funding (over the past three years), both internal (including start-up) and external.

Submission Procedure:

  • In order to assure that approval has been obtained from the department chair/school director and college administration or center/institute director, investigators are to email their completed application to their department chair/school director or center/institute director, with their last name and “Research Support Grant” in the subject line.
  • The department chair/school director will forward it to the college’s associate dean for research (ADR).
  • The ADR or center/institute director will submit the proposal to
  • In order to provide the Vice President for Research and the review committee with additional information on which to base a funding decision, department chairs/school directors, center/institute directors and college deans or ADRs are invited to provide comments on the credentials of the applicant, the importance of the research plan to the applicant’s research program and how the proposal fits with their department, school, center, institute or college strategic plan.

Review Procedure:

  • The review committee will have representation from different areas of expertise.Therefore, proposals should be written without excessive jargon and in a style that is clear to reviewers who are not experts in the specified area.
  • The proposals will be discussed and ranked in a review meeting and applicants will be notified of the decision soon thereafter.
  • When a proposal is reviewed but not funded, it may be revised and resubmitted up to two additional times. After two additional reviews if it is not funded, it is no longer eligible for this program.

The review criteria can be found here.

Previously Funded Research Support Grants: 2015-2017 funded grants

Post-award Requirements:

  • Funding recipients must submit a final report within 90 days of award expiration to
  • Final reports are limited to two pages.
  • Failure to submit a final report will preclude future awards.
  • Support from this program should be acknowledged in all publications resulting from the funded research (“supported in part by a Research Support Grant from the University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research”).
  • In addition, this office should be notified if support through this program leads to funding or publications any time in the future.