University of Minnesota Morris


Academic Affairs Home

UMM Home > Academic Affairs > INDEX of Resources > Research Funds FAQ

UMM Faculty Research Enhancement Funds

Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who may apply for FREF funds?
  • Tenured, tenure-track, and full-time faculty may apply for funding in Categories I, II, and III.
  • Faculty with less than full-time appointments (a 25-74% faculty appointment) may apply for funding in Category III using the Category IIIA application.
  • Members of the campus community with combination faculty and staff appointments may apply for funding based on the percentage of their appointment that is considered “faculty.”  For example, someone with an appointment that is 75% faculty and 25% staff may apply for funding in Categories I, II, and III.  Someone with an appointment that is 75% staff and 25% faculty may apply for funding in Category III using the Category IIIA application. 

Q: How hard and fast are the deadlines listed?
All proposals submitted by the deadline date will be reviewed for that grant round (please see the next question for more detail).  It is possible that a proposal submitted after the deadline but before the review committee meets will be reviewed, but this is not guaranteed.

Q: Can I submit a request for a trip out of the deadline timeline listed (i.e., can I submit a request for a January trip in June)?
You can submit an early request, but, depending on the amount of funding available and the number of requests, the proposal may be deferred until the appropriate grant round.  A funding continuance can be granted from the Dean’s Office, but the funds are intended to be spent in the round awarded.  Funds cannot be awarded retroactively; all work must take place after the time of award.

Q: Are funds for student salary allowable?
As FREF awards were originally established, salary of any kind is not allowable. For primary support of student/faculty research, the FREF review group encourages faculty to look at external funding opportunities as well as programs such as Morris Academic Partners (MAP), Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Grant-in-Aid (GIA), and Imagine Fund Awards for projects in the arts, design and humanities.

Q: How did UMM receive these funds?
In the fall of 2005, during a visit to UMM’s campus, Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy heard from a number of faculty members that UMM’s rural location often served as an impediment to conducting research and collaborating with colleagues from other institutions.  In response to this unique challenge, Vice President Mulcahy, in collaboration with the Grants Development Office and with faculty input, created the Faculty Research Enhancement Funds Program.

Q: How has this program changed since conception?
The mission for FREF has not changed.  The funding categories have changed in response to faculty need and input.  A Large-Scale Research and Creative Projects category, reviewed during one grant round each year (currently April), is now available to faculty to support research that will make a major contribution to the field; this category began as a “new researcher” category.  The Project-Based Faculty Research Support category will provide funding for a short-term research project or a lengthier project eligible for multiple awards in different grant rounds if project progress is demonstrated; this replaces the earlier FREF category for collaborative research or works, however, collaborative work can also be funded in this category. This category is reviewed three times a year (September, January, and April).  The last category is Travel Differential Support.  This category is to offset the cost of research and scholarly-related activity specifically for the cost of travel from our rural location.  We have added a new component of this category to address the increasing costs of international travel. This category also evolved to allow for an increase in the funding amount and to enable part-time faculty to apply.  Additionally, this category is now reviewed on an on-going basis.

Q.  Can FREF funds help pay for editor, indexing, transcription services, etc.?
Funding for editing, indexing and similar expenses will be considered by the FREF committee.  Justification is needed on why these expenses are necessary for your project and why other alternatives and resources are not used.

Q.  Can I purchase books using FREF funds?
Funding for book purchases will be considered by the FREF committee.  Justification is needed on why these books need to be purchased and not borrowed.  An itemized list of necessary book purchases is requested; proposals without book lists will be considered less competitive.

Q.  Can I submit two applications for Category II funding in the same grant round?
If each application is clear that they are for independent projects, more than one Category II proposal can be submitted.  Multiple applications for the same project are not permitted.

Q: Can I apply for more than one category in a round for one activity?
Yes, but if you make more than one request in a grant round, you need to include a priority rank for each category.  You may submit multiple applications in the same grant round for the same category if you provide a priority rank for each application. 

Q: Can I apply for more than one project/activity in a round?
Yes, but the activities must be distinctly different.

Q: Do I need to use the forms?
Yes.  Updated applications with information and budget requirements have been developed to make the process of applying as simple as possible.  If you have questions about completing the applications, please contact the Grants Development Office.

Q: Who will be reviewing the proposals?
The review committee will include the division chairs and at least one faculty member from each division (Grants Development and Dean’s Office staff serve in an ex officio capacity).  The process will continue to be reviewed, and discussions will take place about the best way to proceed for subsequent grant rounds.

Q: How and when will I be notified of the funding decision?
The goal is that all applicants will receive e-mail notification no later than 15 business days after the submission deadline.  If you will not be accessible via e-mail, please indicate that on your application, and an alternative form of notification can be arranged.

Q: If I am awarded funds, how do I receive them?
This will be handled similarly to the Out of State Travel fund.  Submit your receipts with your final report ( to your division support staff.

Q.  What happens if I cannot complete my project within 1 year?
Contact Adele Lawler, Dean’s Office, to request a time extension on your project.

Q: If I have questions, comments, or concerns about this program, to whom do I send them?
As this program is still developing, feedback is encouraged and appreciated.  At this point, please send comments to Adele Lawler, Dean's Office,

Q: What are some examples of what is funded by FREF funding?

Category I examples:

  • Travel to discipline-specific research/scholarly venues (e.g., travel to an archive, laboratory, library, theater, art gallery, etc.) that will advance applicant’s individual or collaborative research project (if project is new).
  • Funds to purchase supplies or to cover extraordinary expenses related to or supporting creative activity.
  • Funds for duplicating archival materials.

Category II examples:

  • Travel to meet with colleagues from the U of M system or other institutions (or to bring colleagues to the Morris campus) for the purposes of advancing a collaborative research agenda.
  • Travel to create or participate in a scholarly collaboration.
  • Funds for editing indexing, page charges, image charges, etc.
  • Funds similar to those eligible in Category I.