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GUR Guidelines


General University Research Program (GUR)

The budget of the University of Delaware provides for assistance to full-time faculty for individual research and professional development through General University Research grants. These merit-based grants are administered by the Vice Provost for Research, who is advised by the Research Committee of the Faculty Senate. The Research Committee recommends allocation of the funds available for the year, evaluates applications, and recommends those to be supported. GUR grants are awarded primarily in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Proposals involving interdisciplinary research are especially encouraged.

The university's patent, copyright, and publication policies, which can be found in the Handbook for Faculty, apply to research conducted under a GUR grant. University policy and federal law (45 CFR 46) require that all research involving living human subjects be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). In addition, federal regulations require that all use of non-human vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and testing follow established guidelines and be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is constituted according to the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Additional information is available here.

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Eligibility for GUR Grants

All full-time faculty members are eligible to apply for GUR grants. In evaluating proposals, the Faculty Senate Research Committee utilizes the following criteria and guidelines.

1. The first priority of the GUR program is to assist untenured, tenure-track, early career faculty members with research, scholarly or creative projects.

2. Special consideration will be given to projects which:

      (a) Are not sufficiently developed (in terms of the project or the reputation of the investigator) to justify support from outside sponsors, where appropriate
      (b) Promises to expand scholarly endeavors and increase future productivity
      (c) Would have difficulty in obtaining outside support (e.g., due to the small budget or specialized nature of the work)
      (d) quire additional support to complete an ongoing project

3. Requests for funds to cover fees to attend research institutes or other formal research or study programs will also be considered by the committee. Support will vary according to the length of the institute and the amount of financial aid available to the applicant from the sponsor of the institute.

Although there is no restriction on the number of awards an individual may receive over the years, all other factors being equal, preference will be given to faculty that have not received awards previously. An investigator will not be considered for a second or later award unless at least three years have elapsed since the most recent award. Applicants who have received a GUR anytime between June 2011 and June 2013 are NOT eligible to submit for this round. Also, in considering new applications from previous awardees, the committee will review the required project reports from their prior GUR awards to determine whether past awards were used productively to benefit the applicant's research programs. No additional awards will be made to applicants who have failed to complete the required project report for a GUR award made prior to June 2011.

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Types of Support / Proposal Budget

Grants vary in amounts and are typically a maximum of $6,000. Exceptionally well justified proposals could be considered at higher amounts and will be approved on the basis of individual merit, and support such costs as technical assistance, equipment, supplies, travel, and graduate student salaries. The maximum total budget allocation for salaries is $5,000. Project budgets should include appropriate fringe benefits for personnel other than the Principal Investigator (PI). Inclusion of summer stipends for principal investigators, matching faculty academic time or student research assistant stipends is permitted. GUR grants may not be used to support or publish advanced-degree theses of the principal investigators.

In general, the committee is willing to consider a wide variety of specific budgetary requests as long as the budget items are adequately justified in relation to the proposed project and the applicant's research program. A budget justification for each listed item is required in the application. Budget justification should include the personnel line as well as the justification for any funds requested for the principal investigator. The committee may choose to award a GUR grant at a level of funding different from the amount requested.

All budgets should be prepared with the understanding that budget changes exceeding 10% of the total award and re-budgeting of funds into categories not in the original budget (e.g., equipment, foreign travel) are subject to prior approval by the RO. Requests for re-budgeting must be submitted in writing to the UD Research Office ( and has to include the reason for and details about the request and its potential impact on the originally proposed project.

NOTE: For tax purposes, Stipends for principal investigators on GUR grants are considered to be fellowships rather than wages and are therefore exempt from FICA, but no fellowship is exempt from Federal and State payroll taxes. For students paid on a fellowship, there is the expectation that some or all of the funds will be used for qualified educational expenses. It is assumed that a faculty member receiving fellowship funds will not have any qualified educational expenses and appropriate payroll taxes will be subject to withholding at the time of disbursement.

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Project Period

GUR grants will be announced in March. The grant period is 24 months beginning on June 1, 2014. Recipients are expected to devote a large part of the summer period to the conduct of the proposed research. The award period is extended through the following academic year so that charges to the grant account can be covered for later expenses like publication or travel to meetings at which results will be presented.

The grant period may be extended by the Vice Provost for Research (or Research Office designee) if unusual circumstances warrant, but recipients are encouraged to complete the research on schedule and then use the results as the basis of a proposal to external agencies. Requests for no-cost extensions must be made in writing to the Research Office ( Requests should include the reason for and the duration of the extension. Additional information regarding how to request no-cost extensions may be found under the General University Research Grants (GUR) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

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Required Proposal Components and Formatting

GUR proposals do not require matching funds from the PI’s College and/or Department. However, matching funds may be included when applicable and when approved by the Chair and Dean. The PI must submit a full proposal in PDF format which cannot exceed five pages (cover page and project description) in length. Applications are evaluated by reviewers from a wide range of disciplines; therefore, applicants are encouraged either to avoid the use of jargon and highly technical terms or to define key terms in their proposals. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the Suggestions for Preparing a Successful GUR Proposal (available at as a guide for preparing the application.

A full proposal has to include the following components, as outlined in the Grant Application which may be found at

Page 1: Cover Page - Should include the PI name, employee ID, project title, education, honors, relevant publications, and professional and/or research experience.

Page 2- 5 Project Description (not to exceed four pages) should include the sections below and adhere to designated section limitations.
    - significance of the proposed work - ½ page maximum
    - Description of proposed research or scholarly activity - 1 ½ pages maximum
    - Benefits expected
    - Plans for submitting this project to other funding sources
    - Current and pending research support
    - List of previous GUR grants
    - Summary of results obtained on previous GUR grants
    - Additional information in support of proposal- 1 page maximum

Page 6: *Reference citations may be included directly following the project description and before the required attachments described below.

Attachment 1: Detailed UD Budget and Justification (should not exceed 2 pages).

Attachment 2: Copies of Previous GUR progress reports and/or copies of closely related externally submitted proposals must be appended. In addition, supporting materials for scholarly activity in the arts may be included in the GUR application to illustrate and explain the project. All other appended material (letters of recommendation, letters of collaboration, reprints, or other supporting material) will not be considered in the review of the proposal.

The full proposal must be submitted as a single file in Adobe PDF format. The proposal must be prepared using one-inch margins and Times New Roman – 11-point font. Proposals not adhering to the Adobe PDF format, page limit, and not including Attachments 1 and 2 from above (as applicable) will not be considered by the Research Committee of the Faculty Senate.

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Faculty Procedures for Submitting Proposals

1. Interested faculty should reach out to their department administrator to confirm submission and for assistance with the electronic submission process.

      - To find your Departmental Administrator and Research Office Contract & Grant Specialist, simply go to
      - Click on For Researchers
      - Click on Staff Directory
      - Select your Department by scrolling down the right-hand blue box

2. Faculty should give the single PDF full proposal file to the applicable Department Administrator for entering into UD’s Grants Management System, People Soft (PS). All approvals should be routed through FIN Proposal Approval Summary (PAS) webform, per standard UD operating procedures. The PS information will be used to generate the award, should the proposal be approved for funding by the University.

3. After the proposal has been submitted to the UD Grants Management System and administratively reviewed by the Research Office, login instructions and URL will be emailed to the faculty for submission of the proposal to the Senate Research Committee review database.

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Chair/Dean Procedures for Submitting Proposals

1. Chairs are asked to forward their comments to their applicable Dean following previously established college procedures. All approvals should be documented on the PAS webform.

2.Deans are asked to prepare the College Overview of Submissions sheet (Word | Excel) by adding comments on the
relevance of the research in the field and an overall quality rating for each proposal.The College Overview is then forwarded via email to

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Department Administrator Procedure for Submitting Proposals

- The RO has created a Quick Tips Guide for Department Administrators which can be found here >>.

- Departmental Administrator guidance for using UD’s Grants Management System is available here and by contacting the applicable department’s assigned Contract & Grant Specialist in the Research Office.

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PeopleSoft Proposal and Award Set-up

1. Sponsor ID: 0921

2. Purpose: RSCH6- University Sponsored Research

3. Budget:
    - Requested amount entered as direct costs
    - Applicable cost share entered from department and/or college
    - F&A Pricing Setup
       - Choose Industrial Research On Campus for the rate type and overwrite the F&A rate to zero
    - 1% effort is not required as cost share for PIs
4. Upload the single PDF full proposal file under the Attachments tab using the following naming convention: ProposalID_Other

Routing of PAS is to include PI, Department Chair, College Dean and the Research office, per standard procedures. Please copy Leigh Botner at in the UD Research Development Office upon initiation of the webform to ensure the UD Research Office is aware of the proposal.

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GUR Review Database submission

After the proposal has been submitted to the UD grants system, login instructions and URL will be emailed to the faculty for submission of the proposal to the UDRF-SI Review database.

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GUR Proposal Timeline and Review Procedure

Department Administrator training session entitled “UD as a Sponsor”
- Location: 200 Academy, room 104
- Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
- See Research Office Training website for registration.
September 18, 2013
Brown bag lunch-and-learn Workshop on How to Prepare a GUR Proposal
- Location: 200 Academy, room 104
- Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
- See Research Office Training website for registration.
October 15, 2013
Brown bag lunch-and-learn Workshop on How to Prepare a GUR Proposal (repeated)
- Location: 200 Academy, room 104
- Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
- See Research Office Training website for registration.
October 25, 2013
Full proposal due to Department Chair via PeopleSoft and PAS Webform November 8, 2013
Chair’s recommendation Due to Applicable Dean November 22, 2013
Full proposal due to Research Office via PeopleSoft and Approved PAS Webform December 6, 2013
College Overview of Submissions Worksheet (Word | Excel) from Applicable Dean Due via email to December 6, 2013
Email Acknowledgement from the Research Office of Receipt of Proposal and C&G Admin. Review December 13, 2013
Final Faculty Submission into the GUR Reviewer Database (login instructions and url will be sent to faculty in email acknowledgement sent December 13) December 20, 2013
Research Office prepares for review meeting and creates “default” eligibility rankings within the reviewer database
- Untenured tenure track Assistant Professors = 10
- Senior faculty projects = 6)
January 2014
- Faculty Senate Research Committee reviews proposals
- The college recommendations are shared with the committee & used to determine relevance to field & overall quality
- Research Committee meets later in the month to discuss each proposal along with the scores assigned by each member
- Research Committee compiles a list of fundable proposals, ranking those deemed worthy of support in priority order & submits
      to Vice Provost (VP) for Research for final determination of funding availability & notice of award Review Committee Composition
- Research Committee consists of the VP for Research & eight faculty members (one of whom serves as the chair)
- Membership is restricted to established & active researchers
- Four members are chosen from the arts, humanities, & social sciences & four from the natural sciences, engineering & mathematics)
January - February 2014
Awards Announced April 2014
Funding Available June 1, 2014

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Review Criteria and Scoring

The Research Office creates “default” eligibility ranking within the reviewer database.

  - Untenured tenure track Assistant Professors = 10
  - Senior faculty projects = 6

Using the RO proposal review secure website the committee is instructed to enter a score in the range of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest). They will review the proposals based on the following four criteria:

1. Significance of the problem/quality of the idea
2. Adequacy of the research plan
3. Justification of resources/appropriateness of timeline
4. Promise of development/potential of outside funding

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Understandings Concerning GUR Grants

Recommendations for research grants are made with the following understandings. Acceptance of the award includes acceptance of these understandings.

1. The primary purpose of the research grant is to advance the scholarship or creative activities of the recipient. Research projects or creative activities that meet this goal and also provide graduate student support and training opportunities are considered most favorably.

2. Grants are awarded to faculty members of the university. Acceptance signifies intent to continue at the university for the duration of the grant.

3. The University exercises no direction or supervision over the details of the research or activities to be performed, but it does require adherence to the original objectives and purposes of the grant. It also requires that a report on the project be submitted to the Research Office (research-gur@ no later than ninety (90) days after the end date of the grant. A format for reports on General University Research may be found here. Each grantee is required to furnish one copy of any resulting papers, books, or other publications to the University Library through the Research Committee.

4. Every publication directly resulting from a grant must include an acknowledgment stating that the research or creative activity was carried out with the support of the University of Delaware General University Research fund.

5. Unless arrangements to the contrary have been included in the proposal as accepted, financial income derived from the project will be returned to the university, up to the amount of the award.

This is not meant to conflict with university policies on patents, copyrights, and publications. 6. It is expected that a recipient will devote a large part of the summer period to the purpose of the grant and that no other substantial effort, such as full-time teaching or sponsored research, will be undertaken during the summer period.

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GUR Spending Procedure

Purchases can be made using standard UD transaction processing. Typically the departmental administrator will be able to provide the necessary assistance for all expenses. Office supplies can be purchased through UDBlue Hen Market, travel can be arranged through Egencia, and salary can be paid using an S-contract. If the departmental administrator is not sure how to precede, the Dean’s office for the college should be able to provide guidance.

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Awarded grants will be assigned a code number for future correspondence and report follow-up. All proposals funded at a level different than proposed, must provide a revised budget before the code number may be established. Copies of resulting publications, exhibit notices, or outcomes from the grant should be forwarded to the Research Office with the grant code number clearly identified.

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