Research Catalyst Grant Program
The RCG application portal is now open on Villanova's InfoReady site.
To go directly to the Research Catalyst Grant Application click here.
To go directly to the Dean Approval Form required with the application, click here.
Call for Proposals
In Fall 2022, VIRS will pilot its Research Catalyst Grant (RCG) with a limited number of awards of up to $35,000. This pilot serves as a basis for refining the RCG as a permanent program.
The RCG serves as a catalyst to advancing the quality and influence of Villanova’s research enterprise. The program aims to support new, interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that have the potential to grow into high impact endeavors and which can become self-sustaining through new external funding. RCG awards are intended for project initiation activities and pilots to test a proof of concept.
Eligibility and Requirements
All full-time tenured, tenure track, and continuing non-tenure track faculty are eligible to apply. This grant is specifically for early stage, collaborative, interdisciplinary projects. Projects at advanced stages are not appropriate for this opportunity. Each proposal must include at least two eligible faculty members not appointed in the same department to serve as Project Leads. Proposals submitted by an individual will not be considered for funding. Applicants are expected to exhaust college-level funding opportunities before applying for the RCG.
All applicants must submit the Dean Support Form, completed and signed by the College Dean of each Project Lead. The function of this form is: a) to record the Dean’s support for the project’s activities and b) to confirm that college-level funds are not available to support this proposal, and/or that available support has been exhausted at time of submission. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that Deans complete this form.
Award Amounts, Uses, and Restrictions
Funding is available for a limited number of $35,000 awards (or awards of a lesser amount based on proposed budget) during the Fall 2022 RCG funding cycle. RCG award funds can be expended over a maximum of 24 months. The requested award period should be clearly stated in the application and will be confirmed in the award letter.
Proposals may request funding in the following categories:
Faculty summer salary, offered at a flat rate of $12,500. This flat rate applies regardless of faculty members’ base salary, with the expectation that an equivalent amount of time will be dedicated to the proposed research. Summer salary is to be paid in either June or July. Support cannot be received from other internal or external sources during the month(s) in which RCG support is received, if that support would result in compensation over 100% during that month(s).
Project Leads (PLs) may request summer salary in the full amount of $12,500, at the half rate of $6,250, or not at all. Each PL may also choose to divide their summer salary over two summers, depending on project timeline and need.
Total summer salary expenditures may not exceed $25,000 per proposal.
Graduate and undergraduate student salary. Funds may be used to pay students on an hourly wage basis to assist faculty members in the execution of the proposed research. Funds may not be used for graduate or undergraduate students to work on their own thesis/dissertation research unless it is integral to the proposed research.
Reasonable research-related expenses. Some examples of allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, travel to research-related sites, equipment, supplies and books, data sets, software, transcription services, and other reasonable needs.
Research conferences/workshops hosted at Villanova University or elsewhere that bring together project participants for the dedicated purpose of collaborative work on the research project.
Excluded expenses, among others, are childcare, professional society fees, travel and expenses for most conferences (see above), and student stipends. For questions about allowable expenses, please contact VIRS. The merits of a project will not be discussed.
Studies involving human subjects or animals must demonstrate that they have appropriate approvals in place before funds can be disbursed.
Applications have two separate steps:
Part 1: Team application. Compiled collaboratively; submitted by one person on behalf of team. Includes the following components.
- Application form: via InfoReady application portal .
- Proposal narrative: detailed instructions below.
- Cited literature: a list of references used in the proposal narrative.
- CVs for each Project Lead: maximum 2-pages each.
- Each faculty member submits their own form
- Form is routed to appropriate College Dean for review.
- Administrator integrates Dean review for each faculty member into the group application (Part 1) with materials for committee review.
Please note, applications that do not adhere to guidelines (including proposal word limit and required Dean Approval Forms) will be returned without review.
Proposal narratives should be organized into the following sections and may not exceed 2000 words.
Problem/Issue and Goals: Describe the problem/issue your proposal will address, and briefly describe the goals/objectives of the project.
Research Methods/Creative Activities: Identify the partners (departments, programs, and/or individuals) in the collaboration. Describe the research methods/creative activities that the collaborating members will undertake.
Significance of Intended Outcomes: Describe the basis for the evaluation of results and/or conclusions and the importance or significance of the contribution of your project to its targeted field(s) and/or audience.
Anticipated External Funding: Describe how the initial collaboration will result in a new and unique program of research or creativity that will lead to external funding. List anticipated outside funding sources to support follow-up activity, including specific grant programs and the goals of those programs.
Budget: Detail the amount requested and the proposed expenditure of funds; provide a brief justification for the allocation of the funds.
Schedule/timeline. Indicate the time period during which each of the major project activities will begin and end. Include anticipated timeframe for budgeted expenses, publications, and/or performance plans. If appropriate, briefly describe the related research and/or creative activities that will take place before and after the grant period.
Proposals will be evaluated on the criteria specified in the ‘Evaluation and Review Criteria’ section below.
Note that proposals are reviewed by a committee composed of faculty from several disciplines and therefore must be written to be understood by members of multi-disciplinary review committees rather than by specialists in your field. Proposals should avoid discipline-specific terminology or jargon and/or provide definitions of discipline-specific terminology when jargon cannot be avoided.
Evaluation and Review Criteria
Each proposal will be peer reviewed and evaluated by an internal Evaluation Committee of distinguished Villanova scholars and researchers. Proposal evaluation criteria include:
- The potential of the project to launch a highly impactful, collaborative, interdisciplinary endeavor.
- The potential for the project to become self-sustaining by garnering new external funding.
- The quality of the proposal regarding clarity of the project’s purpose and goals, grounding in relevant scholarly literature, theoretical/conceptual framework, methodology/approach, and scope and nature of interdisciplinary collaboration.
- The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicants will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
Application submission deadline: September 16, 2022 by 5 p.m.
Decision announcement: December 20, 2022
All application materials and Dean Approval Forms are to be submitted through Villanova's new Internal Funding Portal hosted by InfoReady.
Link to the RCG Application Portal:
Link to RCG Dean Approval form
After receiving an award and completing the proposed work, and in order to be eligible for future awards, awardees must submit a Final Report to VIRS. Final Reports are due one month after the award period ends. Instructions will be provided with award letters.
Questions about proposal preparation or review can be addressed to Janice Bially Mattern, PhD, Director, Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship.