Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Applicant Instructions

Budget Guidelines

Only proposals using the newest revised forms available online now (Rev 11/09), will be accepted

The FRCAC grant is a grant to help faculty prepare and learn about applying for external funding.
Faculty may request funding up to approximately $10,000 total. Synergy grants may request more but must be justified. Funding may be used only for the purposes approved by the committee. Changes in the use of funds must have prior approval.

Except as otherwise noted with respect to the Interdisciplinary Synergy Award, items that may be fundable are listed below:

Reassigned time (not granted during summer semesters) - Normally no more than three credit hours (one course) of reassigned time per semester is funded. A fourth hour, such as a class with a lab, must be specifically justified. Faculty may receive up to two consecutive semesters of reassigned time. Also, faculty may receive up to three semesters of FRCAC-funded reassigned time every six years.

To ensure that the courses reassigned from one faculty load will continue to be offered, funds will be payable to the faculty member's department for an adjunct instructor replacement. The department is responsible for providing any costs greater than those approved for the grant.

Summer Salary- Summer Salary funding is based on a percentage of your annual salary, and is awarded in units of a summer course equivalent. In effect, you are being paid a salary for undertaking research or engaging in creative activity at a level requiring the same time commitment as teaching a summer course. To determine the appropriate amount to request, decide how many hours during the summer your project will require, and determine whether that is equivalent to the time required to teach a one, two, three hour course. (50 hours of work time equals 1 credit hour.) A maximum of 3 summer hours will be awarded.

Summer salary awards are open to all tenure-track faculty and for tenured assistant and associate professors only. Tenure-track faculty may receive up to 4 summer salary grants total. These may be awarded on four consecutive summers. Tenured assistant and associate professors may receive as many as 3 summer salary grants in a six year period, as long as they are not within two consecutive summers.

All faculty members are limited to 6 summer grants total.

Referring to the chart below, select the appropriate percentage of your academic year salary, compute that amount of your salary and enter on your Budget Page, along with the number of hours you are requesting. (There is also a blank on the Application Page where number of requested hours only should be entered.) Proposal development for external funding is not eligible for summer salary support.
Summer Course Equivalency % Academic Year Salary
3 Credit Hours


2 Credit Hours


1 Credit Hour


Salary payments are received on the last day of August. Because this grant is salary, it is taxable income.

During the period that this award is active, the faculty cannot engage in "overload" assignments. All sources of university remuneration cannot exceed 25% unless a portion of the summer activity is sponsored by external funding agencies, in which case the limit is 33.33%. Summer Salary funding will only be considered for proposals received at the Fall deadline for the following summer.

Equipment and Supplies - The FRCAC supports funding equipment that is needed for research. The FRCAC will consider funding the purchase or rental of any item(s) that cannot be provided by your department that are necessary to carry out your project. Include a letter from your department chair stating that departmental funds are unavailable for the proposed purchases or rental. The committee may decline to fund purchases that can be awarded through other grants or that are traditionally acquired by the faculty personally. If you are granted funds to purchase equipment, it should remain the property of MTSU for future departmental use. Update: Laptops/computers are not considered fundable, necessary items by the FRCAC committee.

Personnel - The FRCAC will consider funding additional personnel (i.e., a graduate student, or outside consultant) necessary to complete your project. Dollars for student workers will be funded ONLY for graduate students and paid through MTSU payroll. Outside consultants or others providing services will need to submit an invoice to the FRCAC office. Students are paid as "student workers on an hourly wage only! The FRCAC grant does not pay tuition and "GA" stipends. These are awarded through departments and follow guidelines within Graduate Studies.

Important Note: Services that will cost over $500 must have a service contract completed before services are contracted. For more information please contact Janine Brink, Contract Manager, at ext. 5600.
Applicants are urged to help undergraduate collaborators apply for funding through URECA, STEP-MT, McNair, or TLSAMP. All of these programs and application procedures are available at the Undergraduate Research Center.

Travel Funds -

  1. The FRCAC will consider funding travel necessary to carry out your project.
  2. All out of state and out of country travel require completed Travel Authorizations (with appropriate signatures) submitted with the proposal.
  3. Additionally, when the travel is out of country, a TA must be submitted to Dr. McPhee 30 days prior to travel dates, along with a memo discussing the purpose of the travel, signed by the applicant, their Dean, and Department Chair. Please send to the attention of Janice Lewis in CAB 111.
  4. Travel within the state of Tennessee does not require a Travel Authorization.
  5. Travel to conferences or seminars are not eligible for funding.

Applicants are urged to help undergraduate collaborators apply for travel funding through URECA, STEP-MT, McNair, or TLSAMP. All of the undergraduate program travel application procedures are available at the Undergraduate Research Center website. ( http://www.mtsu.edu/urc/). Graduate students may apply through the College of Graduate Studies travel fund: http://www.mtsu.edu/graduate/pdf/StuTravelAppl.pdf}.

For research projects needing microscopy-related services, please remember to add the total hourly fees to the budget estimate. For example, a project with samples requiring 5 hours of microscopic and elemental analysis would cost $150 for unassisted use of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector or $250 if the samples are analyzed by the MIMIC Technical Manager with a complete report of the SEM/EDX results. For more information on fees and facilities of MIMIC, please visit the website (http://frank.mtsu.edu/~mimic/fees.html).