Research Investment Fund (RIF) applications

The Research Investment Fund seeks to support projects that will facilitate growth in research activity by enhancing the university's research infrastructure and increasing capacity. 

Application instructions

Applications must be prepared and submitted according to the instructions below. Applications that do not strictly adhere to these formatting, page limitations and electronic submission instructions will not be reviewed.

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Page formatting

Format applications according to these guidelines:

  • page size: 8 1/2” X 11”, portrait orientation
  • margins: one-inch margins on all sides
  • font: any standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial, etc.); 12 point or larger
  • spacing: single-spacing or larger

Application components

All applications should include the following:

  • project summary/abstract: 1500-character limit; this will be entered directly into the online application system.       
  • CVs for principal investigators and co-investigators:  National Institutes of Health (NIH) or National Science Foundation (NSF) format is preferred but not required; any format used must conform to page formatting guidelines above; the limit is three pages each.
  • supplemental information (optional):  Letters of support or letters that confirm resource commitments may be included; letters of support are strictly limited to three.
Equipment acquisition grants

If you are submitting an application for an equipment acquisition grant, include the following in addition to the components above:

  • narrative:
  • introduction: Describe the equipment for which funds are being requested and where it will be located; provide a brief technical description of the equipment; describe how the acquisition of the equipment will enhance the university's capacity to conduct cutting-edge research. (limit:  two pages)
  • research projects and programs: Describe the current and proposed research projects and programs that will benefit and/or be enabled by the proposed equipment.  (limit: five pages)
  • management plan: Describe operational (including consumables) and maintenance costs associated with the equipment and explain how these costs will be distributed among users; describe technical staffing needs, how users will be trained, who will have access, how new users will be attracted, etc.  (limit: two pages)
  • budget and budget justification:  Provide detailed information on the cost of the equipment and other costs associated with acquisition, installation, training and maintenance. Requests of up to $250,000 of matching funds or up to $100,000, (if no external sources are involved) will be considered. Quotations are encouraged and may be uploaded as supplemental information in addition to or in place of letters of support. Submit on the budget template.
  • extramural support:  Current, pending, and planned extramural support associated with the research described in the narrative must be listed. For planned support, include information (in narrative form) about specific sponsors and programs to which grant proposals may be submitted, timeline for submitting proposals, potential funders, and funding projections. Submit on the support template.
Post-doctoral research support grants

If you are submitting an application for a post-doctoral research support grant, include the following in addition to the components required for all applications:

  • narrative (limit: nine pages):
  • introduction: Describe the need for a post-doctoral associate; what specific skills, knowledge or experience are needed and how will this post-doctoral associate enhance the principal investigators (and co-investigator(s), if applicable) research program(s); describe how the addition of this post-doctoral associate position will enhance the university's capacity to conduct cutting-edge research.  (recommended: two pages)
  • research plan: Describe the research project(s) to which the post-doctoral associate will devote his/her time and his/her role on the project; answer the following questions: What is the significance/scientific merit of the work? What makes it original or innovative? How does it integrate with work being done by others at Northern Arizona University?  (recommended: five pages)
  • mentoring plan: Describe the mentoring that will be provided for the post-doctoral associate; answer the following questions: How will the post-doctoral associate's mentoring plan be developed and by whom? What specific activities will be provided? How will progress be monitored and assessed? Who will participate in the mentoring of the post-doctoral associate? (recommended: one to two pages)
  • funding:  Current, pending and planned extramural support associated with the research that will be carried out by the post-doctoral associate (described in the narrative) must be listed, as well as funds available for recruiting and professional development. For planned support, include information about specific sponsors and programs to which grant proposals may be submitted, a timeline for submitting proposals, potential funders, and funding projections. Submit on the support template.

Budget and justification are not required for post-doctoral research support grant applications.  All awards are $75,000 for salary and ERE (up to $50,000 salary) per year for two years.

Innovation grants

If you are submitting an application for an innovation grant, include the following in addition to the components required for all applications:

  • narrative:
  • introduction: Describe the intellectual property (IP) being developed; answer the following questions: What problem does it solve and what is the background of the problem/field? What advantages does the IP have over commercially available products/methods that address the same problem? Does a review of the literature indicate that anyone else is doing similar work (and if so, describe and compare that work to yours)? What are the potential commercial applications for the IP? (limit:  three pages)
  • research project: Describe the work for which funding is being requested; answer the following questions: What questions does it answer? What aspect of the IP does it address? What methods will be used to carry out the work? How does the current and proposed research move the IP closer to commercialization? What milestone is being met by performing this work? (limit: four pages)
  • development plan and summary: What are the next steps in the development and reduction to practice of the IP and what are your plans for funding these steps? (limit: 1 page)
  • budget and budget justification): Provide detailed information on the cost of the project. Requests between $25,000 and $100,000 are encouraged. Submit on the budget template.
  • other support: Past and current (internal or external support) as well as pending and planned extramural support associated with the development of the intellectual property must be listed. For planned support, include information (in narrative form) about specific sponsors and programs to which grant proposals may be submitted, timeline for submitting proposals, potential funders, and funding projections. Submit on the other support template.

Submit your application

Submit your Research Investment Fund application electronically via our online system. You will upload required documents in PDF format.

When adding co-investigators, please use the Northern Arizona University user ID email address (abc123@nau.edu), rather than the full email address (John.Doe@nau.edu). This will allow the system to pull all of the contact and departmental information into the application.

Support

If you have questions or problems with the online system, contact Kirsten Slaughter-Rice at Kirsten.Slaughter@nau.edu or 928-523-8504.

Review criteria

Investments made with RIF funds are expected to result in increased extramural funding proposals and awards received. Proposals that clearly demonstrate this potential will be prioritized. Interdisciplinary projects are also highly encouraged.

Applications that are reviewed favorably will demonstrate:

  • significant work that advances the university's RIF goals
  • commitment to and potential for seeking and securing external support to sustain the proposed research
  • originality and creativity of the research
  • the potential to stimulate entrepreneurship, innovation, and research and development  to support Arizona's knowledge-based economy
  • exceptional qualifications of the investigator(s) and other key personnel
  • adequacy of resources to support the proposed research
  • appropriateness and adequacy of the proposed budget
  • investment that will promote research and development partnerships with business, enhance technology transfer, and connect knowledge creators with knowledge users

Contact us

If you have questions, contact Lesley Cephas at Lesley.Cephas@nau.edu or 928-523-8288.