RSIA Research Funding: Frequently Asked Questions


How are travel arrangements made?
The researcher works with the secretary of his/her department to complete the travel forms following standard University procedures. When the trip is complete, the travel form showing actual expenditures is submitted to the RSIA Executive Secretary, and via I.I. the funds budgeted for the travel will be transferred to the account of the researcher's department. If the funds must be transferred prior to the travel, the researcher or his/her department's secretary should submit a copy of the travel form showing expected expenditures, and an I.I. will be used to transfer the funds to the department's account. Documentation of expenses is submitted to the RSIA Executive secretary after the travel is completed. We do not cover cost of travel to present at meetings; the grantee should request such support from their department or unit.
How should I write a budget justification under travel expense?
We will need very specific details of your plan to travel to collect data.

If you plan to drive, we will need mileage for each site. Please include the list of cost of housing, food, etc. If you plan to fly, we will need the estimate cost of flight and the ground transportation.


Does the Small Research Grant provide software?
The fund is unable to cover the cost of software that may be considered a general work tool, such as SPSS or Survey Monkey. RSIA has a list of software packages that are well-suited to the needs of researchers and students for their data collection method at Gallaudet University; many of them are available at no cost and unencumbered by proprietary licensing restrictions. The software list is shown at Research Resources. Our database administrator is available to discuss any questions; contact Brian Showalter,
Does the Small Research Grant cover the equipment expense?
We do not fund 100% equipment cost but we consider a cost-sharing approach in which RSIA and the Department split the cost. All equipment purchased with funds from Small Research Grant becomes the property of the Department which the researcher is affiliated. Purchased equipment should be used by other students in future studies.
I need a laptop and video recording. Can I include these in my budget?
We do not support the purchases of computers or laptops. We loan computers to researchers depending on the availability. We loan a video camera and tripod but you will need to include the cost of mini DVs in your budget.


May I hire a student assistant to work with me for my study?
The hiring of student assistants under this Fund is limited. The small grants are intended to support individuals in conducting their own research study. We want the primary investigator, whether a faculty or staff member or student, to be fully engaged in the research activity. Creating "tiers" of researchers and assistants is not appropriate for the spirit or the dollar level of SRGs.

Nevertheless, on rare occasions, we may support the use of Fund monies to hire students as research assistants to faculty or staff researchers only. The conditions for such approval include the judgment that the monies are being used for a distinct research study (not merely supporting an ongoing operation, work relationship or general research agenda); the researcher has mastery of the field of study and as such offers students a unique opportunity to learn from the researcher, and we have assurances that the student will substantially benefit from the relationship and participation in the research activity. As part of consideration of such a request for student wages, we will require researchers to fill out the General Inventory of Research Skills.
Can I hire consultant for my research study?
In line of a Gallaudet policy, we do not allow Gallaudet faculty or staff to hire in-house consultant. But if you are planning to hire off campus, we will need name and background information why this person is an ideal for this job and why you need a consultant. This doesn't apply to students.


Am I able to use the Small Research Grant funds to cover the food/drink expense during the focus group?
All purchase of food and drink falls under the "entertainment" policy of the university that states in part, "All entertainment expenditures [within your Division] must be approved in advance by the budget head [Dean of Graduate School and Professional Programs]." While RSIA might approve your funding, it is your responsibility to seek approval from the Graduate Dean for your food and beverage expenses. Your Department secretary can help with making the request by memo with attached award letter. If you fail to do so, your request for reimbursement will not be accepted.
How much Subjects should be paid?
There are no standard rules about how much subjects should or should not be paid. Primary goal is to encourage subjects to volunteer for a very seldom risk participation. Otherwise, subjects should be paid enough to make up for their time and trouble, but not so much for their decision to volunteer or continue in a study is influenced by the amount being offered. Subjects should not see research participation as a way to make money or regularly extra their income.

Students make an average of $10 to $20 an hour and this is a reasonable maximum limit for studies involving fairly low risk interviews or observation. Responding to short surveys that require less than an hour can be made for $10.


Do I still need to fill out IRB?
A researcher that intends to conduct research that involves people, must apply for and receive unconditional IRB approval before beginning the research.
Can I apply Small Research Grant to cover my past research expenses that I paid from my pocket?
Small Research Grant fund cannot generally be used for payment of costs or out of pockets incurred prior to the date of the award.
Can research team apply Small Research Grant?
Faculty – Only one faculty member may apply for funding of a study. If faculty or staff members seek to build a research team, consider applying for external funding. You may also consider applying for a Priority Research Fund grant (PRF) that can support multiple investigators and assistants.

Student – Yes, you can apply with your group but only one student will be a point of contact person communicating with RSIA staff.
Why the requested budget is cut?
Due to high demand for funding, we are placing higher priority on full funding of student applications for dissertation and theses. While we will try to provide fundamental support for other studies, faculty and staff applicants will likely see their budgets reduced. This is not a reflection of the quality of the proposal; rather a small fund must be stretched to support a growing number of studies from across the campus. Also, please be reminded of our long-established priorities:
  • Priority to Developing Investigators. One goal of the Small Grants Program is to encourage research by new investigators, and funding priority is given to the proposals of applicants who are at the developing stage of their research program compared to applicants with more extensive research experience.
We encourage researchers who have already received funding to seek external funding to continue and/or to expand their research activity.

[Last modified: 2014.11.21 11:20:49. by Brian Showalter]

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