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 the cost of travel to present at meetings; the grantee should request such support from his/her department or unit.
How should I write a budget justification under travel expense?
RSIA needs very specific details of your travel plans to collect data. If you plan to drive, we will need mileage information for each site. Please include a list of costs for lodging, food, etc. If you plan to fly, we will need the estimated cost of the flight and 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 meet the data collection needs of researchers and students, many of them available at no cost and unencumbered by proprietary licensing restrictions. The software list is available at Research Resources. You may contact our database administrator, Brian Showalter, if you have questions about this software.
Does the Small Research Grant cover the equipment expense?
The fund does not cover the full equipment cost, but follows a cost-sharing approach in which RSIA and the grant recipient's department split the cost. All equipment purchased with funds from Small Research Grant becomes the property of the department with which the researcher is affiliated. This equipment should be used by other students in future studies.
I need a laptop and video recording equipment. Can I include these in my budget?
The fund does not support the purchases of computers or laptops. RSIA loans computers to researchers, depending on the availability. We can loan you 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. Small Grants are intended to support individuals in conducting their own research study. RSIA wants 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 Small Research Grants.

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 are 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 students 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 a consultant for my research study?
In conformance with Gallaudet policy, RSIA does not allow faculty, staff or students to hire an in-house consultant. However, faculty or staff only may hire a consultant from off campus. We will need the name and background information of the consultant, why this person is suitable for the job, and why you need a consultant.


Am I able to use the Small Research Grant Fund to cover food/drink expenses during a 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 Continuing Studies]." While RSIA might approve your funding, it is your responsibility to seek approval from the Graduate Dean for food and beverage expenses. Your department secretary can help with making the request by memo with a copy of the award letter. If you fail to obtain this approval, your request for reimbursement will not be accepted.
How much should subjects be paid?
The Research subjects should be paid enough to compensate them for their time and trouble, but they should not view research participation as a way to make money.

Student workers make an average of $10 to $20 an hour and this is a reasonable range for studies involving low risk interviews or observation. Compensation for responding to short surveys that require less than an hour should be at the lower end of the pay scale.


Do I still need to get Institutional Review Board approval?
A researcher who intends to conduct a study that involves people must apply for and receive unconditional IRB approval before beginning the research.
Can I apply Small Research Grant funds to cover past research expenses that I paid on my own?
Small Research Grant funds cannot be used for out of pocket expenses incurred prior to the date of the award.
Can a research team apply for a Small Research Grant?
Faculty/Staff – Only one faculty or staff member may apply for funding of a study. If faculty or staff members seek to build a research team, they should consider applying for external funding. They may also consider applying for a Priority Research Fund grant, which can support multiple investigators and assistants.

Students – Yes, you can apply with your group, but only one student can serve as the point of contact person with RSIA staff.
Why was the requested budget cut?
Due to high demand for funding, RSIA is placing higher priority on full funding of student applications for dissertations and theses. While we will try to provide 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, limited funding must be stretched to support a growing number of studies from across the campus. Also, please be reminded of our long-established priority to encourage research by new investigators: 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 expand their research activity.

[Last modified: 2014.11.24 09:56:53. by Brian Showalter]

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