Research Grants and Funding

Office of Research and Special Programs

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ACU’s ORSP and IRB policies and procedures are written to align with the Department of Health and Human services 45 CFR 46 “The Common Rule.” Prior to designing or conducting research in which there are human participants, it is important that all investigators and faculty advisors (when applicable) have sufficient training and knowledge with regard to pertinent federal regulations and ethical guidelines. ACU requires researchers to complete Protecting Human Research Participants training and EthicsCORE Responsible Conduct of Research training. This should take 3-4 hours to complete and can be done in blocks. Researchers must complete this training once every 4 years. All training modules are accessible via a Canvas Research Training Course.


Student Grants

ACU students may earn stipends for research or creative work conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor as part of a grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research or the Honors College. To be eligible for a research stipend, the student must make arrangements with a faculty member and be listed as a Research Assistant on that faculty member’s grant application. See below for specific requirements on faculty grant opportunities.

Faculty Grants

Cullen Grants
Cullen Grants are designed to provide summer support for faculty to pursue scholarly research or creative activity. Eligible faculty include all full-time faculty except for those in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics.

Math-Science Grants
Math-Science Grants are designed to provide summer support for faculty to pursue scholarly research or creative activity. Eligible faculty include all full-time faculty in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics.

SEED Awards
The SEED Award for Scholarly Excellence and Extramural Determination is a highly competitive grant designed to fund an investigator over two years in the conduct of studies aimed at providing preliminary data for an external funding application. The award requires the submission of an external application within nine months following the end of the two-year grant period.

Undergraduate Research Grants
The purpose of this grant is to encourage participation of undergraduate students in faculty-mentored summer research projects. Any faculty member may apply for student stipend support during both the semesters and summer, faculty summer stipends, course release, development fund and other research costs as part of the overall internal grants application process. Student stipends are at the following rates: For summer work, $400/week for a student working full time; $300/week for 3/4 time; $200/week for 1/2 time; and $100/week for 1/4 time. During the fall/spring semester up to $500/semester. Faculty summer stipends are at the rate of two summer courses: $6,000 for full professor, $5,500 for associate professor and $5,000 for assistant professor.

Curriculum Development Stipend
The goal of the summer stipend program is to encourage teaching excellence at Abilene Christian University.

Pruett Gerontology Research Grants
Abilene Christian University values and encourages scholarly activity and innovation. Aging Studies grants awarded through the Pruett Gerontology Center are designed to ensure that the university’s research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to support faculty research focused on issues facing older adults.

Presidential Fund for Professional Development
These are travel funds for conference attendance.

External Grants and Funding


A primary responsibility of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is to assist faculty and staff in their pursuit to obtain external funds to support scholarly research and projects. This is typically a multi-step process which involves:

  1. Finding a funding agency
  2. Writing the grant proposal, contract or cooperative agreement
  3. Gaining internal approval to submit the proposal or enter into a contract or agreement
  4. Submitting the proposal
  5. Post-award management

Funding Search Tools

A number of web-based tools exist to help you to find funding for your project. In conducting a search for funds, consider these key points:

  1. Most agencies have well-established areas of interest, and they fund proposals that help them achieve their goals. Study potential funding agencies closely to become familiar with their interests.
  2. A valuable source of information with regard to charitable foundations is their IRS Tax Form 990. This tax document is publicly available and will contain information on their actual charitable giving. This information typically includes recipient names, locations, amount of award, project name, etc. This type of information, examined closely, reveals whether or not the foundation typically gives to institutions similar to ACU, the types of projects funded, geographic giving boundaries and the typical monetary range of awards. Form 990s can be accessed via GuideStar and Foundation Directory Online (see below).
  3. Some of the sites listed below have the capability to provide RSS feeds and/or set up user profiles, which will then automatically send customized information regarding new opportunities. SPIN has some particularly powerful capabilities in this regard.

Non-Government Funding Sources

Grant Writing Tools

The following resources may be especially valuable for those who are new to grant writing. Combined, these resources give a broad overview of grant writing basics. Though every grant is different, a review of the following resources should provide a basic understanding of the general form and structure of a proposal and answer many common questions.

  • Explaining Indirect Costs/F&A

OSP Introduction to F&A
– A thorough discussion from the University of Idaho OSP Office about what F&A is and how it is determined.

It is not uncommon for funding agencies to require the inclusion of a logic model in a proposal. However, whether required or not, logic models can be extremely useful in the conceptualization and development of a proposal.

A logic model is a “flow-chart,” which provides a visual means of representing project resources needed to engage in project activities that produce measurable outputs or products which then also result in desired outcomes and impacts. In short, the logic model can be useful both in helping in the initial conceptualization and planning of a project and in communicating to readers of a proposal exactly what it will take to make a project successful and how those resources will be utilized to produce specific results.

Many guides and resources for logic models are freely available by conducting a quick internet search. However, one of the best and most comprehensive guides, which describe both simple and complex logic models, is the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide.

A Gantt chart is another commonly used tool in grant writing. Gantt charts, in their simplest forms, are graphic depictions of the various project activities along a timeline. Gantt charts are quite useful both in the development of a project plan and in communicating to others exactly how and when various activities associated with the project will be executed.

Many guides and resources regarding Gantt charts are freely available by conducting a quick internet search. Except for very complex projects, the easiest way to create a Gantt chart is to make your own using an Excel spreadsheet. However, below are links to two web-based Gantt chart programs that are free of charge.

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