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Athabasca University

Pre-Award - Frequently Asked Questions

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1. When is the internal deadline for application submission?

The internal deadline is set 2-3 weeks prior to the funder's deadline.

2. What kind of assistance can I expect of the Research Office when I am preparing a funding application?

The Research Office can assist you by: ensuring that the application meets all of the funder’s guidelines; providing a non-expert review and edit of your draft proposal; arranging for a peer-review of your draft proposal; giving you tips on what the committee may be looking for in a successful proposal; attaining signatures; submitting the application to the funder.

3. Why do you need the proposal so much ahead of the funder’s deadline?

The internal deadline is set so that it gives Research Centre Staff adequate time to review the proposal and make recommendations. It allows time to attain department head and executive signatures as the signators are not always on site at the time of the funder's deadline.

4. What kind of funding is available to me?

To view AU Internal Research Funding Opportunities, please visit our webpage.

To view External Research Funding Opportunities, please visit our webpage.

5. How do I find out about funding opportunities?

The Research Office has set up a research academic e-mail alias to disseminate information regarding funding programs in all areas.

If you would like to join the mailing list, please contact the Administrative Assistant and Grant Administrator to subscribe.

Alternatively, please visit our “External Research Funds” page.

6. Regarding a SSHRC Insight Grant, what is the difference between a “collaborator” and a “co-applicant”?

Collaborator: no institutional signature required on the application. A collaborator cannot spend money from the grant other than costs associated with disseminating information/results with the principle investigator or meeting/collaborating with the team. i.e. the airfare/accommodation/per diems can be paid from the grant if the collaborator is attending a team meeting or disseminating information at a conference with the principle investigator but funds from the grant cannot be used to pay for the collaborator to "do" the research.

Co-applicant: institutional signature required on the application. A co-applicant can spend money from the grant to do the research. i.e. the airfare/accommodation/per diems can be paid from the grant for a trip to Paris, France to dig through archives for three weeks (this is not allowable for a collaborator).

*If the co-applicant is Professor Emeritus, and applying as a co-applicant, an institutional signature is required from the institution the professor is associated with. The application should be sent to the Research Office of that institution to attain the signature.

*CVs are required for both co-applicants and collaborators.

7. Who is eligible to apply for funding under the Mission Critical Research (MCR) and/or Academic Research Fund (ARF)?

AUFA staff members are eligible to apply for funds. Please note: definition of a staff member is identified in clauses 1.21.1, 1.21.2, 1.21.3, and 1.21.4 in the Terms and Conditions of Agreement between AUGC and AUFA.

Note: For term AUFA members, the research must be completed prior to the end of the member’s term.

8. MCR funding supports what type of activity?

Awards from the Mission Critical Research (MCR) Fund provided by the University are intended to support projects, including multi or interdisciplinary studies that focus on the mission of Athabasca University:

The fund is seeking proposals which are related to the methodology of distance education teaching, research in teaching methods, etc.

It is expected that the funds will be used for a number of research proposals requiring operating funds. Operating Grants are intended to assist with the day-to-day cost of research and with purposes for which external funds or departmental services and support are not normally available. In particular, grants are awarded for:

  1. Pilot Studies - to test the feasibility of the study, to test the proposed research/teaching design, or to refine techniques and methods to be used.
  2. Short Term Projects - studies of limited scope and duration.
  3. Innovative Studies - to assist researchers, to try new and different techniques and to evaluate possible changes in the future direction of their work.

9. ARF funding supports what type of activity?

Awards from the Research Fund (ARF) provided by the University are intended to complement the resources available from the usual funding agencies, to support smaller or short-term projects, including multi or interdisciplinary studies and to provide assistance for projects which either fall outside the terms of reference of external agencies or merit special consideration.

As well, awards from the Research Fund may be made to support short term projects designed to enhance the research experience of the applicant, or to projects which require some preliminary study and investigation prior to a formal application for external support.

It is expected that the funds will be used for a number of regular research programs requiring operating funds.  However, the Academic Research Committee may wish, under certain circumstances, to initiate special programs to encourage projects that are relevant to selected areas of study. Operating Grants are intended to assist with the day-to-day cost of research and with purposes for which external funds or departmental services and support are not normally available. In particular, grants are awarded for:

  1. Pilot Studies - work which is prerequisite to application to an outside agency to test the feasibility of the study, to test the proposed research design, or to refine techniques and methods to be used.
  2. Starter Grants - to assist new staff members in establishing a research program at Athabasca University and before funds would normally be available from outside sources.
  3. Short Term Projects - studies of limited scope and duration for which outside funds are not readily or easily available.
  4. Innovative Studies - to assist researchers, usually those with established programs, to try new and different techniques and to evaluate possible changes in the future direction of their work.
  5. Close Out Grants - to assist with the completion of an existing project, when small amounts are required to finish the work or when outside funds have been expended and a renewal or supplementary grant cannot be obtained.
  6. Publication Charges - for research papers published in refereed journals.

10. What type of activity does not qualify for MCR and/or ARF funding?

It is not the intent of the ARC that the Research Fund should replace the normal sources of funding by which eligible member of staff may support research of a major or continuing nature.

In addition, it is not intended that the Research Fund should support attendance at events organized to encourage scholarly communication and the exchange and dissemination of the results of current research.

It is also not intended that the Research Fund should support: costs of preparing a final publisher’s manuscript for which a publication contract has been offered; awards to visiting scholars; and/or out-of-pocket expenses incurred by staff members while on research and study leave.

Requests for funds to support research undertaken as part of a Master’s or Doctoral degree program will not normally be considered. If a staff member cannot obtain support from other sources and feels that he/she can make a reasonable case, then the individual may submit a proposal for support from the Research Fund.

Activities and projects that pertain to the professional development of staff are not eligible for support from the Research Fund.

11. What are the maximum award amounts for MCR and ARF?

The current maximum awards for the MCR and ARF funds can be found in the MCR/ARF Guidelines which may be accessed through the Internally Funded Research “Forms and Guidelines” page.

12. When is the application deadline for MCR and ARF?

The application deadlines for Mission Critical Research (MCR) and the Academic Research Fund (ARF) are posted on the MCR & ARF guidelines, respectively.

Updated March 03 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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