Frequently Asked Questions

  • No. The RFP refers to “projects that have potential to attract external funding.” Projects from all disciplines are welcome. However, it is expected that all projects should have a research or scholarly component.

  • The primary purpose of these grants is to provide pilot or seed funding for KSU faculty projects that can attract external funding (grants, contracts). PIs must demonstrate that they have external funding objectives and present a clear and logical plan linking the proposed grant to one or more external funding opportunities. Interdisciplinary, translational and transformative aspects are often characteristics for which funding agencies are looking. Appropriateness of the budget is also a factor, including not only reasonableness given the scope of work proposed, but also relative to the external funding targeted (e.g. a $15,000 request to pursue a $10,000 grant would be a negative factor in review).

  • Assisting faculty in finding funding opportunities is a normal function of the Office of Research and faculty are encouraged to contact Natasha Williams ( for assistance well ahead of deadlines. We strongly recommend using the Pivot funding opportunities database, available here: This database includes funding opportunities in all disciplines. You may also consult the Office of Research website for more information on funding sources:

  • Office of Research staff cannot prepare your budget for you for this funding opportunity.

    Please note the following:

    • Any combination of allowable line items is fine. Each project is different. Ask for what you need and justify it.
    • Any request for summer salary must be based on a percentage of time applied to your normal rate of pay. One month of time for nine-month faculty (the maximum that can be requested) = 1/9 = 11.11% of your normal salary. The budget template will calculate the requested salary and fringe based on the annual salary and percentage of effort entered. You must use the Faculty Pilot/Seed Grants budget template included as part of the RFP. 
    • For replacement costs, please check with your chair or dean for the appropriate amount.
    • Estimate any travel based on KSU’s normal travel rules.
    • Estimate supplies and materials.
    • Consultant costs include project advisors paid according to a daily rate, as well as vendors providing services such as testing of samples.

    Don’t worry too much about the budget. If your proposal is selected for funding, we will work with you to assure compliance and appropriateness of the budget before initiation of the project.

  • Yes.

  • Yes.

  • Yes, though you should consider revising carefully if you plan to submit a proposal that was previously declined. Also, you should remember that the focus of this opportunity is your project’s potential to attract external funding. If potential for external funding was not the focus of the opportunity to which you applied previously, then an identical resubmission will not be very competitive. As with all grants, you should tailor your proposal to the funding opportunity. If the other submission was funded, it must be acknowledged in the proposal.

  • We will try. If you would like, a brief concept paper or proposal draft may be sent to Evelina Sterling at, who, time allowing, can give preliminary feedback. If you wish to take advantage of this, please work well ahead of the deadline.

  • These internal grants are being made with state funds. Please check with HR for KSU’s policy on paying staff members. In general, the answer is no.

  • Yes, you can pay a Center/Institute to do some work. Funds will be transferred to the applicable Center/Institute. However, because these are state funds, they must be spent by  June 30, 2021.

  • No. No.

  • The term “equipment” refers to an item costing $5,000 or more and having a useful life of more than one year. Most laptops would therefore be considered supplies, not equipment. Both supplies and equipment are allowable expenses. In either case, you should explain in the budget justification why you need them to accomplish the proposed work. Generally speaking, we do not want to fund laptops or other items that are not truly necessary to the project and/or should be provided by your department or division.

  • Yes, if you submit a brief progress report prior to submitting a FY21 proposal. Please keep in mind that performance on prior Office of Research support will weigh heavily in our decision process, i.e. if you proposed to submit external proposals and have not, that is a lack of performance that will be a serious negative factor in evaluating your proposal.