Infrastructure Enhancement Grants

Budget Deadline: March 3, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Proposal Deadline: March 10, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Program Description

REF Infrastructure Enhancement (REF—IE) grants are designed to provide Departments/Schools and Research Centers/Institutes with resources to develop the infrastructure necessary to support sponsored research and graduate student education. Funded projects will typically focus on acquisition of equipment, enhancement of laboratory facilities, or enhancement of administrative support structure to expand the research capability of the unit. Submitted proposals must each have a Chair, Dean, or Research Center/Institute Director as Principal Investigator. A PI may only submit one proposal per category (see FAQs). Co-investigators may include academic or research faculty, or research staff. REF-IE grants may be up to $50,000, are limited to the award period outlined above, and can not be extended. Unexpended funds at the end of the project period will revert to the REF pool. Two or more departments may jointly submit a proposal. This program is restricted to non-Core Facility Infrastructure.

If submitting a health-oriented research proposal, please review the Portage Health Foundation Research Awards for more information.

Evaluation of Proposals

 REF—IE proposals will be evaluated on:

  • Extent of enhancement of the University's research capability.
  • The likelihood of leading to future sponsored research funding and graduate student support.
  • Achievement of the University strategic plan
  • Matching funds are not required; however evidence of a departmental commitment to the project needs to be clear in the proposal, as well as reasoning for a lack of cost share

Note: equipment that will be placed in a University-recognized core facility should be noted in the proposal and will be given priority in the review process.

Proposal Format

All proposals must include a completed Required Elements Checklist—IE to ensure all necessary documents have been submitted. Please review this checklist prior to writing your proposal as it explains the requirements and page limits. With an expectation of a heavy volume of submission for this competition, please adhere to all guidelines including the proposal format.

Management Plan

All REF—IE proposals must include a management plan section, which is a summary of how the equipment will be used and maintained. The proposer needs to outline the following on their Management Plan:

  • Equipment Operation
    • Identify who will be in charge of and responsible for the equipment.
    • Identify potential users of the equipment.
      • Will it be used by students?
      • Will it be used across campus?
      • Will it only be used by a specific department?
  • Training of Users
    • Identify who will train the equipment users.
    • Identify how they will be trained.
  • Use Fee Structure
  • Maintenance Plan
    • Identify who will perform up-keep and maintenance of the equipment.
    • Identify how this will be executed.

Budget Information

Budgets must be reviewed and approved by the Sponsored Programs Office prior to the proposal deadline. Proposed budgets should be clear and detailed, and must fully justify all expenditures. Please submit your budget and completed Cost Share/Matching Support Authorization Form to

Cost Share

All cost share is to be disclosed in the budget justification and shown on the budget worksheet. You must also submit a completed Cost Share Authorization form (which is located on the Banner Self Service Site). 

Unallowable Expenditures

  • Faculty salary support (including summer salary)
  • Faculty, staff, and temporary salary support
  • Graduate student support (stipend, tuition, hourly, etc) during the academic year. Hourly graduate-student support is allowed during the summer semester
  • Faculty release time

Submission Requirements

  • Submit one copy of final proposal to the appropriate Dean for review; the Dean will submit their letter of support directly to the VP Research Office, Attn: Cathy Jenich.
  • Please submit the Required Elements Checklist, Transmittal Form, and Proposal as one PDF file to

Dean Requirement

The Dean will send their letter of support directly to the VP Research Office, Attn: Cathy Jenich. Dean letters are due within seven calendar days of the proposal deadline. If faculty members from the same college/school submit multiple proposals, the Dean needs to prioritize the proposals from the college/school based on need and benefit.

Award Modifications

If you need to make a modification to your REF award end date or budget, please send a completed Request for Modification Form (see resources box on this page) via email to The form should provide a justification for the requested change and be signed by the required individuals. Please send the document as a PDF file.