Portage Health Foundations Mid-Career (PHF-MC)

Proposal Information

Fall Proposal Deadline: October 3, 2019 at 4 p.m.

Spring Proposal Deadline: March 5, 2020 at 4 p.m.

PI Eligibility: The PHF-MC is open to tenured faculty (associate and full professors) with an active NIH grant and/or consistent history of external funding with NIH or a related agency. PI's cannot have been awarded an PHF-MC in the previous round or have an active PHF-MC grant.

PI Limitation: A PI may only submit one proposal per category (see FAQs).

Project Duration: Projects are 12 months long.

Program Description

The goal of PHF-MC is to: 1) advance mid-career research designed to collect impactful preliminary data necessary to be competitive for NIH R01 grants or other external funding; 2) provide bridge/seed funding for faculty with strong records of external funding for health-oriented work; 3) provide seed funding for health-oriented faculty that have traditionally pursued non-NIH funding agencies (i.e. NSF, DoD, etc.), but are committed to pursuing NIH R01 funding; 4) and elevate Michigan Tech's health-research visibility to state and federal officials who impact policy and determine funding. 

PHF-MC will utilize the same proposal guidelines as REF-RS.

PHF-MC grants may be up to $15,000 per year, with an expected average award of $10,000 per year.

Please review the Portage Health Foundation Research Awards (PHF) for more information.

Evaluation of Proposals

PHF-MC proposals will be evaluated on:

  1. Likelihood of leading to the development of an externally supported research program, particular NIH R01 funding, and external graduate student funding.
  2. Contribution to the achievement of the University and strategic plans.
  3. Matching funds are strongly encouraged, but not required; however the supporting letter from the Chair must clearly show the department's commitment to the success of the project.
  4. Letters of support from the department chair, center/institute director, school dean, and/or college dean.

Review Criteria and Procedures

The evaluation criteria are given for each REF category. The review panels consist of faculty from disciplines across the University. The members are specialists in their fields and general research and methodologies. The proposals therefore should be written to ensure the importance of the project is clear to those outside the writer's field and provide a rationale for each functional element of the project. Please take this into account when writing your submission to ensure your proposal can be understood by all reviewers. These committees review the proposals and make recommendations to the Associate Vice President for Research Development. All funding decisions are final.

Proposal Format

All proposals must include a completed Required Elements Checklist-PHF-MC 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. When putting together your proposal package, follow the order on the Required Elements Checklist:

  • Abstract
  • Proposed Project
    • Description
    • Rationale
    • Impact
  • Human Health Impact Statement
  • Budget and Budget Justification
    • A budget approved by Sponsored Programs is not needed during the proposal stage. State the requested budget total and a breakdown in the budget justification. 
    • If cost share is being used, a completed cost share form is not needed during the proposal stage. Provide an email or letter from the cost share provider stating the committed amount. 
    • Refer to "Budget Information" under the section "If Awarded an REF Grant" shown below for a list of unallowable expenditures.
  • Existing Resources
  • References
  • Two page vitae
  • Letter(s) of Support

The proposal must be formatted according to the following guidelines or it will be returned without review:

  • Times New Roman font at a font size of 12 point. A smaller font size may be used for mathematical formulas, equations, figures, tables, or diagram captions. This text must still be readable.
  • Margins in all directions must be at least one inch.
  • The proposal must be single spaced.
  • Page numbers should be placed at the bottom center of each page with the exception of attachments.

With an expectation of a heavy volume of submission for this competition, please adhere to all guidelines including the proposal format.

Letters of Support

Letters of support from the Department Chair, College/School Dean, or Center/Institute Director must be included and address the significance of the project. must address the need for additional funds and that the faculty member is spending down his/her startup in a manner consistent with the agreed upon startup plan.

Institute/Center or School

  • Submit one copy of the final proposal to the appropriate Dean or Director for review—the Dean or Director will submit their letter of support directly to Natasha Chopp at

Dean or Director Requirement - Letters are due within seven calendar days of the proposal deadline. If faculty members from the same Institute/Center or School submit multiple proposals, the Dean needs to prioritize the proposals from the College/School based on need and benefit.


  • Obtain letter of support from the appropriate Chair(s) and include with the final proposal.


  • Submit one copy of the final proposal, including the letter of support from the Chair(s), to the appropriate Dean for review—the Dean will submit their letter of support directly to Natasha Chopp at

Dean Requirement - Letters are due within seven calendar days of the proposal deadline. If faculty members from the same College submit multiple proposals, the Dean needs to prioritize the proposals from the College based on need and benefit.

Proposal Submission Requirements

Submit one pdf file of your complete proposal package, which follows the order on the Required Elements Checklist, to

Dean Requirement

The Dean will send their letter of support directly to Natasha Chopp at 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.

If Awarded an PHF Grant

If you are awarded a PHF-MC grant, you then must finalize your budget information with the Sponsored Programs Office and complete a transmittal form within seven days of the award notification.

Budget Information 

Budgets, budget justifications, quotes, and a completed Cost Share/Matching Support Authorization Form (if applicable) must be submitted to the Sponsored Programs Office, at, within five days of the award notification. Budgets must be approved by the Sponsored Programs Office within seven days of them receiving the submitted materials.

  • Budgets will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. To ensure the deadline is not missed, start working with the Sponsored Programs Office early.
  • Proposed budgets should be clear and detailed, and must fully justify all expenditures.
  • If you are requesting equipment that is more than $5,000, quotes must be provided.
  • If you are requesting travel support over $1,500, quotes must be provided.
  • The F&A rate on all REF budgets is 0%.
  • Please use this provided budget spreadsheet to complete your budget.

Unallowable Expenditures

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

Student Support Limitations

  • Undergraduate support is allowable and needs to be clearly justified in the proposal.
  • Hourly graduate student support is ONLY allowable during the summer semester.

Cost Share

All cost share is to be disclosed in the budget justification and shown on the budget worksheet. External or sponsored research as cost share are not allowed. You must also submit a completed Cost Share Authorization form (which is located on the Banner Self Service Site).

Transmittal Form

Complete and obtain all of the necessary signatures on the Michigan Tech Transmittal Form.

Transmittal Form and Budget Submission

Once the transmittal is complete and the budget is finalized, submit as separate pdfs to Natasha Chopp at

Review Requirement

If awarded a PHF-MC grant, you are required to review and provide feedback on REF proposals (no more than four) the following round. 

Award Modifications

If you need to make a modification to your award end date or budget, please send a completed Request for Modification Form 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.