Research Excellence Fund (REF)—Procedures and Reporting

Review Criteria and Procedures

The evaluation criteria are given for each REF category. The reviewers and review panels consist of faculty from disciplines across the University. Reviewers are specialists in their fields and knowledgeable about 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 clearly understandable 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 award recommendations to the Associate Vice President for Research Development. All funding decisions are final.

Award Procedure

REF awards are dependent upon fiscal year funds. Spring awards begin July 1 of the award year and will end on June 30 of the following year. Fall awards begin January 1 of the award year and will end on December 31 of the following year. Project funds will be put in a restricted account with the Principal Investigator as the account manger.

All unexpended REF funds will revert back into the REF pool at the project end date; extensions will be granted under exceptional circumstances only.

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 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.

Post Award Information

When a proposal is approved, a University account will be established that identifies the eligible Principal Investigator as account manager. Disbursement of the grant money will be subject to the rules and regulations that apply to University accounts. Requesting transfers of committed cost share on REF awards is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator.


Successful applicants must submit a final report summarizing their accomplishments within 60 days of the end of the project. Faculty members who fail to submit a final report will be ineligible for future awards.

Please submit your 1–3 page report to The report should explain the activities undertaken and identify publications, presentations, and other scholarly or creative products that have resulted from the award.

  • For Seed Grants, reports should include a description of proposals submitted to external funding agencies based on the work supported by the Seed Grant. 

Recipients of awards should update their reports if publications appear at a later date.