Research

Public Service Grant Program

Information and Application Guidelines

  • Eligibility: Faculty and Research Staff
  • Applications available: Monday, December 22, 2014
  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 20, 2015
  • Awards announced: by April 15, 2015
  • Maximum award: $10,000

General information

Funded by the Office of the President of the University of Massachusetts and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Strategic Initiatives and Dean of Graduate Studies of the University of Massachusetts Boston, these grants support projects that enhance the university’s public service mission.

As a public urban research university, one way, and possibly the best way, to foster outstanding public and community service is through community-based research and engaged scholarship. It is expected that community-based research and engaged scholarship will also lead to commonly recognized scholarly outcomes. Publicly engaged scholarship involves collaborative, reciprocal partnerships that couple university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to sharpen and enrich research to increase public knowledge and better inform community service. The purpose of this grant is to build the capacity of the university faculty and other researchers to engage in authentic collaborative research partnerships for public benefit and to provide incentives that foster and stimulate the conduct of community-engaged scholarship and community-based participatory research.

A committee of university faculty and research staff members and if feasible community partners, drawn from various disciplines, program areas, and community perspectives will review all applications and make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research & Strategic Initiative and Dean of Graduate Studies for the allocation of the public service grant funds. Allocations for grants are based on the significance of the project, the potential for success of the proposed activities, the specified project outcomes, and the reasonableness of the project budget request.

Nature of the Public Service Program

A total of $30,000 is available for this competition. Applicants may request up to $10,000 in grant funds. Funds may be used to pay project expenses including:  research assistants, technical and clerical support beyond that normally available through the applicant’s department, travel, communications, and supplies. Only in unusual circumstances will the purchase of equipment be funded by this grant program (Please note that equipment is defined as items that cost >/= $5,ooo). Faculty or staff salaries or additional stipends and course/time buyouts will not be funded by the Public Service grant program. Small stipends for community partners acting as co-investigators are permissible.

Who May Submit a Proposal

Any active UMass Boston full-time faculty and research staff member is eligible to submit a proposal for consideration. Joint proposals from multiple individuals and trans-disciplinary proposals will be considered and in fact encouraged; however, the maximum award for such proposals will remain at $10,000. That is, each award is per project, not per investigator. A single principal investigator (PI) must be identified for the public service project being proposed. An individual faculty or staff member (as PI) may receive

  • one grant in a given year from all internal grant competitions (e.g., Healey Research, Public Service, Proposal Development),
  • up to three total grants from any combination of internal grant competitions in 6 years, and
  • up to two grants in 6 years in a single competition (e.g., two Public Service Grants in 6 years

Submission Deadline

Application proposals must be received by the close of business (5:00 pm EST) on February 20, 2015. Submit all materials in one pdf file electronically to internal.grants@umb.edu. A confirmation message will be sent to you once your application has been received. If you do not receive a confirmation message within 24 hours, please contact Matthew.Meyer@umb.edu. It is the responsibility of the individual submitting the proposal to ascertain that one complete copy of the proposal has been received for processing by the deadline.

What to Submit

In order to expedite the review of proposals, applicants are required to submit proposals in the following format. Please note that only one copy of the complete proposal needs to be submitted.

  • Cover sheet (form attached) with applicant and proposal information, a no more than 50-word abstract, list of all internal grants previously awarded to the applicant, and signatures from the appropriate persons or groups.
  • Budget (form attached) presenting a breakdown of project expenses by category.
  • Budget narrative explaining each item requested on the budget form. If equipment is requested, provide exact specifications and cost, and explain why existing departmental or university equipment cannot be borrowed or used. Requests of salaries or stipends and course buyout for the applicant will not be considered. Requests for graduate assistants during the academic year must conform to the pay scale and other requirements of the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) bargaining agreement which are available here:  https://www.umb.edu/hr/employee_relations/collective_bargaining_agreements. Also include a description of any other project costs that are being provided by the department, college, unit, or other source.
  • Project narrative describing the project for which funding is being requested. The project narrative is the core of the proposal. Members of the review committee will make their recommendations based on their interpretation of your project as described in this section. It is to the applicant’s advantage to provide background information in enough detail to convey why the project is significant, the targeted audience, what will be accomplished, the schedule of activities, and how the project will contribute to UMass Boston's public service mission. The applicant must be as clear as possible, remembering that the readers will represent various disciplines and program areas and may not have expertise in the subject matter of the proposal. If the work of others is referenced, include a list of the sources cited. Remember that the purpose of this grant program is to build the capacity of university faculty and researchers to engage in authentic collaborative research partnerships for public benefit and to provide incentives that foster and stimulate the conduct of community-engaged scholarship and community-based participatory research. The project narrative must be limited to eight (8) double-spaced pages and must include the following:
    • significance of the proposed project;
    • primary target audience of the proposed project;
    • project goals and objectives with a timeline for accomplishment;
    • set of activities that will be used to carry out the proposed project;
    • anticipated outcomes of the proposed project;
    • plan for follow-up and evaluation to determine that the project will build community capacity in the area addressed; and
    • qualifications of the applicant that ensure the success of the project if funded (especially important if the attached résumé/CV does not reflect previous work of this nature).
  • Résumé/CV of the applicant (not to exceed 3 pages) focusing on previous experience that relates to the proposed public service project and a list of any external grants received. Include a résumé/CV for each individual if a research team is submitting the project proposal.
  • ​Other documents, including letters of support or cooperation from the participating community groups or organizations that will be involved with or will benefit from the project documenting the need for the project and demonstrating that individual or organizational contacts exist to support the project. Include letters of commitment from other UMass Boston departments or units that will be involved with the project.

Review of Proposals

A committee of university faculty, research staff members, and if feasible community partners, drawn from various disciplines, program areas, and community perspectives will review all applications. The committee will make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives & Dean of Graduate Studies who will make all final decisions. Grant awards will be announced by April 15, 2015.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significance: The extent to which the proposed project will make an important contribution to the public service mission of the university.
  • Success potential:  The extent to which the project narrative is presented clearly and cogently and the likelihood the project goals and objectives can be met given the proposed activities and available resources.
  • Budget and cost-effectiveness:  The extent to which the funding requested is adequate and appropriate to project objectives and activities.

Grant Management

All Public Service grants are administered in accordance with established university fiscal procedures and policies relating to the conduct of sponsored programs. Award accounts will be established by June 30, 2015, and project expenditures can begin on July 1, 2015. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2016. The following conditions are attached to the award and must be accepted by the recipient at the time of the grant award:

  • A final project report must be filed with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Strategic Initiatives and Dean of Graduate Studies by August 31, 2016, summarizing grant activities, outcomes, and expenditures.
  • One copy of submitted, published, or conference papers, and facsimiles or descriptions of artistic creations that result from the project activities must be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives & Dean of Graduate Studies when they become available.
  • All the publications resulting from the supported project and all the narratives associated with exhibitions or performances of works resulting from the supported project must acknowledge the assistance of the Public Service Grant program of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

For additional information, please contact Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives & Dean of Graduate Studies at zongguo.xia@umb.edu or at 617.287.5608.