Type of Grants

Individual Faculty Awards are the traditional means by which the FRCAC offers funding for research and scholarship at MTSU.   We have recently made a few minor changes to define research classifications and categories to allow swift review of proposals.

FRCAC's Definitions

"Research" is generally defined by FRCAC as the organized investigation or study of a problem in order to gain new knowledge or make use of a new approach to analyze existing data. The solution to the problem may either have broad relevance or direct application to issues of practical importance. Examples: Research may include, but is not limited to: 1) scientific investigation and data acquisition; 2) empirical studies; 3) analytical literature searches which result in substantial modification of existing explanations of events; 4) development of book proposals; 5) dissemination of the results of the research; and 6) analytical and historical studies of literature, arts, and related fields.

"Creative Activity" includes the creation, production, exhibition, performance, or publication of creative works by one or more individuals that demonstrate originality in design or execution. Creative projects eligible for funding should include a clear articulation of the scholarly process, a definable product, and a mechanism for outside review and/or dissemination. The product of creative activity may be disseminated to academic, consumer, and to government or other such agency through original artwork, live performances, exhibits, consumer and other print media, academic journals, books, photographs, film, reports, video recordings, audio recordings, graphic designs, digital imaging, or other technologies, all consistent with standard scholarly practice in the discipline. Typically, the significance accorded the creative activity depends on the audience and the recognition it achieves-local, regional, national, or international.

FOUR Specific Classification of Grants

Regardless whether the grant funds are sought for "research" or "creative activity," the grant proposals are reviewed under the following classifications:
  1. Applied Sciences
  2. Social Sciences or Liberal Arts
  3. Creative Activity
  4. Interdisciplinary -   This type of grant is specifically targeted for multiple applicants from different departments and/or disciplines and encourages faculty to collaborate on larger projects, especially those that target external funding sources and emphasize the need for preliminary data to be competitive. At least one designated Principal Investigator must be identified as the contact person. 


Each of the above classification can then be subcategorized as follows:
  • Individual or Single Applicant
  • Multiple Applicants
  • External Grant Proposal Writing
  • Program Development and Evaluation

Please note that one of the applicants must integrate a deep desire to seek external funding as part of their long-term research goal.   Therefore, it is essential that the grant seekers demonstrate that they would use the FRCAC funds to generate preliminary data for targeting external funding sources.  

Individual Applicant.  Only a single MTSU faculty member as the principal investigator but he/she can lead a team of other co-investigators regardless whether funding is requested for them or not. 

Multiple Applicants.  Two or more designated principal investigators may request FRCAC funds under this category.  In addition, as many co-investigator as the project warrants.  This type of grant recognizes that research is most often conducted by teams of researchers with various expertises within the same department and/or discipline.

Program Development and Evaluation.  This type of grant is intended for research into problems and programs of concern to the public and reflects the application of faculty scholarship to issues related to societal well-being.  The proposal may include multiple applicants within or across departments, or only one applicant, but the primary focus will be on research into social problems and solutions. 

External Grant Proposal Writing.  This type of grant provides funding for reassigned time during the academic year to write proposals for external funding of research and creative activities.  The proposal must identify the specific agency intended.

When to submit?

The FRCAC meets twice each academic year to evaluate proposals; once in the Fall Semester and once in the Spring Semester (by invitation only).  Deadlines are typically the middle of September and early March.  Refer to important dates by visiting the Deadlines link on the FRCAC homepage.

What to submit?

Applications may request for:
  • Summer Stipend only;
  • Academic Year Funds only;
  • Combined Academic Year and Summer Stipend
Please note that the "Summer Stipend" will replace the previously awarded "Summer Salary."   Researchers can request for the stipend in both Fall as well as the Spring sessions of the FY.  A grant seeker can either request for $6,500 (full) or $3,250 (half) depending on the anticipated work load.  Funds requested to be used during the summer to support work (supplies, travel, student help, etc) may be applied for at any deadline. These funds are also referred to as "Academic Year Funds."

Who may submit?

Grants are available only to full-time tenure track (untenured as well as tenured) faculty members in any rank (Assistant, Associate or Full Professor).  However, preference may be given to an untenured applicant if the proposals demonstrate similar scientific merits.  Full-time temps, adjuncts, graduate and undergraduate students, administrators (including Deans) cannot apply for FRCAC funding but they may be listed as co-investigators.  An eligible applicant may request for additional personnel as assistants or consultants or as needed for pay for specific skills (i.e., transcription, data entry, equipment specialist). Click here to know more about the applicant eligibility.

Where to submit?

Grant proposals, nominations for distinguished awards and reference letters supporting the nominees must be sent electronically to frcac@mtsu.edu in proper format as outlined in this website.  Questions and concerns may also be sent to frcac@mtsu.edu.  Applicants must follow these general guidelines before emailing your submission packet

  • Faculty members submitting proposals are strongly urged to follow the FRCAC guidelines carefully.  The proposal must follow the format and style as stated in the guidelines.  
  • Only electronic submissions are accepted and paper proposals will not be considered.   If you have no other option, please email frcac@mtsu.edu for assistance.
  • FRCAC advises faculty applicants to make their requests using designated application forms - Refer to FRCAC Forms.
  • Once the deadline is passed, no changes will be allowed to the application and not further addition or removal will be entertained.

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