FY 2024 Request for Proposals


Deadline: April 12, 2024        Decision: May 9, 2024       Award Start: July 1, 2024



The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED) is pleased to announce this request for proposals (RFP) for Research Collaborative Grant Program (RCGP). Many challenges of our time require us to collaborate around shared themes of scholarly and/or societal significance. This RFP is an opportunity to create research collaboratives of two or more faculty from any department/discipline to catalyze research and scholarly activities around a theme chosen by the group. Themes may be broad, such as risk, rurality, or wellbeing; or more specific, such as a cultural study, engineering problem, or bioscience innovation. While this opportunity is open to all faculty and disciplines, Humanities, Arts, and Social Science faculty are strongly encouraged to apply.  

The objectives, activities, and support sought by a research collaborative are to be defined by the team, with the ultimate goal of inspiring collective or individual ideas, projects, and efforts that are conceptually linked. For example:

  • Protected time for collaborative activity;
  • Travel support for a co-convened speaker series to promote a new research center;
  • Accommodations for a writing retreat to co-author an edited volume;
  • Supplies for a new shared performance or exhibit; and so on.

Because the scope of this RFP is wide ranging, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Associate Vice President for Research Development, Dr. Liz Shanahan, to discuss your ideas before submitting a full proposal: [email protected] or 406-994-2891 to schedule a 30-minute appointment.

Scope of the Award:

Projects are to be a year in length. Collaboratives may apply for a second year of funding pending the successful completion of the first year and evidence of need for a second year of proposed funding. Each research collaborative project is eligible for a maximum of $75,000 per year. There is no minimum award amount.


Each collaborative is expected to submit a mid-year and a final report to the VPRED Office. The mid-year report is an opportunity to discuss the collaborative’s accomplishments and identify any adjustments to the goals and activities identified in the proposal. The final report is a comprehensive review of activities, consisting of a summary listing activities and accomplishments (conferences held, proposals submitted/awarded, results obtained, connections established, etc.).

Submission Requirements

A proposal should contain the following and be submitted electronically to the VPRED via InfoReady (https://montana.infoready4.com/).

  1. Cover Page (fields in InfoReady)
    • Project title
    • Abstract (300 words): brief description of purpose, goals, and activities of research collaborative
    • Brief description of research collaborative team (disciplines, schools/divisions, departments, centers/programs, email and phone contact information)
    • Total amount of funding request

2. Project Description (single-spaced, 12-point font, minimum 1” margins; no page limit)

    • Describe the research collaborative’s theme and its significance.
    • Describe the collaborative members and what each faculty would contribute to the theme.
    • Describe the collaborative’s purpose, goals and activities. Detail how the activities support the collaborative’s purpose and goals.
    • Include a project timetable (typically monthly to identify activities addressed).
    • Describe the research collaborative team’s leadership and project management plan.
    • If your project will require Institutional Review Board review, please describe what level of review will be required and include on your timetable.

3. Budget and Budget Justification

    • Itemize your budget and include 6 percent admin fee.
    • Include a budget narrative that explains how you arrived at the cost (e.g., cost estimates), to what activity the budget cost is associated, and how each budget item will contribute to the success of the project.
    • Allowable expenses include (please ask if you have an expense not listed here):
      • Faculty, staff, and/or student salaries
      • Course buy out (see letter requirements in Appendices below)
      • Materials & supplies
      • Travel
      • Speaker fees and accommodations
      • Room or accommodation rental for research collaborative work
      • Meal costs for research collaborative work

4. Appendices

    • Brief CV for each collaborator (maximum 2 pages)
    • If you are requesting a course buy out, you must include a letter from your department head/director that gives (i) permission for a course buy out, (ii) the cost of the buy out [please confer with your College budget director], and (iii) support from the Dean [i.e., the head/chair indicates approval from the Dean].
    • If you have received S&C and/or REF grant(s) in the last three years, also attach your final report(s).

Submission Process

Please submit your proposal electronically to InfoReady (https://montana.infoready4.com/). Click "Log in" in the top right-hand corner of the InfoReady homepage and log in with your MSU NetID and password.

From this page, find the Table that lists funding opportunities. Click the down arrow under the column labeled “Category” and select “Internal Opportunity.” From there, select “Research Collaborative Grant” in the “Title” column and click “Apply." Proceed to complete the required fields and upload the necessary documents. An application may be saved as a draft before submission. You will receive a system notification when your application has been received. Decisions will be announced via InfoReady. New InfoReady users can contact [email protected] for assistance.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of MSU faculty from across the university, who will make recommendations to the VP-RED. Final selection(s) will be made by May 6, 2024, with an official funding start date of July 1, 2024 for any awarded projects.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  1. Significance of research collaborative’s theme
  2. Quality of research collaborative members’ contributions to the research theme
  3. Quality of project purposes, goals, and associated activities
  4. Feasibility of timetable of activities
  5. Quality of leadership and management plan
  6. Appropriateness of the budget request(s)


For questions about proposal requirements and expectations, please reach out to Dr. Liz Shanahan, Associate Vice President for Research Development at [email protected].