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Student Research Fund Policies and Procedures

Student Research Fund Policies

  • The Student Research Award supports up to $400 for costs associated with research and other scholarly and creative endeavors. 
  • The Student Research Presentation Award supports up to $400 for costs associated with travel to a conference to present research or creative work.

The primary purpose of a Student Research Award is to defray the costs of student research and other scholarly and creative endeavors in pursuit of a degree from Otterbein University. The selection process for the awards is competitive. Applications are evaluated by the Student Research Fund Committee, comprised of faculty members. They will consider each application for completeness and adherence to the guidelines.

All student research projects must be consistent with the definition and standards of scholarship established by the department of the project’s discipline.

Applying for a Student Research Award

A full proposal includes:

  • A completed SRF Application Form, also called the cover page.
  • A two-page project description, also called the narrative. Remember to cite published references to establish your work within the context of your discipline, and to include a bibliography (or works cited) page. Read the instructions for details on what to write about in the narrative.
  • A budget table and budget justification.
  • One support letter from your research or creative work advisor. 
  • IRB or IACUC approval, if applicable (may be pending at the time of application).


There will be two deadlines each semester. Proposals will be due by 4:00 PM on the dates indicated below. Plan carefully! Apply early in the semester for Research Awards to give yourself the maximum amount of time for your project. The last deadline of the academic year will have the least amount of funding available.  All proposals must be submitted in person to the Office of Sponsored Programs.

The 2015-2016 proposal deadlines are:

  • September 10
  • November 12
  • February 11
  • April 14

Eligible and Non-Eligible Expenses for Research Awards

Research funds can be used to purchase:

  • Materials and supplies to support research (including software, gift cards for study participants, test kits, surveys, books and DVDs, art supplies related the project)
  • Equipment to support research
  • Travel related to data collection/research
  • Data analysis/technical services related to research
  • Training costs related to research
  • Matching funds for other research funding sources
  • Publication costs related to research
  • Equipment, books, texts, and software purchased with SRF Awards are the property of the University after the student’s research is complete. The original proposal may justify an exemption to this rule, which must be reviewed and approved by the SRF Committee.
  • Books purchased with Humanities endowment funds are the property of the student after the research is complete. See the Humanities Advisory Committee web page for humanities definitions.
  • Prize drawings are an appropriate and eligible expense when used as an incentive for participant involvement.
  • Research funds cannot be used to pay students to administer tests.

Applying for a Presentation Award

A full proposal includes:

  • A completed SRF Application Form, also called the cover page. 
  • A short 1 paragraph description of your project
  • A budget table.
  • A copy of your acceptance to present a podium or poster presentation at a conference. The acceptance may be pending at the time of application, however, documentation of your acceptance will be required before the award is final.

Eligible and Non-eligible Expenses for Presentation Awards

  • Presentation Awards may be used for conference registration, the costs of producing a poster or printing a paper, transportation to and from the conference city, ground transportation, hotel, and meals. Alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.
  • When a number of members from an Otterbein department are attending the same conference, the department should always consider using an Otterbein van for transportation.

General Eligibility for Research and Presentation Awards

  • All enrolled Otterbein students are eligible for a Presentation Award as long as the conference has accepted the presentation. All Otterbein students, including seniors and graduate students in their final semester, may apply for SRF awards.

    Awards must be expended within 24 months or by the date at which the student is no longer fully enrolled, whichever comes first.


    For seniors and graduate students in their final semester, awards must be spent before the end of the first semester after graduation. For example, if a student graduates at the end of the Spring Semester, then the student must (1) submit the paper to a conference prior to the graduation date and (2) present the paper prior to the start of the Fall Semester.

Award Limitations

-No requests for retroactive funding are eligible, therefore make sure to apply for funds early enough to receive results from the SRF Committee prior to attending a conference.

-Students may apply for only one research award and one presentation award per project during the academic year.

- A Presentation Award may overlap a second Research Award for another topic, but a student may not apply for a second Research Award until the first is completed.

IRB and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Students must adhere to Otterbein’s process for approving research conducted with humans and animals. Applications may be submitted while the IRB or IACUC reviews are pending; successful awards will be conditional until the IRB or IACUC approvals are received.

The Faculty Advisor’s Role in SRF

  • Support letters:  Students are required to submit a letter of support from a faculty member who will advise them on their research. Your support letter must address your opinion about the student’s proposal and capability to complete the research. 

  • Faculty Advisor named on cover sheet : Faculty Advisor's named on the student’s cover page will be asked to attest to purchases and relevant research expenses by signing all expense reports and reviewing the student’s final abstract.

Application Requirements, Reimbursement for Expenditures, and Final Reports

-Full budgets for all activity (Research and Presentation Awards) are required to ensure that the SRF Committee can reduce funding inequity between departments.

-Expenditures will be reimbursed based on clear and accurate accounting with receipts to back up the claim for the expenditure. Faculty may submit the expense report for Presentation awards directly to their departmental assistant.

-Students are not required to submit a final expense summary, but ARE required to write “Final” on the final payment request.

-Students are required to send a 200 word abstract to sum up their progress on the Research Award or describe the presentation at the conference for the Presentation Award.  The Office of Sponsored Programs will keep detailed expense records and will forward abstracts to the appropriate divisions and departments at Otterbein.

-Awards must be used within 24 months or by the date at which the student is no longer fully enrolled, whichever comes first.

Multiple participants

  • The SRF Committee recognizes that several students may be researching similar aspects of the same project.  Students and their advisors must clearly define how each project is separate and does not overlap. 
  • Several students may apply for one award. All students will be recognized for their achievement at the end of the academic year. Although one student will be named on the account for the award, each student must sign the application form and requests for reimbursement.

  • Multiple students presenting at the same conference: If several students from one department will travel to the same conference and share costs, and there is no expenditure unique to one student, it is preferred that the Department submits one budget that names all students and demonstrates any matching funds. Each student will be required to complete a Presentation Award application to submit with a copy of the Department-prepared budget. In the case of a multiple application, no student will be awarded more than $400. The responsible faculty member will be responsible for filing an expense report with their departmental assistant who will verify all receipts before reimbursement. 

/Office of Sponsored Programs

Towers Hall
Rooms 12, 13 and 14
1 South Grove Street
Westerville, Ohio 43081
f/ 614.823.3101

/ Staff

Diane Nance, Director
p/ 614.823.1846
e/ dnance@otterbein.edu

Bonnie Ward, Assistant Director
p/ 614.823.1847
e/ bward@otterbein.edu

Jamie Whetstone, Grants Coordinator
p/ 614.823.1845
e/ jwhetstone@otterbein.edu