The Student Research Fund is intended to help both Otterbein undergraduate and graduate students defray the costs of conducting original research or engaging in original scholarly and creative work under the guidance of a faculty advisor as part of their education. The selection process for these grants is competitive, and funds are limited each year. Each applicant can ask for up to $400 in support for their project. These grants are distinct from SRF-Presentation Grants (for more information on those, see here). As such, funds awarded as part of a SRF-Research grant cannot be used for participation in professional meetings.
Applying for an SRF-Research Grant
There are four deadlines a year for SRF-Research Grant applications. The final deadline of the 2016/2017 academic year is April 13th. In the upcoming 2017/2018 academic year, the deadlines will be Sept 14th, Nov 9th, Feb 8th, and April 14th.
To apply for a grant you need to submit the following to the Office of Sponsored Programs (Towers 12) or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4pm on the days listed above.
- The SRF-Research Coversheet (Research-Coversheet) signed by the student
- A two page Project Narrative, including a budget for your project (this is sometimes called a Project Description, detailed instructions below).
- A Letter of Support from the faculty member who is overseeing your work: This should be signed and include their impressions about both the importance, uniqueness, and feasibility of the project. This letter should be submitted with the rest of your materials, if possible.
- IRB/OUACUC approval if appropriate (see below). This may be pending at the time of award, but you must be approved before beginning data collection.
SRF-Research Grant Project Narrative Requirements
Project Narratives are limited to two pages (not including bibliography or list of citations).
Also, the committee will be looking for the following sections in your narrative. Be sure to label them clearly:
An example of a successful SRF-Research Grant application is included here. Please remember that while we ask you to keep your Project Narrative to 2 pages or less, the length of each section may vary from project to project. This is just one example of a successful application. SRF-Research Grant Sample Application
Note: Books purchased with Humanities Endowment funds are the property of the student (see the Humanities Advisory Committee web page for eligible subjects). Books, equipment, and software purchased with SRF-Research Grant money is the property of the University once the student’s research is complete.
SRF-Research Grants Do NOT Provide Funding For:
- SRF-Research Grant funds can’t be used to pay students to administer tests
- Funds cannot be used to provide either stipends or hourly wages for the grantee
- Funds cannot be used for any expenses incurred before the award was made. We cannot retroactively fund projects under any circumstances.
- Funds cannot be used to present results at a professional meeting (for these sorts of needs, see the SRF-Presentation Grant page)
- SRF funds may not be used for rental of or usage fees for equipment owned by Otterbein University.
Duration of Grant
Students ordinarily have up to 24 months to spend their SRF-Research Grant. After 24 months, any unclaimed money will be recirculated into the SRF funding pool and will be unavailable to you.
If you graduate (or otherwise leave Otterbein), all awarded funds must be spent before the end of your final semester as a student. You may request reimbursement for that money for one additional semester, but you cannot allocate any more of it. If you fail to request reimbursement before the end of the semester following your final semester as an Otterbein student, the money will be recirculated into the SRF funding pool and will no longer be available to you. Please note: Summer Semester counts as the semester following Spring Semester.
For example, if you receive a grant for $400 in September of your senior year and you will be graduating on time, you have the remainder of Fall and all of Spring semester to spend your $400. You may request reimbursement for those expenses any time during Fall, Spring, or the following Summer semester. When the next Fall semester begins, you can no longer request reimbursement even if you spent the money before you graduated.
Special Considerations for studies involving humans or animals
As with all research on campus involving either human or animal subjects, SRF-Research grant holders must receive permission from the appropriate review board before beginning their work. If you are applying to do a study that involves human research subjects, it must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Similarly, all research involving animal subjects must be approved by the Otterbein University Animal Care and Use Committee (OUACUC). Even if your SRF-Research application is funded pending approval, under no circumstances should you begin collecting data until after you receive approval directly from the IRB or OUACUC committees. Your advisor is the best source of useful information.
Please see the IRB and OUACUC Information webpage for further instructions, contacts, and necessary approval forms.
Completing your grant
You have 24 months to do the work proposed in your application (unless you graduate during that time, see Duration of Grant above). When you’re finished with your project, we ask that you send us a brief (roughly 200 words) summary of your experiences (send to Bonnie Ward in OSP, Towers 12 or electronically email@example.com). Summaries can help us track the sorts of projects that have been funded by the Student Research Fund as well as help justify future funding. We will also forward these reports to your home division/department. If you complete your work without using all the funds you were granted, please let us know so we can free that money up for the next round of grants. Submitting this summary and freeing any leftover funds will end your current grant. You cannot apply for further funding while you still have two SRF grants active.