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Internal Awards FAQs

General FAQs

  • How will current research funds be viewed in the application process? 
    • Research funds must be disclosed in the application process; how your funds are currently allocated will be considered when reviewing the application.
  • Are these funding mechanisms available to research (non-tenure-track) faculty? 
    • Yes, all full-time VU-faculty are eligible to apply.
  • Are these mechanisms primarily for individuals or are collaborative projects being encouraged? 
    • Individuals and collaborative projects are both welcome to apply.
  • What are the parameters regarding teamwork with VUMC faculty? 
    • All funding must be expensed by Vanderbilt, but VUMC faculty are approved collaborators.
  • What support is available for graduate or professional students? 
    • Wages, stipends, and fees can be covered. Funds cannot be used to cover tuition or financial aid.
  • What dollar amount should I consider when requesting to hire a student assistant? 
    • Student compensation is a school-based standard and also varies by student status (undergraduate, professional or graduate). We recommend consulting your department administrator or Dean’s office.
  • What guidelines should be followed when hiring student assistants? 
    • Department administrators should be engaged during the student hiring process to ensure all university and department policies are followed. Funds may not be used for the following:
      • graduate student recruiting
      • graduate students’ professional development cost or programs
      • student tuition
  • What is the process after grants are received? Is any documentation or paperwork required? 
    • For Seeding and Scaling Success Programs, after award decisions are made, a unique, centrally housed Oracle project will be created. We will share the project information and all relevant purchasing details once available. Faculty are required to submit an annual report to the provost office. For projects with multi-year funding, additional year funding will be released following a review of your report.
    • For RAMP, funds will be transferred to COA/project accounts following faculty acceptance of the award
  • What should the budget look like? 
    • Budget specifications for each program can be found in the InfoReady application portal. The template includes line items of all estimated expenses. Please be as specific as possible in your estimates.
  • Can staff be paid for under these programs? 
    • Yes, Faculty may use funds for scientific and technical staff salaries, and also for compensation for term-limited consultants, web-programmers, survey developers, etc.
  • Why do Scaling Success, Seeding Success, and RAMP have different timeframes between proposal deadlines and award disbursement?
    • The timeframe between proposal submission and award disbursement is based on the necessary length of the review and decision process by peer reviewers, and the nature of the necessary award set-up process in Oracle.  For example, Seeding Success has the longest turnaround time because (a) the proposals are the longest and most complex, (b) the volume of applications per round tends to be high given the twice-annual RFPs, and (c) these two factors together require the set up of multiple complex Oracle PPM projects at award time.  By contrast, RAMP proposals are the shortest and simplest, applicant volume is not particularly high at any given time because they are submitted on a rolling basis, and awards are small enough to be sent directly to PI faculty funds via Oracle rather than requiring the set-up of Oracle PPM projects.  Scaling Success grants fall in between Seeding Success and RAMP in terms of complexity and volume per round, but generally necessitate Oracle PPM project set-up for award disbursement because of award size.
  • I have more questions that aren’t answered here. Where can I go to ask these questions? 
    • Please reach out to for questions about any of the programs! We are happy to help with any questions. 

Scaling Success Grants

  • Can course buyout be included as part of project funds?
    • Yes, course buyout can be included as part of the project budget. You must have support from your dean for course buyout

Seeding Success Grants

  • Will Seeding Success Grants allow for purchase of large equipment?
    • Capital equipment that falls within the funding allowance for the Seeding Success program is allowable. For larger infrastructure or capital equipment purchases, given the complexity of managing, housing and operating, faculty should work with their department chairs and dean, who will then work directly with the Provost on these high-dollar purchases.
  • Do proposals need to have IRB approval before being submitted? 
    • They do not. Funds are awarded for specific time periods, so consideration should be given to what is feasible to complete when requesting.
  • Who is the target audience for the proposals?
    • Seeding Success proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee from a variety of schools and departments, chaired by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Vice Provost for Research followed by Provost approval. You should make your proposal accessible to the non-specialized reader. 

Rapid Advancement Micro-Grant Program Awards (RAMP)

  • How long after applying will I hear about my application? 
    • Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis, usually at the end of the month, as needed.
  • By what date do funds need to be used for RAMP? 
    • All funds must be used within the fiscal year they are awarded.
  • What kind of travel is within the scope of the RAMP program? 
    • Approved travel includes:
      • meeting with research collaborators or bringing research collaborators to campus
      • visiting an archive
      • or conducting field-specific work
  • Who is the target audience for the proposals?
    • For RAMP, the review process includes an administrative review followed by approval from the Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.