UCI aims to enhance the ability of Assistant and Associate-rank Academic Senate faculty members whose research/creative activity has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to recover from that loss. The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor has allocated $1 million in funding to support a pilot Interim COVID-19 Research Recovery Program (ICRRP) as an investment in faculty research/creative activity. The ICRRP expects to make individual awards with an average range of $5,000 to $30,000, although larger requests may be considered.
Applicants can choose from two funding proposal deadlines: September 20, 2021 and January 14, 2022, with funds expected to be equitably divided between the two. Pending results of the AY 2021-2022 calls and observed outcomes, the program may be renewed for additional rounds of funding.
September 20, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. and January 14, 2022, by 11:59 p.m.
We expect awards to be announced by mid-October 2021 and mid-February 2022, respectively.
Academic Senate faculty members (Professor, Professor In Residence, Professor of Clinical X, and Professor of Teaching series) who were UCI employees at the Assistant or Associate rank as of July 1, 2021 are eligible if their research/creative program has been significantly and negatively affected by COVID-19.
Faculty receiving funds in October 2021 are required to expend them by December 31, 2022 and submit a brief report on the impact of the ICRRP award on their research/creative work by January 31, 2023. Awards made in February 2022 should be expended by April 30, 2023 with report due May 31, 2023.
Administered out of the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel’s office, a committee of Academic Senate faculty and administrators with experience in research review and the personnel process will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:
- Applicants at the Assistant rank will receive priority in the review process.
- Research/creative activities trajectory has been demonstrably and significantly negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- Viability of plan for effective use of ICRRP funds if awarded. Funds should directly advance research/creative accomplishments. They cannot be used for teaching release.
- Lacking other funds for the plan proposed. Faculty with existing research funds are expected to use those funds first unless they can explain why existing funds cannot be utilized. Faculty who have already received Bridge funding or other substantial campus/school funding to supplement their research will likely have less competitive applications.
- Evidence of overall research/creative activity strength appropriate to rank and field.
1. My work has not really been impacted by COVID-19 but my research would significantly benefit from these funds. Can I apply?
Your application will likely not meet the selection criteria unless you convincingly explain how COVID-19 significantly negatively affected your research.
2. Who is eligible to apply?
All Senate faculty at the Assistant and Associate rank: Professor, Professor In Residence, Professor of Clinical X, and Professor of Teaching series.
3. Why can’t full professors apply?
Full professors’ research programs have undoubtedly been impacted by COVID-19. However, Assistant and Associate Professors have limited time at rank before coming up for a required review for promotion. Assistant Professors will receive priority because the pandemic has likely most impacted their relatively short timeline for establishing an independent research program with discernable products that meet promotion/tenure standards of excellence.
1. What kind of negative impact from COVID-19 might qualify?
Some direct interruptions to research might include: lab closure, loss of animal colony, inability to safely undertake community-based research, closed performance venues, limited access to research sites or repositories, or inability to travel safely for research. The higher teaching load of most Professors of Teaching who had to pivot to remote instruction and the work that many did as official or unofficial pedagogic resources during the transition to remote teaching, particularly if they did not receive any course reductions, is another possible example of COVID-19-caused research interruption. Personal situations that interrupted productivity could potentially include Long-term COVID-19 health effects, or increased childcare, at-home schooling, or eldercare responsibilities. While faculty are not expected to provide personal details about difficult individual circumstances, the impact of these circumstances can be included in the narrative explanation. Faculty who undertook alternative intellectual work (i.e., published review essays rather than original research) due to COVID-19-caused limitations will not be penalized in the review process.
2. How much personal detail should I share?
Faculty are not expected to detail difficult personal circumstances to qualify for funding. Brief statements of the impact of personal circumstances on research productivity are satisfactory. It is now well-documented that the pandemic has disrupted the ability of faculty to get their work done and laid bare and even exacerbated institutional inequalities. For example, many women, particularly those with young children, bore particularly large care burdens and communities of color suffered disproportionately from COVID-19 overall. Applications do not need to reassert these realities.
3. What can I use the award for?
Awards can be used for a wide range of research-related purposes. These could include paying for lab support or supplies; added costs of a research trip due to COVID-19 quarantine; obtaining copies of a document collection when faculty cannot travel to a repository; procuring new samples for research, graduate student assistance to enable making up time lost interpreting or organizing research materials, or any other purpose that directly compensates for time and opportunities lost. Awards cannot be used for course buyouts.
4. Can this award be used to pay additional compensation to the faculty applicant (i.e. summer salary)?
No. The award aims to provide faculty with support for specific research/creative activities. The award is not a way to supplement faculty salaries.
5. What should the budget/budget rationale look like?
The budget and rationale should be less than one page and should detail estimated expenses for specific items/activities. Listing of cost sharing from other funds (e.g., requesting 50% salary of a postdoctoral scholar with remainder paid by NSF funds) may be helpful.
6. Can faculty with recent Bridge funding or other substantial UCI awards apply?
Faculty who have already received Bridge funding or similar support since September 2019 can apply, but will likely have less competitive applications. Likewise, faculty with unspent startup funds will need to explain why they cannot be used for the purpose described in the application. Faculty who have received T-RES or ICMD awards are still eligible for ICRRP funds.
7. When is the deadline to expend the award?
Funding awarded in October 2021 should be spent by December 31, 2022. Funding awarded in February 2022 should be spent by April 30, 2023. If exceptional circumstances, such as new impacts from COVID-19, delay your use of funds, a no-cost extension may be considered on a case-by case basis.
8. Should everyone apply for the maximum amount of $30,000?
Awards will aim to help faculty recover from demonstrable COVID-19 specific losses and the amount requested should be commensurate with the loss and attendant recovery plan. You might need, for example, $5,000 in order to hire someone to do research in a repository you cannot travel to; funds to hire a graduate student for a quarter to assist in conducting ethnographic interviews to make up for a lost year of interview time; or funding for the procurement of new samples for research. PIs with significant lab/group support responsibilities may make a more convincing case for larger dollar requests. Request what you need and keep in mind that the campus is committed to supporting as many faculty as possible.
9. Who will review the applications and make funding decisions?
A 5-member committee composed of two faculty nominated from the Academic Senate, an Equity Advisor, an Inclusive Excellence Professor, and the Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development will make recommendations and final funding decision will be made by the Vice Provost, Academic Personnel.
10. What are my chances of getting funded?
Because this is a new funding program, it is difficult to predict how many applications will be submitted. Reviewers will work to equitably distribute funds across schools and programs.