Instructions for preparing an internal awards proposal

The format for New Faculty Internal Awards, Regular Faculty Internal Research Awards, and Faculty First Summer Scholarship Support Award is similar. It is important for applicants to read and follow all instructions, as award proposals that do not meet the guidelines may be returned without review. For general guidelines regarding internal awards, go to this website:


Applications should be prepared in 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Arial, single spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides.

Components of the application

Applications must include the following seven components, submitted in the order listed here. Please label each section using the headings listed below. Do not staple or bind the pages. Number the pages; the cover page is page 1.

1. Cover page. Be sure to complete the cover page, including all required information.

  • A proposal is a resubmission if a proposal on a similar topic was submitted to any of the internal competitions in the past but was not funded.
  • All applicants must indicate their current position on campus, including tenure/tenure seeking or non-tenure track faculty such as clinical faculty, research faculty or instructors. If the applicant’s position on campus does not equate to any of those choices listed, please indicate “other” and provide a position description/title.
  • Applicants must indicate the type of application they are submitting.
  • Research with human or animal subjects, hazardous materials or radioactive materials requires a “just-in-time” protocol. That is, if the proposed research involves human participants, animals, or radioactive materials, approval by the appropriate committee is required prior to receiving funding, but applicants may wait until funding decisions are made to submit their protocol to the appropriate committee for approval. Please indicate whether the protocol has been submitted or approved, or will not be submitted until funding has been determined, on the application cover page. Awardees will not have access to award funds until protocols are approved. For information about protocol guidelines go to
  • All applications must be signed by the applicant and their Department Chair/Head and Dean (or their designees) prior to submission. If the applicant IS the Department Chair, then they should only have the Dean or designee sign the application; however, this should be noted on the application page. Support letters from the Department Chair/Head or Dean are not required and are discouraged. All signatures are required prior to submission or the proposal will be returned without review.
  • All submissions must be made electronically.

2. FOR RESUBMISSIONS ONLY: Response to reviewers’ comments (1 page limit)

A resubmission constitutes any application previously submitted under any internal award mechanism (e.g., new faculty award, faculty first award) that was not funded but has been revised and resubmitted for consideration under the same or different mechanism. If the project is a new idea or new topic area that has not been submitted for consideration by the UNCG faculty grants committee, then it would not be considered a resubmission. For any proposal that is a resubmission, applicants should summarize the reviewers’ concerns and describe how these concerns have been addressed in the revised proposal. This documentation is limited to one page. If the application is a resubmission, this summary page MUST be included and ALL reviewer comments MUST be addressed. Please keep in mind that even if all reviewer comments are addressed, it does not guarantee that the resubmission will be awarded. If the proposal is not a resubmission, indicate that section 2 is Not Applicable (NA).

3. Progress of Research and/or Creative Activity since Last Internal Award, if applicable. (1 page limit)

If the applicant has previously been awarded an internal award, the applicant should briefly describe the fruits of the research and/or creative activity in the time since the previous award was funded. This may include peer-reviewed publications, performances, exhibitions, and/or other relevant work(s). If the applicant has not received previous internal funding, indicate that section 3 is Not Applicable (N/A).  You may include audio clips, video clip, photography, and artwork as supplemental documents if these materials are directly related to the proposed scholarship.

4. Proposal narrative (4 page limit, not including references)

The text of the proposal is limited to four pages. Because proposals are reviewed by faculty from many different disciplines, it is important for applicants to write their proposals in a way that the work to be done and the importance of that work can be understood by people who are from a different discipline or content area. The emphasis in the proposal should be on the description of what will be done during the period of the award, described in a way that any educated reader can evaluate the likelihood that the project goals will be able to be met and that the planned work is likely to lead to impact the field and be disseminated through publication, performance, exhibition, or other discipline-appropriate forum, or future external funding for the applicant.

There are four parts to the proposal narrative, as noted below. Please clearly label each section with the headings used here. The page guidelines for each section below are included as suggestions with the exception of the Background and Significance section which may be as short as you would like but may not exceed 1 ½ pages, but the entire narrative is limited to four pages total, including the timeline. Submissions exceeding the four page limit on the proposal narrative will be returned without being reviewed.

A. Non-technical summary (approximately 1/2 page)

The summary is an opportunity for the applicant to convince the reviewers of the value and significance of the project and to convey the importance of this particular project in the applicant’s overall program of scholarship. Include in the summary a description of the overall goals of the project, emphasizing the contributions completion of this project will make to the applicant’s program of scholarship and to his or her field of study more broadly. It is important for the summary to be written in a manner to allow reviewers who are not familiar with the applicant’s field of study to understand the goals and significance of the proposed work.

B. Background and significance 

In this section, the applicant explains the importance of the project, using current literature or creative work and clarifies to the reader how the proposed scholarship contributes to the field and to the applicant’s own program of scholarship. Citations are included in the text, but footnotes are not used; instead, the list of references or works cited in the text should be included on a separate page at the end of the narrative and does not count toward the four-page limit. This section should include a clear statement of the specific aims or objectives of the project and an explanation of the contribution the work would make when completed. The literature review does not have to be exhaustive but instead should be selective, with the goal of helping the non-specialist understand the value of the proposed work.

C. Project design and procedures 

In this section the applicant convinces the reviewers that he or she has a clear plan of work that is achievable within the time frame of the award period. The reviewers want to know what is to be done and how it will be done. The methods and significance of the work must be described in a way that can be understood by scholars from other disciplines.

Particular considerations in this section for specific disciplines:

Creative and Performing Artists must explain their plans and procedures and how the proposed work relates to ideas, theories, problems, studio customs or performance practice in their field. Work Samples will be accepted in support of Creative and Performing Artist project design and procedures under the guidelines below:

Submit between two and four work samples of past or present work. Prioritize samples that relate to the proposed project.

This is a very important part of the application as the work-sample illustrates the artistic merit of the applicant’s work. Please choose media of the highest artistic quality that is relevant creative work of the artist(s) involved in the application, such as recordings, videos, still photographs, scores, scripts, design sketches, etc.

Work sample Submission Guidelines

When submitting your work samples in digital format, please keep in mind that our panelists typically have access to standard, universally available audio/visual and computer equipment or software. The guidelines below were written to help ensure that review panelists can play your media and/or access your files without complications.

Digital Images

Image titles should clearly identify who the image was submitted by and be limited only to relevant work. The following file formats can be accepted for digital audio files: .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bpm or .tiff. Other formats may not be supported.

Digital Audio

The following file formats can be accepted for digital audio files: .wav, .mp3 or .mp4. Other formats may not be supported.

Digital Video

The following file formats can be accepted for digital video files: .mov or .mp4. Other formats may not be supported.

Click here to Upload a Digital Work Sample

Links to External Websites

You may submit links to your work samples on external websites in lieu of direct submission if appropriate. Common websites include Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud and Imgur. Please keep in mind ease of use for reviewers when submitting links.

Click Here to Submit a Link to your Work Sample

Physical media drop-off

Physical work samples can also be dropped off to the office of Research in Room 1601 MHRA during normal business hours. Printed images, DVDs and Audio CDs will be accepted with the same limitations as outlined above.

Creative and Performing Arts proposals will be evaluated taking into consideration the following criteria:

1. Artistry – as shown by past and/or present work (work samples)
2. Significance – (as outlined in the project narrative)
3. Ability to execute the project as proposed
4. Relevance of the funding to the project

Humanists must identify the source materials to be interpreted and where they will be obtained (whether from museum collections, libraries, archives, people, field sites, etc.). If examining historical documents, artifacts, literary works, or musical compositions, the applicant should describe the nature of the information the applicant is seeking. The applicant should also describe in as much detail as possible how the sources will be used or interpreted.

Physical and Natural Scientists/Social and Behavioral Scientists must identify the specific sources of data or secondary data analysis to be obtained (whether from human subjects, animals, or the physical world) and how those data will be collected. This is a very important section of the proposal from the standpoint of the reviewers. If particular measurements are being made, these should be described. The applicant should describe how the data will be analyzed in as much detail as possible and explain the process by which the data will be reduced or integrated or interpreted.

D. Project timeline 

Include sufficient detail to demonstrate that the project can be completed within the period of the award. Usually, a quarterly timeline is adequate for New Faculty/Regular Faculty Internal Award and Faculty First Award proposals. Be sure the tasks described in the Project Design and Procedures section are included in the timeline, and do not add new tasks to the timeline that are not described in the proposal narrative.

Reference list: Include only references or works cited in the proposal narrative, and list references on a separate numbered page following the narrative. (Not included in 4-page limit.)


5. Other internal and external support (please use a separate page)

One of the main purposes of the internal awards is to increase the ability for applicants to receive external funding on a similar project or related scholarship when appropriate. Thus, this section is very important to complete in detail, as it will be one of the main sections the reviewers will consider. This section, or lack of information in this section, can also cause an applicant with a strong application to be denied funding.

On a separate page, the applicant describes any other funding or support (such as in-kind or donor support) for this specific project or line of scholarship, as well as any past, current, and future projects. If this internal proposal is a joint application from two faculty members, this information must be provided for both applicants. Please organize the information into the following three sections:

(a) Prior internal support – provide a list of New Faculty/Regular Faculty Research Awards, Faculty First Summer Scholarship Support Awards, or internal grants from the department of School/College received in the last five years. Include type of award, title, and dates of funding for each project. Final reports must have been submitted for each completed University award in order to receive additional internal awards. If applicants are requesting funding for another phase of a project funded previously by an internal award, they should clearly explain their progress on the project to date.

(b) Planned on-going support – include the names of any funding agencies or foundations or external partners (e.g., industry) to which you plan to submit a proposal that is related to the project for which internal funding is sought, the planned submission dates (be specific), a brief (2-3 sentences) description of the content of the proposal, and an approximate budget amount. If the agency or organization is not widely known (for example, a regional or specialized foundation), provide information regarding the nature of funding provided by that agency with the application. It is helpful to explain how completion of the proposed internally funded project will make you more competitive for the on-going support and/or is essential for the expansion of your work. While we realize that some disciplines have limited opportunities for additional funding, plans for seeking future funding are required of all applicants.

If you need assistance in identifying possible funding sponsors, please contact your Associate Dean of Research and/or your Office of Sponsored Programs department liaison.

(c) Previous external support and awards submitted – include projects currently funded from external sources, proposals submitted within the last two years but not funded, and proposals pending. For each proposal, include the investigators’ names, funding agency, title of project, dates of funding received or requested, and budget amount. Fellowships are considered external funding. Awards and prizes for scholarly work that are directly related to the proposal topic should be included.

6. Curriculum Vitae (3 pages maximum)

The CV should include the applicant’s education, employment history, and a bibliography of recent and/or relevant publications or creative works or activities. The CV is limited to three pages for each applicant. A CV must be provided for each faculty member named in the proposal.

7. Budget and Budget Justification

New Faculty/Regular Faculty Internal Research Awards and Faculty First Summer Scholarship Awards require a budget and a narrative justification for each item in the budget. Use of the Budget Summary Form, in Excel format, is required. A justification for each category describing what is covered in the amount for each category and the purpose of each budget request should be included. If additional space is needed for the budget justification, attach a separate page, headed “Budget Justification”. Break down the budget only to whole dollar amounts, rounding as needed. Be specific about budget requests, especially for personnel (explaining number of hours and hourly rate, if appropriate, as well as the nature of work to be performed).

All personnel costs must include fringe benefits. Click here for current Fringe Benefits.

Employer taxes and fringe costs are removed from the budgeted amount prior to distribution to the employee, i.e. a request for $5,000 in personnel salary for a full time state employee will result in the need to cover approximately $1,240 in employer expenses. $3,760 would be reflected in the employee’s salary and the appropriate individual taxes would be deducted from that amount.

Requests for travel expenditures require an explanation of the reason for the travel and a breakdown of the request (e.g. airfare, per diem for meals, and lodging rate per day). For current per diems please view Accouting Service’s Travel Policies Manual. It is not necessary to itemize small amounts spent for supplies and materials.

All budgetary items must be in accord with UNCG’s policies. Purchasing guidelines can be found at . Employment of undergraduate or graduate students or other personnel must follow UNCG guidelines.

Allowable expenses

  • Wages for undergraduate and graduate students, based on the standard wage for the department unless the applicant justifies a higher rate
  • Fringe benefits as required according to UNCG policies
  • Travel expenses necessary for completion of the proposed work, including international travel – per diem and mileage rates must meet current UNCG guidelines (
  • Supplies and equipment necessary to complete the project and that are not readily available on campus or through the applicant’s department
  • Software necessary to complete the project that is not available through Information Technology Services

Expenses not allowed

  • Travel to a professional meeting or conference
  • Travel that is not essential to completion of the research (i.e., travel to consult with a colleague or mentor is generally not considered essential and would need to be well justified to be supported)
  • Graduate or undergraduate wages or assistantships that are not directly related to the project
  • Salary for non-UNCG employees or students
  • Subcontracts to other universities or organizations
  • Materials or equipment already available on campus or generally provided by departments
  • Software normally provided by Information Technology Services

8. Submission Instructions

All documents are to be emailed to no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline. Documents shall be scanned into a single PDF packet and submitted as one attachment. The application cover page must contain signatures from the applicant, Department Head or Designee and the Dean or Designee. Failure to provide all three signatures may result in the return of the application without consideration. The internal award checklist is not to be submitted with the proposal; this is for your convenience only. Applications deemed incomplete or submitted in hard copy form will be returned and will not be considered for review.

Inclusion of Supporting Documents

Additional materials in support of award applications are discouraged. Reviewers have limited time and expect all necessary information to be included in the proposal itself. The only supporting materials considered necessary are letters from cooperating agencies where the applicant plans to recruit research participants or letters from museums or libraries where access is restricted. If applicants are submitting within the category of creative and performing arts, you may include CDs, DVDs, photographs, or artwork as supplemental documents if these materials are directly related to the proposed scholarship. Please contact Barbara Hemphill (, 336-256-1172) for submission instructions. These materials will not be returned.

Please do not include CDs, DVDs, photographs, or artwork (unless you are submitting in the creative and performing arts category and feel these will significantly enhance your proposal); if sent with the proposal, they will be returned to the applicant and will not be sent to reviewers. Letters of support from department chairs, deans, colleagues, or experts are not to be included and will be removed from the application prior to review. All necessary details of methods and procedures and other information regarding the work to be done should be incorporated into the body of the proposal and not included as an appendix. Appendices, other than letters verifying access to research participants or materials, will be removed from the application prior to review.

9. Acknowledgement of receipt

An acknowledgement will be returned to you by e-mail when your application is received in the Office of Research and Engagement. If you do not receive the acknowledgement within a two working days of submitting your proposal, contact Barbara Hemphill (, 336-256-1172).

Budget Information

The budget for the New Faculty/Regular Faculty Research Internal Awards and Faculty First Awards must be expended within the allotted award period. Money that is not spent within the award funding period will be forfeited by the researcher and will be absorbed by the Office of Research and Engagement. A maximum of one month after the close of the project date (listed on the guidelines) will be given to finalize any outstanding receipts.

Final Report

A final report is due to the Office of Research and Engagement no later than 6 months following the award completion. The final report needs to be completed and submitted before any additional internal funding can be awarded. Click here for the final report template.


Last update 8/30/17.