Faculty Investment Fund Application Process

SPA social media logoThe School of Public Affairs Faculty Investment Fund aims to advance SPA’s priorities by providing funding to jump-start faculty work in areas such as stimulating visible research, seed funding for larger grants, translational research, community impact, mini-conferences, and improvement of pedagogy.


A total of $30,000 has been set aside for the coming fiscal year (FY2016-17).  Depending on future budgets, the goal is to maintain this funding level each year.  The maximum award is $5,000 per single grant.  So, for SPA as a whole, the total allocation could be 6 grants of $5,000, or a larger number of smaller grants. Grants must be spent in the 12 months following the start of the award.

Decision Process

A faculty committee decides who wins the grants. Each year, two recipients from the previous funding cycle will be asked (or volunteer) to serve on the selection committee. Callie Rennison, as Associate Dean, organizes this committee.


All full-time faculty are eligible, including non-tenure track faculty (the fund is not meant for lecturers). Faculty members going into a sabbatical are eligible. Faculty who win in year 1 are not eligible to win in year 2, and might be asked to serve on the selection committee that year. They would, however, be eligible again in year 3.

 Proposal Requirements

Applicants must submit a proposal of up to 2 pages (single-spaced) that includes:

  • the project goal and its importance to the faculty member’s professional development and SPA;
  • a summary of the methods or planned activity;
  • expected outcomes or outputs of the project
  • any previous efforts to fund the project; and,
  • a budget and budget justification for the project.

Criteria for Review

The committee will evaluate the proposals based on their clarity, the importance of the work proposed for the individual faculty member’s professional development, the impact of the activity for the School of Public Affairs, and the likelihood that significant progress can be made on the project in one year.

What the Money Can Be Used For

The funding could cover summer pay, relevant travel for a faculty member or for colleagues coming to Denver, assistance from student workers, purchase of datasets, etc. It cannot be used for course buyouts.

Post-Award Requirements

At project conclusion, the faculty member winner must write a one-page “final report” on the implementation and results of the project.  The faculty committee can exercise oversight if there are any problems with a particular grant. If a winner doesn’t use the money for some reason, it goes back to SPA, unless the committee grants an extension.

Faculty obtaining funding are very strongly encouraged to disseminate initial results of their project at a SPA brown bag luncheon seminar in the spring semester of their award year.


Submit proposals by March 15, 2016 (midnight), so money is available for summer 2016 work. Proposals may be emailed to any member of the committee.

Selection Committee for 2016: Angela Gover, Christine Martell, John Ronquillo, Benoy Jacob

Past Awardees


  • Angela Gover
  • Malcolm Goggin and Benoy Jacob
  • Christine Martell
  • John Ronquillo
  • Jessica Sowa and Mary Guy
  • Chris Weible

Selection Committee: Callie Rennison, Tanya Heikkila

~Post by Professor Callie Rennison


Categories: Academics

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