Research Grant Guidelines

Guidelines for each part of the proposal follow; please also use this checklist to ensure your application is complete.  Refer to the LAUC Research Grant Scoring Sheet for further suggestions on proposal content, keeping in mind that proposals are judged by the criteria delineated in the general guidelines.

Research Grant proposals should be submitted using the Research Grant Application Form, beginning FY 2020-21.  Pay particular attention to the Instructions page, and review the sections below for additional guidance on completing the form.


Need for Research

The research being proposed must be clearly described with information on the extent to which research has already been done on the subject, the relationship of the proposed research to prior work, and the anticipated impact or benefit.  This section can include a review of the literature, a letter of support from an acknowledged expert, and/or a discussion of the value of the end product.

Design and Methodology

The design of the project must be clearly stated, with the objectives of the project and expected outcomes identified.  Please be aware that the committee gives significant weight in the review process to the structure and methodology of the projected research.  When applicable, this section should include:

  • A method of dissemination, if the outcome of the project is a written document.

  • A detailed statement of how the project is to be accomplished;

    • While an explicitly detailed statement of methodology may not be possible in the formulation of the proposal (e.g., exact wording of questionnaires to be used), an appropriate and detailed statement will make the proposal more competitive.

  • Description of data-gathering and analysis techniques;

  • Drafts of instruments and forms;

  • Any computer or software resources that are required and how they will be used to accomplish the project (include costs of such resources in the Budget section).


The qualifications of the applicant(s) to accomplish the proposed research project will be given consideration in the review process. A statement must be included in the proposal identifying those relevant qualifications.  If additional personnel are required, specify their qualifications, as well.

Applicants are encouraged to consider hiring library school students to assist with research when appropriate.  If research assistants are to be hired, the application should include a brief description of the duties to be performed.  The level of the responsibilities should be appropriate to the proposed level of salary.  Duties assigned to graduate students normally should be at the research rather than the clerical level.  A description of the duties should also be provided to the appropriate school to assist in recruitment of individuals.  Whether the student is awarded course credit for the work and the responsibilities of the librarian for supervision of such work will be determined on an ad hoc basis between the student, the student's professor, and the librarian.  If you are considering outsourcing or delegating any part of the data gathering or data analysis to others (such as staff, student employees, or library school students), be sure to clarify how closely you will be supervising and what degree of judgment and intellectual analysis will be delegated to these individuals.  We expect grant awardees to be the intellectual architects of their research and to participate fully in each stage of the research.

Timetable for Completion

identify anticipated completion schedules.  At a minimum, applicants should include a chronology which indicates completion dates for various phases of the project.


Funds awarded for Research Grants may be spent in the year of the award or the following fiscal year with no need to request any extension of the funding.  For more information, see the Research Grant Funding Guidelines below.

Proposals must include a detailed line-item budget statement which explains and justifies the amount requested.  This statement should be a realistic, comprehensive statement of needs.  Include information on the amount and source of any funds other than Statewide research funds which have been received (note that receipt of funding from other sources will not disqualify a proposal).  Substantial institutional in-kind contributions (e.g., substantial library supported photocopy or clerical support) should be itemized.

When per diem and/or travel expenses are requested, the proposal must include the Supplemental Budget Information Form.


Expenses That Can Be Funded

Applicants may request funds for hiring assistants, clerical support, computing costs, equipment, supplies, travel required for collection of data or examination of materials, manuscript preparation, or other research expenses directly related to the research (see “Will Not Be Funded” for exclusions).  Actual publication costs (printing, copy, paper costs, binding) will generally receive lower funding priority.

Equipment and Software

Equipment and software purchased with Statewide research funds are the property of the University of California.  As such, they must be inventoried and managed by the division's business/systems office in the same manner as equipment and software purchased with library/campus funds.  In addition, an inventory list of such equipment and software shall be sent to the Statewide LAUC R&PD Committee, and, as appropriate, be made available to other LAUC members for their use.  Applicants are encouraged to investigate available equipment on campus before requesting the purchase of new equipment.

Additional Costs

Insofar as possible, applicants are expected to include and anticipate increases in costs that might take place in the year in which the grant is awarded.  If additional funds for unforeseeable expenses are required after the initial grant has been awarded, a revised proposal with a copy of the original grant must be submitted as part of the regular funding cycle.  Additional funding is contingent upon funds remaining after initial grants have been approved.

Funding Extensions

Funds for Research Grants that are not expended within two fiscal years from July 1 following the award date will revert to UCOP unless an extension of the project has been granted by the Chair of the LAUC R&PD Committee.  The Chair may grant one-year extensions upon consultation with the applicant's divisional representative to the Committee, as long as no additional funds are required (see the previous section for information on requesting additional/new funds).  A copy of approved extensions will be sent to UCOP.