Research Grant Guidelines

The LAUC Research and Professional Development Committee will review your proposal with the following categories and questions in mind.  While not every question will apply in each case, applicants are encouraged to construct their proposal to address all that are relevant.

Additionally, applicants may 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.  All information should be contained within the form itself, without additional pages added.  If you feel that additional information is necessary to your application, contact your local chair to ask the statewide chair for an exception to this policy.


  • Does the abstract include a summary of each section of the Proposal (except the budget)?

  • Have all the necessary approvals/signatures been obtained?

  • Have you proofread your application, and do the figures add up correctly?  Clarity, accuracy, and grammar count.

Need for Research

Applicants should address 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.  Additionally, applicants should consider the following questions (there is no need to address each one directly):

  • Is the proposal for a project that will add to the total body of knowledge, increase understanding, or improve services in librarianship, information science, or other academic disciplines?

  • What long-term intellectual and/or economic benefits can be derived from the project?

  • How will the research affect the profession of library and information science or other academic disciplines?

  • Will the results interest a meaningful audience or serve a particular group of library users?

Design and Methodology

Clearly state the project's design and objectives, and identify expected outcomes.  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.]

  • A description of data-gathering and analysis techniques;

  • Drafts of instruments and forms;

  • A description of any computer or software resources that are required and how they will be used to accomplish the project.

Additionally, applicants should consider the following questions (again, there is no need to address each one directly):

  • Have the project goals been well conceptualized and well presented?

  • Is the outcome of the study clear?

  • Are the project objectives realistic and clearly defined?

  • Will the methodology achieve the desired outcomes?

  • Does the design permit the evaluation of achievement of the project goals?

  • Is the methodology practical and logical; have the correct questions been asked?

  • Have all the procedures been fully described?

  • Are the concepts original and innovative?


The R&PD committee will consider the qualifications of the applicant(s) to accomplish the proposed research project.  If additional personnel are required, describe their qualifications, as well.  Please do not include a CV.  Instead, the committee would like a description of how your background qualifies you for this specific project.

  • 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.
  • Campus procedures vary; be sure to consult with your local library HR for further guidance in advance of submitting your application.

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.

Proposals must include a detailed line-item budget statement that explains and justifies the amount requested.  This statement should be a realistic, comprehensive statement of needs.  Include information about the amount and source of any funds other than Statewide research funds that 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.

Applicants should consider the following questions (again, there is no need to address each one directly):

  • Is the budget sufficiently detailed to justify the funding request?

  • Is the budget realistic and appropriate to fund the tasks described?

  • Have all anticipated expenses been included?

  • Have possible alternatives (e.g. for purchasing equipment) been explored?

  • If additional funding from other sources has been obtained, have you indicated such?

  • Have appropriate University rate schedules been used?

  • If the proposal spans fiscal years, have salary range adjustments and material cost increases been included?

  • Does the Budget Summary match the Budget section (and, if applicable, 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 "Examples of Successful and Unsuccessful Proposals" for exclusions).  Actual publication costs (e.g. 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 unforeseen 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 that year's 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.


All successful applicants are required to e-mail the following to the Chair of the Statewide LAUC R&PD Committee:

  • Annual Report – A concise report outlining the applicant's progress and funds expended (due at the end of each funding year, i.e. by July 1).

  • Final Report – A final report summarizing project achievements (due within one month of the project's conclusion).  The report will be posted on the LAUC website and sent to UCOP.

  • Final Product – One copy of any product (publication, media, website, etc.) resulting from a research project must be sent to the Chair of the Statewide LAUC R&PD Committee.  The Chair will deposit this copy in the LAUC Archives.  When appropriate, copies of the product should be added (and cataloged) to a circulating collection of the local institution and deposited in the UC eScholarship Repository.

Use the End of Funding Period Report form for both annual and final reports.