Fraser Endowment for Equipment for the Sciences

Call for Proposals

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The Fraser Endowment for Equipment for the Sciences is one of six endowments generously established by a gift from the estate of Gordon H. and Alice C. Fraser. As the endowment agreement describes, “The sciences have a constant need for specialized equipment or literature to maintain their training and support programs beyond that which would be provided from the State. The Trustors desire that endowment distributions be used for this purpose.” The following describes how endowment revenue will be allocated for equipment.


Endowment funds for equipment are used to support multi-user capital instrumentation. Such equipment is typically housed in a University-wide facility, makes significant contributions to research or teaching in multiple departments and colleges, and has a high acquisition cost. Closely related instrumentation essential for supporting capital equipment, such as that used for sample preparation and site preparation costs may also be considered for support. Scientific computing infrastructure is also scientific equipment. The endowment is not expected to fund ongoing operational, staffing or maintenance costs and is managed with a goal of augmenting, rather than substituting for external funds. Priority will be given to matching or leveraging Federal, State or private funds. Examples of projects for which endowment funds may be suitable include: 

  • As a source of matching funds in a proposal for a major scientific instrument where matching funds are required by the extramural funder and when in-kind or other matching strategies are insufficient.
  • As a source of funding for a necessary element of an instrumentation project not supported by an extramural funder, such as site preparation.
  • As a source of funding for an instrument upgrade that would significantly increase its utility.


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Because planning for capital equipment often requires several years, allocation of endowment funds will be managed with a comparably long planning horizon and proposals should be submitted well in advance of the requested commitment. Faculty are encouraged to informally discuss their concept with RSP before preparing a full proposal, and to receive advance approval from the cognizant chair(s)/director(s) and dean(s). Proposals should include all information required for a thorough assessment.

Proposals are accepted at any time during the academic year and should be submitted to


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The Research and Creative Activities Council reviews proposals based on the following criteria and makes recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research:

  • Alignment with the purpose of the endowment
  • Impact on Western scholarship and research
  • Importance of endowment funds for achieving project objectives
  • Degree of leveraging of endowment funds afforded by the project and overall budget for the project
  • Feasibility and likelihood of success
  • Project visibility