Undergraduate and Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

RESEARCH AND CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES GRANT

Group of students sitting at a table talking

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply?

Applications are accepted during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Please note that decisions are shared with applicants at the end of each quarter, and you should plan accordingly. For example, if you plan to complete your project/research during spring quarter it would be best to apply for funding during winter quarter.

When are applications due?

See the specific grant page for upcoming deadlines. 

IMPORTANT NOTE! Give yourself, your faculty advisor, and your department chair plenty of time to complete the application approval/routing process.

We suggest that application materials are sent to....    *

  • Faculty Advisor: 2 weeks before RSP deadline 
  • Department Chair: 1 week before RSP Deadline

*Be sure to check if your department has set specific internal deadlines!

How do I submit an application?

  • Before submitting anything to RSP you should be in contact with your Faculty Advisor who will help you develop your proposal including a budget. Make sure you are using the correct proposal template. Proposals that do not use the appropriate template will not be reviewed by the committee.
  • RSP accepts application materials submitted via eSign forms. Materials submitted via other means will not be reviewed.
  • The proposal needs to be approved first by your Faculty Advisor and then the Department Chair before RSP shares any materials with the committees. As the student you only need to send the application to your Faculty Advisor, they will then route it to the department chair.

IMPORTANT NOTE! Applications that are not approved by your Faculty Advisor and Department Chair will not be considered for funding.

Where can I find the proposal template(s)?

Remember, to be considered for funding all proposals must use the appropriate proposal template! Don't forget to convert the document into a PDF before attaching it to your application (eSign form). 

What materials are needed to apply?

Your proposal should include the following sections as a SINGLE PDF FILE attached to the application. The provided templates MUST be used for applications to be considered for funding.

  • Project Narrative that should include the following components (2 pages maximum)
    1. Abstract: A brief statement of objectives, methods to be employed, and the significance of the proposed activity to the field of study (about one paragraph).
    2. Introduction: How does the proposed project benefit the existing body of knowledge about the field or contribute to your field of study? How does the proposed project affect the greater community? How does the work relate to your educational goals?
    3. Background: How does the proposed project benefit the existing body of knowledge about the field or contribute to your field of study? How does the proposed project affect the greater community? How does the work relate to your educational goals?
    4. Proposed Work: Convince the review committee why the work should be done. Clearly state your individual research or creative activity objectives. If applicable, define the individual contributions of the collaborators and/or team members.
    5. Plan of Action: How will you conduct the proposed work? You should provide a clearly defined set of tasks which will accomplish your objectives. Describe procedures, experiments, and the design of appropriate items needed for your individual project. A timeline or project schedule for your individual proposed work is required.
    6. Dissemination Plan: How will the results of the proposed work be disseminated? Who will be responsible for reviewing your work? (See “What is a dissemination plan?” for more information.)
  • Bibliography (new page): Make sure you include the complete citations for the literature sources referenced in the proposal
  • Budget that includes a justification (new page): Please use the budget template provided. Provide an itemized list of supplies and equipment requested for your proposed individual project, including the cost, supplier, and catalogue number (when available) of each item. In a separate paragraph, include a budget justification describing how each requested item will be used for your project. It should, especially, include clear indication of the need for the funding requested, equipment, why any travel is essential, etc. Requests for travel funds must support direct research efforts

What is a project narrative?

A project narrative should include the following components (2 pages maximum)

  • Abstract: A brief statement of objectives, methods to be employed, and the significance of the proposed activity to the field of study (about one paragraph).
  • Introduction: How does the proposed project benefit the existing body of knowledge about the field or contribute to your field of study? How does the proposed project affect the greater community? How does the work relate to your educational goals?
  • Background: How does the proposed project benefit the existing body of knowledge about the field or contribute to your field of study? How does the proposed project affect the greater community? How does the work relate to your educational goals?
  • Proposed Work: Convince the review committee why the work should be done. Clearly state your individual research or creative activity objectives. If applicable, define the individual contributions of the collaborators and/or team members.
  • Plan of Action: How will you conduct the proposed work? You should provide a clearly defined set of tasks which will accomplish your objectives. Describe procedures, experiments, and the design of appropriate items needed for your individual project. A timeline or project schedule for your individual proposed work is required.
  • Dissemination Plan: How will the results of the proposed work be disseminated? Who will be responsible for reviewing your work? (See “What is a dissemination plan?” for more information.)

Who is reviewing my application?

The Research and Creative Activities Council (RCAC) committees for Graduate Research and Creative Opportunities Grants and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities Grants review applications Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. These subcommittees are made up of faculty and staff representatives from different colleges at Western.

Please keep in mind that these are interdisciplinary committees and may or may not include faculty from your department. It is very important that your application materials be accessible to those outside of your research area (e.g. limit jargon).

What is a dissemination plan?

The proposal must contain a plan for dissemination of the results of your project. Your Faculty Advisor should review the work prior to this proposed activity. Some examples include: a Scholar's Week poster presentation, workshop, presentation at a conference, publication in conference proceedings or a journal, a performance, creation of literature, display at a gallery or other venue.

How do I calculate mileage?

See the Business Services website for current mileage rate (this rate applies to students, faculty, and staff). 

How are funding decisions made?

The multi-disciplinary committee evaluates proposals based on the applicant’s ability to:

  • Describe the problem or opportunity the work seeks to address
  • Explain the relative importance of the project to the applicant’s field of study
  • Outline the anticipated impact or outcomes of the project
  • Justify the feasibility of the project including the budget and a timeline for completion
  • Provide background knowledge and context for the project using literature review
  • Offer a compelling dissemination plan

When will I hear back if my proposal was successful?

Please see the Undergraduate and Graduate deadline pages for more information about notification dates.

Keep in mind that notifications are sent out to students and advisors at the end of the quarter, and you should plan accordingly. For example, if you plan to complete your project/research during spring quarter it would be best to apply for funding during winter quarter.

My proposal has been funded, how do I access the money?

Refer to your award letter or the grant management page for how to access funds. Your award number will be included in the award letter and on the Application esign form in the “RSP Use Only section.”

eSign Form Help

See Enterprise Services FAQ's for additional information.

How do I upload an attachment to an eSign form?

  • Click on “Attach” button
  • Click on the browse button and go to the location where the item to be attached is located
  • Double click on the item to be attached
  • Click on the “Attach” button
  • Click “Done” button
    • This button allows the user to attach one or more files to the web form, much in the same way that attachments are made to an email message. Attachments are not processed until one of the above button actions are taken, so email notification rules listed above apply for whichever button is clicked: save, submit, approve, disapprove or lock. Attachments can be deleted and added on any signature action, but attachments are preserved for each signature. So even if you delete and add a new attachment with the same name, the deleted attachment can still be accessed by clicking the signature line that added the attachment.

Can I delete an attachment and upload a new document on an eSign form?

​​​​​​​Yes. Please note that if you make changes to your attachments after you have received approval from your faculty advisor and chair you will need to re-route it to them for approval.

I think I saved an eSign form, how do I find it?

​​​​​​The "Save" button allows the user to save the current data entered and return further edit and submit the form later. This can be useful when there is a large amount of data to be entered or when the submitter is interrupted before submitting the form. The Save button is only available prior to the user SUBMITTING the form. “Save” is listed under the Action on the Signature line. An Esign Email notification is sent to the "Saver" of the form (the person that opens and clicks the Save button) An email is not however, forwarded to any address entered in the "Email To" textbox.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

For questions about the submission and award process please contact us at rsp@wwu.edu or schedule an appointment.