Dean's Research Initiative (DRI) awards provide internal support for competitively reviewed proposals to stimulate research and sponsored research funding for a one-year period. For all categories, evidence of planned future efforts to secure external funding for the activities will be viewed favorably in reviewing proposals. The DRI program runs annually in the Spring semester. Proposals are typically due to the BSOS Research Office in March and awards are announced at the beginning of May. Specific details can be found on the call for proposals in InfoReady.


Eligibility Requirements: Tenured/Tenure-track, Research, Teaching, and Clinical Faculty in BSOS are eligible for Faculty Research Awards. Professional track faculty only may request salary support (the DRI will not allow for course releases). Other considerations equal, funding preference will be given to applicants who have not recently received DRI funding. If you have received a prior DRI award and have any reports outstanding at the submission deadline, your application will not be considered for funding.

Budget Limitations: With the exception of graduate student tuition remission, proposal budgets with personnel costs must include fringe benefits. The maximum amount per award in each category, however, does not include fringe benefits, and therefore may be exceeded to account for them. Tuition costs may be allowable on Mentored Undergraduate Research Teams. Strong preference will be given to proposals that include a departmental commitment. The total project budget should not exceed the limits indicated above, inclusive of cost sharing from departments. Graduate Student Travel Awards always require department matching. Funds from cost-sharing should be included in the budget you provide. Matching funds are required on all interdisciplinary/intercollegiate proposals from the non-BSOS unit. Software otherwise provided by the university or departments (e.g. SAS, SPSS) is not allowable on DRI awards. A budget narrative explaining the relevance of the costs to the scope of work is required.

Travel: Travel is allowable in most award categories. However, given the global situation, physical travel should be limited to what is realistic. Registration to virtual conferences is allowable.

The review committee will consider competitive renewals for previous DRI awards in cases where unusually significant progress has been made (i.e., at or beyond the level of accomplishment proposed in the funded application) and where additional pilot funding has the promise of transformative outcomes. In these cases, strong arguments must be made for past and future efforts to obtain external funding and how another DRI award is crucial to external funding applications.

Applications seeking funds to purchase or create a lasting piece of equipment, research instrument, or larger scale data set should include a detailed statement about plans for future resource sharing (across disciplines if applicable) to increase the scope and reach of the investment.

Proposals must be submitted via the InfoReady system at and are due to your department Chair and Director of Administrative Services (via the InfoReady system) one week prior to the due date to the BSOS Research Office. Proposals submitted directly to the BSOS Research Office will not be considered. Award decisions will be announced on or before May 1 each Spring.

Preference will be given to applications that:

  1. provide a detailed plan for meaningful outcomes resulting from the DRI award with a timeline of measurable outcomes that include research activities, funding efforts, and scholarly products;
  2. provide support for students from underrepresented groups; and
  3. propose particularly efficient use of funds and smaller budgets as appropriate.

Acceptance of funds acknowledges your willingness to provide a one-page progress report at 14 months and again at 22 months. Please note that funds must be spent in the first year (carry-over is not permitted). Progress reports will include the initial proposed timelines and actual progress for research activities, funding efforts, and scholarly products. 

The full text of the announcement including proposal assembly and submission instructions, and award categories can be found on InfoReady.