Research and Development Infrastructure Grant Program
Performance Reporting & Measures:Q19-Q21
- What is the purpose of the Research and Development Infrastructure (RDI) program?
- Who is eligible to apply?
- How do you define four-year institutions of higher education?
- Can applicants partner with other non-eligible institutions?
- Can an IHE submit multiple applications?
- What is the difference between absolute and competitive preference priorities?
- Does the competitive preference priority apply to all applicants?
- My institution already has R1 status – can I apply for a grant?
- How will you define transformative research capacity initiatives?
- Will there be a pre-application technical assistance webinar?
- Is there a matching requirement for this Program?
- Can the matching requirement be waived?
- What can grantees use the funds for?
- Are there any requirements for the materials grantees use for infrastructure projects?
- Can funds be used for planning purposes?
- How will the total funding be allocated across the three absolute priorities?
- When should applicants be notified of whether they will be awarded a grant?
- When are grantees projected to begin grant activities?
- What are the performance measures for this program?
- Who do you consider underrepresented students for purposes of the performance measure?
- What are the reporting requirements for this program?
- How long should the abstract be?
- Are the absolute and competitive preference priorities included as part of the recommended page limit?
- Does everything have to be double-spaced and 12-point font?
- Is it acceptable to use the landscape orientation for the tables that address the design, management plan, and logic model?
- Are references included in the 30-page limit?
- Are letters of support required?
- Is there an expectation for the percentage of time expended by the Project Director? Generally, it is at least 5%, but this solicitation does not seem to have a requirement.
- If seeking to hire a graduate student as part of the project team, can a portion of their tuition be supported through the grant? If so, where in the budget form ED 524 would it be comprehended?
1. What is the purpose of the Research and Development Infrastructure (RDI) program?
The purpose of the RDI program is to provide four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) including Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions (ANNH), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTIs), and/or Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), or consortia led by an eligible institution, with funds to implement transformational investments in research infrastructure, including research productivity, faculty expertise, graduate programs, physical infrastructure, human capital development, and partnerships leading to increases in external funding.TOP
2. Who is eligible to apply?
In this competition, eligibility is limited to four-year institutions of higher education that are HBCUs, TCCUs, and MSIs.TOP
3. How do you define four-year institutions of higher education?
A postsecondary institution that offers programs of at least four years duration or one that offers programs at or above the baccalaureate level. This includes schools that offer postbaccalaureate certificates only or those that offer graduate programs only, as well as free-standing medical, law, or other first-professional schools.TOP
4. Can applicants partner with other non-eligible institutions?
Eligible applicants may apply individually or as lead applicants of a consortium with other eligible applicants, and/or with other partners such as an institution of higher education with an R1 Carnegie Classification, a community college, a non-profit, industry or philanthropy.TOP
5. Can an IHE submit multiple applications?
Each applicant may submit only one application.TOP
6. What is the difference between absolute and competitive preference priorities?
Only applications that address one of the three absolute priorities will be considered for funding. The competitive preference priority (CPP) is optional for applicants applying under Absolute Priority 3.TOP
7. Does the competitive preference priority apply to all applicants?
No, only MSIs are eligible to apply under the CPP and can receive two additional points during the review process if Pell Grant recipients account for 50 percent or higher of the lead applicant’s undergraduate student enrollment, as measured using the most recent data available in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).TOP
8. My institution already has R1 status – can I apply for a grant?
No. While an R1 institution can be part of a consortium, they are ineligible to apply as the lead applicant or to receive any grant funds.TOP
9. How will you define transformative research capacity initiatives?
For HBCUs and MSIs, we will look to the Carnegie Classifications and support institutions that seek to attain higher research activity status to either move from R2 to R1 status or from D/PU to R2 status. See the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for more information on the Carnegie Classification definitions. For TCCUs, the grant will support institutions that propose to improve their research and development activities, including infrastructure, faculty development, and academic programs.TOP
10. Will there be a pre-application technical assistance webinar?
Yes. Currently, two pre-application webinars are scheduled for:
- Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 2 – 3:30 pm EDT
- Thursday, September 7, 2023, 2 – 3:30 pm EDT
11. Is there a matching requirement for this Program?
Yes, all grantees will need to provide a 1:1 match, which can include in-kind donationsTOP
12. Can the matching requirement be waived?
Yes, institutions seeking to waive the matching requirement must provide the outlined waiver request information with their application. Applicants can request full or partial waivers for the 1:1 match. Waivers will be reviewed after the competition is complete and recommendations are made for funding. Please refer to the NIA for more details.TOP
13. What can grantees use the funds for?
The program has a wide range of allowable uses which are specified in the NIA. These include providing for the improvement of infrastructure or establishment of new physical infrastructure; hiring and retaining faculty, students, research-related staff or other personnel; supporting research internships and fellowships for students; creating new, or expanding existing, academic positions in fields of research; creating and supporting inter- and intra-institutional research centers; building new institutional support structures and departments that help faculty learn about, and increase faculty and student access to, Federal research and development grant funds and non-Federal academic research grants; building data and collaboration infrastructure; providing programs of study and courses in research fields; paying operating and administrative expenses for, and coordinating project partnerships with members of, a consortium; installing or extending the life and usability of basic systems and components of campus facilities related to research, including high-speed broadband internet infrastructure; expanding, remodeling, renovating, or altering biomedical and behavioral research facilities; acquiring and installing furniture, fixtures, and instructional research-related equipment and technology for academic instruction in campus facilities in research fields; providing increased funding to programs that support research and development at the eligible institution that are funded by National Institutes of Health; and faculty professional development.TOP
14. Are there any requirements for the materials grantees use for infrastructure projects?
This program is subject to the Build America, Buy America Act domestic sourcing requirements. See NIA for more details.TOP
15. Can funds be used for planning purposes?
Funds can be used for planning purposes only by TCCUs.TOP
16. How will the total funding be allocated across the three absolute priorities?
The Department of Education plans to allocate funding across the absolute priorities program proportionally based on the relative share of funding appropriated to each category of eligible institutions in the American Rescue Plan Act. However, the ultimate allocation of funding across the absolute priorities will depend, in part, on the quality of applications.TOP
17. When should applicants be notified of whether they will be awarded a grant?
18. When are grantees projected to begin grant activities?
19. What are the performance measures for this program?
For HBCUs and MSIs, the program-level performance measures include: (1) the annual number of doctoral students enrolled at the lead applicant university; (2) the annual number of doctoral conferrals; (3) the annual number of doctoral conferrals to underrepresented students; (4) annual faculty development expenditures; and (5) the annual research and development expenditures in: (i) science and engineering and (ii) non-science and engineering.
For TCCUs, the following program-level performance measures include: (1) the annual research and development expenditures in (i) science and engineering and (ii) non-science and engineering and (2) annual faculty development expenditures.TOP
20. Who do you consider underrepresented students for purposes of the performance measure?
Students enrolled in postsecondary, career, or technical education who are in one or more of the following subgroups: (i) a student who is living in poverty; (ii) a student who is American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Black, Hispanic/ Latino, Native Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander.TOP
21. What are the reporting requirements for this program?
Grantees will be required to submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information. At the end of the four-year project period, grantees must submit a final performance report including financial information.TOP
22. How long should the abstract be?
Typically abstracts are one (1) page.TOP
23. Are the absolute and competitive preference priorities included as part of the recommended page limit?
24. Does everything have to be double-spaced and 12-point font?
No, only the project narrative and responses to the chosen absolute priority and CPP, if addressed, must be double-spaced and 12-point font. The abstract, charts, tables, logic model, and other attachments may be single-spaced and 12-point font. Citations, footnotes, and references do not have to be double-spaced or 12-point font.TOP
25. Is it acceptable to use the landscape orientation for the tables that address the design, management plan, and logic model?
Yes. Applications will not be ineligible due to formatting issues.TOP
26. Are references included in the 30-page limit?
No, references should be in a separate attachment as stated in the application booklet.TOP
27. Are letters of support required?
They are not required but if you consider them important to your proposed grant, you can add them under “Other” attachments.TOP
28. Is there an expectation for the percentage of time expended by the Project Director? Generally, it is at least 5%, but this solicitation does not seem to have a requirement.
We do not determine the time and effort of directors. You should set the percentage based on what you deem appropriate and explain why.TOP
29. If seeking to hire a graduate student as part of the project team, can a portion of their tuition be supported through the grant? If so, where in the budget form ED 524 would it be comprehended?
Yes, graduate student tuition assistance is permissible for students who are eligible to receive Title IV funding. If using grant funds for graduate tuition assistance, the category of “Other” should be used.TOP