Internal Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities are available through the Office of Research, Economic Development and Engagement (REDE).

Startup Program

Sponsored and administered by REDE, in partnership with individual departments and schools/colleges, startup program funds are available to assist new faculty in developing a self-sustaining research program upon arrival at ECU. REDE takes the lead for evaluation, administration, and assessment of startup requests and awards. The goal of this program is to develop cohorts of researcher who work collaboratively with external sponsors to address critical challenges across academic disciplines and make an impact on the communities we serve.

Startup Forms

Internal Awards

Trendsetter Awards

In 2022, recognizing the importance of highlighting faculty who are highly effective in their research and creative activity output, REDE developed a new award, the Trendsetter Award, to identify noteworthy scholars in three categories:

  • Early career, with six or fewer years of service
  • Mid-career, with 5-9 years of service
  • Later career or “Eminent”, with 10 or more years of service

The application period for the 2024-2025 Trendsetter Award has closed. All faculty with at least two years of service at ECU, regardless of tenure status, department, school and/or college and field of study were welcome to submit their nomination application, consisting of a current CV and Chair letter.

Award recipients will be announced at the annual Research & Scholarship Award Ceremony in April 2024.

View the 2024 Trendsetter Award winners.


Sponsored Activities and Research Catalyst (SPARC) Program

REDE has launched the Sponsored Activities and Research Catalyst Program (SPARC) to support scholarly activities that lead to submission of competitive extramural proposals. This program will provide seed funding for projects to build the capacity to enhance and support proposal development and submission. SPARC participants will be encouraged to participate in a variety of curated professional development experiences. 

The program will provide up to $10,000 per project. Up to ten projects may be selected for SPARC funding and the budget split into two FY. The funds can be used for scholarly activities including supplies, travel, participant incentives, student assistantships or other expenditures required to support the project. The budget may include up to a total of $4,000 for reassigned time and/or summer salary for up to two faculty included on each project team.

The application period for FY24 has ended. Check back in late fall for the next opportunity to apply. Contact Dr. Mary Farwell with any questions.

View the 2024 SPARC Award recipients.


Faculty Support and Reassignment Awards for Research and Creative Activity

Sponsored and administered by REDE, in partnership with the Faculty Senate and Creative Activities Committee, this program provides funds to allow faculty dedicated time in the academic year for creative and scholarly activity and to prepare and submit a competitive application for extramural support. Activities may include preparing grants for research, scholarship, creative and artistic activities, fellowships and residencies. Requests for time to work on scholarly endeavors such as a book are allowed, as long as the project can be completed during the semester of the reassignment. Extramural sponsor types may include federal, state or foundation. We encourage applications in the Arts and Humanities and examples of extramural support in these areas include art and music commissions, exhibits and performances, book publishing contracts, museum and library fellowships, artist-in-residence and scholar-in-residence programs.

This support may be accomplished through a course buyout of the faculty member’s teaching and service assignments (one three-credit-hour course) in Spring 2024 (FY24). Alternatively, funds may be used for undergraduate or graduate student support (to conduct research or assist with teaching) to provide the faculty member additional time to work on projects. Funds will be paid directly to the department to hire replacement faculty to cover teaching assignments or for student compensation. Faculty will not receive any direct compensation and summer stipends will not be provided.

Applicants must present a well-defined project that will form the basis of a subsequent proposal to an extramural sponsor. Applicants must specify a specific funding opportunity, sponsor, and submission deadline which must be within a year of award completion.

We encourage all applicants to identify an internal mentor/advisory group (1-3 individuals) to advise the faculty member on development of the project and critique the proposal prior to extramural submission.

The number of awards will be determined by the quality of the proposals, number of requests, and FY2024 budget, however $50,000 (up to 10 awards) will be designated for the program.

Past reassignment award winners include faculty members for the fields of biology, chemistry, English, foreign languages and literatures, kinesiology and philosophy.

External Funding

SPIN, which stands for Sponsored Programs Information Network, is an extensive research funding opportunity database. SPIN contains over 40,000 opportunities from more than 10,000 sponsors. It’s available through the library’s database list and linked on the Office of Sponsored Programs website.

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