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The Penn State Shenango Research Development Grant (RDG) program is a source of financial support for the research and scholarly activities of Shenango faculty members. It is intended to foster new research and scholarly activities rather than to sustain established research programs.


All full-time faculty members are invited to apply for RDG funding. Priority is given to proposals from those on the tenure-line.

Research and Scholarship Projects

Any of the following general types of research and scholarly activity are appropriate for RDG proposals:  

  1. Conducting research that employs any methodology acceptable in the applicant's discipline;
  2. Producing an interpretation, analysis, or synthesis of existing knowledge in any form that will provide for critical review by other scholars in the applicant's discipline;
  3. Developing new scholarly methods or research tools;
  4. Developing new applications of knowledge;
  5. Creating new artistic products or forms;
  6. Developing new theories, philosophical views, or position papers;
  7. Experimenting with and documenting new teaching approaches in the applicant's discipline or cooperative efforts to explore and document interdisciplinary teaching approaches (provided the focus of the effort is experimentation, not routine course improvement).

The following may not be included in an RDG request:  

  • Support for doctoral dissertation research.
  • Requests for released time from teaching.
  • Support for stipends and supplemental salary.
  • Travel to professional conferences.
  • Routine course development and instructional improvement are excluded except as noted in (7) above.

While developing your proposal, keep the following considerations in mind:

  1. Travel may be included, but the proposal must explain clearly how the travel is essential for the conduct of the research and scholarly activity.
  2. Any travel assistance needed by an undergraduate research assistant should be included in a RDG request.
  3. The purchase of software, printed material, microfiche, supplies, and other similar materials may be included, provided the applicant makes it clear in the proposal that the purchase is directly related to the activities of the project. The purchase of microcomputers is not supported. Any equipment purchased with RDG funds becomes the property of the University.

No amount of support is too small to request through the RDG proposals. Most funded proposals have ranged from $250 to $500.  Proposals that request funding at a level higher than $1,000 are considered, but these requests must clearly demonstrate the need for more extensive financial support.

For all proposals, budget items should be clearly itemized and related directly to project activities.

Review Process


RDGs are awarded on a competitive basis. Each proposal is evaluated by a committee. The Campus Academic Officer (CAO) is responsible for making final decisions. Generally all proposals cannot be funded due to limited budgets, and some proposals may receive only partial support. The committee will evaluate the quality of the proposals and the potential contribution of the project activities to the applicant's reputation as a scholar, teacher, and researcher.

Project Completion

At the conclusion of the project, faculty members are expected to provide a brief report (one page maximum) of project activities to their CAO. The report may be submitted via email.

Because of the temporary nature of the funds for the RDGs, project money should be expended prior to June 30. However, short-term extensions may be granted by the CAO. A request for an extension may be made by sending an email message to the CAO. A brief explanation of the reason for the extension must be provided.

Proposal Text

The text of the proposal should not exceed two pages in length. The following topics must be discussed in an manner easily understood by those outside of the discipline:

  1. Objectives of the Project: State clearly and briefly the objectives of the proposed project. What do you plan to accomplish?
  2. Significance of Proposed Project: State how this project will benefit your personal record of achievement in research and/or scholarly activity.
  3. Procedures: Describe project activities and explain how they are related to objectives. Explain how you plan to accomplish each objective. As you prepare these sections, include adequate information to permit evaluation of the proposal.
  4. Previous RDG Support: For your three most recent RDG awards, list the year and amount of the award and the outcome of the project. We are especially interested in products that resulted from RDG support, such as journal articles, professional meeting presentations, book chapters, musical compositions, paintings, or software. Grant proposals or funding incident to the RDG may also be submitted as products resulting from the RDG.

Proposal Content

Your proposal should include the following sections (in order):

  1. Budget Summary Cover Sheet (use attached form). Include Undergraduate Research Stipend request if appropriate.
  2. Proposal Text (maximum of 2 pages) avoiding disciplinary jargon.
  3. Itemized Budget Information: Explain the components of the budget presented in the budget summary.
  4. Evaluation page (use attached form)

Procedure for Submission

Please forward the completed proposal to eja12@psu.edu. Priority will be given to tenure-track faculty and to tenured faculty actively working on getting promoted.

Deadline for Submitting Proposals:

January 30.

A PDF version with this information and the Shenango Campus Budget Summary is available here.