Research and Sponsored Programs

General Guidelines for All URFO Proposals

Proposals That Do Not follow These Guidelines and Any Additional Instructions Listed Under Each Program Will Not Be Accepted


  1. Full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty at the University of Toledo are eligible to submit as Principal Investigator (PI).  Those in the Research Professor title series are not eligible to apply as Principal Investigator. Preference will be given to tenure-track assistant professors, except for the  Research Innovation program, the foci of which are directed to established researchers and senior faculty. For major programs, Associate and Full Professors must make a strong case for the need for funding to move their research in a new direction or to take their research to a much higher level.

  2. PIs must be employed as a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member at UT during the full academic year of the award.

  3. Investigators may be a PI on one, and only one, proposal submitted to any major URFO program (see minor/major classification on the deadline page) in a given Academic Year. Submission of more than one URFO major program proposal in total by the same PI will result in their disqualification.  Please submit only one proposal as PI to the program most aligned with your research interests.  (A Letter of Intent or pre-proposal does not count as a proposal for these purposes.)  A faculty member may, however, be a co-investigator on a second proposal submitted to one of the following major programs: Research Awards and Fellowships, deArce-Koch Memorial Fund in Support of Medical Research and Development, Interdisciplinary Research Initiation Awards, and Research Innovation Program, provided that salary is not received and the activities are independent.

  4. Faculty may not receive more than two of any major URFO awards as Principal Investigator over any seven- year period, and faculty may not receive any major URFO awards as Principal Investigator in two consecutive years.

  5. Faculty must have at least six weeks without summer teaching if they are awarded a summer fellowship under an URFO award program. 

  6. Faculty members with start-up fund accounts are not eligible for support unless documentation shows that start-up funds cannot support the URFO project.  For example, if start-up funds are dedicated entirely to the purchase of an instrument then it is possible to seek URFO support for programmatic activity.  In all cases, faculty members with grant and/or startup funding must indicate the extent of that funding, and how the need for URFO funding requested is not met by those sources of funding. Generally those with remaining start-up funds will be evaluated at a lower priority than those without start-up funds.

  7. See our FAQ for additional answers about eligibility. 

General Format Requirements for All Major URFO Programs


General submission requirements apply unless noted otherwise in the program-specific Submission Requirements.

  1. Bear in mind the review process for your proposal.  The University Research Council will review the Research Awards and Fellowships and the deArce-Koch Memorial Endowment Fund proposals.  Research Council members may not necessarily be experts in your discipline, much less your subdiscipline. Please avoid jargon, spell out acronyms, and make your proposal understandable to a well-educated layperson. 

  2. The Interdisciplinary and Research Innovation proposals are reviewed by experts in the field of study with a standard not unlike that expected from NIH or NSF reviews.  Proposals submitted to these competitions should be written for this level of review. A well-written proposal will clearly state a thesis, hypothesis or goal and accurately describe a methodology for testing the thesis or hypothesis or of achieving the goal that can be accomplished within the time and financial constraints of the grant. If your proposal appears overly ambitious, please explain why you can accomplish it within the time frame or financial constraints of this grant. For all empirical analyses, please explicitly state the dataset to be used, how data will be obtained and why that dataset is relevant to the thesis or goal (or the preferred dataset). If you are using a dataset that would appear problematic to someone outside your discipline, please explain why this dataset is appropriate.  If the dataset presents obvious questions of sample bias, please candidly address this issue. Finally, for all empirical analyses, you must state the statistical methodology that will be used and briefly explain why you selected that particular methodology. If your dataset does not appear to be congruent with your statistical methodology, please state why and explain how this will affect your methodology or results.

  3. Beginning in October 2023, all URFO proposals must be submitted through the InfoEd system. See this simple guide on creating your URFO proposal in InfoEd

  4. Any documents uploaded should use standard 8.5 x 11 inch page size with one-inch margins, double-spaced unless otherwise noted, and use 11-point or 12-point type limited to Ariel, Palatino, or similar font.

  5. For the major programs include a budget and budget justification of no more than two pages that list major expenditure categories, including faculty salary and fringe benefits, student stipends/wages and fringe benefits, equipment, supplies, travel, and other necessary costs.

  6. For the major programs nclude a two-page biosketch (five-page NIH style for the Research Innovation Program) for the PI and any co-investigators.  The biosketch should include the individual’s current professional position, degrees (with institution and dates), professional positions held, recent relevant publications, artistic performances, and other original products (such as patents, etc.).  


For specific program submission requirements, please refer to

Note that all submission will undergo an administrative review, and failure to comply with submission requirements will result in the proposal being returned without review.

Using InfoEd, submit a complete PDF of the proposal containing all required elements by 11:59 PM pm on the deadline date.  Hard copy submission is not required.

Please submit any questions via e-mail to 


All proposals will undergo administrative review to ensure compliance with the overall URFO and program requirements by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prior to formal review of the content of the proposal. Those not meeting program and format requirements will not undergo review and are not eligible for funding.

The University Research Council reviews the Research and Fellowship Program and the deArce-Koch Memorial Endowment Fund Program proposals. External experts from other universities or research institutions review the Interdisciplinary Research Initiation Award Program and the Research Innovation Program.


All identified PIs, co-PIs and key personnel on an URFO project recommended for funding must ensure that all reports for external sponsors (e.g. NSF, NIH, USDA, etc.) have been submitted according to sponsor timelines and requirements. Failure to submit timely reports will delay processing of URFO funding and may result in recinding the award of URFO funds to the research team.

You will receive an award letter signed by the Vice President for Research via email.

Grants Accounting will establish a restricted account (index) for your project.

Approvals from the Institutional Review Board, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee are not required prior to proposal submissions. However, funds will not be released without all required protocol approvals in place.


Submit required reports to  Please refer to the program-specific reporting requirements for due dates. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility

Q. I’ve received two major URFO awards. Am I eligible to apply for one this year?

A. The guidelines say you are limited to two major awards in seven years and may not receive major awards in two consecutive years. If you received an award in spring 2017 and another one in 2022, you would be eligible to apply for a major award in January 2024, as any resulting award would start when seven years have elapsed since the beginning of the 2017 award.

Q. I want to submit to the deArce-Koch or Research Awards and Fellowships program in January, but also want to submit to the Research Innovation Program or Interdisciplinary Research Initiation program? Am I allowed to do that?

A. You may submit a Letter of Intent as PI in October to the Research Innovation or Interdisciplinary Research Initiation programs. If you are invited to submit a proposal for the January deadline, you will not be able to apply as PI to any other major program in January.

Q. I see that I am not allowed to apply as PI for more than one major award in one application cycle. Am I allowed to be listed as co-investigator on another proposal if I submit a proposal as PI?

A. Yes, you may be co-investigator on other proposals while submitting one proposal as PI.

Q. I am interested in applying to both the Research Innovation and Interdisciplinary Research Initiation programs. Is that allowed?

A. You may submit as PI on a two Letters of Intent, either to one program or to both, but no more than one LOI per PI will result in an invitation to submit a full proposal by the January deadline.

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Last Updated: 5/31/24