Frequently Asked Questions

What is CISR? 

The Committee for Institutional Studies and Research provides small Competitive Grants and larger grants (Presidential Fellowships) for full time faculty, staff, and administrators, to promote research, scholarship, and creative activity that results in published and presented work. Grants help scholars and artists to achieve the standards set for faculty participation in institutional scholarship and research, and at the same time the grants reward work that reflects positively on Murray State University as a teaching and research institution. The Committee is comprised of two members from each college, one member from each school, and one member from University Libraries. Each member acts as an advocate and information source for applicants from his/her constituency.

Who is eligible for a CISR Competitive Grant?
Full-time faculty members, full-time staff members, and full-time administrators are eligible to apply. Competitive grants are appropriate for research in all stages, from initial to advanced. CISR cannot fund doctoral dissertation research. Graduate and undergraduate students are not eligible to apply. 

What’s new this year? 
Both Regional Impact Grants and Competitive Grants will be increased by $500. The new maximum amount awarded will be $3,000 for Competitive Grants and $3,500 for Regional Impact Grants. 

What is a Regional Impact Grant?
Projects whose results will provide direct benefit to the region are categorized as Regional Impact Grants. Guidelines are the same as those for Competitive Grants. 

What kinds of projects do Competitive CISR grants fund?
CISR Competitive grant monies may be used for: supplies needed to complete a project, survey instruments and resources for their distribution and collation, assistance in research or laboratory work, primary researcher travel to research sites and for collaborative purposes, expenses for an installation or recording, and many other kinds of support. Grants typically range from $500 to $3,000. 

What kinds of projects CANNOT be funded through Competitive CISR grants? 

CISR cannot fund: 

  • Salary or other direct compensation for the grantee. 
  • Student research. 
  • faculty development, instructional development, skills enhancement, and similar activities, unless the work is necessary for the completion of a specific research, scholarly, or creative project. 
  • housing for research stays exceeding one week. 
  • travel for any student under any circumstances. 
  • travel to present research, to install an exhibit, or to perform. 
  • travel to conferences.
  • NOTE: Limited CISR funds are available to faculty to supplement travel funds from other sources

How are Competitive CISR grants awarded?
Applications must be complete (see application form for all requirements) and must be submitted by the deadline to be considered. All CISR Committee members read all applications carefully. Thus it is vital that all applications be written in language accessible to scholars in diverse fields. The Committee meets several times in early March to evaluate applications and to approve or reject projects. Because the Committee’s funds are limited, the Committee may opt to fund only parts of a proposed project.   

What is expected of a Competitive CISR grant recipient?
Grant recipients should spend their monies and perform their research during the period of the grant (one year, beginning 1 July). Should a grant recipient need to reallocate funds, he/she must present a formal proposal to the Committee for approval. A Final Report is due to CISR within 45 days of the end of the grant cycle. Notification of any publication or presentation resulting from CISR support should be reported to the current CISR Chairperson as well. 

Can a CISR Competitive Grant be extended?
Applicants must complete the proposed project during the grant cycle (1 July to 30 June). CISR cannot extend any grants. Only in extraordinary circumstances will the Provost’s Office consider an extension. Applicants with ongoing projects may apply for new CISR grants to support new elements of an ongoing project for a maximum of 3 grant cycles. 

Who funds CISR?
CISR is funded through the Office of the Provost, demonstrating the University’s commitment to a faculty vibrant and active in scholarly and creative activity.