Special Opportunity Project Guidelines
Special Opportunity Projects (Revised June 2010)
Although the UM research board has limited resources and has as its focus opportunities made available through Individual and Collaborative projects, the Board will consider Special Opportunity Proposals that have: a) outstanding promise for enhancing the quality, stature, and recognition of scholarship at the University of Missouri, and b) budgets higher than those typical of Individual and Collaborative Projects.
Special Opportunity proposals must clearly demonstrate how research board support will be uniquely enabling, thereby allowing an opportunity that cannot otherwise be funded.
The potential for leveraging additional investments (monetary or scholarly) and the commitment of matching support will be critical factors in evaluation of Special Opportunity proposals. Prospective applicants who have received a Special Opportunity award may apply again for a Special Opportunity project no sooner than one year from the official end date of the most recent award. Prior funding and outcomes derived from the previous Special Opportunity project will be considered when reviewing the application.
As examples, special opportunities applications may involve:
- a high-risk proposal involving multiple campuses or investigators that could lead to a large pay-off in the future
- a workshop or conference to outline a new area of scholarship or research
- matching funds to purchase uniquely enabling major equipment that would improve research productivity or expand research into important new areas
- sponsorship of an international chamber music festival for which a strong case for the "investment potential" and lasting benefit to the University can be made,
- the acquisition of a rare book collection for the library that would significantly enhance the scholarly potential of a group of faculty and increase the stature and importance of the library.
Special Opportunity proposals from department chairs for start-up funds for new faculty will not be considered, except in unusual cases when such an investment would allow recruitment of a scholar of the highest international stature for a faculty position at the University. In such a case, a Special Opportunity proposal would be appropriate only at an advanced stage of negotiations with a specific individual.
Approved funds for an application will be held in escrow until documentation of commitments for all other proposed support are submitted to the Board. Special Opportunity commitments are usually valid for a period of one year.
Under unusual circumstances that involve a request for matching funds and a time constraint, the Board will consider expedited review of Special Opportunity applications. For such review, the applicant must submit an accompanying letter to the research board Office documenting a compelling reason for urgent consideration. Such requests may be submitted at any time. The applicant must complete the online submission as well as submit one hard copy of the proposal through your Campus Official Office. The Board will review the proposal as promptly as feasible. If the proposal is for matching support to an external agency, the narrative portion of the application to the external agency may be substituted for the narrative portion of the research board application.