The Professional Staff Congress - City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) Research Award Program was established as a major vehicle to encourage and support faculty research. PSC-CUNY seeks to enhance the University's role as a research institution, further the professional growth and development of its faculty, and provide support for the established and junior scholar. Awards are distributed by the University Committee on Research Awards (UCRA), a faculty committee, and administered by RFCUNY. All applications are submitted through the Grants Proposal System.
The PSC-CUNY Research Award Program supports academically relevant research across all disciplines. Proposals must include original research or creative activities by the principal investigator (PI). Three award types are available:
Full-time members of the instructional staff, including Higher Education Officers (HEOs) and College Laboratory Technicians (CLTs) are eligible to apply for the PSC-CUNY Award Program. Co-PIs must meet all eligibility criteria. Only one application per person, per cycle (year), as either PI or Co-PI is allowable.
Applying for the PSC-CUNY Award Program requires the applicant to complete the online application and attach a project description. The information under My Profile must be fully completed. My Profile includes important information on the applicant’s institution, educational background, tenure status, recent publications, and research awards.
The project description should place the project in the perspective of the discipline and provide a detailed description of the project’s method and importance. Project description (including tables, literature reviews, and references) is limited to three (3) pages for Traditional A proposals and five (5) pages for Traditional B and Enhanced proposals. A PDF file of the project description may be single or double spaced, but formatting must include one-inch margins and a font of 10-12 points. Microsoft Word Docs will no longer be allowed as an attachment. If the project description exceeds the page length, the application will be rejected.
Budget Preparation & Categories
Budget requests must be justified on the basis of a project’s objectives and anticipated results. Applications for Traditional A and Traditional B awards require a short rationale for each budget item to be included in the space provided on the 'Budget' tab of the online application.
Applications for Enhanced awards must attach a separate, one-page budget justification providing a breakdown of expenses and a more detailed explanation of project costs.
Funding requests that do not fall within one of the below allowable budget categories are at risk of being rejected.
Funding may not be requested for honorarium, journal subscriptions, internet or cellular services, memberships in professional organizations, advertisements, or any item or service that serves an ongoing need. Items purchased for general research use, not specified within the PSC CUNY Award, are not allowed. Costs related to renovations, office furniture or insurance are not allowed.
Student stipends or tuition costs for either the PI or an assistant are not supported. A PI cannot use PSC CUNY funds to purchase their own intellectual property (e.g. published manuscript) or for indirect compensation. Subcontracts are not allowed.
Submitting Supplementary Material
Supplementary material including slides or CDs must be included for creative writing proposals and may be submitted with applications in the creative, visual, and performing arts. Supplementary material attached to proposals in any other discipline will not be reviewed. If a PI intends on submitting supplementary materials, 'Supplementary Material' must be checked off on the application form. Materials up to 2MB may be attached.
PSC-CUNY applications will be judged on the following:
When evaluating previous accomplishments, reviewers take into consideration that junior faculty members may be unable to present an extensive record of scholarly/creative merit. Preference is given to junior faculty in the allocation of funds.
Applications must be submitted to one of the 18 discipline-based review panels. Each panel is composed of a Chair and four or more additional CUNY faculty members.
Traditional A and Traditional B award proposals are subject to review only by CUNY faculty on the discipline-based panel to which they are submitted. Traditional A and Traditional B applicants may receive (1) specified feedback if the reviewer chooses to elect the ‘Other’ response. Aside from the ‘Other’ selection, Traditional A and Traditional B awards only receive prewritten evaluations selected by the reviewer.
Enhanced award applicants will receive two expert evaluations with the final decision to be made by the UCRA. Only 40-50 Enhanced proposals are awarded each year.
UCRA reserves the right to transfer an application to a different panel if it deems appropriate. An applicant may consult with their CUNY Grants Officer or RFCUNY program administrator for questions about review panels.
Tenured applicants may only receive two awards in any three year period and only one may be an Enhanced award. Non-tenured faculty members have no such restrictions.
Individuals may apply for only one of the three types of awards in any given year. Faculty are not eligible to apply for or receive a Traditional A or B Award for any year in which they have received or will receive external grant funding or awards of $100,000 or more in direct costs for their research.
Proposals will not be funded for the following: