Priority Research Fund (PRF) Information

Full time Gallaudet faculty, professional staff and Clerc Center personnel are eligible to apply for a Priority Research Fund (PRF) to conduct high quality research on Gallaudet's priority areas. The research awards are intended for studies that:

  1. Have a clear connection to the research priorities of the University;
  2. Are technically sound, including clear articulation of a research purpose that can be accomplished within 1-3 years, significance within the field, and methods that have a high likelihood of achieving the specified purpose;
  3. Increase the occurrence or likelihood of external funding at the University (e.g., acts as 'seed money');
  4. Yields findings that have the potential to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people throughout the United States and the World.

The intention of the Fund is to support campus researchers who aim to conduct both basic and applied research on important issues using a wide range of methods. Basic research is undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without any particular application or use in mind. Applied research is conducted to gain the knowledge or understanding to meet a specific, recognized need.

Applicants are expected to explore external sources of funding before considering the Gallaudet PRF. Moreover, PRF awardees, as a condition of their grant agreement, will be obligated to apply for external grants if they intend to expand or extend their line of study.

Priority Research Fund Cannot Be Used for:

  • Curriculum development
  • Capital projects (i.e., construction or renovation of research facilities)
  • Non-research training grants
  • Development (the production of materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes), although data collection instrument adaptation and development in high priority areas may be considered
  • Establishment of an academic or extra-curricular program and then study of that program
  • Dissertation study, Pre-dissertation study or Master's Thesis
  • Presentations and/or conference fees
  • Cost of travel to present research findings
  • Cost of preparing the research report
  • Page charges or other costs related to publication
  • Institutional research (internal or department studies)

Grant Period

The grant period runs from October 1-September 30; all funds must be spent within the fiscal year of the award.

Study Funding Limits

The fund provides up to $35,000 per year for up to 3 years. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish within this scope of funding. A PRF award may be used as cost sharing or supplemental to larger, externally funded studies. In such instances, consult with your department and the Priority Fund Officer before submitting a proposal. Finally, although the Priority Fund has had steady funding since its inception, RSIA can make no assurances about availability of funds in future years. You may have only one priority grant at a given time. You are not eligible to apply again if you already have a priority grant submitted. Before you receive an award, you will need to open a Community of Science (COS) account at

Application Deadline

An Expression of Interest to Apply is due December 15. Completed PRF proposals are due on February 15, by 5 p.m. If February 15 falls on a weekend, the proposal will be due the next business day by 5 p.m.

Review Process

Your Expression of Interest form will be reviewed by the fund's program officers to verify that your study idea meets eligibility requirements. We will contact you by January 5 only if there is a serious concern; otherwise, please proceed with your proposal preparations.

Reviewing a complete proposal may take up to 3 months; it may take longer if the researcher is asked to respond to feedback from the reviewers. Reviews are undertaken with the advice of faculty, staff and others who are specialists in the field covered by the proposals. The Priority Research Fund committee also hires external reviewers who are expert in the field of study covered by the applications, to review and evaluate applications.

General Inventory of Student Research Skills (GISRS)

Applicants must include a completed GISRS Rubric if they are planning to hire student assistants.

Checklist of Needed Documents

  1. Send in a one-page Expression of Interest to Apply by December 15.
  2. Completed PRF Application.
  3. Completed PRF Cover Sheet.