Priority Research Fund 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 (e.g., acts as 'seed money')
  4. Yields findings that have the potential to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and around the world.

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

Applicants are expected to explore external sources of funding before considering the 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.

The 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 extracurricular 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 research reports or other charges related to publication
  • Institutional research (internal or department studies)

A PRF award may be used as cost sharing or supplemental measure for larger, externally funded studies. In such instances, PRF applicants are urged to consult with their department and the PRF Officer before submitting a proposal. Before receiving a PRF, applicants must open a Community of Science (COS) account at Finally, although the PRF has had steady funding since its inception, RSIA can make no assurances about the availability of funds in future years. 

Grant Period

The grant period runs from October 1 to 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 three years. Only one PRF can be awarded to a researcher at a given time, and researchers who have a current PRF award are ineligible to apply for another one.

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

A PRF applicant's Expression of Interest form will be reviewed by the fund's committee to verify that the proposed study idea meets eligibility requirements. The committee will contact the applicant by January 5 only if there is a concern; otherwise, they can proceed with theirr proposal preparations.

Reviewing a complete proposal may take up to three months, perhaps 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 proposal's field. The PRF committee also hires external reviewers who are experts in the field of study to review and evaluate applications.

General Inventory of Student Research Skills

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

Checklist of Needed Documents

  1. One-page Expression of Interest to Apply by December 15.
  2. Completed PRF Application
  3. Completed PRF Cover Sheet.

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