OARS Research Incentive program

Contact us: OARS Research Incentive program

Jim Oris
Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship
102 Roudebush Hall

NOTICE: As of February 14, 2014, the Research Incentive program is indefinitely suspended.

The Ohio Board of Regents (OBOR) have not released funds for the Ohio Research Incentive Program for the past three years. Over the past two years, OARS has provided funds from other sources in hopes that we would soon receive an allocation. Unfortunately, there has been no news regarding a Research Incentive allocation this fiscal year, and funds that had been dedicated to bridge the program have run out.
Funds for Research Incentive are budgeted from the Ohio Third Frontier Program to OBOR for distribution to University System of Ohio (USO) schools in the amount of $32 Million per biennium.  For FY2012-13, $32 Million was allocated to OBOR with $0 allocated to USO schools. These funds have lapsed back to Ohio Third Frontier and the funds are no longer available. For FY2014-15, $32 Million was allocated to OBOR with $0 allocated to USO schools.  If no allocation is provided, $16 Million will lapse back to Ohio Third Frontier on 11/01/2014 and the second $16 Million will lapse on 11/01/2015.
There is still a chance that the FY2014-15 allocation will be distributed. However, it is not clear why there has been no allocation for the past three years. Over the history of the Research Incentive and Shoupp Award programs, Miami University and the other USO schools have leveraged those state-allocated internal funds at a ratio of nearly 10:1 to bring in federally and privately funded external dollars. 

The Research Incentive program was established to enhance the capability of Miami University faculty to attract federal, corporate, and foundation funding for research. Miami University's Research Incentive funds support programs that:

  • Enhance the quality of research and scholarship at Miami University
  • Increase the level of federal and private research funding received by Miami University
  • Align with the goals of Ohio Third Frontier and/or Ohio Centers of Excellence

The Ohio Third Frontier initiative specifically targets investment in the following technologies:

  • Advanced materials
  • Aeropropulsion power management
  • Agribusiness and food processing
  • Fuel cells and energy storage
  • Medical technologies
  • Business and healthcare software
  • Sensing and automation
  • Situational awareness and surveillance systems
  • Solar photovoltaics

A significant portion of Miami's Research Incentive funds are awarded based on recommendations made by the Miami University Research Advisory Committee (MURAC), which invites faculty to submit formal proposals for promising research projects each year. These proposals become the basis for dialogue between proposers and MURAC concerning the project's merit and potential.

Research Incentive funds may be used to encourage research or scholarly activity in existing or new research directions in any discipline or research area, as long as the funded projects:

  • Align with the Ohio Third Frontier initiative and/or Ohio Centers of Excellence
  • Clearly intend to foster additional externally funded research and commercialization activities


Before applying, please read the Research Incentive program guidelines (PDF) carefully. Applications will be solicited by OARS on behalf of MURAC each spring. Each application should include:

  • An original, completed cover sheet (PDF), with endorsements by the appropriate department chair(s) and divisional dean(s)
  • A project description (5 pages maximum) that concisely addresses the following questions in language easily understood by non-specialists:
    • What are your goals and objectives?
    • Why is the project significant?
    • How are you going to conduct the project?
    • What resources are needed for conducting the project (give cost details in budget page)?
    • What is the plan for attracting external support, and which agencies, foundations or corporations would be likely sponsors?
    • What is the plan for potential commercialization or potential economic impact of project outcomes?
  • Budget request not to exceed $40,000 and justification (1 page maximum)

Allowable costs:

    • Salaries (+ fringe benefits) for faculty, students, and technicians
    • Consultant fees
    • Equipment — limited to 25% of the project budget unless cleared with OARS prior to proposal submission
    • Domestic travel for the conduct of research
    • Publications
    • Supplies
  • Statement of the plan for obtaining traditional external funding (1 page maximum)
  • Vitae for each research program faculty member that includes each researcher's funding record (2 pages maximum for each faculty member — please follow the NSF template for biosketches)
  • Listing and status of all external proposals submitted in the past five years (no page limit)

Previous recipients of Research Incentive funds are eligible to submit proposals, but are required to include an additional statement demonstrating the effectiveness of the earlier funding in attracting external funds from the federal government, foundation, or industry.

Faculty who suggest projects for funding through Research Incentive may be asked to meet personally with MURAC to discuss their ideas and proposed project.

Funds from this Research Incentive program must be expended prior to August 31 of the year following the award.


MURAC will review proposed projects and make funding recommendations based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the Third Frontier Project
  • Alignment with Miami University’s Ohio Centers of Excellence
  • Extent to which the project will enhance the ability to attract external research funds
  • Intrinsic merit and timeliness of the proposed work, and the probability that it will make a significant contribution to the field of knowledge
  • Previous record of the principal investigator(s) in seeking external funds for research
  • Quality of the personnel and adequacy of the resources necessary for the project
  • Clarity of the written document to a non-specialist

2012-2013 awardees

Michael Crowder, Chemistry & Biochemistry, $40,000 for "Bi-functional Cephalosporins to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Infections"

Jessica Sparks, Chemical, Paper, & Biomedical Engineering, $40,000 for "Hydrogel 3D Printing: Additive Manufacturing of Life-Like Tissues and Organs for Healthcare Simulation"

Shouzhong Zou, Chemistry & Biochemistry, $40,000 for "Studying Fuel Cell Reactions on a Single Particle by Dark-Field Microscopy"