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Research Excellence Program Overview – Storrs


Light Bulb with Seedling


The primary goal of the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Research Excellence Program (REP) is to provide seed funding to fuel innovative research, scholarship, and creative endeavors with strong potential for:

  • Significant extramural funding from federal and state sponsors, corporations, industry partners, and foundations.
  • Achievements consistent with the highest standards of accomplishment in the discipline.


What the REP Funds:

  • The REP is focused facilitating projects that have a strong potential to stand out as excellent, both within their disciplines and beyond, adding to UConn’s reputation for innovative research, scholarship, and creative activities.
  • Proposals for research or creative projects in all areas and for a wide variety of purposes are encouraged. We recognize that scholarly excellence comes in many forms.
  • Emphasis will be given to projects for which REP funding will make a crucial difference in making a significant accomplishment feasible or make a project substantially more competitive for external funding. REP funding should be a “game-changer,” not an add-on to an already competitive project.
  • Multi-PI, interdisciplinary projects are encouraged. Faculty are encouraged to use Lincus , a search engine that will assist in identifying specific faculty expertise at all UConn campuses, including UConn Health.
  • Proposals addressing opportunities for technology commercialization may be submitted to the REP competition.
  • No preference will be given to proposals based on academic rank of the PI or Co-PIs.
  • We encourage resubmissions of proposals that have been not funded in the past, provided that review panel summaries are provided and PIs explain how they are addressing feedback in the new submission. Previous comments must be addressed whether the PI agrees with them or not.


REP Award Categories

Two broad categories of REP support have been established to meet the differing funding needs of various disciplines. Each category in turn has funding caps in place for single PI and multi-PI, interdisciplinary awards.

  • Proposals should be submitted to the category that best represents project goals and methods rather than the PI’s home department.
  • Multi-PI, interdisciplinary proposals in either category must include PIs across multiple academic units/disciplines, and must target external funding opportunities as the central reason for a REP award.
  • Each faculty member serving as a PI must be making a significant contribution to the development and direction of the project.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Social Sciences

  • Single PI awards capped at $25,000
  • Multi-PI, interdisciplinary awards capped at $50,000

Proposals should emphasize how the research will advance knowledge in the Sciences (basic and applied life science, physical sciences, mathematical science, social and behavioral sciences), technology, engineering, or society (applied research, interdisciplinary research).

Fine Arts, Humanities, Business, Law, and Engagement

  • Single PI awards capped at $10,000
  • Multi-PI, interdisciplinary awards capped at $25,000

Proposals should emphasize how the research, project, or scholarship will advance the arts, humanities, business, law, education, creative endeavors, or engaged scholarship (community partnerships, evaluation research, or participatory research).


Funding Period

Awards will be will be made for approximately one year, unless a compelling justification is made by the PI(s) for an alternate funding period. Standard award period will be May 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.



The Storrs/Regional Research Excellence Program is available to UConn faculty members, within the following parameters:

  • UConn Primary Appointment: PIs must be faculty whose primary appointment is at UConn/UConn Health. Faculty with primary appointments to CCMC or Jackson Labs are not eligible to apply. PIs with a primary appointment at a TIP company are also not eligible. Individuals who are not eligible to apply as a PI may be able to serve as a collaborator/consultant on an eligible PI’s project.
  • Effort and Salary: Although no minimum effort level is required for REP projects, a PI/Co-PI must have departmental research time available during the award period or address in the application how they will handle the time commitment required by the project. PIs/Co-PIs must each make significant and distinct intellectual contributions to the design and direction of the project. Generally speaking, REP awards are only available to tenure-track, clinical, and APiR (Storrs) faculty. Research Professors / those whose positions are contingent on grant-funding (soft money positions) are not eligible to apply as PI. Faculty with projects that could involve grant-dependent faculty should contact the OVPR before applying.
  • Eligible faculty may only submit one proposal per year as lead PI. Investigators may serve as collaborator on multiple projects.
  • Faculty who have received two REP awards in the last five years are not eligible.
  • Each distinct project should be submitted only once per program year. Cross-campus teams should decide which program (Storrs or UCH) they want to apply for. The same project will not be considered multiple times per program year.
  • Lead PIs for Storrs/Regional REP awards must have a primary affiliation with those campuses.



There will only be one REP competition per year. Full proposals must be submitted by 12/15/2017. Awards to be announced in late April.