Central Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) Grant Program

Call for Proposals 

CSU RSCA Grant program for 2020-2021

(RSCA is research, scholarship, and creative activities)

The appearance of COVID-19 has impacted a wide array of activities including the ability to access facilities, travel, and engaging students in RSCA efforts. We evaluated our internal grant initiatives to determine modifications to respond to our changing situation and resulting needs.

Previously awarded SJSU Central RSCA Grant awards (2019-2020) spending periods are extended through June 30, 2021.  The extension affects grants with budgets which included RSCA-related expenses such as travel, supplies, student assistants.  [Awards with release time or fellowship salary awards are not affected.] Reach out to your department or Office of Research for assistance with your budget.

Call for new 2020-2021 CSU Central RSCA Grant Program for all Unit 3 faculty (tenured, tenure-track, lecturers, faculty librarians).  The deadline is 6 pm, Friday, April 17, 2020 for an electronic submission of required materials to officeofresearchawardreports@sjsu.edu. Up to $170,000 is available to be awarded.

For Spring 2020, the successful proposal will emphasize how grant funding initiates, continues or completes a RSCA project.  Proposals that evaluate COVID-19 impact through your disciplinary lens are encouraged and will be given every consideration. We believe external funding agencies will seek grant proposals that focus on COVID-19 research.  Ideas to consider: designing of tools (masks, ventilators, technology, etc.), processes (communication, social connectivity, etc.), or community studies that address COVID19 and/or support the pandemic environment, or creative products that offer timely reflections on the human experience.

Consider consulting Research Foundation funding search tools as you plan how your RSCA grant proposal can position you for an extramural proposal submission.  

Faculty who receive funding through this program are required to submit a report on award results. 

Who is eligible for funding?

All Unit 3 faculty (tenured/tenure track/lecturers/faculty librarians) are eligible. Only one proposal per faculty member may be submitted. Collaborative proposals submitted by more than one faculty member will be considered. In such cases, each faculty member should write their own proposal independently describing the joint effort in general and their particular contribution in greater detail. Indicate whether the project can go forward if only one faculty member’s proposal is funded.

Types of Funding 

One of the options below:

  • $5,000 fellowship salary award*, July 2020 or June 2021
  • $5,000 fellowship salary award*, July 2020 or June 2021, and up to $2,500 in RSCA-related expenses
  • up to $5,000 in RSCA-related expenses 

*   All Unit 3 Faculty members with an Academic Year (AY) or Semester appointment are eligible for the fellowship salary award option as long as they do not have greater than .8 summer work assigned to them (for example, summer session courses) during the month of the award. Faculty members with a 12-month faculty appointment of .8 or less are eligible for the fellowship salary award option.  

The fellowship salary award is considered salary and is taxed by the IRS and state. This is an award and it is supplemental and taxed differently from a regular monthly salary check. For example, previous awards were taxed at 22% Federal and 6.6% State plus Social Security and Medicare taxes.

How do I apply for funding?

Application, Narrative, and, if requesting funding for an option that includes up to $2,500 or up to $5,000 in RSCA-related expenses, a Budget Form must be submitted electronically no later than 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020, to Office of Research at officeofresearchawardreports@sjsu.edu.

Proposal Requirements

Please write the narrative in a style that is easily accessible to a reviewer from outside the author’s discipline or area of expertise.      

Proposals must contain the following components:

  1. A completed application page
  2. A proposal narrative (not to exceed 3 pages) addressing the following elements:
    -  Statement of need/problem to be addressed and likely contribution to the discipline;

-  Relationship to COVID-19 topic area, if applicable
-  Description of the scope of the work for the proposed project including methodology;

-  Timeline;
-  Plan for dissemination; 

-  Plan for seeking extramural funding;

Brief budget justification for fellowship summer salary: description of time required for RSCA project; 

Brief budget justification for RSCA-related expenses: description of project requirements;

-  References/works cited, as appropriate (counted as part of the 3-page limit).

  1. A Budget Form – use only if requesting funds for RSCA-related expenses

Criteria for Selection 

Proposals will be evaluated by college or University Library level committees and categorized into: fund at all costs (category 5), fund if sufficient funds available (category 3), or do not fund at this stage (category 1).

The following criteria will be considered:

-  Clarity and completeness of the proposal

-  Contribution to knowledge and scholarship in the discipline (i.e., state significance)

-  Research deals with COVID-19 impact effectively

-  Likely educational impact on students

-  Feasibility of the proposed activity within the timeline

-  Appropriateness of the proposed budget (i.e., the budget request is consistent with the narrative)


RSCA award funds may not be used to purchase gifts or gift cards.

When is funding approved?

By late May.  You will be sent an email notification of award or denial.  For those offered the award, you will be asked to accept the conditions of the award via DocuSign and your Chair and Dean will be asked to sign acknowledgement of the award.

How do I get support?

If you have questions about the CSU Central RSCA Grant Program, please contact the Office of Research at officeofresearch@sjsu.edu using “CSU Central RSCA” in the subject line in care of Research AVP Pamela Stacks.

Additional Information