University Grants Academy (UGA)

Issue Date: October 8, 2020

The University Grants Academy (UGA) supports faculty members from across the campus through the process of writing a significant external grant proposal to fund their research, scholarship, and creative activity (RSCA1). The UGA is a semester-long developmental experience designed for faculty members to increase their capacity to obtain extramurally funded grants. 

The UGA welcomes faculty writing a first-time single investigator grant or sponsored fellowship to fund their RSCA, as well as those looking to build SJSU institutional capacity with RSCA-related public programming, community-engagement, or curriculum development grants. As part of the application process faculty will need to identify the likely funding opportunity they will pursue. Funding sources can be from any federal, state, or local agency, as well as publicly announced funding opportunities from private foundations.

The semester-long program involves the following:

  • Introductory large-group meetings that involve a mix of presentations and interactive discussions providing grant-getting basics, institutional resources and “Research in a Minute” presentations by participants to facilitate networking among the Spring 2021 cohort.
  • Weekly attendance in small-group cohorts led by a dedicated facilitator–an experienced extramurally funded SJSU faculty member–who conducts interactive meetings providing technical expertise, support, resources, and mentoring. 
  • Proposal reviews by senior scholars in your specific field and external to SJSU.
  • Individualized coaching and proposal reviews by your facilitator to support the completion and submission of an external grant proposal.
  • A final large-group celebration of the Spring 2021 UGA program which includes an updated rendition of “Research in a Minute” presentations to facilitate networking and future research collaborations.

1 The kinds of projects considered “RSCA” vary by discipline, department and college; in general, RSCA work results in accomplishments that would be listed in the Scholarly/Artistic/Professional Achievements category of your faculty dossier. “Creative Activity” refers to those activities aligned with the Scholarly/Artistic/Professional Achievements category of the dossier for faculty in creative tracks of their disciplines. If you have questions about whether your project would be categorized as RSCA, consult with your chair, your college Associate Dean of Research (or relevant contact), or review your college RSCA metrics. You may also email Research AVP Pamela Stacks (


Eligibility Requirements


Tenured/tenure-track (T/TT) faculty are eligible to apply if they have not yet been the PI on an significant external RSCA grant award.


Available Funding 


Faculty who are selected for the UGA will receive 0.2 assigned time in Spring 2021 and $500 in Professional Development funds into their SJSURF RSCA accounts (providing a proposal is submitted through the Research Foundation or Tower Foundation by the first open submission window after UGA completion).


UGA Grant Application Requirements

Applications have three required components:

1.  A completed UGA Grant Application Form (please note: forms will need to be signed either electronically via DocuSign, or manually and then scanned)

2.  UGA Grant proposal narrative

3.  A current CV

Required Component 1
The UGA Grant Application Form requires several items of information including:

1.  Your ORCiD ID number [Get an ORCID ID here].

2.  List of your previous RSCA projects within the last five years as PI, Co-PI, or consultant.

3.  Identification of the targeted source of funding (e.g., foundation or public funding agency) and specific request for proposals (RFP) for the funding opportunity, including a link to the live RFP or attachment of a complete copy of the RFP if there is no live link (last-year’s RFP is OK if it reliably repeats annually).

4.  A preliminary proposal budget estimate.

5.  Dean and Chair pre-approval of your participation in the UGA and the Spring 2021 0.2 assigned time.

Required Component 2
A proposal narrative (maximum three pages) containing the following:

Part A - Justification for Participation in the UGA

1.  A description of how you envision the mentoring and support from the UGA program will enhance your ability to complete a competitive extramurally funded proposal and how it will improve your RSCA trajectory throughout your career. If you are applying for a public programming, community engagement, or curriculum development, please also indicate how your proposed project will benefit SJSU.

2.  An analysis and explanation of the fit of your proposal with the identified RFP and why your RSCA products to date will contribute to a competitive proposal submission.

Part B - Project Description as Informed by an Analysis of a Specific RFP*

1.  An introduction to the problem or issue being targeted by the proposed RSCA project and why the problem is important.

2.  RSCA Strategy Project Description, i.e. what you propose to do and how it will be implemented (the scope and methodology of the project to be funded).  

3.  A discussion of preliminary data or prior works that show the approach, scope and methodology proposed is feasible and/or that you have the required capability to conduct the project.

4.  References (no page limit). In 1-3 above be sure and include discussion of and references to your own relevant work so we can assess your expertise in the proposed area.

*If you are applying to revise a previously submitted external proposal replace B.1-4 with A-F below.

A.  The previously submitted external proposal.

B.  Any feedback received on the proposal (i.e. the reviewer comments)

C.  Your detailed response on how to address each reviewer's comments and your general approach to revising the proposal (including any new references). 

D.  If no reviewer comments were provided, indicate how you plan to revise the proposal during the UGA and why the approach will be successful.

E.  A discussion of how the mentoring and support from the UGA program is needed to support a competitive re-submission of your proposal. 

F.  A list of any new references mentioned to address C and D above (no page limit).

Required Component 3

A current CV


Submission Details

Completed applications (if possible) should be compiled into one PDF file, must include the necessary signatures, and must be submitted electronically no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020, to the Office of Research at with a copy to your college (see email submission addresses below).  See UGA Grant Proposal Requirements above for the requirements of each section. To help us identify your submission, please use the keywords “UGA Application” in the subject line of the email. Late proposals will not be accepted. 

College & Graduate School of Business -

College of Education -

College of Engineering -

College of Health & Human Sciences -

College of Humanities & the Arts -

College of Professional and Global Education -

College of Science -

College of Social Sciences -

University Library -


Application Evaluation


Applications will be reviewed by the RSCA Advisory Council–comprising the Associate Deans of Research, the Dean of Graduate Studies, and staff from the Division of Research & Innovation. The Division of Research & Innovation reserves the right to select or deny, at its sole discretion, any, all, or some of the applications for award. 

The members of the review committee will be asked to answer the following questions about each proposal they review:

1.  What is the likelihood that the RSCA work proposed here will lead to the successful submission of a competitive proposal for the identified RFP? (a) Is the proposed work a good fit with the identified external RFP? (b) Are the RSCA ideas, approach, and methodology well developed?  (c) Has the applicant demonstrated their expertise and track record to support the proposed activities? 

2.  Is there strong evidence that the applicant will be able to complete a competitive proposal within the UGA timeframe? (a) Does the candidate have sufficient preliminary RSCA data/work, as required by their specific field? (b) Does the faculty member have a strong record of RSCA products and project completion?

3.  How well does the faculty’s description of the mentoring and support they need to complete a competitive proposal match what the UGA program offers?

4.  Is it clear that the UGA program will significantly enhance the faculty member’s career-RSCA trajectory?

5.  If the faculty member is applying to resubmit a proposal that was denied funding, is the revision of significant scope for the UGA?  (Note that the DR&I Research Development team is available to consult with faculty on resubmissions, even when not UGA participants.)

6.  If the faculty member is applying for a public programming, community engagement, or curriculum development grant, is the project of significant strategic benefit to SJSU?  What is the impact of this on the faculty member’s career trajectory?

Process Timeline


Application Form: Deadline Friday, November 6, 2020, 5:00 pm

***November 5th update: Deadline extended to Monday, November 9, 2020, 

9:00 am***. Applications turned in after 9 am will not be accepted.

Review Period: November 9 – November 20, 2020

Notification Date: November 24, 2020

UGA Program Period: Spring 2021

  • First meeting (required) will be the week of January 25, 2021
  • Proposals and all supporting documents must be completed by May 24, 2021 (actual proposal submission can be at a later date depending on the funding agency’s deadline).
  • There will be a UGA celebration (required) the week of May 24, 2021.


Contact Information


For any matters related to the submission process, please contact the Office of Research in care of Emma Attard, Project and Communications Coordinator, at

If you have questions about the UGA not related to the submission process, please contact the Office of Research in care of Dr. Julia Gaudinski, Director of Research Development, at or (408) 924-2431.