Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Research Development (ORD) in the Division of University Research along with the Office of the President, Divisions of Academic Affairs, Rowan Global, the Senate Research Committee, and the Division of DEI are pleased to announce the Rowan University Research CATALYST (Continuing to Advance Training, Alliances, and Learning to Yield Stronger Ties) Program. The focus of this internal funding program is to catalyze research and scholarly and creative works, collaborative relationships and impact the ability of Rowan University to effectively educate and innovate. The proposed work should be compatible with the scholarly expertise of the proposer(s) and have the potential to greatly advance the career of the investigator(s). CATALYST is competitively-awarded funding eligible to full time Rowan faculty members (and teams of faculty members) with the aim of supporting efforts towards establishing an ambitious and internationally competitive research and scholarly and creative works program. Full-time faculty members (holding membership in AFT Glassboro, AFT Camden, and AAUP School of Osteopathic Medicine) from all three campuses, and in all disciplines are welcome to apply. Rowan faculty members who are beginning their careers are especially encouraged to apply. Faculty members are encouraged to engage students in the excitement of research and scholarly and creative works. CATALYST will provide up to $30,000 (maximum award size for teams of researchers) in funding to catalyze these research and scholarly and creative works.

Proposal Deadlines:

  • Fall 2021 Deadline – December 20, 2021
  • Spring 2022 Deadline – April 18, 2022


The purposes of the funding initiative are to:

  • Enhance Rowan University’s ability to effectively educate and innovate.
  • Providing support to faculty ultimately seeking external grants;
  • Advancing the full-time faculty member's portfolio in their field of creative and scholarly works (according to the metrics established by his/her tenure and re-contracting criteria);
  • Developing and demonstrating alignment of their research and scholarly and creative work with practice in the field of endeavor.

Highest consideration will be given to applications which address ways to inform implementation for Rowan’s roadmap for the future – read more University of the Future here).

Within their application, faculty members should address how their proposed activity will have broad reaching impacts on one or more of the topics:

  • Impacting the faculty members’ broader professional community;
  • Increasing education and workforce development/training;
  • Enhancing campus facilities and infrastructure;
  • Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Rowan University (and/or beyond);
    • Note that proposals may demonstrate DEI impact from the following list: diverse and underrepresented populations, women (for disciplines in which women are underrepresented), neuro-diverse students, first generation students, students who are veterans or active duty service members, etc.

Faculty members applying for the CATALYST funds are encouraged (but not required) to consider the impacts of the recent pandemic within scope of their project.


If you are interested to apply, please submit a proposal through Rowan Digital Works at the bottom of this page. The Office of Research Development will announce awardees by early-June 2022. All proposal submissions must align with the following format:

Title Page (1 page)

Include names and affiliations of lead researcher and collaborators, title of proposal.

Abstract (1 page)

Present a concise, self-contained one-page summary of the project written for an audience of reviewers that may not possess expert knowledge of your area of research or discipline. The summary should address the following, as appropriate by the scope of the proposed work:

  • Statement of problem to be addressed or research question to be studied
  • Scientific, scholarly, or artistic significance of the project;
  • Brief description of your proposed solution to the problem or how your proposed hypothesis will extend the base of scholarly knowledge about the problem;
  • Brief description of the objectives of the project and the anticipated results and outcomes;
    • Please describe how the project will enhance Rowan University’s ability to effectively educate and innovate;
  • Broader reaching impacts of the project to develop one or more of the following:
    • Impacting the faculty members’ broader professional community;
    • Increasing education and workforce development/training;
    • Enhancing campus facilities and infrastructure;
    • Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Rowan University (and/or beyond)

Project Description (3 pages)

The project description should be written for an audience of colleagues with similar interests and expertise; however, please avoid esoteric explanations and jargon. Please do not exceed three pages. The specific contents of this section, the headings of subsections, etc. should be representative of typical proposals submitted to other funding agencies in your area. The following information should be included:

  • Introduction: This section should provide a more detailed background about the project. Summarize any references to your relevant prior work and the work of others in this field.
  • Method / Experimental Procedure / Creative Activity: Provide more detail on the goals and objectives of the proposed work. Explain the method, procedure, or activity you will conduct. Discuss expected outcomes of the project. Provide a brief timeline of proposed activities.
  • Broader Impacts: Expand on Part 5 of the Abstract. How will the project benefit you professionally? Will students be involved in the project? If so, how will they benefit? How will the project benefit the university, community, and the profession in general?
  • Qualifications of the Applicant: Explain why you are uniquely qualified to conduct this project. If this is work in your current area of expertise, provide evidence. If this constitutes a new area or departure from your expertise area, specify the reasons for the change in direction and the prospects of success.
  • Rationale for Funding: Explain why the CATALYST should fund this work. List any other external funding opportunities that exist, if possible. What are the chances for obtaining future funding? Is this proposal asking for ramp-up funds for a pilot study or is this one-time funding?

References (1 Page)

Current Biographical Summary with Relevant Publications (2 pages per researcher)

  • Educational background: degrees and year in which they are awarded;
  • Appointments: in reverse chronological order;
  • Publications/Creative Works: Only in citation form;
  • Related works: The most relevant works, three at most;
  • Other works: Most recent and / or other noteworthy works, three at most;
  • Professional activities or service functions: list most recent, relevant, or important three activities;
  • Recent and active grants: list all active grants from all sources, as well as the three most recently completed projects. Include the funding agency, the amount, and duration of the funding cycle.

Budget (please download form here)

All budget items must directly support the proposed effort and must be clearly justified. All equipment and other non-expendable supplies purchased with CATALYST funds are and remain the property of Rowan University.

  • Salaries and Wages: Faculty salary is not permitted. Salaries and wages requested for student workers shall be based on prevailing departmental / college rates.
  • External Consultant Fees: May be requested to assist in areas of the project where additional expertise is required. Daily rate and number of days working on the project must be provided.
  • Travel: Only travel clearly associated with the research project and not otherwise available through departmental or college travel funds will be considered. All travel should be calculated following the University’s daily per diem meal allowances and applicable lodging and transportation policies.
  • Equipment, Supplies, Materials, and Other Direct Costs: All requests for equipment, supplies, materials, hardware, software, and other items directly related to the project must be justified. Expenses generally provided by the department or college or those expenses typically covered by personal funds will not be allowed. Therefore, routine photocopying, commuting to / from Rowan, memberships to professional organizations, internet access, etc. are not permitted.

In addition, please note that any proposed project must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  1. All lead researchers must hold a current teaching appointment to Rowan University. Collaborators may hold appointments at extramural institutions of higher education (IHEs).
  2. All projects are limited to a $30,000 award maximum.
  3. All projects must identify the broad reaching impacts of the proposed project in their application.
  4. All projects must be completed between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.


The goal of the evaluation process is to ensure a fair and unbiased review of proposal submissions. The submissions will be reviewed by colleagues who are knowledgeable about the subject matter (primarily for technical/creative merit) and also by faculty members whose expertise lies in other areas. The University Senate Research Committee will assist in the proposal review process by facilitating the review process with two or more reviewers for each proposal.

Committee members will also review all assigned proposals, and will judge the proposal on a scale of 1–5 (see the evaluation form):

1 - Poor:
proposal is lacking components, no coherent plan, and possesses other deficiencies;
2 - Fair:
proposal has some unique concepts, but these are not well-developed or well-planned;
3 - Good:
proposal has good ideas and a sound plan. However, some key components are not well-developed;
4 - Very Good:
proposal has very good ideas, well-conceived plan, with wide-reaching broader impacts;
5 - Excellent:
proposal addresses very timely and important issues, with a clear, convincing, and well-conceived project plan. The proposed work, if successful, will have significant and broad impact not only to the applicant, but also to the students, university, community, and / or profession in general.

The final list of proposals recommended by the committee for funding will then be given to the Vice President for Research, who will make the final decision on which proposals will be funded in collaboration with the Chair of the University Senate Research Committee. All awards are subject to availability of funds.

If you have questions or concerns, please let me know. Have a wonderful day!

All my best,
Sarah Piddington
Assistant VP for Research
Phone: 856-256-5482
Rowan University │ Division of University Research
South Jersey Technology Park
Suite 103
107 Gilbreth Parkway
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062