ORSP Investment Grants Program (ORSP-IG)

In 2015 and 2016, ORSP is piloting a competitive new internal grants program. ORSP Investment Grants (IG) of between $500 and $10,000 will stimulate sustainable, competitive research and scholarship by:

  • facilitating preliminary data collection or external funding applications
  • improving grantsmanship and increasing competitiveness for external grants
  • facilitating collaborations among diverse scholar/researchers
  • providing opportunities to mentor/supervise students in research—especially undergraduates and all students from underrepresented groups
  • promoting scholarly activities aligning with UM strategic goals and initiatives
  • supporting activities that lead to the advancement of UM faculty/researchers

ORSP-IG Round 1 was a two-phase competition held in Spring/Summer 2015. 67 pre-proposals were received in the pre-proposal phase, resulting in 20 invited full proposals, and 11 awards, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 each. See Round 1 Winners and Round 1 press release/news story.

ORSP-IG Round 2

ORSP-IG Round 2 is planned for Winter/Spring 2016, with the following key dates:

  • final Round 2 RFP to be released by January 18, 2016
  • OPTIONAL pre-proposals are due February 7.
  • full proposals are due March 7, 2016 [extended from previous Feb. 28 deadline]

For application instructions, additional due dates, and review criteria, please read and follow the instructions in the ORSP-IG Round 2 RFP. Download the ORSP-IG Round 2 Application Form (,docx, latest is v4, dated 2/3/2016) and edit to create your proposal, then upload the proposal other required documents to the UM ORSP InfoReady Review Portal to submit your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Round 2

What can ORSP-IG Round 1 funds be used for?
Generally, IG grant funds can be used for any activities that external grants can be used for, and that are compliant with UM policies regarding financial management of grant funds. Those activities may include, but are not limited to: graduate student stipends, undergraduate student wages, research participation costs, commodities, contractual services, travel, and the costs associated with conducting meetings or conferences. However, ORSP-IG Round 2 funds may not be spent on employee wages/salaries or permanent equipment. Otherwise, it is up to the proposer to read and understand all applicable UM policies related to how grant funds can be spent.

Can funds be used to provide faculty members pay during the academic year or summer?
No, ORSP-IG Round-2 funds cannot be used to pay faculty/researcher salaries. 

May interdisciplinary teams submit ORSP-IG applications?
Absolutely. One team member should be designated as the PI of the project, but the other team members may be listed as co-PIs or other participants.

May a UM student submit ORSP-IG application as a PI or be listed as a co-PI?
No. As stated in the ORSP-IG Request for Pre-proposals, ORSP-IG proposers “must be eligible to serve as a PI on a UM sponsored project (per UM Policy Number 10000651: Definition of a Principal Investigator) in order to be listed as a PI or co-PI on an IG proposal/award; any waiver request from an authorized administrator must be included in a supplementary document at proposal time.”

Are pre-proposals required for Round 2, and if so, do I have to use the downloadable application for the pre-proposal? Do I have to get administrative approval for pre-proposals?
For Round 2, pre-proposals are NOT REQUIRED. However, if you have an idea for a proposal and would like ORSP feedback on that idea before investing the time to develop a full proposal, you may optionally prepare and submit a 1-page pre-proposal for ORSP review/comment. A suggested format for this one-pager is the Project Summary format for the full proposal. Any such optional pre-proposal must be received by the posted deadline. Administrative approvals are not required for pre-proposals.

Are ORSP Transmittals required for ORSP-IG proposals?

For the IG proposal budget, can we assume that, if funded, the entire budget amount will be available for direct costs associated with the project?
Yes, the IG budget is for direct costs. No indirect costs need be budgeted for.

Can I request IG funds for a project for which other sponsored funding is pending?
Yes, but you should make it clear to the reviewers what the scope and value of the work performed will be in both cases:

  1. in the case that you do receive the funding from the other sponsor, and

  2. in the case that you do not receive the funding.

You should also seriously consider waiting until you find out whether the other grant is funded before applying for an IG, and referencing the sponsor’s reviews (if positive) to establish the Intellectual Merit value.

Can IG Round 2 grants be used to support teaching projects?
Generally, IG grants are not intended to support teaching. If a proposed project includes both a scholarly and teaching component, the reviewers will be asked to evaluate it based on the potential overall scholarly (not teaching) impact. Research about teaching and learning is considered scholarship for IG purposes.

Can center directors apply for IG grants?
Yes, any UM faculty or staff member who is eligible to serve as a PI on a UM sponsored project under UM Policy Number 10000651: Definition of a Principal Investigator may serve as a PI on an ORSP-IG grant.

Can an adjunct faculty member apply for an IG grants?
It depends. A UM faculty or staff member who is eligible to serve as a PI on a UM sponsored project under UM Policy Number 10000651: Definition of a Principal Investigator may serve as a PI on an ORSP-IG grant. Read the policy, and if you think you are eligible, but if you think that eligibility may not be clear to the reviewers, reference the policy when arguing your case in the proposal or pre-proposal.

Can faculty at UMMC or non-UM institutions serve as a PI or Co-PI on an IG grant?
Only UM faculty or staff eligible to serve as a PI on a UM sponsored project under UM Policy Number 10000651 may serve or be listed as a PI. However, collaborators from other institutions CAN be listed as unfunded co-PIs.

Can a person be listed as a PI or co-PI on multiple IG Grants or Awards?
An eligible person can be listed as a PI or co-PI on up to two IG Round 2 proposals for any given round of funding, a maximum of one of which can be for a single investigator (i.e., noncollaborative) project. However, once a person receives an IG award as a PI or co-PI, that person must wait until the award period concludes before applying again.

Can I apply for an IG Round 2 grant now, for a project with an anticipated start and/or end date that is months away?
Yes, you can. 

If my project does not fall within any of the special topics listed in the Round 2 RFP, does it still have a chance?
The Round 2 RFP lists several "topics of particular interest." ORSP is especially interested in seeing proposals in these areas, but we are also interested to funding the most promising and high scoring proposals in any area. No quotas have been set for funding proposals within the topics of interest. May the best proposal win.

My Round 1 pre-proposal resulted in an invitation to submit a full proposal, but I elected to defer until a later round. Should I submit that full proposal to this Round 2 RFP?
Yes, it will be reviewed as a new proposal with the other Round 2 proposals. Be sure to follow the instructions (and RFP) for Round 2 proposals, not Round 1 instructions.

Why should I waste my time writing a proposal with such long odds? The funding rate for Round 1 was less than 20% (with only 11 awards resulting from 67 pre-proposals), and the expected funding for Round 2 is even less. 
We suggest several reasons:

  1. Although we only expect to invest $25,000 to $30,000 in Round 2, on 5 to 10 awards, there is always the possibility that additional funds may become available that allow us to fund more. 

  2. Going through the exercise of proposing and the reviewing feedback you receive from the internal review process can help you sharpen your case and make a more competitive proposal to an external sponsor.

  3. The more ORSP knows about the projects you hope to conduct, the better we will be able to help you look for appropriate funding opportunities, collaborators, or other resources.


How/where do I submit my optional pre-proposal? 
Through the InfoReady portal at https://olemiss.infoready4.com/. Select the opportunity called "ORSP Investment Grants (ORSP-IG) Round 2 OPTIONAL Pre-Proposals 

Must proposals be on the topic of race in order to be competitive? And, what do you mean by "race"? 
ORSP solicits, welcomes, and expects to fund proposals addressing a wide variety of topics, not just race. It's just that, we are hoping to see some race related proposals among those submitted. And by race, we are referring to various races and racial issues within humankind, not the broader animal kingdom. 

How much space in the four-page Project Description should be devoted to references? 
It just depends on the nature of your proposal. We anticipate that proposals might spend a half-page on average on the references, but some may have zero references, while others may have closer to a page. 
The Round 2 Application Form (v3, updated 1/15/2016) includes a section for "Intellectual Merit and Peer Endorsement" but there is no reference to "Peer Endorsement in the Round 2 RFP. What are you looking for there?
"Peer Endorsement" was a holdover term from Round 1. Since this notion was difficult to convey and evaluate, we have dropped "Peer Endorsement" as a component of the "Intellectual Merit" review criterion in Round 2. "Peer Endorsement" has been romoved from version 4 of the Round 2 Application Form. If you are working with version 3, you can just ignore the reference to "Peer Endorsement."

For additional questions about this program, e-mail Jason Hale (jghale@olemiss.edu), ORSP Director of Research Resources. 

ORSP-IG Round 1 Award Winners

The eleven 2015 “ORSP-IG Round 1” winning proposals and principal investigators were:

“Collaborative Political Science Survey Research”
Conor Dowling, assistant professor of political science

“Characterizing Gunshot Residue from a Firearm Containing 3D Printed Components: Feasibility of Collecting and Fingerprinting Polymer Residue using Thermal Analysis and Mass Spectrometry”
James Cizdziel, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Identifying Neural Correlates of Increased Fluency Due to Multi-Modal Speech Feedback in a Stuttering Population”
Dwight Waddell, associate professor of electrical engineering

Toward a better understanding of groundwater recharge in the Mississippi Delta in support of sustainable aquifer management”
Andrew M. O’Reilly, assistant professor of geology and geological engineering

“The Effects of Authoritarian Iconography: An Experimental Test”
Yael Zeira, Croft assistant professor, political science and international studies

Documenting Mississippi Stories”
Ted Ownby, professor of history, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture

Visualization and Development for the SHE™ Application”
Phillip Rhodes, associate professor of computer and information science

Mapping Language and Culture”
Allison Burkette, associate professor of modern languages

“Archeology Chemistry: Identifying Migration and Trade in Mesoamerica”
Carolyn Freiwald, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology

“An International Graduate Program in Gravitational Physics”
Emanuele Berti, associate professor of physics and astronomy

“Recovering the Lost Library of Chartres: Pioneering the Digital Future of the Past at the University of Mississippi”
Gregory Heyworth, associate professor of English