Faculty Initiatives Fund

Proposal timeline for the 2020-2021 academic year:

FIF Information:

Part of Rice's Creative Venture Funds, Rice University’s Faculty Initiatives Fund (FIF) is an internal funding mechanism that awards competitive grants of between $5,000-$50,000 to Rice faculty. (In extenuating circumstances, grants of up to $75,000 can be considered.) These grants are intended to help faculty members develop adventurous research and scholarly projects that enhance the university and lead to larger endeavors, research breakthroughs, external funding opportunities, or unusually creative works.


Full-time and research faculty members at Rice are eligible to apply. Proposals may be submitted individually or by a group of faculty. Please inform your department chair that you have applied. Faculty awarded a FIF grant in the previous cycle are not eligible for this year's round of submissions.

Review process:

The review will be done by a committee of referees assembled by the Vice President for Global and Digital Strategy, with input from the Vice Provost for Research. This committee will be comprised of faculty from across the university, and they may not be FIF applicants. As needed, the committee will seek the input of the two outside referees that applicants will list in their application materials.

Selection criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. The quality, significance, and potential impact of the project;
  2. The contribution the project makes to furthering the Vision for the Second Century (V2C2), particularly in proposals that might help the University do any of the following:
    • Engage with diverse external constituencies (e.g. the city of Houston, the Rice alumni community, or others);
    • Enhance a department or interdisciplinary unit’s reputation;
  3. The likelihood that the project will lead to outside funding;

Applicants are encouraged to seek funding from other available sources. Funds awarded will be for academic year 2020-2021. Funds may carry over for a second academic year in extenuating circumstances, but will require prior approval

How to apply:

Proposals are due by January 31, 2020 and must include the following documents in PDF format:

  1. A project description (no more than four pages (in 12-point type), including figures);
  2. A budget indicating how the requested funds would be expended and listing resources sought or acquired from other sources, using this budget form;
  3. A curriculum vitae for each applicant of no more than three pages per CV;
  4. A current & pending support document listing any awards of each applicant, using this form.

Proposal submission page

The Vice President for Global and Digital Strategy plans to announce the selected grant recipients in February 2020.