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Strategic Awards for Research Transitions (START) [formerly “SRAIS”] Request for Proposals

Fiscal Year 2018 (7/1/17 – 6/30/18)


The Strategic Awards for Research Transitions (START) provides funding for UMBC faculty to advance their scholarly and research endeavors, to compete more effectively for external support, and to pursue new areas of inquiry.


All faculty who hold academic appointments at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and who are eligible to submit applications for external support are eligible for START.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Funding Period

Fiscal Year 2018 (7/1/17 – 6/30/18)


Maximum START award is $25,000. Approximately 10 proposals will be awarded. Proposals selected for an award will be funded for the full amount proposed. Faculty may include a variety of costs in their proposed budget including costs associated with buying-out teaching time and travel expenses. See the following START Proposal Instructions & Guidelines for more information on allowable costs. Proposals with costs for buying-out teaching time must be approved by the applicant’s department chair.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Quality of project and significance in its field;
  • Likelihood of attracting follow-on funding – where appropriate;
  • Justification of need for funding and consistency with the purpose of START;
  • Ability of applicant to carry out work; and
  • Feasibility of completion of the project within the funding period and the proposed budget.

Priority (as captured in the “Justification” criterion above) will be given to faculty who are establishing themselves in a new scholarly direction, such that the initial work funded by the START program will enable a recipient to continue in a new direction after the completion of the START award. Similarly, proposals from faculty who are re-establishing themselves after an interruption (familial, medical, professional/administrative service, etc.) will also be prioritized. Proposals from other senior faculty will be considered, provided they include new interdisciplinary collaborations which will enable the recipient to enter a new area of study. The review committee will also take into account the rankings and justifications provided by department chairs/center directors.

Review Process

Faculty submit START proposals through the UMBC Research website. In the week following the submission deadline, department chairs will rank all START proposals from their department based on the Evaluation Criteria. Chairs will include a justification for their ranking. The faculty serving on the DRIF Advisory Committee will review proposals received by the deadline and, taking the chairs’ input into consideration, will make final recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Research.

How to Apply

Apply using the web form at


Don Engel, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Research