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Fall 2021 Research Instrumentation Fund (RIF)

Fall 2021 Research Instrumentation Fund (RIF)
Deadline: Friday, October 1st, 2021 by 5:00pm MST
Click here to apply!

The Research Instrumentation Fund (RIF) provides support to faculty and core facilities for new equipment purchasesor to replace/upgrade existing research equipment. The VPR Office runs two cycles of the RIF Program – one for Fall semester, and one for Spring semester. Equipment purchased with RIF funds is meant to be shared as broadly as possible and used to facilitate externally funded research and scholarship.  

Eligibility Requirements
The Research Instrumentation Fund is available to:

  • Tenure-line faculty and Career-line faculty who hold at least a .75 FTE appointment at time of submission. One application per applicant only.
  • Recognized University of Utah core facilities(Note: Only core facility directors should initiate core equipment requests. Only one request per core facility each cycle.)

Allowable Grant Expenditures 
All RIF funds must be expended within one year. In exceptional circumstances, the VPR Office may consider a single written request for an extension. Meaningful justification is required.

Reporting Requirements
A final report must be submitted (via InfoReady) within three months of the award end date. Any applicants who have not submitted the final report for a previous RIF award will not be considered for future VPR funding until the final report is submitted and approved.

Program Information

  • Matching funds: Matching funds are required for an application to be considered for a RIF award. Matching funds are an indicator of support from the applicant’s Department/College and/or equipment users, and demonstrate the importance of the acquisition to those supporting the application. A minimum of 30% in matching funds is required, except in well-documented and exceptional circumstances. The source of matching funds should be identified in the application. Failure to provide amount and source information for all matching funds may negatively affect the RIF application.
  • Best Price Documentation: The VPR Office highly encourages faculty and cores to seek the best price for equipment, and to provide documentation of this negotiation as support for their application.  Such discounts will be considered in the evaluation of the RIF application. Manufacture discounts and in-kind donations, however, are not considered matching funds.
  • Instrumentation for Teaching/Training: RIF funds arise from indirect cost reimbursements from research contracts and grants, and hence are earmarked solely for research and not for teaching/training purposes.  If requested instrumentation will also be used for teaching/training, the fraction of use for teaching/training must be provided and the funding for that fraction of the acquisition, maintenance, and use must be identified.  Matching funds for teaching/training purposes are independent from the matching funds for research purposes.
  • Equipment Verification: RIF is designed to provide new research instrumentation, OR to replace/upgrade existing research instruments. Please verify that similar equipment is not currently available on campus through the Find Equipment If similar equipment is available, the applicant will need to provide meaningful justification why additional equipment is needed.
  • Prohibited Equipment: The RIF program is not able to fund computer or data collection/storage hardware. 
  • Equipment Replacement Requests: Requests for replacement equipment must provide documentation on prior use, e.g. log book if it is a core device then show revenue and user base.
  • RIF Resubmission Requests: Resubmitted proposals must include a point-by-point response to all previous reviewer comments, explicitly stating a) what the previous concerns were, and b) how the new proposal has addressed or clarified those comments and concerns. An application will be automatically rejected if it does not adequately respond to the previous reviewers' comments and concerns. Reviewer comments can be found under your original application submission in InfoReady. Please contact if you cannot locate your previous review comments.

Application Requirements

  1. Applicant Information
  2. Equipment Name and Overview
  3. Equipment Total Cost
  4. Matching Funds Total
  5. Matching Funds Source
  6. Additional Costs (Note: must be itemized and well-justified)
  7. Total Amount Requested from VPR
  8. Proposal Narrative – must include;
    • How the equipment will be managed and maintained (including anticipated lifespan and continued maintenance needs of equipment)
    • How ongoing/recurring costs will be supported
    • Plan to provide access to other researchers (including timeframe, costs/recharge, etc.)
    • Where equipment will be housed (note: Core applicants must provide justification if equipment would not be housed in a Core facility)
    • How equipment can/will be shared by more than one laboratory
    • Impact of equipment/RIF award on scholarship and productivity
    • Probability of increased extramural funding resulting from equipment/RIF award
    • Verification that equipment is unique/new to the University, OR a replacement or upgrade to existing equipment.
    • Any additional benefits the equipment would provide to the University of Utah.
  1. Letter(s) of Support Upload
    • Faculty applicants must include a letter of support from the College Dean, Department Chair, and any additional supporting faculty users, including those who are providing matching funds.
    • Applicants intending to house equipment in a Core facility must include a letter from the Director of the core Facility indicating 1) support of the equipment, 2) how the facility is prepared to manage/maintain the equipment on behalf of the PI, and 3) how the equipment could impact the strategic priorities of the facility.
  1. Instrumentation Quote Upload
    • All applicants must upload a price quote for requested equipment.

Note: ALL resubmissions must include a point-by-point response to all previous reviewer comments, explicitly stating how the new proposal has addressed or clarified those comments and concerns. This should be included under the "Resubmission Statement" upload box in the InfoReady competition. New proposals are not required to complete this step.

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Last Updated: 8/30/21