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RGI Overview

The Research Growth Initiative® is an internal seed funding program that supports high-quality research projects in the early stages. Its objective is to increase UWM’s research productivity, scholarship, creative endeavors, collaborative projects, and external funding by investing in proposals selected through an independent and objective process.

Proposals appropriate for program support are those that meet all of the following:

  1. Describe specific, early-stage research projects in need of seed funding for data collection, archival work, establishing proof-of concept, etc.  Capital equipment may be included in the budget request, but must be critical to the specific project proposed.
  2. Have a one-year budget.
  3. Lead to submission of competitive proposals for externally funded—and thereby self-sustaining—individual and collaborative research through grants, fellowships, or university/industry partnerships.

RGI does not fund projects where the main purpose is developing infrastructure; however, infrastructure may be included in a research proposal.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicants must have UWM Principal Investigator status and the expectation of a continuing appointment.
  • Co-PIs can be non-UWM employees or eligible UWM employees. Non-UWM employees cannot receive salary from RGI funds, but other payment-for-service options are possible.
  • Lead PIs are limited to submission of one proposal per application cycle, but can be co-PI on other proposals. Future faculty and researchers with appointments beginning in spring or fall 2014 are eligible to apply. A UWM e-mail address is required. For those beginning in the fall, funds will not be released until the end of August 2014.
  • Those who received an RGI award in the last two years (funding began July 2012 or July 2013) are ineligible to apply for the 2014-15 funding cycle.

Eligible expenses

The RGI aims to give you what you need to successfully complete the early phase of a project. A broad list of expense types includes the following:

  • Course buyout—each faculty member who is a PI or Co-PI on a proposal may request one course buyout per year (set at 12.5% of your academic year salary).
  • Travel support needed for successful completion of the proposed project, and dissemination of results.
  • Capital expenditures including equipment purchases, renovations, and library acquisitions. Equipment requests must be part of a specific research project. Cost sharing at 50% is required for equipment priced at $10,000 or more that has a lifetime beyond that of the project.
  • Materials and supplies.
  • Personnel (post-doctoral research associates, graduate assistants, student hourly help)..
  • Purchase of services needed for the project.
  • Publication costs.

Cost sharing for Capital Equipment

Cost-sharing at 50% is required for capital purchases funded through the RGI program. You are also strongly encouraged to seek external equipment grants.

RGI and Catalyst grants

For those who submit the same proposal to the RGI and Catalyst programs, and who list the same set of potential reviewers, the same review may be used for both programs. Additionally, any RGI award may be reduced by the amount of the Catalyst grant.


Page last updated on: 03/21/2014