Internal Grant Competitions

UTC has several internal funding opportunities available. Several of these are administered by the Faculty Senate; however, the following are coordinated by ORSP with significant input from academic faculty and administration.

 Student SEARCH Grants Student SEARCH Grants: Funding for faculty-led student research
Erlanger-UTCOM-UTC Collaborative Grants Erlanger Health System and UT College of Medicine are partnering with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga to support new inter-institutional collaborative research pilot grant program. 
CRISP Collaborative Research Initiative for Sponsored Programs: Funding for collaborative faculty team research
NSF-MRI Internal selection competition to determine which team is eligible to apply for the NSF-Major Research Instrumentation grant program
ORAU Internal selection competition to determine which two junior faculty members are eligible to apply for an ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award
Faculty PREP UTC Faculty Pre-Tenure Enhancement Program - As a means of further ensuring success towards promotion and tenure, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is piloting a program that will support pre-tenure faculty in bolstering their research portfolio in anticipation of the promotion and tenure process. 
NSF Proposal Prep Ten faculty will be selected, in a competitive process, to participate in a proposal preparation workshop to aid in successfully competing for significant NSF grants.
UT CORNET UT Collaborative Research Network Proposals on Cancer Research - Funding for innovative and promising cancer research that involves investigators from the UT Health Science Center, UTK, UTC, and Oak Ridge.

Student SEARCH Grants

The 2018 Student SEARCH Grant Competition is now closed.
For information about the 2019 SEARCH Grant Competition, click HERE

The Student SEARCH Grants (formerly PSRA) are designed to provide UTC students with a special opportunity to participate in original research with faculty members.  It promotes  Scholarship, Engagement, the Arts, Research, Creativity, and Humanities on campus. This research is normally undertaken during the summer months, although academic year research may be approved with proper justification. See the application for all guidelines and submission instructions. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines are eligible to apply.  Students are expected to develop the proposal with the support of a Faculty Sponsor and with the approval of the Department Head. 


Student SEARCH Grant Workshop


List of 2017 Awardees


List of 2018 Awardees

Erlanger-UTCOM-UTC Collaborative Grants

This competition is now closed. Please check back at a later date for future competition deadlines.

Erlanger Health System and UT College of Medicine are partnering with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga to support new inter-institutional collaborative research pilot grant program.  We are issuing this request for proposals to solicit collaborative projects that (1) result in high-impact peer reviewed publications and (2) “seed” pilot collaborations that will result in larger, longer-term extramural funding. The scope of this program is to support health research collaborations and to strengthen the research relationship between the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and the Erlanger/UTCOM investigators.  This funding opportunity will support collaborative projects that bring together teams of investigators, at least one from each institution, focused on all phases of translational research along the continuum from bench to bedside to community. These Collaborative Research grants will support collaborative scientific studies for one year to enable the development of preliminary data that will serve as the foundation for submission of translational research grant applications at the state and national level. 

Competition Guidelines and Application (PDF)

Fillable Application Forms (Word)

Budget template (XLS)

List of Awardees


Collaborative Research Initiative for Sponsored Programs

Competition: Community Partnerships - Collaborative Research Opportunities
The CRISP Competition will not be held in Fiscal Year 2019.

The Collaborative Research Initiative for Sponsored Programs (CRISP) internal grants program seeks to stimulate collaborative, sponsored research at UTC by providing investigational teams of UTC faculty with resources and coordinated support services to help them build research capacity, create internal and external research collaborations, and establish a multidisciplinary research team with the primary outcome of submitting competitive research proposals and successfully securing funding from external sources. Applicants must propose a collaborative course of action that will increase their capacity to successfully compete for external funding. All applicants are expected, within their proposal, to outline a plan for preparing and submitting at least one and preferably multiple proposals to external funding agencies within a maximum time frame of 24 months after the project's start date.

The CRISP internal grant program is anticipated to support 6-8 awards of up to $8,000 each to take place over a 12-month funding period (January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017).

Previous CRISP Competition information

Competition Guidelines and Application (Word)

Competition Guidelines and Application (PDF)

CRISP 2017 Details Presentation (Powerpoint)

CRISP: 2017 Awardees Listing  

NSF-MRI Internal Selection Competition

The 2019 NSF-MRI Competition is closed.

Check back in early Fall of 2019 for the 2020 competition information.


The NSF MRI grant program allows only three proposal submissions per institution: two proposals for equipment acquisition and one proposal for equipment development.  For the past several competition cycles, UTC  has had more than two faculty teams who wanted to pursue equipment acquisition grants.  In the event that we have more than the allotted number of faculty teams interested in equipment acquisition or development, The ORSP will be coordinating an internal review and selection process.

Additional information about the internal competition, including abstract guidance, evaluation criteria, and the competition timeline, may be found by reading the MRI Internal Selection Guidelines, linked below.  In addition, please closely review the full MRI program solicitation to make sure that your proposal fully meets the program requirements.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions.


MRI Internal Selection Guidelines and Cover Page (Word)


NSF MRI Proposal Guidelines (PDF)

ORAU Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award

The 2018 ORAU internal competition is now closed. 

The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions and are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities. The ORAU Powe Award is a $5000 award for full-time assistant professors who are within two years of their initial tenure track appointment. Proposals are welcomed in the following fields: Engineering/Applied Sciences; Life Sciences; Mathematics/Computer Science; Physical Sciences; and Policy, Management, or Education. UTC is limited to nominating only two junior faculty members per year, therefore an internal competition is held to identify the two proposals deemed most likely to succeed.

2019 ORAU Internal Selection Guidelines

2019 ORAU Powe Award Overview

ORAU Narrative Template

UTC Faculty Pre-Tenure Enhancement Program (PREP)

The 2018 Faculty PREP competition is now closed.

UTC’s faculty members are its most important intellectual resources. Hiring and mentoring new faculty requires a substantial investment of time and money by the Institution and the Department. As a means of further ensuring success towards promotion and tenure, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is extending a program that will support pre-tenure faculty in bolstering their research portfolio in anticipation of the promotion and tenure process.


Because investigators have a wide variety of needs for start-up and development support depending upon academic discipline, research area of interest, etc., applicants may apply for pre-tenure release time, salary support, student research assistants, research-related travel, equipment, and/or supplies in addition to other approved research activities. Successful applicants requesting funds for pre-tenure release are expected to begin planning sufficiently in advance to allow for flexibility in the department.


Faculty PREP Guidelines & Application

Faculty PREP 2016-17 Awardees (PDF)

Faculty PREP 2017-18 Awardees (PDF)

Faculty PREP 2018-19 Awardees (PDF)

NSF Proposal Preparation Initiative

The NSF Proposal Preparation Initiative is now closed.
Check back in the summer for more information.

The NSF Proposal Preparation Initiative is a joint effort by the offices of the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) and Research & Sponsored Programs in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Computer Science to bolster faculty capacity to successfully compete for significant NSF grants. This competition is to select 10 faculty to participate, based on intellectual merit and broader impacts. Please read the guidelines below for complete program information and instructions on how to apply.

NSF Proposal Preparation Initiative guidelines

UT Collaborative Research Network Awards (CORNET)

The UT Cornet Competition is not being held in fiscal year 2019.

The UT CORNET awards are designed to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary, team-based research on Cancer (T0-T4) that involves investigators across the UT Network. These awards are specifically to promote new lines of research, and are not intended as bridge funds or extensions of ongoing funded research. Please see the guidelines below for more details and application instructions.

UT Collaborative Research Network Guidelines

Additional Resources 

UTC offers several other internal grant opportunities to support a wide range of faculty development activities including student - faculty research collaborations, curriculum development, technology and equipment acquisition, and conference travel support.  These internal grants are administered by various units on campus.  While these internal grants do not operate under the auspices of the ORSP, we encourage new faculty, faculty changing from one research field to another, and those interested in developing a funding or research track-record to consider these options as part of a long-term external funding strategy. 


To learn more about UTC's internal grant opportunities, visit the Walker Teaching Resource Center's website.