Download Adobe Reader

Richard H. Pennell Center Request for Proposals

 Program Rationale

The Mission of the Richard H. Pennell Sr. Center for Research in Design and Building (CRDB) is to support research activities of the faculty and students housed in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities (CAAH) School of Design and Building comprised of the School of Architecture and the Departments of Construction Science and Management, and City Planning & Real Estate Development for the improvement of the associated professional disciplines. 

The goals of the Center are to:

1. Promote and disseminate high-level research and scholarship useful for practitioners and officials working in the fields influencing the built environment, as well research that is more broadly relevant;

2. Promote interdisciplinary approaches to understanding, building, and managing the built  environment; and

3. Provide opportunities to faculty and students to develop important ideas that can leverage future funding.

Submittal Schedule

The Richard H. Pennell Sr. Center for Research in Design and Building requests research proposals from qualified full-time faculty by March 14, 2018 in the format noted herein.  Awards will be made of up to a total of $25,000 per proposal and should serve as seed funding to foster the development of externally (nationally or internationally) funded research.  

Application Procedure and Submittal Format

Research Proposal Development Criteria

The following criteria are to be adhered to in developing and submitting research proposals:

1. Eligible applicants and principal investigators shall only be full time tenured and tenure-track faculty within the academic disciplines housed in the School of Design and Building. Lecturers in the School of Building and Design can participate as co-investigators but are only eligible to receive a maximum of $2,000.  Faculty in other disciplines outside of the School can participate as co-investigators but are only eligible to receive a maximum of $2,000.  

2. The intention of the seed funding is to foster the development of externally (nationally or internationally) funded research. Projects that are focused exclusively on teaching, service or service learning will not be considered.

3. Successful proposals can include conducting preliminary data analyses, field-testing new instruments, or securing materials and equipment that will clearly strengthen an existing external proposal for funding.

4. Demonstration that the PI has, or plans to submit a specific federal grant proposal is an asset.

5. Each proposal is limited to two pages and a two page curriculum vitae for each investigator.  The proposal must include the following sections.

a. Project Title: Should clearly identify the research topic.

b. Proposal Narrative: Should describe the work to be supported by the grant, the purpose of the project and how it connects to the faculty member’s broader research interests in the discipline. 

c. Expected Outcomes: Describe the expected outcome(s) of the project in terms of scholarship output, peer-reviewed publication(s), design/creative artifact(s) and/or student involvement.

d. Timeline: State a timeline for the project, from beginning to completion. 

e. Detailed Budget: Provide an itemized budget; detailing amounts budgeted for travel, supplies, as well as an explanation of any matching funds secured. If this grant is to be used in conjunction with other sources of support, indicate clearly whether these funds have been secured, or are anticipated.

f. Curriculum Vitae: Provide current two-page curriculum vitae for all participating investigators. 

g. Report: If the applicant has received a grant from the Pennell Center Research Grant in the past, they must also submit that grant’s research outcomes report prior to applying for this opportunity. A fillable form can be found here. 

5. Pennell Center research grants are intended to assist faculty in the development of their research agenda.  As principal investigators, tenure-track faculty are limited to one award every three years and tenured faculty are limited to one every five years. 6. All proposals are to be submitted electronically to no later than March 14, 2018. Award Announcements by e-mail on or before April 21, 2018

Selection Criteria

The Center’s Advisory Board is made up of the CAAH Associate Dean for Research and the Chairs/Director of the Departments/School in the School of Building and Design. The Board will review proposals in accordance with the established criteria below, and based on available funding, make awards by majority vote.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

1. The extent to which the proposed activities and results enable future competitive federal research proposals;

2. Feasibility, clarity, and specificity of the proposed project and its significance to the discipline/profession.

3. Feasibility, clarity, and specificity of the proposed project budget. 

All funding for this round must be spent by no later than June 1, 2019. This time frame requires that all research trips be completed and funds expended in time to be processed by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2019. 

Outcome Assessment and Required Reporting

The Center Advisory Board will review all reports and develop and submit an assessment to the grantors as constructive feedback.  The reports will also be used to develop an annual Center report to its stakeholders. Failure to submit the report, or to produce acceptable outcomes, will jeopardize eligibility for future funding from the College.  The faculty member must submit a report to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies detailing the status of the project awarded under this competition by July 31, 2109.  The report can be found here, and should be submitted to

Any questions about the Pennell Center proposals should be directed to Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, Jim Spencer, (, 656-0377), or the Office of Research Support, (, 864-656-1530.