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Faculty Opportunity Awards

The Faculty Opportunity Awards Program provides internal support for development of research with potential for continued funding by extramural funding agencies, private foundations, or industry. The program also supports projects to develop new intellectual property.

Past Awards

Call for Proposals

The 2015 call for proposals is limited to full-time faculty and will provide short-term, non-renewable funding for projects in three categories: Individual Investigator Award, Innovation/Technology Development Award and Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Award. Up to $500,000 is available for the 2015 funding cycle. Awards will have maximum budgets of $20,000 - $100,000 each, depending on the award type, projects goals, and necessary budget. Awards are intended to fund personnel and supplies for no more than 18 months (12 months for the Innovation/Technology Development Awards) from the official July 1 start date of the award.

Individual Investigator Award

These awards are for individual investigators who are developing innovative research areas and will collaborate with well-established investigators who will serve as mentors. The intent of this award is (1) to help catalyze a funded research program for new faculty, (2) to stimulate the development of a new research field for faculty further along in their career, or (3) to support the development of substantive scholarly/creative works by faculty in disciplines outside of engineering, allied health, and the physical and natural sciences. The investigator applying for this award must provide a Mentor Plan that addresses the development of their project. The primary deliverables from this type of award are the submission of one or more grant proposals from external sources OR a substantive scholarly/creative work. Successful applications will clearly demonstrate that the proposal is an innovative research direction that has not been previously supported and, where possible, has high potential for external funding.

Innovation/Technology Development Award

For research, either by a sole investigator or a team, that will develop or enhance new intellectual property for the investigators and the university. Investigators or teams who have an idea that has potential for the commercial market can apply for this award. One type of these awards would develop new intellectual property to a point that it may be ready to enter the University’s Technology Development and Transfer (TD&T) process. The primary deliverable for this type of award is a "disclosure" of the new idea or product, which kicks off the TD&T process. However, if the research findings suggest that patent protection is not the best path, then a final report documenting the process would be the primary deliverable. More information about the disclosure process may be found on the Learn More about Technology Development and Transfer page, where applicants can also find a link to the Research Disclosure Form. Additional information, including the University’s Intellectual Property Policy may be found on the Information for Inventors page. Successful applications will clearly demonstrate that the proposal is for a new research disclosure that has not previously been evaluated by the university.

The second type of award will advance existing university technology to a point where it is more commercially viable or will develop new intellectual property supporting existing technology. Normally this existing technology will already have been protected through a patent application. Investigators do not have to identify industry partners; however doing so is encouraged. The primary deliverable for this award is a report on progress made with the financial support. Business plans for a start-up company or licenses with existing companies would substitute for the report.

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Award

These awards are for collaborative interdisciplinary research teams (multiple faculty members from different disciplines at UNLV or at other universities) who are developing new, crosscutting innovative research areas and intend to pursue large interdisciplinary initiatives. Teams with a mix of expertise composition are encouraged to apply. The motivation for the research topic could be the coalescing of research interests into a larger research topic that extramural funding agencies would support. The primary deliverable from this type of award is the submission of one or more grant proposals for research funding from external sources. Successful applications will clearly demonstrate that the proposal has high potential for external funding. Two types of interdisciplinary awards will be available.

Emerging Area Seed Grant

The Emerging Area Seed Grant has a total budget not to exceed $30,000 per project over an 18-month period. This seed grant is meant to stimulate the work of new interdisciplinary research teams with the intent of leading to scholarly efforts and funding opportunities. Given that the teams are new, it is encouraged that a diversity of faculty work together and including those from different rank.

Center of Excellence Challenge Grant

The Center of Excellence Challenge Grant has a total budget not to exceed $100,000 per project over an 18-month period. This award is intended to support existing teams intending to pursue large extramural funding initiatives (e.g., multi-million dollar) that will establish a Center of Excellence at UNLV. Prior to submission of a full proposal, teams are required to submit a one page letter of intent (LOI) for this category that includes the following items: (1) project title; (2) proposing team; (3) brief description of the proposed activities; (4) a list of one or more large extramural initiatives the team intends to pursue; and (5) a list of possible external (non-UNLV) experts who may be called on to review the full proposal. The LOI should be submitted to Dene Charlet by e-mail no later than 5 pm PST December 17, 2014.

Application Information

Deadline for Applications: 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2015
Application Upload URL: Faculty Opportunity Awards Portal

Materials Include

  • Call for Proposals
  • Application Directions & Proposal Format
  • Routing Form
  • FAQs
  • Sample of Effective Mentor Plans
  • Sample Proposal with proper formatting

Contact: Dene Charlet, 702-895-2398,