Internal Funding

A top priority for ORSP is stimulating and supporting the growth of research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA). As such, we provide support for and information on various internal funding opportunities available on campus. Below you can find more information on the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Program (RSCAP).

Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Program (RSCAP) Funding Overview

The goal of the RSCAP is to support all faculty – including Lecturers, Tenure Track and Tenured Faculty, Librarians, Coaches and Counselors – as well as students (both graduate and undergraduate) - in pursuing diverse research, scholarship and creative activities. The RSCAP supports faculty to remain current in disciplines, pursue new ways to enrich student learning, and contribute knowledge that will strengthen California socially, culturally, and economically. With the support of resources from the California State Legislature, SSU's Office of the Provost, and SSU's Instrucitonally Related Activties Program (IRS), ORSP is able to offer a significant number of RSCAP awards.

There are two mechanisms for RSCAP awards: Mini-Grants and Fellowships (Summer or Course Buyout/Release). Applicants must follow the guidelines in the Request for Proposals and submit via SSU's InfoReady. Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Faculty Subcommittee on Scholarly Activities (FSSA) School Representative and ORSP concerning project eligibility, grant writing education resources, and proposal development. The FSSA will evaluate Mini-Grants and Fellowship proposals, and make funding recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

If you wish to find more information regarding the RSCAP application and review process, please see below for an informational slidedeck provided by the FSSA.

Please contact Nicole Hannah, Post-Award Manager, at (707) 664-4423 or for any questions regarding RSCAP.

RSCAP Informational slidedeck: 

RCSAP Information Session Recording: 




Below is a breakdown of how Mini-Grant funding CAN and CANNOT be requested. 

You CAN request funding in the following ways:

  • Through basic or applied research (e.g., literature or archival search, data collection, data analysis), which could support the future preparation of an external grant proposal or final publication
  • Through acquisition of materials or supplies in support of creative projects (e.g., exhibit, artistic performance, development of new creative techniques).
  • Through other scholarly activities in your field
  • Undergraduate and graduate student salaries to work on your research; student travel to present the research.
  • Through requesting travel and equipment expenses, if the primary purpose of your travel is to collect data or do scholarly research and travel is integral to your proposed work

 You CANNOT request funding for the following:

  • Fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree.
  • Activities designed mainly for department or school programs or facilities.
  • Curriculum development (except as part of a project involving research, scholarship or creative activity).
  • Faculty assigned time or faculty stipends.
  • Meeting refreshments/hospitality.
  • Attendance at workshops or seminars focusing on the development of grant-writing skills.
  • Faculty travel to present and/or attend professional meetings

Mini Grant Funding level: Up to a maximum of $7,000 for proposals that include graduate and undergraduate student researchers; up to a maximum of $5,000 for proposals that do not include graduate and undergraduate student researchers).

Sample Narratives for Mini-Grants Proposals:

Fellowships - Summer & Course Buyout/Release

Summer Fellowships assist faculty with their efforts in disseminating scholarly activities to students through a variety of media and venues, and/or to prepare and submit grant and other external funding requests. Summer fellowships must be completed in the summer for a total of two weeks. Fellowships can be done on any of the following topics to be completed by Spring:

  • Prepare a research, scholarly or creative activity for publication
  • Prepare an external grant proposal
  • Prepare for a publically reviewed conference, exhibition, performance, or creative activity         

Fellowship funding may not be requested for activities that fall under the mini-grant competition (See above). If fellowship funding is requested for time to finalize (not begin) data analysis or a creative activity, there must also be a plan for disseminating findings and/or products within the appropriate fellowship timeframe. 

There are two fellowship funding options: $5,000 summer stipend (Option A) OR a 3 WTU course buyout/release (Option B). The scope of work is expected to be the same, and thus evaluated with the same criteria, regardless of which funding option is pursued.

  • Fellowship Funding Option A ($5,000 Summer stipend - subject to normal tax withholding):

All Unit 3 faculty members are eligible

Covers the equivalent of 2 to 3 week work period for the proposed task, which should be completed during the summer between May 25 and August 14.

  • Fellowship Funding Option B (3 wtu course buyout/release at the replacement rate of $1,927/unit): Only tenured/tenure track faculty members are eligible

Provides tenured/tenure track faculty member with a 3 WTU course buyout/release for Fall or Spring for the proposed task. It is important to discuss this option with your department chair and/or dean, and to receive approval from them. Up to 5 Fellowship applications requesting the 3 WTU buyout will be awarded based upon the fellowship proposal ranking (see fellowship review criteria). If an application is ranked high enough overall to be funded, but not ranked high enough to receive a 3 WTU course buyout, the committee may offer the applicant the $5,000 summer stipend instead of the course buyout/release.

Sample Narratives for Summer Fellowships Proposals:

Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and/or Creative Activity (RSCA) Awards

In recognition of the critical links between active engagement in scholarship and excellence in teaching, the Excellence in Research, Scholarship and/or Creative Activity Award recognizes faculty who exemplify the teacher-scholar model in their professional development at Sonoma State. The award provides faculty with funds to support their continued engagement in research, scholarship and creative activities.

One recipient will receive a cash award recognizing the work for their most recent academic term, to be used for any purpose that directly supports the scholarly and creative activities of the faculty member. This includes:

· Traveling to present scholarship at conferences, to collect primary data, or to do archival research

· Funding undergraduate or graduate assistants

· Purchasing equipment and specialized supplies

· Other fully justified expenses may be considered at the discretion of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP)

Excellence in RSCA Awardees:

  • AY 2021-22: Janet Berry Hess, Ph.D. | Hutchins School of Liberal Studies
  • AY 2020-21: Steve Estes, Ph.D. | Department of History
  • AY 2019-20: Matthew L. Clark, Ph.D. | Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning