DePaul University Academic Affairs > Faculty Resources > Teaching > Quality Of Instruction Council > General Guidelines

General Guidelines

This section provides an overview of the councils and general guidelines for preparing proposals for the Quality of Instruction Council, the University Research Council, and the Public Service Council. Applicants should also refer to the specific guidelines for the program to which they are applying.

Introduction to the Councils
Proposal Preparation Process
Criteria for Review
Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
Award Conditions and Procedures

Introduction to the Councils

The programs of the Public Service Council (PSC), the Quality of Instruction Council (QIC), and the University Research Council (URC) are designed to promote a vital and productive faculty. All operate out of the Office of Faculty Development and are chaired by Lawrence Hamer, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

All programs are intentionally competitive in nature to ensure the best use of available funds and to encourage the development of proposal-writing skills. The number of applications submitted usually does exceed available funding, so applicants are encouraged to submit well-crafted projects that advance their scholarly objectives.​

The council guidelines are divided into two parts. This section includes general guidelines about working with all three councils:

  • the proposal preparation process;
  • criteria for review;
  • eligible and ineligible expenses; and
  • award conditions and procedures.

Please also refer to each council's main page for information particular to the programs of each council along with any specialized forms, notably for the Paid Leave Program.

For information about grant opportunities supported by individual colleges and schools, please write or call the staff members for those programs.

Proposal Preparation Process

  1. Council grants are intended to advance tenure and promotion. Only full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty may apply.
  2. Members as well as the Chair of the Councils are available to answer questions about submitting an application. Draft proposals may be presented for review to the council chair at least five days prior to the due date.
  3. Application due dates are firm. All proposals must be received by 11:59pm on the respective grant's due date.
  4. No more than one proposal per deadline may be submitted by any person to a single program. Applicants may submit different proposals at the same deadline date to different programs. However, faculty may receive only one program award per year.
  5. Submit one copy of the proposal. Electronic submission using PDF documents is now required. If you wish to submit visual media, please consult with us.
  6. Applicants’ resumes are not distributed to the council members but are available for reference by the chair of the councils.
  7. If the proposed project involves release time paid by another source, special facilities, or cost-sharing by a department or college, the project director(s) must submit written endorsement from the appropriate chairs, deans or directors. Funding may be requested contingent upon obtaining those endorsements, but no funds will be released on a successful application until the Council receives the endorsements.
  8. Proposals are considered at the next council meeting after the due date, usually within five weeks of the deadline. Written notice will be sent to all applicants within four weeks of a council meeting. The members of the council and the council chair are available to discuss the council's evaluation of your proposal, whether or not it was funded.

Criteria for Review

The councils review proposals according to the general criteria listed below and any specific criteria described in the program guidelines. In awarding grants, the council takes into account three priorities: demands on faculty tenure and promotion, each applicant's record of completing projects, and how each project sustains university values. The council expects projects to be completed in a timely manner and will not fund projects beyond three years.


  • Does the abstract describe the project clearly and completely in non-technical terms? Is the intended use of the funds stated? Abstracts of funded proposals will be widely distributed, so please write them carefully.

Goals, Objectives, Need for the Project

Does the statement of the project explain its significance persuasively to an audience of academic readers, most of whom are not expert in the field of the proposal? The use of technical and/or disciplinary jargon is discouraged. Proposals that are not readily understood by a majority of the council will be returned to the applicant for revision and consideration at a later date.

  • Does the description of the project offer a clear statement of goals and objectives and a compelling argument for the project that demonstrates the clarity of the conceptualization?
  • Does the statement of the project explain the place of this project in the applicant's personal teaching, research, and/or service interests?
  • Is the literature or bibliographic review appropriate to the project and the field? Has the proposed work been situated in its field of scholarship?
  • In research proposals, does the review of related theory persuade the readers that this project would be a contribution?

Plan of Work, Review Questions

  • Does the plan of work address the objectives? Is the plan feasible?
  • Are all aspects of the plan of work explained? Is every choice explained (e.g., number of samples or tests, place, time, product, method)?
  • Have you included a realistic timeline?
  • Do you describe specific outcomes (papers, articles, revised syllabus, integration of new pedagogies) for your project?

Budget and Budget Narrative

  • Is the budget clear, complete, well-explained, and well-documented? Does the budget narrative explain the rationale for each figure? Is each item of expense mentioned in the narrative accounted for in the budget and each budget item discussed in the narrative?
  • Are the sources of estimated costs provided? The council's contribution to funding of participant pay related to carrying out research projects will be limited to $10 per hour.
  • Are the duties of any requested personnel clearly defined, and the wage base provided? Are fringe benefits (10% for part-time employees) budgeted for all requested personnel?
  • Are the justifications for travel clear and the plans well-developed? Include specific dates and accommodation arrangements. Cost of travel must be documented utilizing current prices and citing the sources of the pricing (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity).
  • Food and alcohol are no longer eligible expenses for any internal grant.

Other Funding

  • If you have received DePaul funding in the past, how has your work advanced beyond that previously supported? Projects that request continued funding of a project must have a clearly marked section after the initial statement of the project indicating the outcomes that have been achieved as a result of the previous funding. The second proposal must incorporate those outcomes into the proposed project. Resubmission of the original proposal for second funding will not be accepted.
  • If you have received external support for your work, how does it relate to this project submitted to the council? Internal grants may not be used to supplement external grants except by permission of the councils. The project proposal must clearly explain why an internal grant is needed in addition to external funds. Applicants should take particular care with providing a detailed budget and budget narrative. External grant budgets must be included with the applicant's proposal and the budget to the council should specifically indicate how internal funds will be used in complement with the external grant.
  • Have you consulted with the Office of Research Services about a long-range funding plan? What is your plan for supporting and continuing your work after this proposal?


  • Are the bibliographic references current and relevant?
  • Are the necessary endorsements from your chair or dean regarding release time, special services or facilities, or cost-sharing appended?
  • If the proposal will result in a new course, has a letter of support from the appropriate chair or dean been attached?
  • Regarding all requests for support services, has there been appropriate consultation with university offices to assure that the needs cannot be covered with existing services? Are appropriate supporting documents from university offices appended?

Curriculum Vitae

  • Is your vita complete and current, listing all publications and presentations? (It is not necessary to list with a full citation each presentation of the same material.)

↑ Back To Top ↑

Eligibile and Ineligibile Expenses

Eligible expenses

  1. Expendable materials not ordinarily provided by a department, college, or administrative office.
  2. Temporary staff (DePaul students) or professionally contracted services necessary for research or creative work (consultants, translators, laboratory assistants, computer programmers, data analysts, editorial consultants, studio technicians, fabricators, etc). For DePaul part-time student employees, include benefits of 10% in your budget during summer months.
  3. Travel expenses (lodging, travel, meals) that are essential to a project. Note that the current practice is not to fund meals. Travel to conferences is not eligible except for faculty development as part of a QIC project, or as a fully explained research need. All such travel must be carefully justified utilizing current prices and citing the sources of the pricing (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity, etc.)
  4. Extraordinary telephone, word processing, printing, or postage expenses; extraordinary requests for library or archival materials, including computer searches of bibliographic databases.
  5. Expenses associated with the production of a completed manuscript as required by a publisher with whom the applicant has a contract, and other expenses related to production under contract. Indexing for books and texts published by not-for-profit publishers.
  6. Equipment rentals of durable equipment essential for a project and access fees to externally located equipment that would be impractical for DePaul to acquire. Requests of over $500 for equipment require a thorough justification as well as cost-sharing from the department or college. The department chair or dean should provide a statement of the department's/college's level of support and a justification for the equipment purchase.
  7. External computing expenses when needs cannot be met through university computing resources. In these cases, a letter from Information Services should be appended to your proposal, justifying the request to the council.
  8. Extraordinary library materials that cannot be purchased within current budgets and cannot be obtained through usual channels. In these cases, append correspondence from the Office of the Librarian justifying support from the council.
  9. Other expenses by the councils in accordance with university policies.

Ineligible expenses

  1. Services or expendable materials ordinarily provided by a department, college, or administrative office.
  2. Compensation to participating faculty or full-time staff, or their replacements (except the QIC Summer Stipend Program and the PSC Service Learning Program).
  3. Travel to conferences for purposes not directly connected with the project.
  4. Expenses for food and alcohol are no longer permitted on URC, QIC or PSC grants.
  5. Acquisition of hardware for routine computing activities.
  6. Expenses related to self-publishing.
  7. Computer support provided by Information Services.
  8. Library support provided by University Libraries.
  9. Support for any other materials or services available through the university.
  10. Charges expended or encumbered before the announcement of a grant from the Council. Awards are usually announced approximately one month after the submission date.
  11. Tuition waivers or expenses associated with obtaining a degree or acquiring basic knowledge in a field directly related to the field of the applicant.
  12. Sales tax (tax-exempt forms should be used).
  13. Membership dues.
  14. Expenses associated with the routine completion of an externally funded project.
  15. Other expenses prohibited by university regulations of the councils.

Award Conditions and Procedures

  1. All grants will be administered by the project directors in accordance with the financial policies and accounting procedures of the University. Completion of the internal grants budget manager training workshop is mandatory for internal grant recipients. No grant funds will be released until the recipient has completed budget manager training. Grant funds are made available on December 1st for the Fall Grants cycle and June 1st for the Spring Grants cycle.
  2. The councils may recommend funding only a portion of the amount requested. Decisions of the councils are final. There is no appeal process. However, applicants can reapply at the next due date.
  3. Awarded funds may be expended only for purposes stated in the proposal. Budget reallocations must be approved by the council chair. Any substantial modification of the project itself must be approved by the council as a whole.
  4. Principal investigators are responsible for any expenses that exceed the amount of an approved grant. Grant recipients who have overspent their grants will not be eligible until the overage is resolved. Please note that cash advances are not permitted on council grants.
  5. All funds are disbursed and accounted for according to the university's standard procedures, as supplemented by council policy. Expenditure guidelines are provided to awardees. Projects that require Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and/or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval will not be funded until approval is received.
  6. Grant funds must be expended within the specified grant period (see individual program descriptions for length of grant period). After this time, or in the event that a funded project reaches completion before all authorized funds are expended, unused funds are retained by the council for redistribution. If grant completion is delayed due to circumstances beyond the principal investigator's control, any request for an extension must be submitted in writing at least 30 days prior to the closing of the grant.
  7. If a project funded by the councils receives duplicate funding from an outside source prior to completion of the project, the duplicated DePaul funds will be retained by the council. Internal grants may not be used to supplement external grants except by permission of the councils.
  8. Durable items purchased with council funds become property of DePaul University, but ordinarily may be retained for further on-campus use by the principal investigator(s).
  9. A final report must be submitted within 30 days of the expiration of the grant. Failure to do so will result in the faculty member being ineligible for future funding from the councils. Projects that request continued funding of a project must have a clearly marked section after the initial statement of the project indicating the outcomes that have been achieved as a result of the previous funding. The second proposal must then incorporate those outcomes into the proposed project. Resubmission of the original proposal for a second funding will not be accepted.

Narrative (part 1)

A brief report of one to two pages should be submitted via email. The report should describe the activities conducted during the grant and address the achievement of the project outcomes as outlined in your proposal.

Financial expenditures (part 2)

  1. Include a copy of invoices over $100. This requirement applies regardless of whether or not a department procard was used for the purchase.
  2. For airline travel, the email confirmation can be used.
  3. When paying the expenses of Research Conference speakers, include a copy of whatever was sent to Accounts Payable (AP) for reimbursement and to substantiate expenses.

Scan copies of your expenses and include with the narrative as part of your final report. All materials must be emailed.

↑ Back To Top ↑