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PRF Research Grants

Last modified 9/25/2019


The Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) Research Grants are one-year awards distributed through the EVPRP to assist faculty by providing support for a half-time (0.50 FTE) Graduate Research Assistant for effort devoted to the development of new research projects or the continuation of ongoing research projects.


  • Allocation notices, spreadsheets and instructions will be sent to academic deans from the office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) during the fall semester. If you have any questions, please contact the EVPRP Business Office at
  • Faculty will be notified of internal department/school/college deadline dates via their department head and/or Dean's Office.
  • Awards will be announced by each department/school/college upon completion of their award process.
  • All Research Grants must be assigned by May 1. Departments/schools/colleges should adjust timing of their application and award process accordingly.

Faculty Eligibility

Full-time, research, tenured or tenure-track faculty members who supervise graduate research assistants are eligible to apply for a PRF Research Grant. In nearly all circumstances, a faculty member may not have two active PRF Research Grants simultaneously. If the faculty member awarded the grant leaves Purdue, the EVPRP will work with the department head and dean to minimize the impact of the change on the student supported by the grant.

Allocation of PRF Research Grant Funds to Colleges/Schools

PRF Research Grant funds are allocated on an annual basis to Purdue University colleges or college-level schools that administer graduate programs granting the Ph.D. degree. The PRF Research Grant allocation is based upon the number of Ph.D. degrees granted and half-time graduate salary established by the Graduate School. Specifically, the number of PRF Research Grant awards allocated in a given year will reflect the proportional share from each college/school of the campus-wide total of Ph.D. degrees granted over the previous three years. The salary provided for each grant unit is Purdue's current minimum half-time graduate salary established by the Graduate School. Funds to cover graduate student medical insurance, and fringe benefits are also provided.

In the past it was expected that each PRF grant unit would support one 0.5 FTE graduate research assistant (GRA) from a PhD program, and PRF support for any GRA was limited to one grant unit. In support of the goal of expeditious and effective use of PRF funds, academic units may henceforth elect to exercise greater flexibility as outlined below. In brief, increased support for an individual GRA may be provided from the PRF funds allocated to the college/school, and GRAs in master’s degree programs may also be supported under the conditions described. The EVPRP does not require any academic unit to utilize the expanded options.

  1. A GRA must be supported by PRF Research Grant funds at least to level of the standard PRF Research Grant allocation.
  2. A PRF GRA may be supported by PRF Research Grant funds up to the costs of a typical 0.5 FTE PhD-level GRA in the responsible unit.
  3. Students in research-driven master’s degree programs may be supported by PRF research grants if they are engaged in research to an extent equivalent to the expectations for comparable PhD students.

Salary and fees

Graduate research assistants (GRAs) supported by PRF grants will receive a salary no less than the current minimum half-time salary established by the graduate school. Within the funds provided in the salary budget line, the academic unit can provide a higher annual salary up to the unit’s current 0.50 FTE GRA salary level. In addition, except for PRF awards to IUPUI, a student supported by a PRF grant receives a remission of tuition and fees except for the applicable graduate appointment fee, repair and rehabilitation fee, and any discipline specific differential fees.

As in the past, funds awarded are line-item-restricted, i.e., funds from the fringe and fee remit lines cannot be used to supplement the salary line.

Submission, Selection & Awarding of PRF Research Grants to Eligible Faculty within a College or School

Each year, it will be the responsibility of the deans of Ph.D. degree granting colleges/schools to determine which eligible faculty will be the recipients of the PRF Research Grant. Each college/school is responsible for verifying that all supported graduate students are appropriately engaged in research (see Student Eligibility).

Each Ph.D. degree granting college/school will establish its own internal deadline and procedures for submission of proposals and selection of eligible faculty to receive allocated PRF Research Grants. These deadlines and procedures must support awarding all grants by May 1. Faculty will be notified of unit-specific deadline dates and proposal submission criteria via their department head and/or dean's office.

Project Period

PRF Research Grants are established with a start date between May 10 and September 15 and project period of one year.

No-cost extensions may be requested through the department/college/school using the "Purdue Prior Approval" form found at:, A – Z Index, Prior Approval Instructions – Internal. Send the completed form to the EVPRP Business Office at Only a single no-cost extension of no more than one year will be approved.

If a faculty member is unable to use a PRF Research Grant in the year it is awarded and requests a one-year no-cost extension before project initiation, the college/school should, in most circumstances, award that grant to another faculty member for the current year and commit a grant from the next year.

Student Eligibility

Only Purdue University graduate students in good standing (minimum GPA = 3.0) and engaged in research to the extent expected of a full-time Ph.D. student may be supported by PRF research grants. Academic units may permit support of Ph.D. students who have not advanced to candidacy or master’s degree students appropriately engaged in research. At the discretion of the faculty grant recipient and consent of the department head, substitution of one eligible graduate student for another eligible graduate student may occur at any time.

Graduate Research Assistantships: Employment and Academic Requirements

PRF research grants provide half-time support for graduate students employed as graduate research assistants. The appointments are associated with established university employment practices as well as Graduate School and graduate program policies. The practices and policies affect eligibility for additional concurrent graduate staff appointments and minimum course registration requirements during all academic sessions including at least one of the summer modules. Registration for an appropriate number of credits in 69800 or 69000 research courses is required. Faculty grant recipients and supported students should consult with their business office and/or graduate program office to assure compliance.

Regulatory Approvals

If the research project supported by a PRF Research Grant requires review and approval for use of animals (IACUC), human subjects (IRB), and/or r-DNA, infectious agents, unfixed human fluids, human tissues or human cell lines (IBC), the investigator must ensure that all appropriate protocols are active and current prior to release of funds. In some instances, a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] is appropriate until the needed regulatory approvals are obtained. The PRF Research Grant recipient can request the MOU through the EVPRP office (contact Regulatory approvals must remain active and current until the project is completed.

Modifications to Status of Grant

If the faculty recipient of a PRF Research Grant leaves Purdue University after the grant has been awarded, the EVPRP Business Office must be notified in writing (email to is acceptable).

Salary Supplement

A department may supplement the salary of a PRF Research Assistant with the following:

  • Salary support requiring no additional duties, from:
    • Departmental, non-sponsored program funds (e.g., general funds or gift);
    • Unrestricted voluntary support administered by SPS;
    • A sponsored project, if the research benefits both projects, the research assistant's efforts are allocable to both projects, and the salary being charged is allowable on the sponsored project.
    • Salary distribution for the supplemented grad appointment is made through the cost distribution system and certified through the PAR process.
  • Salary support through an additional graduate appointment. Appointments beyond 0.50 FTE may be made in any increment, in accordance with graduate staff appointment guidelines.
  • Supplementation from a fellowship account will be subject to the policies of Executive Memorandum A-199.


  • Inquiries regarding guidelines and procedures for the PRF Research Grant competition should be directed to the academic dean's offices.
  • Inquiries regarding administration of existing PRF Research Grant awards should be directed to departmental business offices.

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