The President’s Cabinet has set aside Investment Funds to provide one-time, temporary funding for campus initiatives that directly align with the University’s 2022-2027 strategic plan. Any person or unit, academic or administrative, can apply for Investment Funds. Projects that engage multiple departments/divisions are strongly encouraged. Successful applications will have identifiable outcomes and include implementation and assessment plans. Investment Funds may not be used to fund faculty lines of any sort or to fund permanent staff lines. However, they may be used to fund undergraduate or graduate student workers.


Prior to drafting a proposal, applicants should review the “Proposal Submission Tools for Success” materials available on the Investment Funds webpage. Upon doing so, review the following guidelines to which all proposals must adhere:

  • Full proposals must include an itemized budget using the Excel budget template found on the Investment Fund webpage, and a detailed budget explanation.
    • Applicants must upload the completed Excel budget template with their MachForm application or their application will be considered incomplete.
  • Proposals must include a realistic timeline for implementation of the initiative/project that also aligns with the budget and utilizes all funding by no later than June 30, 2024.
  • Applications must include a detailed assessment plan that outlines:
    • the measurable objectives the initiative/project seeks to achieve,
    • the metrics/data that will be collected to determine whether or not those objectives were met, and
    • an implementation timeline for assessment plan.
  • Before submitting an application, applicants should consult with the necessary supervisors regarding the appropriateness of their proposed project and to verify costs.
    • For proposals involving computer technology (e.g., computer software, networking, etc.), applicants must consult with the Chief Information Officer (Bob Cushman or their designee) and submit with their application evidence of such consultation (e.g., e-mail or letter verifying costs and feasibility).
    • For proposals involving facilities, applicants must consult with the Director of Facilities Planning and Construction (Gary Morog or their designee) and/or the Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations (Julie Caswell or their designee), as appropriate, and submit with their application evidence of such consultation (e.g., e-mail or letter verifying costs and feasibility).
  • In general, Investment Funds may not be used for faculty and staff stipends. Exceptions to this rule require separate justification and Dean’s Council (for faculty stipends) or Cabinet member (for staff stipends) approval.
    • Applicants wishing to include a faculty or staff stipend request in their full budget proposal are required to consult with Deans/VPs about the appropriateness of such a request before submitting their application.
    • A Stipend Request Authorization form is available on the Investment Funds webpage. The completed form must be signed by either the Dean (for faculty stipends) or Vice President (for staff stipends) to whom the individual potentially receiving the stipend reports. The form requires Deans/VPs to indicate that the stipend is both a legitimate expense (i.e., the work involved falls outside the intended recipient’s normal job duties) and that the requested stipend amount is reasonable given the work involved. Deans/VPs may suggest an alternate amount.
    • Those requesting a stipend must upload the signed Stipend Request Authorization form to their application in MachForms or the stipend request will not be considered.
    • Dean/VP authorization of a stipend request via their signature on the form does not guarantee funding.

Full proposals will be evaluated on:

  • the completeness and quality of the project description including the measurability of outcomes,
  • the strength of alignment with the University’s strategic plan,
  • the quality of the assessment plan, and
  • the appropriateness of the proposed budget.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Investment Fund (IF) Subcommittee of the Joint Planning and Budget Committee (JPBC). The IF Subcommittee will make funding recommendations to the full JPBC. Subsequently, JBPC makes funding recommendations to President’s Cabinet. President’s Cabinet, informed by JPBC’s review, will make final funding decisions based on their professional judgement.


  • Investment Funds may not be used to fund faculty lines of any sort or to fund permanent staff lines. However, they may be used to fund undergraduate or graduate student workers.
  • Because all Investment Fund monies are state dollars, all purchases using these funds, including travel reimbursement, must follow state purchasing rules and regulations and must constitute valid state purchases.
    • All purchases must be made through the standard purchasing and procurement process established at the University.
    • For questions regarding the appropriate use of state funds and appropriate purchasing procedures, please contact Procurement and Payment Services at (585) 395-2351.
  • Funding will be made available upon notification of award.
    • Funding for successful projects will become available July 1, 2023.
    • Unused funds will be forfeited on June 30, 2024.
    • Specific deadlines for the submission of purchase requisitions and other expenses will be communicated in award notification letters.
    • Funds may not be used for reimbursement of prior purchases/expenses that occurred before July 1, 2023.
  • Funded projects will be required to provide mid-year and year-end progress reports. Failure to submit these reports will disqualify a recipient from receiving future Investment Funds for other projects for a period of five years.

For questions about the proposal process, please contact Darson Rhodes.

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Call Memo


Dean’s Council Policy on Stipend Requests
Stipend Request Authorization Form
Budget Template (xlsx)
Scoring Guide


Budget Reference Guide and Objectives
Assessment Plan Reference Guide