UW Research

Royalty Research Fund (RRF)

Through the RRF, the Office of Research supports UW faculty seeking to establish new research programs. See below for information regarding the RRF and how to apply.


The purpose of the Royalty Research Fund (RRF) is to advance new directions in research, particularly:

  1. in disciplines for which external funding opportunities are minimal, and/or
  2. for faculty who are junior in rank, and/or
  3. in cases where funding may provide unique opportunities to increase applicants’ competitiveness for subsequent funding.

Proposals must demonstrate a high probability of generating important new creative activities or scholarly understandings, new scholarly materials or resources, significant data or information, or essential instrumentation resources that are likely to significantly advance the reputation of the university, lead to external funding, or lead to developing a new technology. (Note: RRF proposals must support faculty development; this fund is not intended to support independent research projects undertaken by graduate students and/or post-doctorates.)

Over the past three years, the success rate for RRF proposals has ranged from 24% to 28%, with an average of 26%.


This program is funded from royalty and licensing fee income generated by the University’s technology transfer program. The RRF has been offered twice a year since the Spring of 1992. In 1994, the Royalty Research Fund Scholar program was initiated to provide one quarter of release time for faculty with full teaching loads to engage in concentrated scholarly activities. The RRF welcomes proposals with budgets up to $40,000.


Faculty and professional staff with PI status (as determined by their dean) are eligible to apply, except those with acting, affiliate, visiting, postdoctoral, or temporary (including limited duration) appointments. While some researchers in these categories do have PI status, they are not eligible for the RRF program and we do not make exceptions to this rule. Eligible faculty ranks include (but are not limited to): Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Assistant Professor. A co-PI must also hold one of the eligible ranks. All applicants must hold an eligible rank at the time of submission and the appointment must be active in Workday. If you have already received an RRF award, you are not eligible to apply again for a period of two years after the previous RRF award was formally terminated and the final report received. RRF Scholar applicants (those requesting one quarter of release time from teaching) must teach at least four regular and substantial courses per year; independent study and dissertation supervision are not included.

Note: If a UW faculty member holds an eligible rank but is based at another institution (e.g. Seattle Children’s or Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), all of his/her extramural grants must be run through the UW in order to be eligible for an RRF award.

Deans, Directors, and Chairs should only approve RRF proposals for faculty and professional staff who are eligible for the program.

Applications Allowed

A PI or co-PI may submit only one proposal per round. Our policy precludes PIs and co-PIs from having multiple funded proposals within the same period. There are no such restrictions on participating faculty or staff who are not PIs or co-PIs. A proposal which is not funded may be resubmitted twice (taking previous review comments into consideration); any proposal can be submitted a maximum of three times. Copies of previously funded proposals for the past six years are available for examination (by appointment) in the Office of Research, G80 Gerberding Hall.

Matching Funds, External Support, Start Up Funds and Bridge Funds

The RRF may not be proposed as matching funds for another grant. An RRF grant may be used as matching for a proposal submitted after the RRF award date. Applications can be made for external support of the same project, but an RRF award will not be given if an external award has been made. Support will not be provided merely to supplement or extend an ongoing funded research project. The RRF is not intended to provide or supplement start-up funds for new faculty. RRF awards are based on the quality of the science being proposed, and are not intended to serve solely as bridge funding when other external sources of research support have been lost. The University program that supports faculty bridge funds is the Bridge Funding program. Please note that acceptance of an RRF award of $30,000 or more, will make an individual ineligible for a Bridge Fund award. Applicants who apply to both programs simultaneously will only be given one award. If an individual holds a Bridge Fund award and subsequently receives an RRF award of $30,000 or more, any remaining Bridge Fund monies must be returned.

When to Apply / Deadline

Proposals are solicited twice a year and are due by 5:00 pm the last Monday in September and the first Monday in March; awards are announced by January 15 and June 15, respectively.

Departments receive an email announcing the next round of competition a couple of months in advance of the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted – NO EXCEPTIONS.

Fall Round

  • Applications are available approximately mid-June
  • Submissions are due the last Monday in September
  • Awards will be announced by January 15th

Spring Round

  • Applications are available in mid-January
  • Submissions are due the first Monday in March
  • Awards will be announced by June 15th


Proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee that recommends funding priorities to the Office of Research. The committee solicits reviews from two faculty peers based on written proposal evaluation criteria. Please note that these reviewers will not necessarily be specialists in the applicant’s subfield. Thought should be given, therefore, to crafting the proposal so that a wider audience may understand it. Although technical field-specific information will be expected, the major features of the proposal must also be accessible to non-specialists. The primary criterion is the merit of the proposal. Secondary criteria include suitability to the goals of the RRF and available opportunities and timeliness of the proposal for obtaining subsequent funding. In disciplines for which applicants may also be eligible to compete for federal funding (e.g., NIH, NSF), preference is given to junior faculty. Similarly, among proposals of comparable merit, preference is given to junior faculty. Proposals from senior faculty are funded only when they a) support a genuinely new direction in the applicant’s research and/or career development or b) provide a unique opportunity to compete for subsequent one-time (or infrequently offered) funding or c) originate in a discipline for which external funding opportunities are minimal.


Proposals may request funds up to $40,000. Only proposals identified by the review committee as exceptional will be awarded funding at the upper end of the range. The review committee can recommend a reduction in the proposed budget to allow support of as many meritorious projects as possible. Funds will not be released until after the awards are announced and the requisite paperwork is completed and approved. These are normally one-year awards.

How to Apply

Before applying, be sure to review all of the information provided above regarding the RRF and the Instructions for Preparing an RRF Proposal. If you teach four or more courses per year and are interested in applying for a quarter of teaching release, please see the RRF Scholars Program.

Briefly, the RRF application consists of an eGC1 (electronic Grants and Contracts form 1) created online in SAGE (System to Administer Grants Electronically), the proposal documents, and the Suggested Reviewers Memo. The proposal documents are gathered into a single PDF file and attached electronically to the eGC1. The completed application is then routed electronically to all the individuals that need to approve the proposal: Chairs, Directors, and Deans. It is then automatically routed to the RRF. The Suggested Reviewers Memo is submitted separately. Applications not fully approved by the RRF deadline will not be accepted – NO EXCEPTIONS.



  • New applicants should contact Peter Wilsnack, 206-685-9316, doogieh@uw.edu
  • Existing awardees should contact Karen Luetjen, 206-616-9089, luetjen@uw.edu
  • For questions about SAGE, check with your unit’s administrator or contact oris@uw.edu, 206-685-8335