College of Liberal Arts

LabSpace Project Labs

Project Labs are for externally funded research projects conducted by Liberal Arts faculty members.  A Project Lab award has a well-defined scope matching that of the external grant, award, or gift. 

LabSpace assigns Project Labs directly to faculty members, not home departments. Acting for the college, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) retains institutional "ownership", and management rights and responsibilities for Project Labs.

This is an open call without a deadline. However, proposals should be submitted as early as possible to allow for relocation, renovation, and/or construction.

Eligibility and Participating Departments

Faculty members with an active tenured or tenure-track primary appointment in the College of Liberal Arts are eligible for a LabSpace award.  All Liberal Arts departments and centers participate in LabSpace, except Population Research Center (PRC).  PRC affiliates managing grants through PRC should contact the PRC director about space needs. Collaborative projects between PRC affiliates and faculty members from other Liberal Arts departments may be eligible for LabSpace awards. 

Application process

Applications are accepted through the Project Lab web application.  For technical assistance with the web application, contact Program Officer Adrienne Witzel.  The web application is for Project Labs proposals only.  Departments requesting an Program Lab may do so using the Program Lab online request form.

Submitted proposals are reviewed by the LabSpace Faculty Advisory Committee which will respond to the proposal in one of three ways. First, the committee may simply approve or deny the request. Second, the committee may request additional information in writing before making a decision. Third, the committee may ask to meet with the applicant(s) to discuss the proposal before making a decision.  The chair of the LabSpace Faculty Advisory Committee will notify the applicant of the committee’s decision.

Review Criteria

The LabSpace Faculty Advisory Committee evaluates proposals based on the following:

  • The design and methods of proposed research project(s)
  • The expected productivity of proposed labs
  • A detailed justification of the project’s need for space
  • The research and publication records of the Primary Investigator(s) and collaborators
  • Past grant support
  • Anticipated student involvement in research
  • Publication plans for the proposed research
  • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation metrics

A high priority is placed on research with external funding.  Researchers anticipating external grants may apply, though the award will be contingent on the success of the external fundraising and space availability.  

Award Terms

Labs are assigned for specific terms that match the term of the grant. Researchers may apply to renew lab assignments, when necessary to complete the funded project.  Renewal proposal are evaluated under the same criteria as new awards proposals.

Limited bridging awards will be considered at the end of an assignment term when there is a high probability of renewed outside funding.

Chair Recommendations

The departmental chair receives an email notification when a faculty member submits a LabSpace proposal.  The notice includes a request for a statement of support from the chair for the proposed lab.  The support statement also should explain why the research should be housed in LabSpace rather than the department's existing research labs. 

Eligible Costs

There is a strong presumption that external grant funding will be used to support research carried out in LabSpace Project Labs.   However, Project Lab proposals may include requets for:

  • Funding for new construction. This funding will be limited and reserved for projects attracting major, external research grants or gifts. 
  • Seed funds for pilot data collection if they increase the likelihood of obtaining major, external grant awards. Examples may include: travel, research assistant stipends, equipment, and supplies. LabSpace seed funding will be small, and funded activities must be directly related to the research proposed for the Project Lab.
  • Computers, furniture, and other office equipment that cannot be purchased with external funds.
  • Research expenses not allowed under external grant programs. Awards will be extremely limited and reserved for projects attracting major external research grants or gifts.