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 generally will have a well-defined scope and term that match the scope and term of the external grant award or gift. LabSpace temporarily assigns Project Labs directly to faculty members, not to 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 possible relocation, renovation, and or construction projects: most notably, the new CLA building.

Eligibility and Participating Departments

Faculty members with an active tenured or tenure-track primary appointment in participating departments in the College of Liberal Arts are eligible to submit LabSpace proposals. All Liberal Arts Departments and Centers are currently participating in LabSpace, except for the Department of Psychology and the Population Research Center (PRC). Psychology and PRC continue to manage lab space internally. Psychology faculty members should work with their department chair to arrange research space. PRC affiliates who plan to manage external grants through the PRC should contact the PRC director about space needs. Collaborative projects involving Psychology faculty members or PRC affiliates, along with faculty members from other Liberal Arts departments, may be eligible for LabSpace awards.

Contact LabSpace if there is any question of eligibility.

Application process

Applications are accepted through the Project Lab web application.  For technical assistance with the online proposal form, contact Program Officer Adrienne Witzel.  The web application is for Project Labs proposals only.  Please do not submit a LabSpace proposal using the linked form if you are requesting a Program Lab.  If you are looking for space that will serve a program, use the Program Lab guidelines.

Review Criteria

The LabSpace Faculty Advisory Committee evaluation will include:

  • The design and methodology of proposed research projects
  • The expected productivity of the 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 will be placed on research with external funding. Researchers who do not currently have an external grant — but plan to apply for one — may be awarded a lab contingent on receiving the outside funding.

Award Terms

Labs will be assigned for a specific term set at the time of the award. The award term will generally match the term of the external grant funding the research. Researchers may apply to renew lab assignments for any number of additional terms. Proposals for renewal of lab assignments will be evaluated under the same criteria as new awards.

Researchers may request lab space before external grants or gifts. In such case, awards may be made contingent on the success of the external fundraising. The space will then be assigned when the external funding is received, contingent on the continued availability of space.

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

Chair Recommendations

After an online proposal is submitted, the proposer's department chair will be asked to provide a short statement of support to the LabSpace Faculty Advisory Committee, including an explanation of why the research should be housed in LabSpace — rather than the department's existing research labs. The chair will automatically receive an email notice when a faculty member submits a LabSpace proposal. The notice will include a request to the chair for a statement of support, and a web link to instructions for submitting the statement. The proposer is responsible for following up with the chair to confirm the submission of the statement of support.

Eligible Costs

There is a strong presumption that external grant funding will be used to support the research carried out in LabSpace Project Labs. Project Lab proposals may request:

  • Laboratory space for a set period of time in a suitable facility for research. (Researchers may request extensions and renewals of the assignment period.)
  • Funding for construction of unfinished “shell” space. This funding will be limited and reserved for projects attracting major, external research grants or gifts. Contact LabSpace if you have questions about availability of finished labs or funding for “shell” space construction.
  • 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 awards will be small and activities receiving seed funding 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.

Again, this call for proposals is for Project Labs. Do not submit a LabSpace proposal using the linked form if you are requesting a Program Lab.  If you are looking for space that will serve a program, use the Program Lab guidelines.