CAS Strategic Priorities Grants

The College of Arts and Sciences 2021 Strategic Plan, the N2025 Strategic Plan, and the N|150 Report identify core strategic priorities in research and creative activity. The college seeks to inspire creative teams of faculty and students to address these priorities. This program invites faculty to propose innovative approaches to a clearly identified college and university priority.

The priority for the 2022-2023 call for proposals will be climate resilience. Future areas of focus (subject to change) will feature health equity in 2023-24.


Any grant-eligible faculty member (e.g. tenured, tenure-track, research, prof. of practice) in the college may apply.

Faculty Lead PIs and Co-PI teams may not apply to both the CAS Interdisciplinary Research Teams program and this program (Strategic Priorities) in the same cycle.

Other employees of the university (e.g., lecturer) will be eligible to apply for internal funding only if they can document all of the following:

  • Their university appointment includes research responsibilities
  • They are eligible to be a Principal Investigator on a federally funded project in their role as a university employee
  • They have a multi-year appointment with the university such that they will have an appointment during the period when the proposed project will be conducted with the reasonable expectation of having an appointment should they apply for and receive a federal project
  • There is evidence that they have a long-term commitment to the university
  • Their supervising administrator writes a letter supporting their eligibility for internal funding that is uploaded with the application.

Award Size

Amount requested per application may not exceed $10,000.

Program Funding

Funding is limited and awarded on a competitive basis. One grant will be given each funding cycle. There are two rounds of grants considered each year with the following deadline dates: October 30 and March 30. Awardees should work with their department business manager to set up a cost object to fund expenses.


Any team may propose any activity which seeks to fulfill the CAS Strategic Plan and the university's grand challenges. Projects may include undergraduate and graduate research teams, innovations in experiential learning that promote research, and other activities that advance research on the designated strategic priority.

An individual faculty member may submit one application per review cycle, and may not receive more than one grant per year. Applicants may propose the same project for other internal funding opportunities but may accept only one of the grants if both are funded. Funding is valid upon notification of the grant and available for one year from the notification date.

Examples of allowable expenses include graduate and undergraduate research stipends, software, data analysis, instrument time and experiment analysis, database access, course buyouts, postdoc support, and summer salary. The program would not typically pay for activities such as travel to professional meetings, standard operating expenses, or honoraria for collaborators and/or partners. These would be expected to be covered through existing resources.


The Strategic Priorities Grant application will open approximately one month before the deadline date and should be completed in NuRamp by the applicant, endorsed and approved by the PI's department chair, and routed to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the college.

To route a new application:

  1. Access NuRamp
  2. Select "Internal Competitions" from the upper left menu
  3. Select "Applications" and "Add a New Application"
  4. Search for "CAS Strategic Priorities Grants"

Applicants should be aware that if their proposed research involves the use of animals, human subjects, radioactive materials, or activities covered by federal regulations on recombinant DNA technology, appropriate UNL clearance must be obtained before an approved proposal will be funded. Applicable policies and clearance procedures are available from the following offices: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee and Institutional Review Board.

Please review export control and allowable/unallowable expenses.

Each application should include:

  • PI Name, co-PI name(s) key personnel if appropriate, department/center/institute affiliation, phone, email, and proposal title
  • Abstract of the proposed project (one paragraph)
  • Description of the proposed project (3 page maximum)
    • The objective, nature, and scope of the proposed activities and how they will fulfill the CAS Strategic Plan or the university's Grand Challenges with specific reference to the call.
    • Background, previous work and/or motivation for the team as appropriate.
    • The anticipated interdisciplinary outcomes, short-term and long-term
    • The plan for external funding and sustainability of the research beyond the CAS grant
  • Curriculum Vitae (2 page maximum, current) for each faculty member listed on the cover sheet as an investigator. If postdocs, graduate students and/or undergraduates are included in the project as collaborators, describe their qualifications.
  • Letters of Commitment from All Participating Faculty indicating willingness and ability to participate in collaborative initiative. This can come from a colleague or administrator.

Please upload one PDF to NuRamp for items 3 through 5 from above.

The NURamp application will ask for a detailed budget identifying and explaining all anticipated expenditures, including a proposed budget for travel and proposed dates of trip if applicable, and a budget justification. Please provide estimates that are as accurate and reasonable as possible for all individual items in the proposed budget, as the accuracy of this information can impact the evaluation committee's recommendations.

Write your proposal in clear, non-technical language. The review committee may or may not have specialized expertise in your area of research or creative activity, so it is essential to craft your proposal for a general audience while including enough detail to judge the merits within your field.


Strategic Priorities grants will be made upon recommendation of the College of Arts and Sciences Research Advisory Committee (CASRAC). In the case of multiple applications from a department, the department chair may be consulted to assist in ranking the applications.

Committee evaluation criteria used in reviewing Strategic Priorities applications will include:

  • Overall clarity and soundness.
  • The broader impact of the expected results and the need for the collaborative approach.
  • Clearly articulated roles and mutual expectations of the faculty members.
  • Clearly articulated activities that address the call for CAS Strategic Plan priorities or university grand challenges and how they will be advanced.
  • Importance of the expected outcomes and impacts to the mission of the college/university.

Final Report

At the end of the grant period, a one- to three-page report must be submitted no later than four weeks after the end of the funding period. The report will describe the activities conducted and any outcomes (e.g., publication, products, new grants submitted, etc.). This report is also a requirement to complete the reimbursement of expenses. The report should be emailed to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education William Thomas ( and the college's Sr. Budget/Financial Analyst Alycia Harden (

Specifics for Business Staff

Once the report has been submitted by the awardee and approved by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, funds will be transferred from the college to the department.

Please contact Alycia Harden with any questions pertaining to the business aspects of this grant.

To apply

  • Eligibility
  • Award Size
  • Program Funding
  • Definitions
  • Application
  • Evaluation
  • Final Report
  • Specifics for Business Staff