Sample Applications

The Research Support Fund provides funds to help underwrite expenses associated with faculty research through departmental allocations and competitive grants. Faculty may use Collections Purchase funds for the purchase of books, videos, data sets or other library materials. If the purchase is for $2,000 or less, faculty must use the department’s annual research support allocation first. Please refer to the Department Allocated Research Support page for further details. For purchases above $2,000 or after department resources have been exhausted, faculty may apply to the Collections Purchase competitive program.

Faculty may apply to purchase library materials that will serve as general reference and research resources. Examples include but are not restricted to the purchase of large digital or microfilm collections; bibliographies and catalogues; information on multimedia; rare or out-of-print books; and back issues of serials to which the library currently subscribes. Faculty may request the purchase of data sets (either direct holding or through subscription access). Material purchases as described above (books, data sets) must be purchased and held in a manner that allows the widest possible use. Whenever possible, such materials should be purchased through the University Libraries, to be held in circulating collections.

Faculty must coordinate library-held purchases through their collections librarian (discipline bibliographer). In the case of such purchases, faculty should seek to partner with the library so that a Taft award is supplemented with library resources. Such proposals will be given priority. The current budget for collections purchase is $35,000 and matching grants of at least 33% are required for Taft support, which is capped at 66% of the total cost.In cases of very expensive collections, the Research Support Committee will entertain proposals that seek multi-year commitment of Taft funds. Such proposals, however, must contain commitments of substantial non-Taft funding and will be the exception, rather than the rule. Faculty considering such proposals should consult with the Taft Faculty Chair.


A complete application packet should include the following:

  • A narrative of no more than 1000 words, which explains the potential uses of the materials for research purposes in the applicant's discipline and related Taft disciplines. Details should be given concerning:
    • The likely use of the material for research by faculty members or students. When appropriate, list other faculty who would benefit specifically and explain the connection between the material and their research, (additionally the proposal may address secondary use for course work by graduate or undergraduate students);
    • How the material would complement existing holdings at UC libraries or in the department;
    • The location of the nearest library containing the requested materials, if applicable;
    • Indicate where the materials will be located and the rationale for that location.
  • All applicants requesting material purchases (books, data sets, etc.) must address the current availability of that material. Due diligence in determining whether or not the material is currently available is expected and should be reported. Applicants requesting library purchases should provide documentation that the library does not currently own the material in any format, including Web or Ohio-link access; or document that the proposed format will greatly enhance their ability to use the materials.
  • Budget justification. This cost of the purchase, the cost advantage of ownership, and also specify non-Taft resources that have been committed, if any. Library-held purchases should be supplemented with Library funds. Alternative funding levels or payment plans may also be suggested.
  • The DARS balance for each sponsoring department must be provided in the application, along with a report on the funds already encumbered by the Taft Administrative and Financial Coordinator.
  • Where materials will be held by UC libraries, applicants must include a letter from a library bibliographer, which speaks to the anticipated use of these materials in research (and teaching) and the value of the material to the collection at the University of Cincinnati.
  • A current 2-page CV for each faculty researcher supporting the application and who would benefit from award.
  • Copies of any relevant supporting materials, e.g. descriptive information from a book publisher or a software vendor.

For detailed instructions on submitting your application, please click on application instructions.

For instructions on how to create a PDF, please click: How to Create a PDF.


Library materials purchased with general funds by university libraries will not usually be funded. In particular, serial subscriptions will not be funded. All expenses charged to the Research Support fund must either contribute to a faculty research project, or to improving the research infrastructure of the department. An example of the latter would be purchasing books for the library to build a collection.

Faculty members are limited to $100,000 in research support funds over a five-year period. If several faculty members submit a joint request, the costs will be apportioned across all faculty listed on the proposal.