Library Committee Handbook

RPC Committee

Charge and Membership

Outcomes of RPC Funding

Other Sources of Support

Policies for Award Approval

Portable PC Loan

Recent Awards 

Past Awards

RPC Application Process

RPC Reports

RPC Research Brown Bags

RPC Support and Services

RPC Meeting Minutes

Policies for Award Approval

These policies will be used by the Research & Publications Committee when considering your application for research support.

Grant Periods and Award Money

RPC limits monetary awards to a maximum of $5,000 per applicant per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).  This amount is available as a single large award, or as smaller awards for multiple successful applications submitted by the same researcher(s) throughout the year.  The award amount is determined by RPC, dependent upon alignment with “Funding Priorities” and “Categories Typically Funded by RPC Funds” as outlined below, as well as the available RPC funds at the time of application.

Awards must be used within one year. If the entire grant is not used within a year the unused funds will revert to the RPC unless an extension request is received by the Chair before the end of the original grant period. Awards can not be made retroactively, for work already accomplished, or for expenses already incurred.

Funding Priorities

Awards are made on the basis of anticipated scholarly contribution of the proposed project. First preference is given to tenure-track permanent full-time faculty, followed by tenured faculty. Visiting faculty, and post-doctoral fellows are eligible to compete for funding in the spring semester, if funds permit. Academic professionals* are eligible for RPC grants.  Other library staff are not eligible for funding.

Use Of Human Subjects

A proposal for research that involves human subjects must be reviewed by the UIUC Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Such projects include research that uses surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, etc.  While most projects will be exempt from a full review by the IRB, all projects involving human subjects will need to be sent to the IRB for that determination.  Please refer to the IRB website for more information such as deadlines, special considerations for survey research,  and for the IRB submission form.  Be sure to allow enough time for this mandatory review. 

Categories Typically Funded by RPC Funds


RPC supports travel costs directly related to research and publication, including airfare, reimbursement of automobile mileage, conference registration fees, taxis, trains, buses, subways, business telephone calls, business expenses, toll road charges, parking charges, meals, and lodging in accordance with University and State policies.  Applicants requesting registration and/or travel funds to conference destinations must submit a clear research plan to be executed at the destination, or must be scheduled to present a completed scholarly work that will appear in the official published conference proceedings, in order to be considered for funding.  However, applicants are expected to consider options for working remotely through Skype, email, or other means before requesting travel support, and should have exhausted other options for support (such as Scholars’ Travel Fund) before requesting RPC support to travel to present research that will be published in a conference’s official proceedings.  In determining the amount of awards for domestic and foreign travel, RPC attempts to follow the guidelines set forth in the Scholars' Travel Fund policies for award amounts for particular destinations.  RPC also funds travel to destinations less than 200 miles.


Photocopy cards for research purposes are available to faculty in 300- and 500-copy amounts from the RPC Chair.  Requests for cards can be made by sending a simple email to the RPC Chair, with a very brief description or title of your research.  Only one card will be issued at a time but faculty may request up to $75 worth of cards / year.   Requests for more than 500 copies at a time, or for funds to  photocopy at other institutions, should be submitted to the Committee on a regular RPC Application Form.


Under normal circumstances, RPC does not support in house digitization due to the availability of free scanners in library units. However, RPC will support the cost for Digital Content Creation to provide high quality scans of materials if there is a justifiable need (i.e., scans for publication). Applicants with a demonstrable need may use the RPC Short Form Application.

Poster Printing:

RPC will attempt to cover the costs of poster printing for research presentations at conferences as funds allow. Prior requests for funding for these purposes will be taken into account. Applications for this purpose may use the RPC Short Form Application.

Indexing or Other Publication Production Costs:

RPC may fund indexing and copyediting tasks for book manuscript production. However, authors should inquire into their publisher's rates for completing these tasks, since they may have a lower rate than other options. In some cases these expenses might be expected to be paid for by advances or profits the author receives from book sales.

Hiring Student Assistants:

Undergraduate students: Undergraduate student hourly help is recommended for filing, photocopying, typing, collating, mailing, and data entry.

Graduate students: Graduate students may be hired on an hourly basis.  Graduate student assistance is appropriate for handling research-oriented tasks, including foreign language translation, bibliographic searching, statistical analysis, and interviewing. However, they cannot be paid on RPC fund for time authoring a work should the appointment lead to coauthorship. If you need a graduate research assistantship, we suggest you draft a justification proposal and send it to the Library Budget Committee, or consider a Campus Research Board application.

Suggestions for hiring graduate student assistants: The burden of finding a suitable assistant rests with the person receiving RPC funds. If requested, the Library Personnel Office will post the research assistant position with the appropriate office. The assistant chosen should report to the Library Personnel Office to complete employment forms.  If the student is already the recipient of and assistantship or fellowship, he or she may be restricted from other employment by the terms of the award.  Be certain that the student checks this with their college.

Salaries and wages: Please check with the Library Personnel Office to obtain the most recent minimum rates.
The following information is current as of December 2013:

Technology Equipment and Services :

RPC will consider requests for technology purchases up to $5,000 as long as the request demonstrates that the technology will be used substantially in support of the proposed research.  Investigators are strongly encouraged to explore the availability of similar technology in the Library or elsewhere on campus, and are required to demonstrate in their request that the technology is either 1) not available elsewhere on campus; or 2) not available to the extent that the investigator needs it to support her/his research. Please read the complete policy, including steps for researchers to follow in making their request, here:  RPC Policy on Technology Equipment and Services

Other Research Expenditures That Have Received Funding:

For other examples of research areas that have received funding in the past, review the lists of previous awards. Please contact the RPC Chair before requesting RPC funding for a publication subvention.

Items Not Normally Funded by the RPC

RPC does not normally provide research funds for the following:

Acknowledgement of RPC Funds

Any public presentation of the results of your work funded by the RPC, whether a conference paper, journal article, or book should acknowledge RPC support by use of the following statement:

The author wishes to acknowledge the Research and Publication Committee of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, which provided support for the completion of this research.


The Committee requires that you submit a brief narrative report and an accounting of the funds expended one year after the grant is awarded.  If the project is completed early, with funds still remaining, please report this to the RPC Chair, so the encumbered funds can be returned to the RPC pool and awarded to someone else.  The Committee may ask you to offer the Library faculty a short presentation on your project.

*  RPC reviews requests for research funding from Academic Professional staff as part of its review process, and makes recommendations on a case-by-case basis to the University Librarian for funding AP requests.

BACK to the Research and Publication Committee Homepage.