RPC Support and Services

Advice, Advocacy and Support

RPC advises Library faculty and Academic Professionals(see note below) on the design and execution of their research projects, especially choice of methodology and possible funding sources. Committee members are available to assist Library faculty and AP’s in preparing grant proposals to other campus funding sources. RPC monitors Library and campus policies to ensure that information on strategic and financial support for research is up-to-date.

RPC Funding for Research

One major function of RPC is providing financial support for research projects conducted by Library Faculty and Academic Professionals. The committee meets regularly to review funding requests for a wide range of research projects. By providing peer review of proposed research, RPC helps faculty members devise appropriate conceptual structures and methodologies. Many research expenditures are eligible for support, including:

  • Research travel (domestic and international) –
    Note:  the Campus Research Board is also often a source for travel funding.
  • Hourly graduate student assistance wages
  • Hourly undergraduate student assistance wages
  • Online database searching
  • Survey design and administration
  • Data analysis
  • Translation
  • Oral history interviews
  • Equipment for checkout
  • Editing
  • Photographic services (slides, illustrations, photographs)

Specifically excluded items include:  (see Policies for Award Approval, for more details)

  • Non-research travel — e.g., funds to attend a meeting.  If you’re presenting at the meeting, you may apply for funds from the UIUC Scholars’ Travel Fund
  • Graduate assistantships
  • Prolonged research spanning years of investigation
  • Computer time on UIUC computers
  • Postage, telephone costs, and ordinary office supplies
  • Additions to the collection, including research material and computer software
  • Retroactive expenses

Research funded by the RPC from 1990 to the present has covered a wide range of subjects in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences.  Library science was the most heavily represented, with bibliographic and collection guides, works in library history and the history of books, and studies of collection development policy, online systems, and users.  Research in other disciplines, such as history, art history, and musicology, has also been funded.  Research travel and  short-term undergraduate/graduate student hourly assistant wages comprise the bulk of funded requests. Take a look at the Policies for Award Approval, for additional information concerning the types of research needs RPC can and can not fund.

RPC funding focuses on short-term, discrete projects. Start-up funds may also be provided for larger-scale or longer-term projects.


The RPC has funded access to this electronic research tool for the entire campus community, but we did it with YOU, the faculty librarian in mind! PapersINVITED is a searchable database of calls for papers, posters and publications from professional bodies, universities, journal editors and other conference organizers. Sign up at the site, and create a customized area with just your research areas listed.

Once in PapersINVITED, click on “Options” to define your research areas, which may be broadly defined using one of their general categories (e.g., Library and Information Sciences) or specifically delimited by keyword (e.g, OAI; Open Access; etc). You may also elect to receive personalized auto-alerts based on your research areas of interest.

Lectures, Colloquia, and RPC Research Brown Bag Lunches

Since 1971, RPC has assisted in the professional development of Library faculty and Academic Professionals by sponsoring lectures, seminars, workshops, and brown-bag series that provide information about research methodologies. The Committee engages in cooperative program planning with other campus units interested in library research to highlight research findings, trends in librarianship, and research techniques.

Stay tuned for the 2018-19 RPC Research Brown Bag Schedule

Portable PCs and Other Equipment to Loan

RPC equipment is housed and managed by Library IT as part of the Library Equipment Pool. To request RPC equipment, go to the Library IT website, follow the link for “Loanable equipment” and fill out the Library Equipment Loan Request.

* 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.