Just in Time Funding

The Cato College of Education “Just in Time” Funding program is designed to provide necessary financial support to faculty and staff to launch a new project or to complete research projects that would otherwise go unfinished or be significantly hampered. Investigators can apply to receive a maximum of $2,000 toward the purchase of supplies or core services not supported by departmental research overhead funds or other external or internal funding sources (e.g., start-up funds, research incentive funds). The funding is intended to support faculty-led projects, rather than student-led projects in which faculty are involved. Documentation of IRB approval is necessary prior to obtaining funds for any research that includes Human Subjects.

Submission Deadlines

Recognizing that funds may be needed at various points throughout the year, applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The number and size of awards are contingent upon funding and may fluctuate annually.

  • September 15, 2023
  • January 19, 2024
  • April 11, 2024

Eligible Applicants. While applications from early career faculty and faculty with research expectations will be prioritized, all faculty and staff in the Cato College of Education may apply. Applications are limited to one per investigator per academic year. Previous awardees are eligible to receive additional funding, but to share limited resources broadly, may only be funded once during the same academic year.

Eligible Purchases. Costs may include materials, supplies and/or services. Awards may not be used to pay for investigator stipends, release time, memberships, publication costs, food, or to disseminate research at conferences. Costs will be paid directly by administrative support personnel in the Dean’s Office to the vendor or can be reimbursed to the investigator. All costs must be pre-approved by the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education. Items can only be reimbursed if the purchase was made after the award date. Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Data analytic software to support research
  • Research participant incentives
  • Travel to collect data
  • Transcription services
  • Technology required to complete research that is not already readily available*
  • Supplies to support research
  • Access to data
  • Funding to support the hiring of a Graduate Assistant or temporary student employee to support research

*Technology purchases must be approved and processed by OneIT.

To be eligible for Just in Time funding, in the application process, applicants must upload documentation (1 paragraph letter or email) from their Department Chair or unit head indicating that he/she is aware and approves of the request, but cannot support it using departmental or unit research overhead funds. Just in Time funding is intended to support projects where other financial sources have been exhausted or are not available.

Post-award Expectations

Upon completion of a funded project, award recipients are asked to submit to the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education a brief (1 paragraph) description of how the funding impacted the research project. Failure to submit this documentation will result in ineligibility for future Just in Time funding opportunities.

Review Process

All requests will be reviewed by the Cato College of Education Research Advisory Council. The Council provides its feedback on each proposal to the Dean of the College, and the Dean makes the final decision based on availability of funds. Applications will be evaluated on 1) the need for funding; 2) potential impact of the proposed project; 3) appropriateness of the research design or steps to complete the project; 4) relevance to the applicant’s research agenda and career trajectory, and 5) alignment with the College’s Strategic Plan (see scoring rubric below). Applicants will be notified of a funding decision within 2 weeks of the submission deadline.

Just in Time Funding Scoring Rubric Criteria

Scoring Rubric

CriteriaExemplary (2pts)Adequate (1pt)Area for Improvement (0pts)Score
Need for funding On-going project could not be completed or would be significantly hampered without funding Funding is needed to launch new project or to support existing project that could possibly continue without it. Need for funding is unclear, and/or no attempt made to explore other funding options


Potential Impact Project would have clear and significant impact. Project would have impact. Impact of the project is weak or unclear.


Quality of the Research Design Clear and detailed explanation of a logical series of steps involved to complete the project. General explanation of the steps involved to complete the project. Explanation of the steps involved in conducting the project lacks detail or alignment with the goals.


Relevance to Research Agenda Project aligns closely with the applicant’s research agenda. Some alignment between the project and the applicant’s research agenda. Alignment between the project and the applicant’s research agenda is weak or unclear.


Alignment with the COED Strategic Plan Project clearly aligns with one or more of the COED’s strategic goals. Project aligns with one of the COED’s strategic goals. Project’s alignment with the COED Strategic Plan is unclear.


Total Score (MAX=10)