UMS Research Reinvestment Fund

The objective of the UMS Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF) is to strengthen research and development activities that are tied to Maine businesses and to industries that are critical to the future of Maine. The UMS Board of Trustees (BOT) has committed funding for this initiative through FY 2019.

Competitive grant funding competitions for UMS researchers are overseen by the RRF Advisory Board (see below for membership listing). The Advisory Board develops and implements the specific policies, processes, and criteria for RRF allocation for this fund. In addition the Advisory Board oversees the distribution of funds to ensure the greatest impact on research and economic development for the state.

The RRF Advisory Board has developed and implemented three competitive funding programs for faculty and researchers across the UMS:

1.  Seed Grants: The purpose of the Seed Grants are to provide funding for pilot research that will enable UMS faculty/professional staff from all disciplines and ranks to strengthen research, commercialization and economic development activities. UMS faculty and staff from all disciplines and ranks to strengthen research, commercialization, and economic development activities that support Maine businesses and industries critical to the state’s economy. A related goal for seed funds is to better position research groups to be more competitive in obtaining future funding, whether it be federal, state, commercial or private. Proposals may be in either MEIF or non-MEIF topic areas. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals, which include two or more campuses and/or external partners are highly encouraged.

The third round of the seed grant program is now active and applications are due by 1/31/2017 at 4:30pm.

Download: RRF Seed Grant Program RFP (PDF)

2.  Planning Grants: The purpose of the Planning Grants is to encourage the formation of new collaborative research teams spanning UMS campuses in an effort to prepare these teams to submit competitive applications to UMS RRF Seed Grant or external funding competitions (federal, state, and/or private). RRF Planning Grants continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.

Download: RRF Planning Grant Program  (PDF

3. Student Assistantships: UMS faculty/staff are the applicants in these funding requests. The purpose of the RRF student assistantship awards is to provide funding for students to work with UMS faculty/staff on research projects that will enable researchers from all disciplines and ranks to strengthen research, commercialization, and economic development activities that support Maine businesses and industries critical to the state’s economy. A related goal for the RRF student assistantships is to better position research groups to be more competitive in obtaining future funding from federal, state, system or commercial sources. Applications may be in either MEIF or non-MEIF focus areas. Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, which include UMS campus and/or external partners, are highly encouraged.  

There are two funding programs associated with the student assistantship awards:

Undergraduate Student Assistantships

For projects requesting support for Fall 2017 through Summer 2018, Applications will be accepted between May 5, 2017 and June 2, 2017 by 4:30pm.

Assistantships awarded will fund up to $7,000 per student

  • $5k stipend
  • Up to $2k materials, supplies and travel

*limit of 1 students per application

Download: RRF Undergraduate Assistantship RFP (PDF)

Graduate Student Assistantships: Applications will be accepted between December 22, 2016 and January 10, 2017 by 4:30pm.

Assistantships awarded will provide up to $30,882 per student

  • $20k stipend
  • Up to 12 credits tuition ($5,016)
  • 50% student health ($1,116)
  • Up to $4,750 materials, supplies and travel

*Limit of 2 students per project

*No more than 2 students per faculty member

Download: RRF Graduate Assistantship RFP (PDF)

Questions? Please contact Jason Charland, Director for Grant Development, University of Maine at 207-581-2461 or jason.charland@maine.edu

Previous RRF Seed Grant, Planning Grant and Graduate Assistant Grant Awardees


2017 Research Reinvestment Fund Activity Report

The latest RRF activity report that was presented to the UMS Board of Trustees on March 27, 2017 is now available.  Since June 2015, the RRF Program has received 234 proposals from UMS researchers spanning all seven campuses. Of these, 76 projects have been competitively selected for awards totaling $2,609,674 in grant funding.  Highlights of the report include details about the progress of the funded projects and noteworthy partnerships with private sector stakeholders.

View the 2017 RRF Activity Report


RRF Advisory Board Members

Name Title Organization
Brian Beal Professor of Marine Ecology University of Maine at Machias
Martha Bentley Director of Innovation Infrastructure Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
Seth Berry Vice President for International Business Development Kennebec River Biosciences
Sheena Bunnell Professor of Business Economics and Director of the Maine Health Research Institute University of Maine at Farmington
Jason Charland (ex-officio) Director of Grant Development University of Maine
Doug Gardner Professor of Forest Operations, Bioproducts and Bioenergy University of Maine
Carol Kim (Operations Committee) Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School University of Maine
Mike Kinnison Professor of Evolutionary Applications, School of Biology and Ecology University of Maine
David Neivandt (Operations Committee) Associate Vice President for Research University of Maine
Tony Paine Chief Executive Officer Kepware
Kris Sahonchik Director, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy University of Southern Maine
Terry Shehata Senior Policy Associate: Research and Economic Development/
MEIF Coordinator
University of Southern Maine
Rebecca Van Beneden Director of the School of Marine Sciences University of Maine
James Ward (Operations Committee) Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development University of Maine