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Dean’s Faculty Mentorship Award

Research Initiative Supporting Excellence in early careeR development (RISER)


icon for important datesFaculty Award Recipients

Headshot of Wei Lyu

Wei Lyu, PhD

Project Title: Effects of Community-based Dental Clinics Expansion on Access to Dental Care and Emergency Department Visits for Dental Conditions among Low-income Individuals

Headshot of Xichen Mou

Xichen Mou, PhD

Project Title: Advancing Pooled Data Analysis for Public Health Screening and Biomonitoring

Headshot of Abu Mohammed Naser Titu

Abu Mohammed Naser Titu, PhD, MBBS

Project Title: Climate Change and Violence: Exploring the Relationship of Ambient Temperature with Mass Shootings, Fatal Police Encounters, and Childhood Firearm Injuries


icon for important datesCall for Proposals

October 17, 2023
Announcement Release Date
December 1, 2023
Application Receipt Date
December 15, 2023
Award Announcement Date

icon for faqFAQs

RISER funding is provided by the Dean’s office in the School of Public Health to support early-career faculty to develop innovative research projects leading to the pursuit of scholarly publications and extramural research funding.

Extramural research funding proposal submissions and at least one publication within two years as an output of this pilot seed funding.

Eligible applicants include tenure-track or research track faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis. Faculty who received the RISER award in the past two years are not eligible to apply. Each faculty may only submit a single proposal as the principal investigator (PI) but can be on multiple proposals as a co-investigator (co-I). Each proposal can only have one PI.

Faculty may resubmit a revised proposal that was not funded in the previous funding cycle; resubmissions should clearly indicate that it is a revised proposal and should include an introduction (maximum: one page) responding to reviewers’ comments. Previous reviews must be attached to the proposal, and the introduction will not be counted in the narrative page limit. In addition, the revised applications should highlight the changes made in the research narrative. Resubmissions lacking the introduction page and previous reviews will be considered non-responsive. Only one resubmission is allowed. However, faculty can apply on a similar theme that was not funded on a previous cycle as a new proposal and there should be major revisions to the proposal.

RISER projects may be funded up to $7500. An applicant may request a project period of 12 months beginning January 1, 2024 and ending December 31, 2024. Under certain conditions and with justification, exceptions to these dates may be requested.

Budgets will be presented in general categories and require detailed explanations. Although the Review Committee intends to fund projects as closely as possible to the requested amount, it reserves the right to alter the amount depending on the number of proposals received and the funds available. Cost share is not allowed.

Allowable Costs

  • Stipend and fringe benefit of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians are allowed.
  • Project supplies
  • Travel essential to conduct the project; strong justification must be provided.
  • Graduate student tuition

Unallowable Costs

  • Salary and fringe benefits of investigators (PI and co-Is)
  • Costs in connection with faculty degree requirements
  • Food (for use in research/as subject incentives)
  • Travel to professional meetings

Icon for applicationApplication Procedure

Develop a three-page proposal narrative that provides:
  • A brief discussion of the background and significance of the proposed idea, including its relation to the present state of knowledge in the field.
  • A detailed narrative of the project that includes the objectives, significance of the research, the research task and expected accomplishments during the project, the specific outcomes of the project, a discussion of potential external funding sources, and a timeline.
  • A maximum of one page should be devoted to discussing how the proposed research activity will advance the research career of the PI.
  • Text that is single-spaced with margins not less than one-half (0.5) inch and using a font size not less than 11 pt.
  • A cover sheet attached to the proposal (not counted in the page limit) that includes the project title, the total budget request, the PI name, Division, and e-mail address. The cover sheet also should include a summary of the proposed work.
Attach the following supporting documentation to the end of the proposal narrative:
  • Bibliography (should be included as appropriate and will not be counted in the narrative page limitation).
  • Two-page maximum biographical sketch for the PI and each co-I that includes the following sections:
  1. Education
  2. Professional experience
  3. Evidence of scholarship: most significant refereed journal articles, books, book chapters, etc.
  4. Significant accomplishments and contributions
  5. Other information as appropriate
  • Current and pending support. Include current grant funding and pending grant funding. For each grant, provide project title, PI, role of the applicant, and funding agency, duration, and amount.
  • A detailed budget following UofM format and budget justification for total project costs that is consistent with the list of allowable costs shown above.
  • Appendices are allowed if highly relevant (e.g., letters of support and external review panel comments on related proposals); however, do not use appendices to circumvent page limits.
  • If you have received RISER funds before, you must include a brief appendix to your proposal that includes the titles and funding amounts of these awards, along with a description of the impacts of the award(s).
  • Please submit the possible federal grant information that you intend to submit during this funding.
Submit the completed proposal packet as a single PDF document to Dean Ashish Joshi, with the subject line "RISER Award Application" to sphdean@memphis.edu by December 1, 2023.

Icon for ReviewReview Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to this announcement will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary Research committee established by the Dean of SPH. The committee will then provide a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Dean based on the quality of the proposals evaluated following the review criteria (see below). The Dean will make awards based on the committee's recommendations and available funds.

Research Merit
  • Does the proposal provide a compelling argument for the funding?
  • Does the proposed project represent a significant contribution to the investigator's field of study? If so, how?
Nature of Proposal
  • Does the proposal provide a clear statement of overall project objectives?
  • Are the proposed methodologies appropriate and accurate?
  • Does the proposal provide a sound justification with clear and specific budget information? Is there a timeline, and is it realistic?
  • Is the text clearly comprehensible to other academic scholars, some of whom may not be experts in the applicant's field of study?
  • Does it significantly improve the chances for funding from existing sources?
  • Does the project offer significant opportunities for funding from new source?

Icon for Contact usContact Us

Ashish Joshi, Ph.D., MBBS, MPH
Dean and Distinguished University Professor