Big Ideas II Initiative

In 2015, the SRA International Board of Directors introduced the SRA International BIG IDEAS initiative as a method of reinvesting in our membership and in research administration and management. The first award winner was announced at the 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio on October 25, 2016. The winner was Dr. Kiki Caruson, Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation and Global Affairs at the University of South Florida for her project, "A Global Research Tool Kit: Tools and Training for Supporting a Successful International Research Ecosystem."

In celebration of SRA International’s 50th Anniversary and Building the Future of Research Administration, we are launching the 2017 BIG IDEAS II initiative. The goal of the BIG IDEAS II initiative is to let SRA International members take the lead by suggesting ideas and directly participate in projects that would benefit our Society and the profession. The Board is in a position to invest funds in high quality member-led projects for the greater benefit of the Society and the profession of research administration and management.

It is envisioned that BIG IDEAS II projects will evolve into sustainable programs and be of benefit SRA International members for many years to come.

At the annual SRA International Business Meeting on October 25, 2016, John Westensee, SRA International Past President, announced the SRA International BIG IDEAS II initiative. John asked all members to put forward their best ideas for projects. The requirements for projects are that they:

  • Have broad appeal to SRA International membership.
  • Have long term positive impact on research administration and management and/or on SRA International membership.
  • Are creative and transformative for SRA International.
  • Invest in the future of SRA International.
  • Can result in new educational programs, projects or services.

SRA International will target funds a maximum of $10,000 per approved project to support the BIG IDEAS II initiative. The competition announcement language is suggested below:

  • Proposers would submit an initial one-page concept paper. The initial proposals will be reviewed.
  • Based on concept submissions, SRA International will contact successful project directors and provide the opportunity to submit a four-page proposal.
  • Based on quality of the proposal and budgets, SRA International may select one or more for funding.

Round #1- SRA International BIG IDEAS II initiative – Concept Paper submission instructions

The first step is to submit an initial one (1) page concept paper to Debbie Appler at by no later than Friday, January 13, 2017 (5:00 PM ET).

A committee will review the SRA International BIG IDEAS II concept papers, final decisions about the best concept papers will be made at the Board of Directors at their Winter Board meeting in 2017. The best concept papers will be eligible for Round 2 submission.

Please note that travel awards will not be considered for the BIG IDEAS II initiative.

Concept papers should not exceed 1 page using a standard 10-point font and 1 inch margins (all sides). Concept papers should be submitted using Microsoft Word. All concept papers should contain the following information:

  • A brief summary of the Big Idea.
  • A list of person(s) who will be essential to initiate, administer, and complete the work, including any potential SRA International staff member involvement.
  • A proposed project period to initiate the project, as well as the proposed duration of the project once implemented.
  • An estimated budget (F&A (indirect) costs are not allowable).
  • An executive summary statement of how the project meets the submission requirements and how it will have a long-term impact beyond the duration of funding.

Round #2- Full Proposals

Concept papers selected for further development will receive notification by Friday, March 3, 2017 to submit a full proposal, with the possibility of presenting the project at a future SRA International Board Meeting. Additional details for the full proposal submissions will be provided in the request.

The deadline for full proposal submission is Friday, July 7, 2017 (5:00 PM ET). Proposals are to be sent to Debbie Appler at Proposals will be reviewed in August and September.

The SRA International Board of Directors will review Round #2 proposals at their Board meeting and comments from the reviewers, scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2017, held during the SRA International Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Submitters may be requested to attend the Board meeting on Saturday, October 14, 2017 to discuss proposals with the Board. The results of the Board’s deliberations will be announced at the SRA International Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Please note that submission of a proposal to the SRA International BIG IDEAS II initiative does not imply funding at any amount.

Please do not hesitate to contact Debbie Appler at if you have any questions.

SRA International BIG IDEAS II Initiative Timeline

  • October 25, 2016 – Launched BIG IDEAS II campaign launched at the Annual Business Meeting
  • January 13, 2017 – Submission deadline for Round #1 concept papers
  • February, 2017 – Review concept papers
  • March 3, 2017 – Notifications to successful concept paper project directors
  • July 7, 2017 – Deadline for submission of final proposals
  • August – September 2017 – Review of Round #2 BIG IDEAS II proposals
  • October 14, 2017 – Review of BIG IDEAS II Committee recommendations by Board of Directors
  • October 17, 2017 – Announcement of the winner(s) of the BIG IDEAS II at the Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver, Canada