Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities Grant Program

Cal Poly is committed to the teacher-scholar model in which faculty integrate excellence in teaching with excellence in research, scholarly and creative activities. The teacher-scholar model enables faculty to fulfill Cal Poly’s mission as an institution committed to quality undergraduate and graduate education, to the advancement of knowledge through basic and applied research, to the enrichment of society through creative activities in the arts and humanities, and to serving our community. The Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities (RSCA) Grant Program, supported by funds from the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Cal Poly Provost's Office, is intended to help faculty remain engaged in their disciplines beyond the classroom and to contribute new knowledge through robust programs of scholarship focused on strengthening California socially, culturally, and economically. The annual funding from the program is intended to provide internal resources to help faculty pursue a broader array of professional activities.

Who may apply? All faculty unit employees are eligible to compete for funding, including lecturers, tenure-track, and tenured faculty. Awards are provided only to those who hold a current appointment for the duration of the program (July 2024 - June 2025); exceptions may be granted but require review by the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Dean of the respective college. This funding is intended to provide support to new, early career, tenure-track probationary faculty and lecturers at any stage of their career at Cal Poly. In addition, funding is available to support more senior, tenured faculty to open new scholarly directions. For tenured faculty, it is the PI’s responsibility to provide the reviewers with specific information that makes the case that the proposed research is a new scholarly direction for the PI. You may refer to your submitted 2-page CV as part of this demonstration. Please note that this funding is not intended to be an ongoing source of funding for faculty projects. If you have any questions about eligibility requirements, please email

  • Applicants may only submit up to two proposals per year, either 1) one as the PI and one as a Co-PI, or 2) two as a Co-PI; submitting two proposals as PI is not allowed.
  • Applicants cannot submit a proposal as a PI if they have received two RSCA awards in the preceding 5 years (2019-20 to 2023-24); this limit does not apply to submissions as a Co-PI.
  • Applicants can only re-submit the same proposed project three times – one original submission and two resubmissions.
  • PIs and Co-PIs are not eligible to receive a new grant if they have any past-due progress reports for previous RSCA grants.

What types of projects will be funded? The program is intended to fund all types of research, scholarly, and creative activities. This includes but is not limited to empirical and theoretical research, applied design and development, scholarship of teaching and learning, writing of books, and the production of art and other creative activities. Proposed projects must be related to the generation of new knowledge and learning and it is incumbent upon the PI to clarify these potential contributions.

2024-25 RSCA Grant request for proposals (archived).

View 2024-25 RSCA Grant Awardees.

View 2023-24 RSCA Grant Awardees.

View 2022-23 RSCA Grant Awardees.

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