Rockefeller College Research Incentive Fund

A small portion of the indirect costs associated with external grants is returned to Rockefeller College for use in supporting and encouraging funded research projects. This money is pooled and used for the Rockefeller College Research Incentive Fund (RCRIF). Funding decisions are based upon the following priority scale:

Priority 1: Funds that will be used to stimulate new funded research, including, for example, travel to visit funding agencies, proposal preparation expenses, or pilot studies. 

Priority 2: Support ongoing funded research activities for which funds are not currently available.

Priority 3: Invest in research infrastructure.

Priority 4: Meet matching and cost sharing requirements.

The funds available are substantially less than a FRAP grant, but there is no specific deadline and the response to requests will be rapid, and hopefully positive.  Higher priority will be given to junior faculty. However, only tenured or tenure track faculty are eligible to apply. Attendance at meetings of professional associations will not be supported unless there is a clear link to a specific fundable project. Requests should be for less than $2,000. 

A committee consisting of the department chairs, the Dean, and the Director of the Center for Policy Research oversees the allocation of these funds.  Faculty members interested in obtaining seed money funding should contact Victor Asal, Director, Center for Policy Research (Milne 300, 591-8729,  

Requests should address the following:

1) If applying for funds to support development of a fundable project:

a. Identify the relevant granting agencies and programs. If possible, attach abstracts of the grants with due dates and budget parameters.

b. Explain how the funds will facilitate the specific application(s)/proposal(s).

2) If applying for funds to support ongoing funded research:

a. How will the funds be used to support the project?

b. Why are additional funds needed?

3) If applying for research infrastructure or cost-sharing, describe the particulars.

Decision Criteria

a) Criticality: Requests for funds that are essential for submission of a grant are preferred.

b) Leverage: Requests for a small amount of money that will result in a large grant are preferred.

c) Probability of Success: Requests that have a high probability of success are preferred.

d) Time Horizon: Requests that will result in a grant submission within approximately one year are preferred.

e) Long Term Investment: Requests that will contribute to a series of related grants are preferred.

In order to maintain an open, fair, and transparent process, information about all awards, including amount, recipient, and purpose, will be posted on the Center for Policy Research web site. Fund recipients will be required to provide a brief report on how the money was used and its impact on research at Rockefeller College.

Summary of Awards

Date of award
May 2009 Karl Rethemeyer $1200 To support faculty member and graduate student taking a course in Social Networks Dynamics at the Kansas Summer Institute In Statistics in order to develop skills needed for ongoing research funded by DHS and DoD.
September 2009
Udi Sommer $1,987 State Courts and Mortgage Moratorium Laws in the 1930s: The Interaction of Economic Conditions and Political Institutions. Support for gathering data from five additional states.
October 2009
Karl Rethemeyer $158 Support for a graduate student to meet with Social Science Automation (SSA) as part of ongoing research on terrorism.
November 2009
Udi Sommer $1900 Representative Appointments: The Effect of Women Constituencies on Supreme Court Confirmation Votes

The purpose of the funding is collection of data for the recent appointment of Justice Sotomayor. Data will be collected for the contributions of 12 different women's rights interest groups to senators voting on Sotomayor. 
December 2009
Rey Koslowski $760 Structural Analysis of Interagency Cooperation in Worksite Enforcement

Grad student attended a meeting of the North American Digital Government Working Group meeting in Washington D.C. to support work on a potential grant proposal.
February 2010
Erika Martin $2095 Exploring Interstate Variation in Vaccine Policies and Coverage

Funding will support the purchase of a software package needed to analyze National Immunization Survey (NIS) data.
April 2010
Ellen Rubin $1047 1) Human Capital Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and 2) Federal Performance Appraisal Systems

Funding will support travel to Washington DC to meet with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
April 2010
Victor Asal, Karl Rethemeyer $4247 Command Chronology Coding Project

Funding will support two graduate students to code information from the United States Marine Corp (USMC) Command Chronologies for Iraq.
June 2010
David Andersen $1500 Creating a Pathway to the Smart Grid: Analyzing Dynamic, Complex Interactions among Technology, Grid Management, Policy Innovation, and Consumer Behavior

Funding will support a graduate student to assist in proposal development.
June 2010
Jim Fossett
Erika Martin
Michelle Meyer
$2950 The Impact of State Vaccination Policy: Disease Incidence and Vaccination Coverage

Funding will support a graduate student to assist in assist in developing a typology of state vaccination requirements and exemptions through a legal analysis of state laws, regulations, and court decisions.
September 2010
Sharon Dawes $2500 Exploratory research project on transnational public sector knowledge networks

Funding will support translation from Chinese to English of 7-9 interviews conducted for this project.
September 2010
Holly Jarman $2034 Bodies Across Borders: Regulation and Interdependence in Global Health Policy

Funding will support preparation of a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social
Sciences Program. The grant would pay for a graduate student to assist in preparing the proposal by contributing to literature reviews, compiling paperwork and gathering necessary statistical data on patient mobility.
November 2010
Erika Martin Patricia Strach $2000 Media Coverage of Medical Research: Is Broadcast Coverage Proportional to the Volume of Medical Research and Disease Trends?

Funding will support preliminary data collection and maintenance.
November 2010
Meredith Weiss $840 Queering Gender: Discourses, Identities, and Collective Mobilization in Southeast Asia

Funding will support an intensive refresher course in Indonesian language, in preparation for external grant applications. Fluency in Indonesian is needed for purposes ranging from interviews to archival research.

February 2011

Mitchel Abolafia


Preliminary study on the effects of grading practices in public middle and high schools on student outcomes


Funding supported software and survey instrument costs and travel to recruit participants and present findings.


March 2011

David Rousseau


Supplemental funding for preliminary studies investigating nutrition labeling and food choices.


Supplied subject fees for those participating in the portion of research held on the main campus.


August 2011

Sharon Dawes


Supplemental funding for the ICT Solutions for Governance and Policy Project


Prior to the start date of an incoming federal award that dovetails with an international project, this provided funding for our Co-PI to attend the kick-off meeting in the Netherlands.


November 2011

Yvonne Harrison


Attendance at the National Science Foundation's Regional Conference


Funding supported travel to the 2012 National Science Foundation Regional Conference to gain insight into the range of issues the NSF is currently funding and meet with key program officers.


March 2012

Bryan Early


Strategic Trade Control Meeting


Funding supported travel to Albany for current out of state co-researchers to allow the opportunity for developing greater understanding of University and Research Foundation departments, regulations and processes. Time was spent networking with Rockefeller College faculty and staff and exploring future external funding as well.


March 2013

Matthew Ingram


Manuscript Workshop for input on book resulting from University based research of faculty member.


July 2013

Bryan Early


Incremental support for a Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft (PISCES) Research Summit


Brought together in Albany from various states members of the PISCES team, allowing face to face consultations with Research Foundation departments on currently held externally funded awards. Networking with faculty and strategizing for future research proposal submissions took place as well.


November 2013

David Matkin


Natural Language Processing and Harvesting of Public Pension Data (Preliminary Study)


This preliminary study will test the possibility of using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to harvest public pension data relative to legislative actions from fifteen years of reports published by the National Conference of State Legislators. The outcomes from this study will be used to obtain external funding to capture information on additional pension characteristics.