Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions about applying to the Jacobs Research Funds

  • When can I expect to receive a decision on my proposal?

    The JRF Advisory Committee typically meets in March or April to decide which proposals will be funded. You should therefore expect to receive notification sometime between late March and early May.

  • Are research projects outside of the Americas funded by the Jacobs Research Funds?

    No. Only research in the Americas is funded.

  • Can I be an applicant on more than one JRF-funded project?

    (1) For any funding year, a researcher can be an applicant or co-applicant on at most one grant.

    (2) If any person will be involved in more than one project in any capacity (PI, consultant) during the same grant period, then please point this out in the proposal description, and say why it is appropriate and feasible. For example, what percentage of his or her time will go to each project?

  • Can I receive payment in Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos, or some other currency?

    Most grants for projects based in Canada will be awarded in Canadian dollars. Grants for all other projects will be awarded in US dollars.

  • Can I submit a proposal outside the normal funding cycle?

    Off-cycle proposals are those for which funding is requested before the next annual deadline. Such proposals are discouraged, but may be considered, at the Board's discretion, if they meet the criteria (1) that the project is high priority (according to the guidelines), and (2) that the project is extremely urgent, justifying off-cycle funding.

  • Is there a citizenship requirement for applicants?

    Applicants do not need to be based in the US or be a US citizen.

  • Can I submit the application in a language other than English?

    Currently, proposals should be written in English but we understand that English may not be the first language for all applicants and English grammar is not a criterion for the evaluation of the proposals so long as it does not affect readability.

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Frequently Asked Questions about carrying out JRF-sponsored research

  • How long is my check good for?

    Your award check should be deposited promptly. Banks in the U.S. and Canada may choose not to cash a check which is older than 6 months.

  • I've been working on my funded project, and I find I have money left at the end of the year. Can I keep working on the project until the funds are exhausted?

    Yes, but you cannot apply (and expect to receive) funding for a continuation of your project or a new project until your final report has been received and your field materials have been archived.

  • When are projects supposed to be completed?

    There is no set time limit. The answer to this question will vary considerably between projects. One common scenario is for the bulk of the data collection to be carried out over the summer and for the analysis, write-up and archiving to take place in the fall and early winter. In the case of the larger Kinkade grants, the analysis and write-up may take considerably longer. Keep in mind that if you would like to move your project to a new phase, you cannot receive additional Jacobs funding until a final report has been written and materials from your current funded project have been archived.

  • My proposal was funded, but now my personal circumstances have changed and I think I need to postpone the project for one year. Is this possible?

    You should write to as soon as possible. Explain your new plan for completing the project. If the board approves, and the award check has not already been mailed, it will be sent the following year.

  • My proposal was funded, but now circumstances have changed (e.g. a crucial individual has died, or I would like to hand off the project to a different PI, or I would like to archive my materials elsewhere). What should I do?

    You will need to submit a new work and/or archiving plan. For any change of PI, new letters of recommendation must also be submitted. Only then will the board consider the new proposal. Contact as soon as possible if this is your situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions about archiving field materials

  • Why do I need to archive my materials?

    Archiving protects vital and potentially irreplaceable information, not only for the depositor but for subsequent generations of scholars and descendants of the research consultants.

  • Am I required to deposit original field materials or copies only?

    You are only required to deposit copies, but if you prefer you may deposit originals in addition to or instead of copies. If your originals are in a non-digital format, and you have created digital versions, you are especially encouraged to deposit both. Please indicate which materials are originals.

  • Are there guidelines for submitting digital files?

    You are welcome to use a variety of online services (e.g., Google Drive) and physical media (e.g., USB drives) to submit your conten. However, if you use an online service, we ask you to please zip your files first so that no files are lost during transfer and retreival. Please contact if you have additional questions.

  • Can I modify the Deed of Gift?

    Your submitted Deed of Gift must include the following information: name of collection, description of collection, date of award, and your signature. You may modify or include additional terms or conditions relating to access to your deposited materials. For example, you may elect to grant public access to your materials sooner than the default 25 years.

  • What does Name of Collection refer to on the Deed Of Gift form?

    This should include your name and a very general description of what is being deposited. E.g. "Pamela Amoss field notes, recordings and related materials for Nooksack language."

  • What does Description of Collection refer to on the Deed Of Gift form?

    Roughly speaking, Description of Collection should answer two questions: "What's in the box of materials being archived?" and "What are the materials about?" Please describe the types of physical materials/formats in the box (examples: field notebooks, field notes, paper notebooks, compact discs, transcriptions), physical count of each (e.g. 5 CDs, 2 notebooks, 6 mss.), and which indigenous group/language they relate to. Describe the overall scope and content of the material being archived (e.g. sermon, songs, narrative, elicitation, interview, etc.). Give full names (avoid initials) of all people involved in the materials being archived, and dates when the field research was conducted. Your description will be included in the library's catalog record of the materials.

  • Can I archive my materials somewhere else?

    Materials collected with a grant from the JRF must be deposited in the University of Washington archives. However, if you believe there is a more appropriate archive, which may especially be the case for projects which fall outside of the Pacific Northwest, you may deposit your materials there as well as at the University of Washington. The location of the additional archive should also be indicated on the Final Report Form.

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Frequently Asked Questions about gaining access to someone else's deposited materials

  • What is the difference between the JRF Collection and the Melville Jacobs Collection?

    The JRF Collection contains materials collected by those awarded JRF grants. The Melville Jacobs Collection contains materials collected by Melville Jacobs.

  • I would like to get a copy of someone else's materials deposited in the JRF Collection. How do I go about doing that?

    Contact University of Washington Special Collections. Main Phone Number: 206-543-1929. Email:

    You may need to obtain written permission to view the materials. Contact the donor. If the donor is deceased or incapacitated, then you will need to obtain permission from two JRF Collection trustees. Special Collections has a current list. You will need to complete an Archival Materials Retrieval Request. You may also have to fill out an Audio Reproduction Request. The person you talk to at Special Collections will help you with all of that.

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