The late Gertrude Maurin gave a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (named the Gertrude Maurin Fund) to the Department of Psychological Sciences to support research in Cognitive Psychology. In the words of Gertrude Maurin, this would include “the areas of consciousness, conscious and unconscious processing and theoretical approaches and models of processing.” The amount that accrues to the department from this trust varies from year to year. Money that is not used one year rolls over and can be used in subsequent years. These funds can be used to support visiting scholars, compensate research subjects, purchase research materials, and a variety of other research activities. The following procedures are used in allocating these funds:
- Maurin fund committee. Each year the Department Chair forms a committee. Typically, one person is in the cognitive area, and one is in the human-computer interaction/human factors area. Currently, Randi Martin is the chair of the committee and Mike Byrne is the other member.
- Appropriate use of the funds. The funds should be used to support research on human cognition. Although most proposals will come from the labs of the Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience RIG, it is possible that proposals could also come from other RIGs in the Department provided they request support for cognitively-based research. To be approved, these proposals must be consistent with the wishes of Gertrude Maurin. Of course, granting of these funds will be subject to their availability.
- Travel: These funds can be used to support travel to conferences for those who are an author on a paper or poster or have some other involvement in the conference proceedings. However, students or faculty using these funds should have exhausted university sources of funding for travel (e.g., departmental and divisional support for graduate students and faculty, startup and grant funds for travel) before applying to the Maurin fund. Travel fund requests can be made for up to $500 per year for travel in the US and up to $750 for international travel.
- Research: These funds can be used to support graduate student research for their dissertation when other funds have been exhausted. Support for such research is limited to a maximum of $1000 for behavioral studies. These funds can be used to provide support for pilot neuroimaging studies when other sources of funding are unavailable. Given the expense of these studies, the support will be limited to a maximum of $2500. For FY2022 and FY2023, these funds can be used to support research projects with salary for undergraduates or staff for up to $3000 per year when other funds are unavailable.
- Conference support: For FY2022 and FY2023, up to $3000 can be allocated to faculty members for the costs involved in organizing and running a small conference at Rice.
- Equipment: Up to $500 can be requested for small pieces of equipment for faculty or graduate student research.
- Publication costs: Up to $500 can be requested for article publication costs at open access journals when other funds are unavailable.
- Memo to request funds. Faculty and graduate students in the department who wish to request support from the Maurin Fund will submit via e-mail a written proposal of no more than one page in which they state the amount of money requested, the intended use of the funds, and the date by which the money will be spent. Other sources of funds that have been applied for should be documented. This memo should include a statement of how proposed use of the funds is consistent with the wishes of the benefactor to support research in Cognitive Psychology. Faculty should submit the request directly to the chair of the committee. Graduate students should have their requests approved by their advisor. They should send the request via e-mail to their advisor who will forward it to the committee chair along with a note indicating their approval. For FY2022 and FY2023, requests for undergraduate or staff salary or for conference support up to $3000 should include a detailed description of the research project or conference for which the funds will be used, with a total of up to 2 pages of description plus budget.
- Approval process. If both members of the committee agree, then the proposal is approved. If they disagree, the Department Chair will cast the deciding vote. The chair of the committee will submit a short memo stating approval of the proposal (along with a copy of the proposal) to the requestor and to Lanita Martin for the disbursal of the funds. In cases in which a request is from a member of the committee or from a student in their lab, the committee chair will appoint another person to take the place of the committee member.