CHRM Request for Proposals
To: University of Illinois Faculty
From: CHRM Directors
Subject: 2008-2009 Research Awards
Date: October 16, 2008
The Center for Human Resource Management (CHRM) plans to award approximately $25,000 -
$50,000 in research awards to University of Illinois faculty in 2008-2009. The intent is to award
three - four grants prior to the spring 2009 roundtable. Award recipients will be notified that
their study has been accepted by CHRM and notified of the minimum funding amount by March 2,
2009. The award recipients will be notified of the final (maximum) award amount by June 30,
CHRM is seeking to support research that addresses applied human resource issues. The CHRM
board of directors favors projects that are likely to lead to future funding from other sources. The
proposed research should be publishable in leading journals. Upon the timely completion of the
project, the researcher(s) are either (1) required to produce a working paper (an executive
summary about the study and its conclusions written like a Business Week article) or (2) prepare a
train-the-trainer session for CHRM partners at a roundtable meeting. For a list of the project
topics funded in the past, please see the CHRM website at
HIGH PRIORITY TOPICS
CHRM partners have been polled for their current hot button issues. The following list is the
compilation of the partners’ responses:
A. Talent Management
1) How best to: identify/retain talent, manage performance, and handle succession
2) Recruiting: how best to
a. manage during a decreasing pool size?
b. share candidates equally across regions/globally?
c. handle employee on-boarding from recruiting and throughout their employee
d. find high potential talent earlier
e. reduce the cost of finding high potential talent
f. develop an assessment strategy for global top talent
g. staff Centers of Excellence across divisions of HR. Is individual decision-
making possible when trying to harmonize processes?
3) Are scores for proctored vs. non-proctored web based selection exams comparable?
Is it safe to use un-proctored web scores for hiring decisions?
4) Beyond service excellence and risk control, beyond knowing the business, how can the
business strategy adapt to the talent market position of the firm and raise the level of
skills and sophistication required?
5) Succession planning: when to hire from the outside vs. build the bench internally
6) Employee development
a. What role does the individual’s manager play in helping to ensure that
learning takes place?
b. What types of HR support are useful in promoting learning?
c. What steps can the individual him/herself take to help ensure learning?
d. What competencies differentiate between people who learn well from
experience and those who don’t?
e. What are the new trends in HR career pathing?
f. What does the “new’ HR professional need to know?
g. How does HR match employees to job opportunities so that the on-the-job
learning is achieved?
7) How do you build remote (global) work sites effectively?
8) What is the best model for talent management, manage within multiple countries or
look at talent across countries for all worldwide assignments?
9) How does one best manage the US visa/green card process for foreign talent when
you are a global company?
10) How do you differentiate high potential talent?
11) How best to handle talent movement across global boundaries, issues of moving across
borders and cultures
12) How best to handle employee requests to stay employed in same role, but relocate
themselves to another market?
13) How to determine when to invest in talent movement versus grow in market
14) How to manage transition back from an expat assignment– next placement,
15) When is it best to move work – deciding to relocate work to another market, then
staffing the work?
B. Compensation and Benefits
1) How should benefits be designed during a time of rising healthcare costs?
2) What are employees' perceptions of consumer directed health care and how do you
manage through the employee’s perceptions?
3) How effective is consumer directed health-care?
4) What are the implications of cost shifting to employees and how can employers assist
employees in understanding and dealing with the issue.
5) With not many companies offering retirement medical, what can a company do or
what should an employee nearing retirement be doing?
6) Are expat packages a thing of the past? Are companies moving toward offering
7) What are the best options for pre-Medicare eligible retirees for medical insurance?
8) Beyond US health benefit design, how to improve/install programs around the world
that drive employee wellness.
9) What is the appropriate length of Ex-Pat assignments; how should compensation
packages be best handled? What are the implications for equity/issues with market?
C. HR Organization
1) How does HR move from a transactional based function toward a strategy and
2) How should HR be organized within a company to most effectively deliver services?
(Should HR be organized by company, division, region, etc?)
3) How do you create the “best in class” HR organization? What design, HR processes
i.e. in-source vs. out-source model are key to becoming the best HR?
4) How can HR Build and manage its own functional organization with the same
integration, sophistication and transparency demanded of other business functions?
5) How can HR systems better connect with organizational processes outside of HR, such
as budgeting, operational analysis, and strategic planning?
6) Beyond best practices that lead to most efficient or one best answer, how are the
unique strategic contexts of different businesses best served by different HR
7) HR Self-Service
a. Beyond the efficiency of service centers, what is the value added of COE’s
business unit HR, and the HR corporate center?
b. What is the value of human resource department self-service information and
i. What are the cost savings/ROI generated from online self-service
tools and capabilities?
ii. What is the willingness level of employees to serve themselves rather
than default to human involvement? Is there a difference between
type of organization such as IT firm vs. manufacturing firm?
iii. What are the relative merits/effectiveness levels of self-service
models compared (phone trees, web site FAZ collections, search
engine, help files, knowledgebase collections etc.) to non-self-service
support models (customer service representative assistance via chat
modules, phone service, email service etc.)
D. Global HR Issues
1) What are the implications on organizational design, key business and HR processes,
communications and talent management in regards to leading/operating within a
global business environment?
2) Can recruiting be done through a global business process? Does one size fit all for
global assessment of talent?
3) What are the optimal ways to handle Global relocation package design, specifically
those employees relocating to risky and remote areas (Middle East, parts of
4) How to improve/install programs around the world that drive employee wellness.
1) How can/should HR manage employee stress associated with workers in rapid
2) What are the implications of employer 24/7 access to employees?
3) How does HR ensure employees continually learn new skills/operate new technology?
4) E-learning, does it work? What way does e-learning work to its maximum potential?
1) How are employees dealing with dual careers?
2) What are the effects on employees when employers have access to them 24/7?
3) What should(n’t) employers be doing?
4) How can international executives’ families be successfully immersed in a culture society?
What mentoring/sponsorships are successful?
1) What is the impact of Sarbanes Oxley and recent compensation scandals on the HR
2) What should HR do differently to comply with regulations and to provide confidence
in HR practices for boards, shareholders, and employees?
3) What are the most beneficial ways HR professionals can contribute to Sarbanes
4) How do we balance a push for greater controls against the entrepreneurial spirit to
grow the business?
H. HR Measurement
1) How do you convert business strategy into talent needs?
2) How can you tell if your HR function is adding value to the growth of the business?
3) Do Pulse surveys drive better action or are they worse than census surveys (or
sampling)? Are they more political poll then improvement poll?
4) Beyond transaction costs, how can the intangible value of HR be recognized?
5) Beyond organizing HR strategy around HR services (compensation, benefits, training,
staffing, legal compliance, etc.) how can “talent” be considered in value creation?
6) Beyond HR scorecards focus on activity based efficiencies, how can HR’s contribution
to improved decisions and competitive success be measured, e.g. customer awareness?
7) How can the HR value proposition expand to include superior decisions that depend
upon or impact talent, wherever they are made?
8) How does one evaluate the quality of hire metrics?
9) What are the key workforce measures that should be monitored?
I. Diversity and Inclusion
1) What are the best practices for integrating Diversity and Inclusion into an organization?
2) How do you help people understand the differences people bring to the table (cultural,
age, experience) so you increase understanding and the ability to collaborate yet not
alienate or cause differences to divide people?
1) What are employee attitudes about relocating?
2) What are some HR career development alternatives for less mobile employees?
3) How does an organization understand the new generation of workers getting out of
school; what do employers need to know to keep them engaged?
4) How can HR roles (change agent, admin. expert, strategic partner, employee
champion) share in the design, development, deployment and evaluation of HR
5) How can differential investments in talent segments drive strategic success?
6) What are possible issues created by the Employee Free Choice Act or “card check”
Alignment with these topics is favorable but not exclusive in the selection process. If the topic is not
listed but is important to the HR community, it may be evaluated favorably.
PROPOSAL EVALUATION PROCESS
The proposal selection process is:
1. If you chose to you may submit a brief proposal for feedback:
a. Brief one-page proposals submitted electronically to Jean Drasgow at
firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1, 2008. (Please review submission
b. The brief proposals are reviewed by the CHRM Board of Directors based upon
the following criteria:
Is the research compatible with the focus of CHRM?
Will this research be of interest to the CHRM partners? (If a researcher
has partner support, the proposal is more likely to be funded.)
Does this project add to the body of HR knowledge?
Will this project lead to larger external funding?
Does this project have a valid and operational research design?
What is the net value of research: cost/benefit ratio?
What is the probability of a successful completion?
Note that the CHRM Board of Directors is comprised of both faculty and senior-level HR
executives and thus, the proposal should be written for both audiences.
2. Faculty members whose brief proposals are reviewed favorably will be notified by
December 15, 2008 and will be encouraged to prepare a full proposal for the spring
deadline of February 2, 2008. Any criticisms of the brief proposal must be addressed
within the full proposal. Authors of these proposals are encouraged to talk to the Board
Faculty members to receive further feedback on the full proposal prior to re-submission.
Board members are listed on our website.
3. The CHRM Executive Board will evaluate the full proposals in two stages. First, the faculty
members on the Board will evaluate the proposals for quality of research design and
significance of contribution. The proposals viewed favorably will proceed to the second
step. At this step, the executives on the Board will evaluate the proposals in terms of
relevancy to practitioners. Board members may submit proposals but may not participate
in the evaluation of proposals in the same review cycle as their own project. In this case, a
faculty member, approved in advance by the CHRM Directors, from the same campus as
the board member who submitted a proposal will serve as a substitute. Thus, three faculty
from each campus (including the directors) will participate in the proposal evaluation.
Faculty will be notified of the decision regarding their full proposal by March 2, 2008.
4. Awardees are expected to fulfill all deliverables for CHRM funding (See CHRM Award
Administration Process for complete details). Awardees who fail to meet these
requirements will not be awarded future CHRM support.
5. If you have a question about the proposal process, please contact Jean Drasgow. If you
have questions about research please contact either Sandy Wayne at email@example.com
or Fritz Drasgow at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2008 Due date for brief proposals
December 15, 2008 Notification of reactions to brief proposals
February 2, 2009 Due date for full proposals
March 2, 2009 Notification of acceptance decisions
June 30, 2009 Determination of proposal funding amounts
Brief proposals should be no longer than one, single-spaced page. Each individual may submit up
to two proposals. The brief proposals should primarily concern the objectives and value of the
research, especially as it relates to the research agenda of the CHRM, with very limited discussion
of research procedures and methods. They should include an overall cost estimate, and dates for
beginning and ending the research. Examples of formats are available upon request.
Full proposals should be no longer than ten double-spaced pages excluding vitas, charts, graphs
etc. All vitas, charts, graphs etc. should be included in the single submission document. Each
individual researcher can submit up to two proposals. Researchers with outstanding projects will
not be considered until the working paper for the outstanding project has been accepted by the
CHRM directors. Faculty and partner representatives who are on the CHRM Executive Board will
evaluate the full proposals. The Executive Board will evaluate the proposals based on the criteria
utilized in assessing the brief proposals. The Executive Board may require changes, including
changes in costs, as conditions for funding.
***All proposals must be submitted electronically with the primary author’s last name and a
key word from the project title in the file name. ***
For example, a project from Sandy Wayne entitled: Understanding Talent Management should
be sent as: WayneTalent.doc
The suggested format may be modified as necessary to fit the character of the proposed
1. Title page, including names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of
2. Executive summary (no more than one page; in a full proposal, this abstract could be a
revised version of the brief proposal)
3. The rationale and purpose of the research, the problem, research questions, or hypotheses
4. Description of the research, the products or deliverables of the research, how it addresses
the need/problem, how it addresses the research agenda of the CHRM, and what the
value of the research will be to the partners.
5. Research procedures and methods, including timeline (Please note that there is a one year
turn-around expectation. If you propose that your project will take longer than one year,
please provide a detailed explanation for the additional time.)
6. Qualifications of investigators (brief summary of their capabilities for conducting the kind
of research proposed)
7. Detailed cost estimate (faculty salary is not allowed)
8. 2-3 page brief vitae of investigators (educational background, publications, and grant
funding record), and other pertinent information (Please include in the proposal—do not
send a separate attachment. The vitae does not count toward the length of the proposal.)