Seed Grant Tips
Keep in mind that your proposal will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of faculty from different colleges and departments, so write for a general audience rather than experts in your field. A good test of “readability” is to have a colleague outside of your discipline read your proposal and offer constructive feedback.
Proposal authors often fail to address all of the evaluation criteria, resulting in low scores for a particular criterion. Read the evaluation form and make sure that you have clearly addressed all of the criteria.
Don’t assume that the reader understands how your project will contribute to your field. Be sure to describe the expected outcome and its importance, both to the field and to your career.
A very common problem is that the PI does not explain the potential for the Seed Grant to result in a publication, patent, performance or other product. Some authors simply state that they will publish an article. If possible, name the journal(s) in which you intend to publish or the exhibit at which your work will be displayed. Similarly, rather than stating that your work will “be of interest” to funding agencies, name the funding agency(ies) and/or programs to which you expect to submit the proposal for external funding. This does not commit you to submitting to that particular journal or agency, but it shows that you have given some thought to your potential professional audience. Seed Grants are meant to support a faculty member’s career development. Make sure that you set the project within the context of your discipline and your career plan.
Make sure that you describe how you will conduct the project within the one‐year time frame (July 2016‐August 2017).
Provide adequate detail in your budget.
For example, if you are having an undergraduate assist you: Undergraduate assistant to run laboratory experiments: 20hrs/wk @ $10/hr for 12 weeks in the summer = $2,400
For example, if you are traveling to do archival research: RT airfare (est. from Expedia or similar travel site) $650; 5 nights in hotel @ $125/night = $625; 6 days out of state per diem, etc.
If your project involves animal or human subjects, make sure that you acknowledge that in the proposal. Approvals do not have to be acquired before the proposal is submitted, but if you are selected for an award, you will have to obtain appropriate approvals before the award will be made.