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    Student Seed Innovation Grants

    Student Seed Innovation Grant Commitment

    Student Seed Innovation Grants (SSIG) of $3,000.00 - $8,000.00 are committed to empower students to immerse themselves fully in the creative process in order to execute ideas.  By providing a resource for student exploration and creative inquiry, SSIG help fulfill Creativity & Innovation at CC’s mission to “empower students with the tools and creative confidence to be changemakers.” The use of the word changemaker intentionally strays from “entrepreneur” to recognize that innovation happens not only in the business and tech worlds, but culturally, socially, and artistically as well.

     Through this program, Creativity & Innovation seeks to be an idea accelerator by providing resources for students to be creative problem-solvers, to embrace ambiguity, and to iterate their way forward.

     SSIG Synopsis

    Individual students may apply for grants up to $6,000.00. Student teams of two or more may apply for grants up to $8,000.00.

    SSIG grant projects must be designed to initiate and complete within 12-months.

    Grants cannot be used for:

    • Patent applications
    • Office space
    • Professional services to implement and/or complete the project. Grants are designed to facilitate student exploration and inquiry into a specific a project/idea vs. funding an outside organization to uncover insights.

    Students may receive only one SSIG per academic year.

    SSIG Student Eligibility

    All enrolled Colorado College students in good standing are eligible to apply. Seniors may apply if the proposed project will commence and complete within the 12 months after their graduation. All students must have a mentor who will help guide them through the project ideation and implementation process. Mentors can include: CC faculty and/or staff members, community members (local, national, or international) with relevant expertise. Mentors must agree to participate prior to grant application submission.

    SSIG Submission Process

    Student Seed Innovation Grant submissions are due the second Wednesday of blocks 1, 3, 5 and 7. SSIG grant recipients are notified the second week of blocks 2, 4, 6 and 8. Grant submissions include:

    • Written proposal materials submitted for internal review.
    • Question/answer session with grant committee, if invited.

     Grant submissions are reviewed and awarded by the SSIG Grant Committee which comprises of Creativity & Innovation at CC staff, members of the Creativity & Innovation steering committee, and select CC staff members. 

    Submission Step 1: Written Proposal Materials

     Written grant proposals will be due the second Wednesday of block 1, 3, 5 and 7. To be considered, written submissions must include the following:

    • Completed application
    • An essay of 500 – 1,000 words (not more than 1,500) that:
      • Defines the project’s guiding question/objective
      • Outline the steps the student will take to begin to follow that question
      • Includes an estimated timeline from initiation to completion
      • Provides a budget of how the grant money will be spent
      • Two letters of recommendation that support the student’s ability and desire to take on the proposed project:
        • One from a faculty member
        • One from the student’s mentor
    • Commitment agreement signed by student(s) and mentor
    • Official transcript
    • Approval from Residential Life

     Other requirements depending on the project:

    • If working with humans, student must contact CC IRB for approval and include the approval document.
    • If working with vertebrate animals, student must receive approval from IACAU for the project and include the approval document.
    • If travelling internationally, student must consult with Center for Global Education & Field Study and provide documentation of meeting, including authorization to travel to specified destination.

    Submissions will only be considered if all required materials listed above are submitted. Essays should clearly define the student’s guiding question/objective, demonstrate the student’s unique passion, and demonstrate the student’s qualifications for answering the question.

    Students may be asked to participate in a question/answer session with members of the grant committee if deemed necessary.

     SSIG Award Notification

    The students chosen to receive an SSIG will be notified the second week of the block following submission. Students not chosen to receive an SSIG will be given feedback from the committee on how to improve their application and may resubmit for an SSIG in the next submission cycle.

    Prior to receiving grant funds, students will sign a contract agreeing that:

    • They will thank the donor funding the SSIG donor through a handwritten letter
    • They will repay up to 50% of the total grant amount (total amount due will be at the discretion of the SSIG committee) if they abandon the project prior to completion

    SSIG Reporting Requirements

    SSIGs will be paid in two parts. The initial half of the total grant amount will be deposited into the student’s CC account within two weeks of the grant award.

    To receive the second half of the total grant amount, students will be required to submit a progress report on their project midway/not later than 6-months post-initial money received. The progress report should include:

    • Recap of the project idea/objective
    • Actions taken to date to fulfill the project idea/objectives
    • Initial learning/insights based on the action taken to date
      • Can include shift of idea/objective focus based on learnings to date
      • If idea/objective has changed, a thorough explanation of how the project will move forward to completion
    • Budget (estimated) of how the initial grant amount has been spent
    • Confirmation from the student’s mentor that the progress report is accurate
    • Once the progress report is submitted and reviewed by the SSIG committee, the remainder of the grant money will be deposited into the student’s account.

    Upon completion of their project, not more than 12-months post award, grant recipients will be required to submit the following:

    • A reflection essay or presentation that highlights what was learned and how they were changed by the project.
    • A final budget, including receipts for expenditures over $50, that itemizes how the grant money was spent

    A certain number of grant recipients will be invited to attend, present and participate in a Q&A session about their project at the annual SSIG reception. This reception will coincide with the annual Creativity and Innovation at CC steering committee meeting and/or the annual Venture Grant showcase.

    • Students who have graduated and are invited to present will be required to attend. Travel, if needed, will be arranged with Creativity and Innovation at CC.

    Please contact Kara Carroll (, Creativity & Innovation’s Administrative Assistant, with questions or for more information.