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Detailed Guidance on Seed Funding

Features of the SEGway Program's Seed Funding Category

Commitment: Faculty who are awarded Seed Funding are expected to commit to applying for an external research grant within two to five years of their Seed Funding award, provided that the exploratory nature of the grant was successful.

Proportionality: It is expected that the anticipated external grant request will be appropriately proportional to the Seed Funding award. For example, seed funding of $1,000 to $2,000 should probably lead to an external grant request of $10,000 to $25,000. Seed funding of $3,000 to $5,000 should probably lead to an external grant request of $25,000 to $250,000.

Flexibility: Each faculty member has individual needs regarding what kinds of investments would help them become better positioned to apply for and receive external research grant dollars. Below are just a sampling of possible activities for which faculty could seek support.  In order to ensure that faculty are requesting the best possible form of funding for their individual needs, faculty are strongly encouraged to discuss with the Director of Faculty Research Support activities for which they plan to seek support.

Possible Forms of Support and Specific Guidance:

  1. travel support to meet with possible grant collaborators (Estimated support per request: $1,000)
  2. travel and registration support to attend well-regarded grant-writing workshops, ideally sponsored by funders  (Estimated support per request: $1,000 - $1,500) A list of recommended workshops/webinars is available.
  3. stipend support for another CC faculty member (who has been successful in research grants) to serve as a mentor during the external grant application process (Estimated support per request: $500.) A list of funded faculty who have expressed a willingness to serve as a mentor is available.
  4. stipend support for a non-CC “expert in the field” to read an external grant application and provide comments and suggestions (Estimated support per request: $300) Please discuss with your potential collaborator your expectations for their role and what kind of stipend you will request.
  5. research grant support (similar to divisional funding) that helps you achieve a “proof of concept” or “preliminary results” needed to be well-positioned for external funding (Estimated support per request: likely similar to the average grant size in your division)
  6. stipend support to develop and prepare institutional research grant applications (Estimated support: comparable to the time committed, at ~$4,000 per month of full-time work)
  7. stipend support to successfully submit a proposal to NSF's Major Research Instrumentation program (Special guidance associated with this, as each institution is limited to submitting no more than 2 MRI acquisition grants each January; please discuss with Tess)
  8. stipend support to serve as a first-time grant reviewer for a major funder, such as the NEH, ACLS, or NSF. (Estimated stipend support per request: $1,000) Please note that, contrary to popular opinion, previous experience as a grantee is NOT required to be a reviewer. Please obtain an invitation from a funder to serve as a panelist prior to requesting SEGway funding:

If NEH is your target funder: register as a potential panelist/reviewer in their “PRISM” system:  https://securegrants.neh.gov/prism/

If ACLS is your target funder: send an email to fellowships@acls describing briefly which fields you would feel comfortable reviewing proposals, and attach your CV.

If NSF is your target funder: email a program officer in the appropriate program

Other activities or needs will also be supported. Faculty should discuss their needs with Tess Powers prior to submitting a SEGway Seed Funding proposal.

Prior to applying for seed funding, it is recommended that you:

  1. Consult with Tess on the best funding sources/programs for your research area (if you have not already done so) and/or the best forms of SEGway funding based on your targeted funder(s)
  2. Discuss with your potential collaborators, mentors or experts the scope of your collaboration