MWRI-Penn State Behrend Collaborative Research Seed Grant Program

MWRI-Penn State Behrend Collaborative Research Seed Grant Charter


To promote collaboration between investigators of Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) and Penn State Behrend. These funds are designed to provide short-term funding of a pilot project or to fund a new direction of an existing project that will lead to competitive applications for externally-sponsored grants.

Funding and Allowable Costs

  • Awards will be capped at a total of $25,000 and smaller dollar applications are encouraged. We anticipate awarding three grants per funding cycle.
  • Allowable costs include supplies, support staff salary/benefits, mileage to research sites, and fees for core services. Please note that faculty salary and benefits are not allowable costs.


Proposals for funding must include a MWRI investigator AND a full-time faculty member of Penn State Behrend College (Tenured, Tenure track or Non-Tenure Track).

Project Duration

  • All projects should be completed within 1-2 years of the start date.
  • In general, carryover of unused funds will not be provided. In unusual circumstances, an awardee may apply to the Grant Committee for a no-cost extension of up to six months.

General Terms

  • Each award recipient is required to provide a written report of their progress toward the proposed goals of the project.
  • For projects with a two-year timeline, the second year of funding is contingent on adequate progress against benchmarks/goals in year one.
  • The timeline for receipt and routing of progress reports is coordinated by the Administrator, who will send reminders to the recipients and will route reports to the Coordinator. These reports are distributed to the Grant Review Committee for review and saved for donor reports.
  • End of project reports are required within two months of the close of the grant period.
  • Investigators must adhere to research regulatory compliance as mandated by their respective institutions (CITI modules or Penn State‚Äôs Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training).

Application Review Process

A Grant Review Committee comprised of members from MWRI and Penn State Behrend will review, score and recommend grant recipients to the MWRI in Erie Steering Committee. The committee will be comprised of individuals appointed by the Director of MWRI in Erie and Penn State Behrend's Associate Dean of Research. The committee may include a community representative.

Each proposal will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Significance of the project
  • Plan and potential for extramural funding
  • Quality of the approach or methods
  • Feasibility of the project, including the budget

Application Format and Instructions

The proposal must be emailed and must not exceed three pages (Arial, 11 point, single spaced) and must include the following sections:

    • Name, title, and contact information of co-Principal Investigators
    • Name, title of Co-Investigators(s) (if any)
    • Project Timeline with deliverables
    • Proposal Title
    • Abstract (Provide a summary of your proposal plan. Maximum 200 words.)
  • HYPOTHESIS and aims
  • SIGNIFICANCE of the problem / IMPACT on the field / INNOVATION in approach
  • PROJECT PLAN (Experimental design) (Include preliminary data if available, provide details sufficient to support feasibility.)
  • PLAN FOR EXTERNAL FUNDING (Include name of funding source and the program where you intend to submit your proposal. Describe how the proposed seed grant funding will enable or enhance your prospects for obtaining external funding.)
  • PROJECT TIMELINE (Include benchmarks/measurable outcomes/deliverables.) (up to two years).

Not included in the three-page limit:

  • IACUC or IRB protocol (if applicable), required before funding begins (Please append)
  • References: up to one single-sided page
  • NIH bio sketch (for Co-PIs only)
  • Letter(s) of support, if relevant (e.g., from mentor, collaborator)

Budget and Justification

(Components may include)

  • Salary and benefits for research staff
  • Research supplies
  • Travel to research sites
  • Fees for core services

Awards and Notification

Award decision and notification are typically made within six weeks of submission deadline.

For 2020/2021 Cycle

Applications are due by 12/11/2020 at 11:59 p.m. and should be emailed to Tracey Townsend.