Penn State Behrend Research Seed Grant Program

Request for Proposals: Penn State Behrend Research Seed Grant Program 2022

Important Dates

  • April 1, 2022: Proposals due by 11:59 p.m. local time
  • April 15, 2022: Expected date for notification of award
  • May 9, 2022: Earliest project start date


Funds granted under this program are intended to support research and creative activities in all branches of learning that will lead to increased applications for externally-sponsored funding to support faculty scholarly activity. The expectation is to advance the college's core principles through the development of ongoing, new, and cross-disciplinary research initiatives that contribute to professional growth, collaborative models, and educational excellence.

Funding and Allowable Costs

Awards of up to $7,500 are made through an internal, competitive application process to support research and creative activities, leading to applications for external funding. Cross-disciplinary, collaborative proposals are encouraged. It is anticipated that five awards will be made. Up to five additional awards will be made to proposals that fall into one of the Penn State Behrend strategic research focus areas, which include "Polymer Engineering and Science," "Great Lakes Regional Environmental Research," and "Women's Health Research."

In the case of proposals with two or more eligible faculty members, an award of up to $15,000 can be made. Allowable costs include faculty summer salary, student wages, supplies, equipment costs less than $3,000, professional publication costs, and travel that directly supports the project. (Salary and wages requested must include appropriate fringe benefit costs in the budget.)

Cost not permitted under this program are as follows: attendance at conferences, travel not directly related to the project, major equipment purchases ($3,000 or more), academic year salary supplements, teaching release costs, and licensing of computers or other costs that encumber the college beyond the scope of work proposed.


All full-time faculty members (Tenured, Tenure Track, and Non-Tenure Track) at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, are eligible to apply. When there is not sufficient funding available to fund all high-scoring proposals, priority will be given to funding proposals from early career, research-active faculty. Faculty who have grant funding over $25,000 in the current year from any source are not eligible to apply unless the Seed Grant project will be distinct from the currently funded work. Faculty members who have received an award through this program within the previous two years are not eligible to apply, nor are faculty who have failed to comply with the requirements specified in the Requirements section below.

Project Duration

All projects should be completed within one year of the start date. Any unspent funds remaining at the end of one year must be returned to the Penn State Behrend Office of Research. In unusual circumstances, an awardee may apply to the Penn State Behrend Office of Research for a no-cost extension of up to 6 months.


Within two years of the start date, awardees must submit a proposal for external funding through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Within three months of the end date of the project, a report must be submitted to the Penn State Behrend Office of Research. (Report format will be conveyed upon receipt of seed grant award.)

Seed grant awardee's conduct of research and creative activity must adhere to research regulatory compliance as mandated by the University. At a minimum, seed grant recipients, including research students, must complete Penn State's Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training.

Application Review Process

Each seed proposal will be reviewed by a Seed Grant Review Committee. The Seed Grant Review Committee will be comprised of members selected from the faculty of Penn State University. The Associate Dean for Research will select the review committee members using the best judgment to allow a fair review while distributing the review load across all committee members. 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 a single PDF sent as an email attachment to Margie Sargent ([email protected]) with the subject line "Behrend Seed Grant Application" and must include the following sections:

    1. Name, title, and contact information of Principal Investigator
    2. Name, title, and contact information of Co-PI(s) (if any)
    3. Project start date
    4. Proposal Title (Must fit on two lines and not exceed 130 characters)
    5. Strategic Research Focus Area, if applicable (See funding section above)
    6. Abstract (Provide a summary of your proposal plan. Maximum 200 words.)
  1. SIGNIFICANCE OF PROPOSED PROJECT: (Provide a summary of your proposed project. State succinctly the fundamental problem or creative opportunity that is to be addressed. Clearly outline the significance of the project, the originality of the approach, the impact it may have on the field if successful, and the hypothesis or primary idea that underpins the proposed work. Use at least 11-point font. Do not use more than one page.)
  1. PROJECT PLAN: (Outline the approach/plan to the problem or creative opportunity and the feasibility, providing details sufficient to support feasibility. Point out innovative features and relate them to previous work by including pertinent references. Indicate how this plan will contribute to the solution of the problem being addressed. Preliminary results can be included but are not required. Use at least 11-point font. Do not use more than two pages, with an additional page allowed for references.)
  1. INTENDED PLAN FOR EXTERNAL FUNDING: (Describe where you intend to submit a formal proposal to continue this project. Include the name of the funding source and the program where you intend to submit your proposal. Also include the intended date(s) of submission and approximate total budget. Include a narrative describing how the proposed seed grant funding will enable or enhance your prospects for obtaining external funding. Use at least 11-point font. Do not use more than one page.)
  1. PROPOSED BUDGET: (The budget must be itemized to include the following categories if they apply: Equipment, supplies, travel, publication costs, faculty salary, and student wages, including fringe benefit costs for salary and wages. View the current fringe benefit rates. If other categories are appropriate, please itemize them as well.)
  1. BUDGET JUSTIFICATION: (Explain travel related to research and other budget items that require further clarification.)
  1. CV: (Include an updated CV for PI and any Co-PIs.)
  1. Current Funding Sources: (List all active research grants from which you receive funding, from internal or external sources, and include the following: sponsor, begin and end dates, amount funded, and title.)
  1. If a previous recipient of a Behrend Research Seed Grant, append the report from that grant to the application.