New Faculty Seed Grant: Request for Proposals


The primary purpose of the New Faculty Seed Grant Program is to encourage new junior level faculty to develop research, scholarly, or creative programs that have the potential for sustained professional development and generation of extramural funding.

This program supports identification and submission of proposals to potential external funding sources, helps generate preliminary data to support proposals for external funding, and enhances research, scholarly and creative activities.

Proposals to this program are considered from a broad range of scholarly activities including, but not limited to (among others) agricultural sciences, architecture, arts/performing arts, business, communication, culture, design, education, engineering, entrepreneurship, environment, health, humanities, innovation, leadership, life sciences, multi-disciplinary endeavors, natural resources, physical sciences, security, safety, society, and social sciences.

Researchers, scholars, and artists who were appointed as new junior level faculty no earlier than May 16, 2020 are eligible.  Eligible Applicants include tenure track assistant professors. Career, Clinical, and Scholarly Track Assistant Professors and Assistant Research Professors are also welcome to apply provided they are not 100% soft funded and their appointment includes a research/ scholarly assignment in their home department. Anyone who has received external funding, as a principal investigator (PI) and/or a Co-PI while working at WSU, totaling $100,000 or more at the due date of this proposal is not eligible (excludes start-up funds).  Those who have been Co-PIs on externally funded projects need to determine their award allocation amount(s) to confirm that the funding they have received, since becoming employed at WSU, does not exceed the $100,000 threshold.

Researchers previously funded by this program as PIs or Co-PIs are not eligible to apply. However, faculty who have held the role of a Collaborator in this program are eligible to become a PI or Co-PI provided they meet all of the qualifications listed in the above paragraph.

Career, Clinical, and Scholarly Track Assistant Professors and Assistant Research Professors will need to provide an email or letter from the department chair acknowledging the PIs appointment includes a research/scholarly assignment and approving the PI to apply.

  • $200,000 has been allocated for the 2024 New Faculty Seed Grant Program.
  • Program funds are provided by the Office of Research, President, Provost, and Deans.
  • Individual grants may not exceed $25,000.
  • Proposals for smaller amounts are encouraged and considered equally competitive.

This program supports projects that will significantly contribute to the PI’s long range goals by kick-starting a more complex project or idea. Projects with a strong potential to lead to significant external funding and/or PI portfolio development are encouraged. Details regarding the specific items this program supports can be found in the budget section of the Proposal Instructions. 

May 16, 2020WSU appointment cut-off date
November 1, 2023Competition Announcement Released
December 1, 2023Notice of intent to ORAP by 5pm (Required)
February 9, 2024Seed grant proposals due to ORAP by 5pm
May 1, 2024Award Notifications
May 10, 2024Revised budget and work of scop to ORAP
May 15, 2024Award begin date
August 15, 2025Award termination date
February 16, 2025Final Report due to ORAP
March of 2025Poster presentation at Faculty Showcase

A Notice of Intent (NOI) is required and must be submitted by 5pm December 1, 2023 in order to be considered for this grant program. Full proposals will not be accepted if an NOI is not submitted.

Only one NOI per PI is allowed.

This form is essential for the selection of the review panels. You will be asked the following:

  • PI Name
  • Email
  • Department & College
  • Research Administrator’s name
  • Title/Rank
  • Employment Start Date
  • Type of Proposal (Choose One): Basic Research, Applied Research, Arts, or Scholarship
  • Emphasis Area (Choose One): Agriculture Sciences, Arts/Fine Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Environment, Health/Life Sciences, Humanities, Math/Computer Sciences, Multidisciplinary, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences,
  • Title of Proposal (80 character limit)
  • Brief description (one page limit) of the proposed work

The Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships is responsible for overseeing the review process in collaboration with Faculty Senate’s Research and Arts Committee. Proposals undergo preliminary review by the program coordinators. Incomplete proposals will be returned to the PI without further consideration. Completed proposals are assigned to the appropriate review panel for evaluation. Proposals then undergo a three-step review process which includes each review panel making preliminary funding recommendations to the Research and Arts Committee who then reviews and gives their funding recommendations to the Vice President for Research who determines the final awards.  

Each proposal is assigned to one of the following emphasis areas based on both the emphasis area indicated in the proposal and the review panel which best reflects the proposed work, and not the particular discipline or college: Agriculture Sciences, Arts/Fine Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Environment, Health/Life Sciences, Humanities, Math/Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences or Multidisciplinary (defined as two or more equal emphasis areas). Depending upon the number of applicants, similar emphasis areas may be combined to provide an equal distribution of applicants across review panels. Every effort will be made to ensure that each proposal is placed in an appropriate panel. Reviewers are comprised of a diverse group that may not be experts in your discipline.

As such, using clear non-discipline specific language is essential to ensuring your proposal is competitive.   

The review panels’ recommendations are based on originality, creativity, scholarly and/or research significance of the proposed activities; its feasibility; availability of adequate facilities; appropriateness of the proposed project to the competition’s purpose; appropriateness of the budget; and a theme of future funding strategy throughout the proposal. Overall, reviewers are seeking proposals that have been judged to represent the beginning of a sound, significant, and long-term project, and have solid potential for generating external funding or portfolio development.   

Resubmitted proposals are considered equally competitive as first submissions. They should address the previous year’s reviewers’ comments and revisions should be noted in the proposal narrative. For PIs that have been at WSU for more than one year, reviewers will evaluate to what extent their proposals demonstrate that they have been planning, scholarly or artistic program since their hire date.

Awards will be announced by May 1, 2024. Reviewers’ comments for both awarded and denied proposals will be sent to applicants along with the notifications.

  • If an award is less than the requested amount, a revised budget and scope of work is required before funds are released.
  • Protocols for human subjects (IRB), animals (IACUC) and/or biosafety activities (IBC) do not need to be approved before the submission date, but must be reviewed, approved and sent to ORAP before the grant funds are released. Funds are not released until all appropriate protocols have been approved.
  • Prior to the grant start date, PI’s are required to attend a mandatory briefing on grants administration, roles and responsibilities of a principal investigator, and post-award program information.
  • The awards are for a 15-month period beginning May 15th through August 15th, the following year. 
    If needed, a one-time only, no-cost time extension request is considered with a strong justification.
  • If the PI leaves the university prior to the completion of the grant, the remaining funds are to be returned to the Office of Research.
  • Any remaining funds after the grant’s termination date are to be returned to the Office of Research.
  • Awardees are required to present at the Faculty Showcase following the project’s termination date.
  • Acknowledgement of the New Faculty Seed Grant support must be included in any published work or presentations directly resulting from this award, including Showcase posters.

A proposal directly related to the seed grant project must be submitted to an external funding source no more than six (6) months after the award period ends.  If the proposal can’t be submitted by this time, the PI needs to contact the program coordinator(s) to discuss alternative timelines for meeting this award condition.  Information pertaining to the submitted proposal will be disclosed in the final report.

By accepting this award, the PI agrees to submit a final report to the Office of Research.  This report will allow the university to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.  The final report deadline is February 16, 2026, six (6) months after the award period ends. The report will document any publications, presentations, exhibitions, media coverage, sales or marketing, projects, papers, proposals/awards or other accomplishments that resulted from the New Faculty Seed Grant Program’s original support.

If you have any questions concerning the guidelines, proposal or review process, please contact the program coordinators: Emily Brashear at

PI – The Principal Investigator (PI) is the primary individual responsible for the development and execution of the grant.

Co-PI – A Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) is not the lead but has responsibilities similar to that of the PI, he/ she may lead components of the grant and could be responsible for project outcomes.

Collaborator – A collaborator is involved in a project but has fewer responsibilities than that of a PI or Co-PI/Co-I.  He/she may be involved in one specific component but does not contribute to all parts of the project. For example, if a WSU researcher is hired to provide statistical consultation, they could be listed as a Collaborator. 

Basic Research – Basic research, in this context, is scientific research aimed to advance fundamental understanding. It seeks to fill in knowledge that we do not already have. Basic research fuels applied research.

Applied Research – Applied research develops technology or techniques for real world applications.

Arts – Arts is defined, in this context, as the creation of visual, print or literary, auditory or performing work of art. Works of art may or may not be subject to juried review or competition for exhibits or performance.

Scholarship – Scholarship, as defined here, is the creation of a work that is peer reviewed and publicly disseminated. It may be, but is not limited to a monograph, an edited collection, a book chapter, a manuscript translation, or a journal article.

Download the slide presentation shared during the 2022 Research Week (October 17-21) as an overview of the program. Please reach out if you have any questions.