INSPIRE! Community Engaged Research Seed Grants

Overview

The INSPIRE! Community Engaged Research Seed Grant Program supports the development of and capacity for community-engaged research. The Program’s multiple tiers of funding are intended to support diverse types and stages of community-engaged research. Inspire CER seed grants are funded by the WSU Pullman Chancellor’s office and only Pullman faculty are eligible to apply.

What is Community Engaged Research?

Community-engaged research is set apart by its methodologies and practices that emphasize working with communities not working on communities. Working with communities means that all facets of research and creative practice are driven by community needs, goals, and values. This is different from consultation and/or input from communities. Community engaged research is driven by communities including: the conception of research questions, the design of methodologies, determining the range and pace of outputs, defining measures for and evaluations of impacts, and determining authorship, attributions, and access to data

Grant Details

  • Tier One awards provide up to $3,000 for travel supporting community partnerships. Tier One awards will be given during a competitive process held on an occasional basis. The first round was given during Research Week 2023.
  • Tier Two awards are eligible for support of up to $10,000 over one year.
  • Tier Three awards are eligible for support of up to $20,000 over one year.

Faculty can apply for any tier that is appropriate for their research, there is no requirement or expectation that applicants will have received one tier in order to apply for another.

Interested faculty are encouraged to explore the other elements of the INSPIRE! program, including information sessions related to these funding opportunities as well as community engaged research more broadly and upcoming workshops.

Notice of Intent

A Notice of Intent (NOI) is required. Full proposals will not be accepted if an NOI is not submitted. You can submit your NOI by clicking or tapping the button below. Be brief and use non-technical language. Late NOIs will not be accepted.

  • Tier Two NOI
    • Application deadline for 2023–2024 Tier Two support has passed. 2024–2025 deadlines will be announced at a later date.
    • Should introduce your proposed project with reference to the project’s potential to establish a community engaged research program.
  • Tier Three NOI
    • Due March 15, 2024
    • Should introduce your proposed project with reference to the project’s potential to advance community engagement already in place.

INSPIRE! Program funding is available to career- and tenure-track faculty in any discipline on the Pullman campus.

Tier One

This funding supports faculty with small travel grants to establish primary connections and foster relationships with community partners. Tier One funding provides $1500 – $3000 travel grants to PIs/teams. These funds are given through a competitive process during the annual Office of Research sponsored Research Week activities. PIs will compete through a “pitch” process, whereby they pitch their project idea to a panel of community-engaged research faculty.

Tier Two

This funding supports faculty new to community engaged research or faculty whose community engaged research trajectory is in its beginning stages. A fundamental building block of community-engaged research is establishing trust and forming relationships that will lead to establishing research projects. Tier Two INSPIRE! grants are meant to provide seed funding to establish relationships with community partners, this may include travel, a series of listening sessions, focus groups, etc. Tier Two funding provides support up to $10,000 (for one year) and recipients must attend CER workshops and information sessions as part of the funding agreement.

Tier Three

This funding supports faculty who have an established community-engaged research program and relationships with communities. Tier Three INSPIRE! grants are meant to provide seed funding to assist with the creation of a proof of concept, or the production of data that would assist in moving the research agenda to a stage to apply for substantial external funding. Tier Three funding provides support up to $20,000 (for one year) and within the following calendar year researchers must apply for external funding.

The Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships is responsible for overseeing the review process. A panel of peer faculty experts will be convened for each grant cycle. The panel will use a rubric based on the criteria for each grant to review and rank the proposals.

Successful Tier Two proposals will represent the beginnings of a sound, significant, and long-term project based in or informed by community engagement.

Tier Three proposals will demonstrate an already well-established community-engaged research program and relationships with communities. Successful Tier Three proposal will show strong potential for the expansion or elaboration of this already existing research program given additional funding.

  • If an award is less than the requested amount, a revised budget and scope of work are 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, PIs 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 12-month period. 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.
  • Recipients of Tier Three grants are required to submit at least one application for external funding prior to July 1, 2026, or one year following their award’s termination date.
  • Acknowledgement of Community Engaged Research Seed Grant support must be included in any published work or presentations directly resulting from this award, including Showcase posters.

External Proposal Submission (Tier Three only)

For Tier Three awardees, a proposal directly related to the CER Seed Grant project must be submitted to an external funding source no more than twelve (12) months after the award period ends. If the proposal cannot be submitted by this time, the PI must contact ORAP to discuss alternative timelines for meeting this award condition. Information pertaining to the submitted proposal will be disclosed in the final report if possible or in a later addendum provided after an external proposal has been submitted. The program coordinator will follow up with the PI to ensure that this condition is met.

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 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 CER Seed Grant Program’s original support. The report must also contain a statement from the community partner about the impact/effectiveness of the collaboration for Tier Three grants and a section about next steps for both Tier Two and Tier Three grants.

The following elements are required for proposals to receive consideration, all of which are submitted via the online submission form. Requirements for Tier Two and Tier Three proposals vary in some respects: follow the requirements for the tier under which you are seeking funding. All proposals will be submitted through web-based forms. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Tier One

  • Pitch proposal. No more than one single spaced page
    • Description of the idea, the collaborators/partners, the benefits
    • Brief budget detailing how the travel funds will be spent.
    • Brief timeline for the proposed use of travel funds
  • If selected a brief no more than 3-minute public “pitch” presentation to a panel of experts at WSU.

Tier Two

  • Non-technical Abstract
    • The abstract is limited to 300 words and should use plain language understandable to a reader outside your field.
  • Proposal Narrative
    • The Proposal Narrative is limited to 1,200 words. The narrative should include the following sections:
      • Project Background
        • Include a section on what in your previous scholarship or research leads you to want to do community engaged research. Is there some aspect of your current work that would benefit from doing CER?
        • Include a section on any preparation you have done to familiarize yourself with the theories, methods, and practices of CER?
      • Project Objectives
        • Provide specific details about timelines, goals, and activities you will undertake during the grant period.
  • References Cited
    • No more than 500 words.
  • Budget and Budget Justification
    • See Budget Preparation below.
  • Focused CV
    • No more than three (3) pages.
    • Attached as a separate Word document or PDF.
  • Letter of Support from your Chair or Director
    • Attached as a separate Word document or PDF.

Tier Three

  • Non-technical Abstract
    • The abstract is limited to 300 words and should use plain language understandable to a reader outside your field.
  • Proposal Narrative
    • The Proposal Narrative is limited to 2,000 words. The narrative should include the following sections:
      • Project Background
        • Include previous work with this community (how long, in what capacity), results, challenges, and type of projects completed.
        • Include any previous funding, how it was used, and how this project connects with that. If the proposed project is not connected, explain why.
        • Include any relevant information on how you approach engagement with this community (did you have to go through an internal review panel, what types of honoraria or other payments do you provide, etc.).
      • Project Objectives
        • Provide specific details about timelines, goals, and activities you will undertake during the grant period.
        • Include a discussion of the role of the proposed project in the existing partnership more broadly.
  • References Cited
    • No more than 800 words.
  • Focused CV
    • No more than three (3) pages.
    • Highlight applicant’s experience with community engaged research.
    • Attached as a separate Word document or PDF.
  • Budget and Budget Justification
    • See Budget Preparation below.
  • Letter(s) of Support
    • Letter of support from your chair or director.
    • Tier Three proposals must also include a letter of support from a representative of the community with whom the applicant is partnering.
    • Attached as separate Word documents or PDFs.

Contact your unit’s financial/budget manager to facilitate budget preparation. The budget form will need to be initialed by the certified grant budget administrator in your area/unit. A full list of grant administrators is available at the WSU MyResearch website, select “eREX Department Contacts”. There is no F&A required for this competition. 

This program will support expenditures that directly contribute to the successful completion of a project. All budget items must be reasonable, allowable and necessary for project completion.

Please prepare your budget using this form, which will be submitted as part of your application.

Budget Categories

Salaries and Benefits

Partial faculty buyout with approved release time, or partial summer salary, partial graduate student support and postdoctoral appointments are allowable but may not be the majority of the budget. Clearly state all base salaries, time committed to the project and amount of salary applied to the project.

Wages

Wages are permitted. Clearly state wages broken down by positions, include hourly payment rate.

Goods and Services

Include all supplies and services required to complete the project, itemize by major items and be specific. Contact the responsible personnel for cost estimates of services, if included.

Travel

Domestic and/or international field work, data collection, training, educational purposes, presentations or conferences directly related to the proposed work. Be sure to follow WSU travel policies when calculating travel costs. Check with a university approved travel agent or website for the most cost-effective travel to the destination.

Equipment

The PI’s chair or director must certify that the equipment to be purchased is not already available for use on this project. Major equipment items ($5,000 or more) are not typically supported but can be included with a very strongly presented justification and the required certification. Personal computers may be purchased for field data collection or other special applications other than general office use.

Community Support

This may include honoraria for elders or other local experts, travel funds to support community travel to a field site etc, rental costs for meeting spaces and small food allowances. Other costs may be approved based on specific community related needs.

Other

Provide a detailed description of other budget categories that will be requested.  It is highly recommended that you contact the program coordinator(s) to confirm cost allowability.

This program does not support the following:

  • Civil service staff salaries
  • Journal subscriptions
  • Supplemental awards to existing projects
  • Student led projects or senior thesis projects
  • Commercial licenses
  • Membership dues
  • Facility renovations
  • Purchase of vehicles or other modes of transportation 

Budget Justification

Appropriateness of the budget is a significant factor in the selection process. All requested budget items must be accompanied with a justification of how they will contribute to successful completion of the project. Please be aware that the review panel will consider your budget justification very carefully in an effort to maximize the number of beneficiaries to this program. Summer salary and full-time graduate student requests in particular must be strongly justified. Any items that appear non-critical will be at risk for reduced funding during the review process. An additional page may be attached for the budget justification for a total of two pages. If a proposal is awarded at less than the amount original requested, a revised budget and scope of work is required to be submitted to the program coordinator(s). Funds will not be released until these documents have been received.

Important Dates and Deadlines

YearDateEvent
2024January 29Tier Two award begin date
Feb. 2 & 9Community Engaged Research Cohort Workshop series
Feb. 28–March 27Community Engaged Grant Writing Training Workshop
March 15Tier Three Notice of Intent due
April 15Tier Three proposals due by 5:00 pm
June 15Tier Three award notifications
July 1Tier Three award begin date
November 1Tier Two (2025) Notice of Intent due
December 2Tier Two (2025) proposals due by 5:00 pm
2025January 28Tier Two (2024) award termination date
June 30Tier Three award termination date
2026July 1Deadline for Tier Three (2024) awardees to apply for external funding

Funds for the INSPIRE! Community Engaged Research Seed Grant Program are provided by the WSU Pullman Office of the Chancellor.