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Washington State University Office of the Provost

Initiatives Student Success Seed Grant

Student Success Seed Grant Application Details

Evaluation Process

The Seed Grants Management Team will commission a three-member panel from the University community to review all eligible proposals. Reviewers will have appropriate expertise in issues of student success, research, and major proposal submission, and will represent a cross-section of disciplines. Because the expertise of the review panel will be diverse, proposers are strongly encouraged to write for a non-expert audience. Proposals are scored on a 100-point scale (review criteria identified in the application). Projects that are aligned with the 2017 Competitive Priority can receive up to 5 bonus points.

Terms and Conditions

  • The Seed Grant Management Team will convene an Orientation meeting with PIs before the project period begins to discuss conditions and assist with implementation.
  • If the PI leaves WSU prior to the completion of the project, all remaining funds are returned unless the project team presents an alternative and approved plan for project completion.
  • All unobligated funds remaining at the conclusion of the project period (or upon termination) are returned.
  • Acknowledgement of the Student Success Seed Grant Program must be included in any published work, presentations, or printed materials resulting from the award.
  • Progress Reports will be due at 6, 12 and 18 months. Details on format and content will be provided upon funding.
  • If the proposed project will involve regulated activities (e.g. Human Subjects), the PI will need to obtain the appropriate assurances before funding is awarded.
  • Ownership of intellectual property and/or copyright issues are governed by and consistent with the BPPM.
  • Deviations from the approved budget or scope of the project must be approved.

Applications consist of three sections:

  • The Proposal Narrative
    • Need and Significance (3000 character limit) Up to 30 Points. Reviewers will consider the following factors:
      1. The demonstrated need for the project at WSU.
      2. The extent to which the proposed project involves the development of promising new strategies in response to the program purpose.
      3. The extent to which the proposed project represents an evidence-based approach and demonstrates a likelihood of significant positive impact.
    • Project Design and Management (5,000 character limit) Up to 50 points:The goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project.
      1. The goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project.
      2. The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones.
      3. The expertise of the investigators and collaborators.
      4. The support identified to ensure the project’s success.
      5. The plan for seeking external funding to continue and scale the effort.
    • Evaluation and Dissemination (2,000 character limit) Up to 20 points. Reviewers will consider:
      1. The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide valid and reliable performance data on relevant outcomes.
      2. The extent to which the dissemination of outcomes will inform the WSU community of results and, if applicable, promising practices.
  • The Abstract and Project Information Form
    • PI, Unit, Contact Information, Approving Authority
    • Co-I, Unit, Contact Information, Approving Authority
    • Other Collaborators
    • Project Title
    • Abstract (2000 character limit) to include: what the project intends to accomplish and why; the specific project activities and goals, and; intended outcomes. The abstract may be used for public information purposes, so it should be written for experts as well as a general audience.
  • The Project Budget and Budget Narrative
    • Complete the Budget Form. Project periods can begin as early as July 1, 2017. Total project funds for both the Development and Scale-up phase cannot exceed $25,000 or extend beyond 18 months. Facilities and Administrative costs are not included. Personnel benefits (Employer Contributions) must be included where salaries or wages are requested and must be specified at the appropriate rate.
      • Development Budget (Specify Project Period)
        1. Salaries
        2. Wages
        3. Consumable Goods and Services
        4. Travel
        5. Employer Contributions
        6. Grants and Subsidies
        7. Equipment – Non Capitalized
      • Scale-up Budget (Specify Project Period)
        1. Salaries
        2. Wages
        3. Consumable Goods and Services
        4. Travel
        5. Employer Contributions
        6. Grants and Subsidies
        7. Equipment – Non Capitalized
    • Budget Narrative (2,000 character limit). Reviewers will consider the extent to which the budget items are reasonable, effective, and adequate.

Generally, proposals should adhere to the following guidance:

  • Proposals will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel from different colleges and departments, so write for a general audience rather than experts in your field.
  • Proposals often fail to address all of the evaluation criteria, resulting in low scores for a particular criterion. Read the evaluation form and make sure that you have clearly addressed all of the criteria.
  • Clearly demonstrate how your project will contribute to student success at WSU. Be specific to the institution by utilizing local need data.
  • The potential for Seed Grants to result in external funding is a major consideration. If possible, be specific regarding targeted agencies or competitions rather than stating that your work will “be of interest” to funding agencies.
  • Describe how you will conduct the project within the project period.
  • Provide adequate detail in your budget.
  • If your project involves animal or human subjects, make sure that you acknowledge that in the proposal. Approvals do not have to be acquired before the proposal is submitted, but if you are selected for an award, you will have to obtain appropriate approvals before the award will be made.


RFP announced: March 8, 2017

Applications due: April 14, 2017

Funding decisions announced: April 28, 2017

Funding available: July 1, 2017

Washington State University