Small Grants (SG) funds are awarded to faculty for research that is not otherwise supported by organized or directed programs. The goal of the SGs is to enable faculty to carry out new, scholarly, creative work that either (1) leads to proposals for funding in areas where funding is available, or (2) leads to publication or performance in areas where funding is unavailable. Projects funded through the SGs could include: pilot research, emerging research opportunities, or a new research field for the investigator.



Faculty are only allowed one submission per solicitation.


Faculty eligible to serve as PI’s by their units and college deans are eligible to serve as Investigators for this program. Research Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to serve as the Investigator. Faculty with courtesy appointments are not eligible to serve as the Investigator.


New faculty with uncommitted start-up funds are not eligible for consideration.


Investigators may receive an award from the SG program only one time in a 24-month period. Investigators that have received SG funding or from the prior General Research Fund (GRF) as the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator in 2015 or 2016 are NOT eligible to apply.


Investigators who apply after the 24-month period are only eligible if the required final report(s) from the previous Research Office Incentive Programs (SG, LPD, GRF, RERF, or FRT) award(s) has been submitted.


The SG program is not intended to support graduate students.  While graduate students may be paid by SG funds, the purpose of the pay must be to meet the goal in the Description, above.


OSU Cascades faculty are eligible for all SG programs.  Category 2 proposals for Cascades faculty will be reviewed separately (see Review Procedure).




Award Information

Small Grant (SG)

Anticipated Funding

Number of Awards


Range of Award Amounts

Category 1




Between $15,000 and $25,000

Category 2



Between $3,000 and $7,000.


Applicants will be notified via email of award decisions.

Matching Funds


None required for this program.



The Research Office will accept one resubmittal of a previously unfunded proposal. The proposal will be deemed a resubmittal if the Investigator proposes the same or substantially similar research or if a substantially similar proposal comes from the same academic unit (i.e., changing the listed Investigator on an SG or former GRF proposal will not, in and of itself, be sufficient to have it deemed as a new proposal). Resubmitted proposals must be accompanied by a letter, not to exceed one page, explaining how the reviewers' comments from the previous submission have been addressed.

Use of Funds


Budget Items ELIGIBLE for support

  • Student hourly wages
  • Salaries/wages for research support personnel (e.g., technicians, postdocs, clerical)
  • Travel to conduct research or visit libraries/archives, either inside or outside the USA
  • Laboratory animal care
  • Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Services
  • Faculty release time


Budget Items NOT ELIGIBLE for support

  • Investigator salaries
  • Graduate assistantships
  • Graduate tuition
  • Bridge funds
  • Expenses related to curriculum development, administration, instruction, or instructional training or space renovations

Research Compliance Requirements (if applicable)

If the proposal would involve active engagement of activities requiring compliance oversight, it is the responsibility of the Investigator to obtain approval from the appropriate compliance committee(s) prior to the initiation of the research project. Please allow sufficient time for the review and approval process which could take up to ten weeks.


Review Procedure


The Research Office reviews all proposals for eligibility. Qualifying requests are generally reviewed by the Research Council, which may elect to have others review the proposal (possibly including individuals suggested by the Investigator).  Cat 2 proposals from the Cascades campus will be reviewed by an OSU Cascades committee established by the Cascades Vice President.  The Research Council and Cascades committee will provide a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Associate Vice President for Research, based on the quality of the proposals as reflected in the evaluation criteria. The Associate Vice President for Research will make all final award decisions based on the recommendations and available funds.

Evaluation Criteria


Proposals may be reviewed both by knowledgeable colleagues and by members of the Research Council. Reviewers will be asked to provide a summary recommendation for each proposal consisting of:

  • High priority for funding
  • Support if funds are available, or
  • Not recommended for funding


The review criteria are shown in the table below.



Scholarly Merit and Impact

  • Does the proposal provide a compelling argument for research?
  • Is the text of the proposal well-written and aimed at a general audience of reviewers from a variety of disciplines?
  • Does the proposal provide a clear statement of overall project objectives?
  • How would the proposed project lead to a significant contribution to the field of study?
  • Who is the audience for the proposed work, and why will they value it?

Quality of plan, including milestones

  • Are the proposed methodologies clearly described (avoiding jargon and unexplained acronyms)?
  • Is the timeline reasonable and does it have milestones that move the project toward completion?
  • Does the proposal provide clear and specific budget information?
  • Is the biosketch well-prepared?

Cat. 1 special criteria

  • Fully-overheaded at 47% will receive priority for Cat 1 proposals. State the organization to which the proposal will be submitted, what program, and by when.

Cat. 2: special criteria

  • If developing a proposal, is there evidence that the project will lead to extramurally funded research?
  • If not developing a proposal, will the work lead to publication or public dissemination? 
  • If not developing a proposal, is there evidence for lack of available extramural funding?

Strategic advance of researcher’s career

  • Will the project lead to further scholarly activity?
  • Will the proposed work significantly expand or diversify the investigator's artistic or scholarly base?

Advance SP3.0 benchmarks


Other desirable criteria include the following.

  • Internationalization of OSU research
  • Involves University Centers and Institutes (list)
  • Involvement of external partners
  • Promotion of diversity

While the ideal project would involve some of these, it is recognized that the funding level is modest and not every other desirable goal can be achieved.  Some goals may be achieved later while others are achieved earlier.

Application Procedure

The SG application form is available in MS Word format ( updated November, 2016).

  • Complete all sections of the application form and follow the submission instructions on the application form.
  • Submit the complete set of documents

▪       Replace X with 1 or 2, depending on whether you are applying for Category 1 or Category 2 funding

▪       replace “your last name, first name” with your last name, first name

Incomplete proposals or proposals not following the guidelines and format instructions (including page limits, spacing, font size, and margins) will not be considered for funding.

Reporting Requirements

Award recipients, and anyone funded by the program, are required to present at a campus research forum to be held in the spring of the year.

Award recipients (PIs) are required to submit a final report 60 days after the project ends.

This final report will be posted on the Research Office website and will be archived such that future applicants and awardees will be able to access it as a source of reference. If there is a valid reason for not wanting the final report posted on the website, submit the justification for consideration (limit one page).

Award recipients (Investigators) who fail to submit the required final report will be ineligible to receive future funding from the Research Office Incentive Programs.

The final report shall contain the following information:

1.  Header: including Proposal Title/Instrument, Investigator, Department, College, Award Information (type, date of award, amount of award).

2.  A brief summary of the hypothesis or goals and the scholarly work/activities performed using the SG support.

3. A brief summary of any additional scholarly activities the SG funding made possible for the investigator(s).

4.  How and/or on what were the SG funds expended?

5.  List of metrics in SP3.0 advanced by the SG and how those metrics were advanced.

6.  List of all extramural funding requests (i.e. proposals) that have been developed and submitted as a result of the SG funding.


Submit the final report electronically to Research Office Incentive Programs at

For More Information

Contact Research Office Incentive Programs at: