The purpose of the 2024 Transdisciplinary Research Seed Fund Program is to support OSU faculty as they build a transdisciplinary research team or seek to sustain momentum of an existing team and/or scale-up collaborative research efforts towards the submission of large proposals that directly support Prosperity Widely Shared: The Oregon State Plan (SP5.0). Faculty teams are expected to use seed funds to advance new research and partnerships and develop submission-ready proposals by the end of the award period.
Because the seed fund priorities are aligned with SP5.0, competitive proposals should demonstrate alignment with the priorities below:
A. Transdisciplinary Research. Transdisciplinary research is a complex form of use-inspired research that seeks to generate integrated interdisciplinary knowledge and discovery through participatory and engaged practices that span sectors and disciplines in a way that transcends traditional boundaries and directly contributes to resolving critical societal challenges.
B. Research in the SP5.0 areas of investment and growth (review SP 5.0 goals and actions for more information).
C. Brings together or strengthens a diverse team of scientists, artists, engineers, humanists and/or social scientists representing multiple OSU Colleges, Centers, and Institutes along with external partners (e.g. industry, community organizations, government, other universities). Faculty who identify as belonging to social identity groups minoritized in academia are encouraged to apply (review OSU’s foundational values for more information).
D. Projects that invest in developing thoughtful, positive, equitable and enduring partnerships with community groups or organizations that represent, directly serve or engage, minoritized and/or underserved populations, minority serving institutions of higher education, or tribal governments. OSU is a Carnegie Engaged University, you can review information about engagement purpose and practice here.
Individuals and Transdisciplinary Teams with an identified project lead who is an OSU faculty member (academic or professional) from any OSU campus or facility with a record of extramurally funded research, and collaboration, and academic success.
The Division of Research and Innovation anticipates investment of $600,000, when combined with the required 1:1 match from OSU colleges and units, a total of $1.2MIL in awards are expected in three categories:
This Team Building category is intended for faculty seeking to build a transdisciplinary team, conduct front-end laboratory, analytical, or interpretive work, and/or engage with stakeholders and potential partners to better understand the problem space in which they are working from both academic and societal points of view. Proposals in this category can be led by individuals, pairs, or small teams. For this level of funding, proposals must identify a viable list of potential transdisciplinary team members including external non-academic partners and present a detailed plan for how the seed funds will be used to cultivate relationships and build a viable team (see priorities A, C and D above). Cultivating new partnerships with entities that serve or represent minoritized or underrepresented populations, and/or international partners is strongly encouraged.
Please reach out to the Division of Research and Innovation, Division of Extension and Engagement, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and/or Office of Global Engagement to better understand relevant institutional policies and how your proposed new partnership can be informed by historical engagement or ongoing relationships with external entities. This is particularly important for Indigenous organizations, Tribal governments, foreign entities, Oregon place-based communities or organizations, Oregon two-year and technical colleges, minority serving institutions, and industry partners.
Team Building may include: travel to connect with, or direct support for, stakeholders, rights holders, and partners; facilitated meetings to develop shared vision; collaborative development of a research agenda or white paper that better defines a critical societal or scientific challenge and/or identifies gaps in knowledge that would benefit from a transdisciplinary approach; activities related to securing future funding such as meeting with agency or foundation program officers and exploring new funding options.
Team Building awards must result in a product that describes the team and their future plans to pursue extramural funding.
Depending on the scope of work and justification, requests for Team Building seed funds may be less than, but may not exceed, $25,000.
This Proposal Development category is intended for teams who have already made progress clarifying their shared interests and their potential collaborative roles and plan to submit or make significant progress toward submitting at least one well-constructed proposal with a total budget > $1MIL per year within the award period.
Lower total budget proposal submissions may be appropriate depending on disciplines and external partners involved. Longer timelines also may be appropriate depending on available information and deadlines for the targeted solicitations, but these projects will need to make a well-justified request for extension toward the end of the award year.
The scope of work should result in evidence of a diverse and well-functioning team. This may include completion of products that demonstrate the viability of the team and that will strengthen the large proposal submission required in this track such as white papers, preliminary results, reports from partner or stakeholder workshops, research gap analyses, new tested methods, etc.
Proposal Development teams must include at least two committed core team members and identify additional external collaborators with whom the team is pursuing partnerships. Some Team Building activities (as described above) may be incorporated early in the timeline of such a project. Proposals in this category must present a short list of specific existing or anticipated solicitations or philanthropic sources of funds the team intends to pursue.
Depending on the scope of work and justification, requests for Proposal Development seed funds may be less than, but may not exceed, $50,000.
This Scale-Up category is intended for existing teams who need support to build momentum from previous work or scale-up an existing research project, program, center, or institute. Teams in the Scale-Up category are expected to submit a detailed plan for how they will prepare and submit at least one well-constructed proposal with a total budget > $5MIL within the award period.
Lower total budget proposal submissions may be appropriate depending on disciplines and external partners involved. Longer timelines also may be appropriate depending on available information and deadlines for the targeted solicitations, but these projects will need to make a well justified request for extension toward the end of the award year.
The Scale-Up teams should provide evidence of previous success in working together (such as collaborative preliminary research, white papers, technical reports, co-authorship of peer reviewed literature, previous experience collaborating as part of a committee or working group, previous submissions, etc.) and funding success. Proposals in this category also must present a short list of specific existing or anticipated solicitations or philanthropic sources of funds the team intends to pursue, evidence of team member commitment, a scope of work that demonstrates the effectiveness of the team in a future proposal, a timeline and a management plan for proposal development inclusive of engagement with external partners.
Depending on the scope of work and justification, requests for Scale-Up seed funds may be less than, but may not exceed, $100,000.
This program uses the OSU submission platform called InfoReady. Applicants who do not already have an account will need to create one using ONID details. The first step in the application process requires applicants to declare their intent to apply no later than April 15, 2024. This is accomplished by completing an online form in the InfoReady system that includes the following details:
Your submitted form will be subject to approval by your home college/campus Associate Dean for Research (or appropriate Director for non-academic units) and your immediate supervisor. It is strongly encouraged that you inform relevant college leadership and supervisors of your intent to apply, discuss alignment of your plan with college/unit priorities, and discuss matching funds prior to declaring your intent to apply. You will be notified of college leadership approval and provided additional instructions at that time including a link to the full application form.
The proposal package includes the narrative, budget and budget justification. These must be approved by the appropriate college/unit leadership (generally an ADR and unit lead or direct supervisor) through InfoReady after submission. Proposals will then be reviewed by ORA (Office of Research Advancement) to ensure completeness and adherence to these guidelines. Proposals that are approved by college/unit leadership, and are complete and compliant with guidelines, will be reviewed by at least two members of an ad hoc review panel. Reviewers will be selected to minimize conflicts of interests and optimize capacity to provide actionable feedback to applicants. Reviewers will complete a rubric providing both quantitative scores and qualitative feedback in the following areas:
The narrative plan and scope of work can be up to 3,000 words for Team Building, 4,000 for Proposal Development and up to 5,000 words for Scale-Up proposals. Applicants may include up to two figures (concise tables, timelines, photos, graphics, etc.). Figures should have minimal text and should not be used to work around the word limit. Narratives should consider the rubric above and include the following:
Budgets will vary among projects and should reflect realistic costs that might be incurred implementing the scope of work described in the narrative plan within the provided maximums for the type of fund (Team Building, Proposal Development, Scale-Up).
Pre-submission consultation with your home college(s) and unit is required. College-based staff can support budget development and completion of the budget template. The completed budget template must be uploaded to the InfoReady platform for your application to be reviewed. You can download the budget template (tab1) and sample budget (tab 2) here, this will require your ONID to login.
NOTE: applications without a completed budget that clearly defines the amount and source of match will not be considered for funding.
Allowable costs: Allowable costs include, but are not necessarily limited to: PI summer effort; academic-year effort if newly allocated for the purpose of this award; honoraria to external collaborators or advisors; travel; incentives and other costs for external partners; research support staff including students and postdoctoral scholars who are directly contributing to the scope of work; materials, subscriptions, equipment use associated with producing preliminary results; and facilitation, travel, workshop costs, hosting, facilitation, etc. Costs must represent new investments or allocations of effort and time to research development and cannot offset ongoing college or unit costs.
Required costs: External consultants at Hanover Research will provide the following types of support for those who receive seed funds. These costs must be included in the Division of Research and Innovation portion of the budget at the flat rate as indicated in the table below and in the budget template. Hanover will provide the following services to seed fund awardees:
Required Amount in DRI Budget
Includes Proposal Management/Project Coordination or any 3 instances of instances of funding source prospecting or review of a draft proposal or white paper.
Includes any 2 instances of funding source prospecting or review of a draft proposal or white paper.
Includes one instance of funding source prospecting, or review of a draft proposal or white paper.
Costs for capital equipment, subawards, and indirect costs are not allowable in the project budget. The Budget Justification must clearly state how each cost will advance new efforts to develop a transdisciplinary team, generate viable products and early results, and produce submission-ready transdisciplinary proposals.
Match: All seed fund requests require matching funds from the home college(s) and/or unit(s) of the faculty lead and/or team members. This is a 1:1 match. For a $50,000 in Total Project Cost, $25,000 in funds will come from the Division of Research and Innovation and $25,000 in funds or equivalent support will come from the college(s) and/or unit(s). Matches from multiple units is encouraged other than the project lead’s academic home is encouraged (but not required)
College/unit-level match must provide access to resources that the PI Team did not previously have access to in support of transdisciplinary Team Building and large Proposal Development. Match is intended to ensure partnership and reduce barriers to a large proposal submission.
The amounts for each budget line item requested must be documented and justified in the required Budget Justification document. A sample budget justification is available here.
Applicants must have submitted a Declaration of Intent to Apply through InfoReady and received approval from college leadership prior to submitting a full application. Applicants will need to log into InfoReady to access the submission platform. After the proposal and all supplemental documents are submitted to InfoReady, Department/Unit heads and/or Associate Deans for Research will be asked to approve the proposed match via InfoReady.