Research Seed Grant Guidelines

Seed grants are designed to support junior faculty members. Proposals from senior faculty members initiating a new area of research are also considered. This program is designed to facilitate the development of research expertise that will allow research activities to be proposed to other federal or non-federal funding sources.

Submission Deadline: The submission deadline for 2019-2020 funding is now past.
Applications for 2020-2021 funding will open late summer 2019.

Award notification: Award recipients of 2019-2020 funding will be notified of their selection by early spring 2019. Cost-reimbursable subaward agreements will go out to affiliates late spring 2019. The official funding interval will be May 2019 through April 2020.

Awards: up to $5,000

Submission Requirements:

Eligibility: Participation in this program is limited to faculty (research and professorial) at MSGC affiliate and lead institutions.  Member institutions (and individuals) are not limited to one proposal. Persons who received a Research Seed Grant in the previous year are not eligible to submit a proposal. Women, under-represented minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Proposals must be interdisciplinary.

Use of funds: MSGC funding of Research Seed Grants will not exceed (but can be less than) $5,000.  Funding can be used for travel and to purchase supplies and services. Funding can also be used for faculty and student salaries if they are U.S. citizens. MSGC funds cannot be used for purchases of $5,000 or over.  Purchases under $5,000 are considered supplies and materials and are allowed.  MSGC funds cannot be used to pay salaries, stipends, or travel to persons that are not U.S. citizens. Foreign travel is not allowed.

Matching funds: Research Seed Grants must be matched (at least one-to-one) with funds from non-federal sources. In–kind and waived indirect cost matches for Seed Grants are not permitted. No overhead charges can be deducted from the funds provided by the MSGC. The source of matching funds must be identified.  Matching from university units such as departments, Dean's or research offices, must be confirmed by a letter from the appropriate authority.

Topics: Proposals must address a problem in engineering, science, mathematics, life sciences, or related educational research.  Preference is given to projects directly related to NASA strategic interests, including aerospace, space science, Earth system science. Programs in other related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, including educational research topics in STEM, are also eligible to apply.  Proposals will be read by reviewers from a range of scientific areas so clarity is the responsibility of the proposer. Note: while writing your proposal, please keep in mind the mission of the MSGC includes creating, developing, and promoting programs that reflect NASA strategic interests: NASA Strategic Plan 2014.

Application Package

To apply for either the Educational Program Support, application materials must be submitted online. For 2020-2021 funding, links for the online application system will be provided in late summer 2019.

The application package includes:

1.  approval from the affiliate representative on your campus. Before you prepare your proposal, contact your representative to discuss your plans; they can give you valuable advice for strengthening your proposal.  Your full name typed on the application form indicates the affiliate representative has approved your proposal.

2.  a six-page research description, including an abstract (not to exceed 150 words), project description, timeline, references, and plans for proposal submissions to federal and non-federal sources based on the work to be completed (references cited in a smaller font will be accepted).

3. a one-page detailed budget and budget justification that specifies how both Space Grant funds and the matching funds will be used to carry out the project.

4.  one-page of biographical information on the PI.

5.  a one-page listing of significant publications.

6. up to a two-page list of grants, including grants you have received in the last five years and any pending grants.

7. a letter from the designated signer of the Research Office at the home institution of the investigator verifying the non-federal match.

8. use 12-point font, single-spaced text, and one-inch margins.

9. please convert your documents to a single PDF file to ensure unhindered (platform-independent) reviewer readability. Note: *.docx files are not accepted at this time.

10.  proposals that exceed the page limits specified above will not be considered.

Reporting Requirements for Award Recipients

A final report is required by May 31, 2020 giving a complete report on research expertise development activities and the status of proposals submitted based on the activities funded by the Research Seed Grant.  Documentation of any papers, presentations, announcements, news articles, and press releases relating to the existing project should be included in an appendix.  Portions of this final report may be published in the MSGC Newsletter, Michigan in Space. Reports are to be submitted in PDF to Brenda Vyletel at:

Award recipients are also required to submit a questionnaire circulated by the Director’s Office requesting financial reporting and information about participants.  The questionnaire cannot be used as a program report.

Additional Information

For additional information on this or other MSGC programs, please contact the MSGC Director's Office or contact MSGC Representatives at Affiliate Institutions throughout the state.