All faculty and research scholars or scientists at Columbia University and its affiliated schools are eligible to apply. Preference is given to 1) CPRC affiliates whose proposals have been developed through one of the Signature Research Areas or Small Working Groups; 2) proposals that include investigators from at least 2 Columbia departments or represent the mentorship of a junior investigator by a more senior investigator; and 3) applicants who intend to apply for additional funding from NIH, NSF, or a major foundation. Proposals from postdoctoral fellows will be considered only if there is an explicit plan to conduct the research at Columbia University; in other words, postdoctoral fellows may apply but they may not submit proposals for funding which they would carry with them to another institution.
The CPRC will accept proposals requesting $5,000 or less, year round on a rolling basis.
The CPRC will also issue twice annual requests for proposals.
The Spring 2013 deadline is Monday, April 1, 2013.
To apply, submit the following application materials to email@example.com:
- Cover page - Include the project title and the mailing address, e-mail, telephone number, and departmental affiliation of each investigator.
- Abstract - Outline your research in a one-paragraph abstract suitable for public reports (to the non-social science public), CPRC’s web site and publicity materials.
- Narrative - Summarize your research question, theoretical foundations, existing literature, empirical facets of the research (if applicable), and the significance of the eventual project that the seed grant will help to develop. Be sure to distinguish between the seeded research and the eventual project for which you will obtain external funding. If the eventual project for which external funding will be sought is sufficiently advanced so that the project’s specific aims can be included, even in draft form, please do so. Excluding references, the narrative may be no more than five (5) single spaced pages with a minimum font size of 12 points.
- Plan for Obtaining External Funding (Appendix A) - Describe your plans for obtaining external funds, including: a) what funders you may approach, and why; b) what contact you have already had with these agencies, if any; c) when you expect to apply for funds; d) the expected scale of the eventual project; and e) how the activities funded by the seed grant will help to attract further external support. List current or pending grant applications that are related to the project, including funds requested or received from sources both internal and external to Columbia University. The maximum length for Appendix A is one (1) single-spaced page.
- Relation of Proposed Activities to Existing Research (Appendix B) - If the seed grant is related to ongoing, funded research, describe how the activities funded by the seed grant and how the existing project will benefit and support each other. If included, the maximum length for Appendix B is one (1) single-spaced page.
- Budget and Justification - Seed grant awards are generally between $5,000 and $10,000. Up to $15,000 may be awarded under special circumstances. The review committee will be unsympathetic to proposals that request funding for faculty summer salary or computer purchases, but all other expenses directly related to research activities may be included in the budget, including (with permission from your department chair) release time from teaching. Please familiarize yourself and your department administrator or chair with the indirect cost arrangement detailed in the section on Requirements of Grant Recipients.
- CPRC Admin Fee Policy – To ensure that the budget submitted conforms with individual department policies, the submission must include an email from the PI’s departmental administrator which states whether the department will charge an administrative fee on a seed grant account and the percentage of any fees to be charged. The submitted budget must include any fees to be charged by their home department.
- Curriculum vitae for all investigators
Seed grant proposals are reviewed by a committee comprised of CPRC co-directors and the director of ISERP. The most important evaluation criteria are intellectual merit and the promise of innovation, as well as the potential for attracting further funding. Secondary criteria may include the extent to which the research is interdisciplinary, involves collaboration, and is consistent with CPRC’s research priorities.
The seed grant program is not a small grant program. Grants will not be awarded to proposals that request funding for a stand-alone project (that is, a project which is not intended to build towards the development of a subsequent research proposal), that do not describe plans for obtaining external funding, or that poorly justify their budget.
Notification of Award and Funding Start Date
We will endeavor to notify applicants of the committee’s decision by Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Funding to begin July 1, 2013, pending PI’s timely submission of IRB approval notification, signed acceptance of award form, and information needed for account setup.
Requirements of Grant Recipients
Research projects involving human subjects must maintain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. While proposals that have not yet undergone review will be considered for funding, no funds will be disbursed until the project is approved or designated Not Human Subjects Research by the relevant IRB.
Recipients of seed grants are obliged to report on the activities to which the grant is being applied, as well as on progress toward obtaining external support for the project. The reporting schedule is every six months of the first year following the award of the grant, and annually thereafter as long as the seed grant remains active.
Acceptance of a CPRC seed grant award entails acceptance of the indirect cost arrangement between CPRC and ISERP, described below, which allows ISERP to continue funding CPRC’s interdisciplinary research initiatives.
All external grants should be submitted through the PI's host institution. If the PI is in Arts and Sciences, they should submit through ISERP. PIs outside of Arts and Sciences should submit through their school.
For external awards made possible through assistance from CPRC's seed grants, the School of Social Work and the Mailman School of Public Health will return 11% of the total indirect costs to ISERP, up to a maximum of 5 times the value of the seed grant. This may override or modify other policies regarding research incentives provided to PIs by each school. Before submitting a seed grant application, investigators should ensure that their departmental administrators are aware of these arrangements and find them acceptable.
Investigators who receive external grants based on seeded research are required to acknowledge CPRC’s support in any papers and publications ensuing from the research. The acknowledgements should include the CPRC’s federal grant number: 5 R24 HD058486. The papers must also be uploaded into Pub Med Central and linked to the CPRC grant.