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Seed and Catalyst Awards

Submission Deadline

January 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

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The College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS) Seed and Catalyst Awards program offers and administers competitive funding for faculty-driven research and scholarship. Our research and scholarship address an array of technological, health-related, and societal problems, as well as providing profound insights and reflections of what it means to be human. Research and scholarship are also an integral part of the education of our students.

The Seed and Catalyst awards provide funding to support all forms of research and scholarship. Please read the descriptions carefully, as they are revised in response to the current environment.

Award Information

Seed Awards

These awards provide funding of up to $5,000 to encourage faculty to broaden the scope of their scholarly endeavors and/or bring projects to completion. The funds are intended to enable innovative projects that advance one's field and scholarly development. Eligible projects might include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel to archives or field sites
  • Collection of pilot data
  • Preparation of book manuscripts for publication

Proposals should:

  • Identify the anticipated tangible product of the scholarly effort (e.g., book or other creative/scholarly work, grant proposal, etc.)
  • Describe the project in language understandable by a broad audience
  • Highlight the importance of the award in their career development

With the goal of mitigating the negative impact that COVID and the events of 2020 had on progress towards promotion, funding priority for Seed Awards will be given to proposals from early and mid-career faculty whose research/scholarship have been disrupted. Priority will be given to applicants without access to significant startup funds and to faculty planning to apply for promotion in the coming years.

Catalyst Awards

CHS has a strong history of developing innovative interdisciplinary programs. With this call, we look for the next generation of innovation. These awards provide funding of up to $25,000 to catalyze innovative, cross-disciplinary, high-impact projects. Proposals must include developing, fostering, and sustaining, transdisciplinary collaborations designed to lead to innovative approaches and solutions for addressing pressing societal and scientific concerns. Catalyst proposals must include the following:

  1. At least two faculty from different disciplines
  2. Plans for scholarly collaboration AND for development and implementation of curriculum in that area (e.g., development of a certificate, co-taught course on a theme, adding REAL experiences to existing courses),
  3. An explanation of how the efforts will be sustained after the funding is exhausted, and
  4. A description of the role of each of the faculty participants.

Estimated Number of Awards

Up to $100,000 will be devoted to funding these awards. The Seed/Catalyst balance of funding will be determined by the applications in each area. Start date is flexible and may depend upon the goals of the project. Funding is expected to be available on May 15, 2022.


All full-time faculty in CHS regardless of rank or tenure status are eligible to apply.

Budget/Allowable Costs

Allowable costs include small equipment, supplies, printing, publishing, travel to research sites, graduate/undergraduate student support, participant payments, course release and summer salary (must be critical to the ability to complete the project). Only direct costs are paid. Please contact the associate dean for research and operations for questions about budgeting course release and summer salary. Chairs/directors must sign off on application if course-release is proposed.


Please keep in mind that not all reviewers will be experts in every proposed field of study, and thus project descriptions should be written for a broad audience.

Proposal Narrative

Three pages maximum, including Title, Abstract and Project description.

The project description must address how the proposed activities are consistent with the goals of the program. The description should include sufficient detail such that reviewers can evaluate the appropriateness and feasibility of the proposed plan. The narrative should describe the proposed scholarly activity in a concise manner.

  • Abstract (Concisely convey, in lay terms, the nature of the project and its significance. 250 words maximum).
  • Introduction/Background
  • Specific Aims
  • Significance and Impact
  • Plan to Achieve Aims
  • If desired, how the request is a response to the events of 2020

References Cited/Bibliography

Use the citation format that is appropriate for your field. No page maximum, but limit it to highly relevant citations.

Budget and Justification

Please submit a detailed account of the expenses associated with the planned proposal with written justification. Two-page maximum.

  • Personnel: For each person included in the proposal, describe the activities they will perform, the estimated number of hours to be worked, the hourly rate of pay, and the total estimated cost of each assistant.
  • Travel: List estimated airfare, lodging, meals and incidental expenses as well as the approximate dates of travel and number of days of research. Economy class flights only are allowed.
  • Supplies: Please itemize supplies in separate subcategories, such as books, materials, recordings, tools, chemicals, reagents, etc.
  • Equipment: Justify any equipment you need for the project, and estimate its cost.
  • Other: Please describe and estimate the cost of any additional research or scholarship activities to be supported by the grant. Please indicate how you arrived at the estimate.
  • Pending or intended funding applications: List funding requests--source and amount--for this and related projects.


  • Biosketch/CV
  • Current or pending funding information (if not provided on Biosketch/CV)

Submission Instructions

Font should be Arial, at a size of 11 or larger. Margins, in all directions, must be at least 1”. The entire package should be uploaded by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2022 as one PDF file.

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Previous Recipients

B. Ethan M. Coston, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
In Pursuit of Pleasure: Is “Sexual Health” More Than an Absence of Disease?

Sean Cox, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
How Robustly Can You Predict the Future?

Christine Cynn, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
AIDS Archives: "A Witness of My Time"

Brian Daugherity, History
The Green Light: School Integration in the United States

Soma Dhakal, Chemistry
Single Molecule Analysis of Peptide Modified DNA Holliday Junctions for Therapeutic Applications

Ronald Evans, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Reconceptualizing Behavioral Weight Loss to Improve Weight Loss Maintenance: A Proof-of-Concept Trial

Nao Hagiwara, Psychology
Racial Disparities in Cancer Genetic Counseling Encounters

Michael Hall, English
Freedom Beyond Confinement: Travel and Imagination in African-American Cultural History and Letters

Mary Caton Lingold, English
Sound Legacy: Music and Slavery in an African Atlantic World

Karen McIntyre, Robertson
Journalistic Role Performance Project: A Systematic Analysis of Professional Roles Among Journalists in Rwanda and 46 Other Countries

Amy Rector, World Studies
Isotopic Records of Climate and Seasonality in the Luangwa River Valley, Zambia

Samaneh Oladi Ghadikolaei, World Studies
In Search of Divine Justice: Iranian Women’s Sacred Activism

Joann Richardson, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Sole2Soul: Cultural Line Dancing as a Novel Approach to Physical Activity for Healthy Aging in Older African Americans

Sarah Seashols-Williams, Forensic Science
Use of MicroRNA Expression to Predict Body Mass Index in Forensic Samples

Faedah Totah, World Studies
Palestinians in the Old City of Damascus

Wenheng Zhang, Biology
Genetic Basis for Increased Floral Organ Number and Fruit Size in Tomato

Julio Alvarez, Biology, and Derek Prosser, Psychology
Single Microbe Electrochemistry