Interdisciplinary Research Initiative 


Proposal Guidelines and Format



Funding Limitations

Letter of Support

Funding Deadlines

Miscellaneous Upload 

Review Process


Purpose: The CSCE Interdisciplinary Research Initiative is a GVSU-wide, competitive grant program to nurture and develop interdisciplinary, collaborative research ideas and extramural grant proposals. Proposals that create and integrate ideas across the arts, sciences and humanities will be most competitive. Research partnerships across GVSU units and between GVSU and other universities and institutions are strongly encouraged. 


Eligibility: Proposals are accepted from tenured or tenure-track faculty members on continuing appointment. Visiting Faculty, Affiliate Faculty, Adjunct, and staff can be co- Principal Investigator (PI), but not lead PI. 

Given equally meritorious applications, preference will be given to individuals who have not received prior funding under this program (particularly within the past two years) and those individuals that are actively disseminating their work or seeking alternative sources (particularly external sources) of support.

Any previous grants must be closed and the final report sent into CSCE before current submissions will be considered. Only one proposal per review cycle may be submitted. 


Funding Limitations: CSCE Interdisciplinary Research Initiative awards pay costs of scholarly, creative and research activities up to a maximum level of $10,000. Such grants may include support for faculty summer stipends, student help, supplies, necessary travel, and other costs of projects. Travels to conferences are excluded. 


Funding Deadlines: There will be two submission cycles per year with deadlines at the close of business (5:00 pm) on October 1 and March 1. If the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday, applications are due on the first working day following the 1st. The duration of this grant is one year. No extensions will be given

October 1 (award notification by October 30) -- Granting period 11/1- 10/30

March 1 (award notification by March 30) -- Granting Period 4/1 - 3/31


Review Process: CSCE Interdisciplinary Research Initiative proposals are awarded through a competitive review process by the Research and Development Committee. Proposals are reviewed by a committee composed of faculty from several disciplines, and therefore MUST be written to be understood by members of these multi-disciplinary review committees, i.e., an educated lay audience, rather than by narrow specialists in your field.

Criteria used in evaluating proposals include: project justification, significance of project, appropriateness of project design and methods, qualifications of the applicant for implementing the project, probability of achieving project objectives, and appropriateness of the schedule for project activities. All of these criteria must be judged in terms of the likelihood that the project will result in acquisition of future external funding and/or recognition for the faculty member, his or her department, and the University.  


Proposal Guidelines and Format: The format below is required for the preparation of proposals. Grants submitted that do not follow this format will not be reviewed by the committee. If the proposal discloses information that is, or may be, subject to a University Invention Disclosure or otherwise contains proprietary or confidential information, it should be so noted on the cover page of the proposal. Each subsequent page with proprietary and confidential information should be marked—“confidential”.

Section 1 -- Introductory Information: Using the form provided, answer all questions pertaining to your project. All research must be conducted in compliance with all applicable federal and University policies and regulations. If the proposed project will involve human subjects, vertebrate animals, or hazardous materials, approval must be obtained by the appropriate University committee. Funds will not be released until notice of such approval is received by the CSCE.

Section 2 -- Project Description/Abstract: Provide a clear, concise description of the goals, methods, and anticipated outcomes of the proposed project. This abstract will be published if the project is funded by CSCE. Maximum 200 words. 

Section 3 -- Significance and Impact: Explain the significance and impact of the approach described in the proposed project as it will contribute to the advancement of learning and/or to the public welfare. Maximum 200 words. 

Section 4 -- Itemized Budget and Budget Justification: Use the budget form provided. Address each item as listed on the budget form in terms of its relation to the proposed research and the basis for determining the requested amount. If capital equipment or contractual services are requested, include a quote from the vendor. 

Section 5 -- Project Description: You have the option of uploading a Word document or a PDF of your project description or you can type it directly into the area provided. The project description must be double spaded and cannot exceed six (6) pages. 

It should be organized and labeled into the following sections:

  • Objective(s) -- Clearly state the research problem/question/concept that will be addressed during the period of the proposed project. In addition, demonstrate that the project could not be done without the different contributors.
  • Background and Context -- Describe the relation of the proposed project to the present state of knowledge in the field. Include, as appropriate, a brief review of pertinent literature or ideas on the subject. This section should make it clear why the proposed project needs to be undertaken to fill a ‘gap of knowledge’.
  • Methods/Procedures/Materials -- Describe in clear and understandable terms the plan or work, as it will be undertaken to achieve the stated objectives. This statement should include (as appropriate):
    • Concepts to be explored or hypotheses to be tested;
    • Project development or procedures for data-gathering, including sample design and size; descriptions of the type and suitability of statistical analysis;
    • Timeline – an outline, month by month, of the activities to be carried out by all faculty and students involved, during the period of funding for the proposed project;
    • Timelines, methods, and budget must correspond and be related back to the objective(s)

NOTE: One of the most common reasons that proposals are rejected is because the PI did not adequately explain exactly what they are going to do. Concentrate your efforts on this section. 

  • Outcome -- What is the anticipated “final product” of the proposed project, such as book, manuscript, creative performance, conference presentation, external grant proposal, etc?
  • Collaborations -- If the project is being carried out in cooperation with agencies or educational institutions outside GVSU, please state the nature and extent of the cooperation and submit a letter of agreement by the agency or educational institution. 
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Concerns -- If applicable, describe any special considerations with respect to the use of hazardous chemicals, biological agents, radioactive materials, or dangerous equipment, and the level of training necessary for the PI and research staff to conduct this research safely and in compliance with applicable health, safety and environmental regulations. 

Section 6 -- Potential External Funding Sources: Beginning on a separate page, provide a description of how this award will contribute to an external proposal that you plan to submit. Indicate the timeline for seeking alternative sources and indentify agencies, foundations, or other organizations that are likely to fund your work. * PLEASE NOTE: If funded, it is the expectation that the research team will submit an application to an external agency or foundation within 18 months of the end of the grant.

Section 7 -- Reference(s) Cited: Beginning on a separate page, list all sources of information, such as manuscripts, websites, and communications, cited in the proposal. 


CV: Provide the committee with an updated CV, which can be uploaded along with your proposal and letter of support. 


Letter of Support: Letters of support should be written by all relevant department chairs. These letters should be sent to the PI to upload with the grant. It is the responsibility of the lead PI that all letters are received along with the submitted grant proposal. A PDF of the “Letter of Support Template” can be found here. A WORD document of the 'Letter of Support' can be found here. The CSCE review panel is particularly interested in the department chairs’ comments regarding:

  • The applicant's general scholarly competence, recent performance, and promise of distinction in his or her field of interest;
  • The value of the project in relation to scholarship in the field, outlining the impact and significance;
  • The applicant's ability to complete the described project successfully in the time schedule and te budget presented;
  • The applicant's potential for external funding;
  • How does this research fit the near-term goals of the department? in case of junior faculty, what effect will this have on his or her career? In case of senior faculty, is the faculty member fully engaged in scholarly activities of the department? 


Miscellaneous Upload: This upload cannot be used to extend the project description. 


To view or print the PDF version of this information: CLICK HERE

Page last modified February 26, 2014