Frequently Asked Questions

When can I submit a proposal?
Is this the right funding possibility for my project?
Where can I find more information about the focus and goals of the different strategic planning committees?
How can I determine which committee should be the primary reviewer for my application?
Who should I talk to if I have an idea and want to see if it has legs before investing time in developing it?
Why do some committees accept concept papers, while others do not?
Can faculty buy-out, staff support, scholarships, and travel be included in the project budget?
Who should be listed as a collaborator?
What happens if one of my designated collaborators does not respond to the request from the InfoReady system?
Can I attach other supporting documents for consideration?
Can I modify my application after I submit?
If my proposal is not selected for funding, am I able to re-submit in a later cycle?
If I am awarded a seed grant, how long do I have to spend the grant money?
How is funding disbursed?
What are my obligations if I receive a strategic initiative grant?

 

When can I submit a proposal?

There are two proposal review cycles in the spring and fall. Proposal submissions are due at the beginning of the fall and spring semester, and the review process takes place throughout the semester. Funding decisions will be announced at the end of the semester. It is anticipated that this will continue through the end of the current strategic planning cycle in spring 2020. The proposal submissions portal, InfoReady, typically opens at least 3 months prior to the proposal deadline. The timeline and instructions for the current cycle can be found at http://strategicplan.psu.edu/rfp/.

Is this the right funding possibility for my project?

If your project directly applies to Strategic Plan goals and foundations, has University-wide or larger community-wide objectives, or cross-disciplinary applications or multi-disciplinary approaches, this is a good option as a funding source.

Where can I find more information about the focus and goals of the different strategic planning committees?

Information about the plan’s thematic priorities, supporting elements, and foundations can be found online. Additional information about committee goals and strategies to meet these goals, as well as recent committee progress reports are available on the Progress page of the website.

How can I determine which committee should be the primary reviewer for my application?

The Thematic Priorities and Supporting Elements of the plan are available at http://strategicplan.psu.edu/.  Read the committee strategy documents to see what committee goals your proposal links closest to. You may contact the Steering Committee Co-Chairs and ask for their opinion, some committees will review a concept paper prior to your submission.

Who should I talk to if I have an idea and want to see if it has legs before investing time in developing it?

After checking to identify which strategic plan thematic priority or supporting element would best fit with your idea, and the foundations that may be incorporated in your initiative, please contact any of the appropriate steering committee chairs to discuss your idea and how it may fit with the committee’s goals. Some, but not all, steering committees will accept and review one-page concept papers. Click here for more information about the concept papers.

Why do some committees accept concept papers, while others do not?

Each committee has the freedom to develop a process of working with potential proposal authors in a way that seems best and most efficient to that committee. For some committees (Transforming Education, Driving Digital Innovation, Advancing the Arts & Humanities), this includes providing authors with an opportunity to receive feedback on a one-page concept paper prior to submitting their proposals. Other committees (Constituent Outreach & Engagement, Enhancing Health, Infrastructure and Support, Organizational Processes, Stewarding our Planet’s Resources) prefer that potential proposal authors reach out to them directly to discuss and develop their ideas. Additional detail about the concept paper requirements and deadlines can be found here.

Can faculty buy-out, staff support, scholarships, and travel be included in the project budget?

Faculty buy-out time, student scholarships, assistantships and postdoctoral funds will be considered if they are part of a specific initiative or project. However, the argument for the relevance to the strategic plan would have to be carefully made. These funds are not designed to support these activities outside of a specific and focused strategic initiative.

Funds can be designated for faculty or staff (including student staff) effort and for faculty/staff/student travel. You should keep in mind, however, that this funding is not designed to support positions over the long-term. Your plan for sustaining the project beyond the grant period is one factor on which your submission will be evaluated.

Who should be listed as a collaborator?

Collaborators provide more than their endorsement – they must have an active role in the project or provide a significant resource to the project (e.g., approving faculty buy-outs, staff support, or physical resources). Designated collaborators will be asked to provide confirmation of their role in the project via the online proposal system (InfoReady). It is important that proposal authors enter this information prior to the proposal cycle deadline so that their collaborators have time to respond.

The system will allow up to five collaborators. If you have more than five active collaborators, you should list the additional collaborators and describe their roles/contributions in the narrative.

What happens if one of my designated collaborators does not respond to the request from the InfoReady system?

The application will still be considered.  However, it is strongly recommended that you encourage your collaborators to respond to the InfoReady request.

Can I attach other supporting documents for consideration?

Supporting materials will not be accepted. The proposal should stand on its own.

Can I modify my application after I submit?

Prior to the deadline, administrators can return the application to you for editing and re-submission. Please do not submit duplicate applications.

If my proposal is not selected for funding, am I able to re-submit in a later cycle?

After the review process is completed, applicants who are not selected will receive feedback on their application. This feedback should guide applicants in their decision whether to re-submit or not.

If I am awarded a seed grant, how long do I have to spend the grant money?

Timelines vary depending on the project.

How is funding disbursed?

Upon notification of your selection, you will receive funding instructions from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

What are my obligations if I receive a strategic initiative grant?

Progress reports are expected for all grant recipients every 6 months: in January and July every year. A final report will be due at the completion of the project. Grant recipients will receive detailed instructions on the nature of these reports.