MSU Outreach and Engagement Council Seed Grant Program
About the seed grant program
In Fall 2015, the O&E Council launched a seed grant program after research showed such programs to be an excellent catalyst for encouraging external and multidisciplinary partnerships. Funding for the program was provided by the MSU Office of the President.
The council invited proposals for grants that would address the needs of citizens in Montana and beyond and that would encourage external and multidisciplinary partnerships. When the proposal deadline arrived, council members were delighted to see numerous applications and ideas--far more than had been anticipated. Further, project ideas represented dozens of disciplines and community partners across the state.
Four awards of $5,000 were issued that semester; four more were issued in Spring 2016; four more in Spring 2017; seven awards in Fall 2018; and seven awards in Fall 2019. (Total: $120,000 awarded).
Successful proposals must meet a demonstrated community need; include reciprocal collaboration with off-campus partners; and aim to improve quality of life and benefit the public good. Project proposers are encouraged to include MSU students in their plans.
Seed grant recipients report using the funds to leverage other external resources; to launch a program and demonstrate a successful track record that leads to more funding; and to build new collaborations with a seed grant partner. Recipients have expressed overwhelming support for the program, with one faculty member saying, “This program launched my research career at MSU.”
Other comments include:
“Thank you for the funding! We have several ideas to expand our program and if we will be able to collect pilot data, we hope to be competitive for a major standalone grant in the future.”
“I would not have been able to complete the project with only the O&E budget, but it gave me a way to get started and then seek additional funding.”
“We cannot express how grateful we are to have had the opportunity to launch this program. We would not have been able to get started without the seed funds.”