FY 2023 Request for Proposals

Fall deadline: October 3, 2022         Decision: November 11, 2022      Award start: December 5, 2022

Spring deadline: February 21, 2023       Decision: April 5, 2023              Award start: May 15, 2023

The Scholarship & Creativity Grant (S&C) program supports scholarship and creative activity in the humanities, arts, and social sciences (HASS).  Full-time tenure-track faculty at Montana State University who have earned terminal degrees are eligible to apply. S&C funds are intended to support individual HASS faculty research and creative activities as well as research teams seeking to pursue a larger grant (e.g., HASS internal grant or external funding such as NSF or foundation grants).  


MSU faculty representing the humanities, arts, and social sciences will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria:

  • The project’s intellectual significance or artistic merit
  • The project’s potential impact and contribution to the field and to society
  • The appropriateness of the project’s methodologies, theories, or strategies
  • The qualifications and expertise of the artist or scholar in relation to the project goals and the stage of the applicant’s career
  • The potential for success and feasibility of completion within the projected timeframe (you are to include a timetable for project completion—see submission below)
  • The appropriateness of the budget
  • If applicable, how the proposed work addresses any Grand Challenges of MSU’s Strategic Plan

Please address each criterion in your proposal and write in a way that is accessible to those who may not be in your discipline. 

Each applicant/team may submit only one application to the S&C program over a 12-month period, unless invited to resubmit. Preference will be given to projects that have not been previously funded; please explain if this proposal is related to another on-going project and, if you have collaborators, how they are involved.

Within three months of completion of the project, successful applicants shall provide a written report of grant activities and outcomes to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VP-RED) Office, the chair of the S&C Executive Review Committee (ERC), their dean, and their department head. The submission of this final project report is required as a criterion for future S&C proposal consideration.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the chair of the S&C ERC, Associate Vice President for Research Development Liz Shanahan ([email protected]) with questions about program requirements, expectations, and electronic submission via InfoReady (https://montana.infoready4.com/). Information sessions will be posted on the Office of Research Development site (https://www.montana.edu/research/ord/).


Applicants may request funds for supplies, an approved course buy-out, travel (e.g., archival work), maximum of 1 month summer salary, and other expenses necessary to complete the proposed project. Award amounts will vary, with a minimum of $4,000 and a maximum of $16,000. After 12 months from award activation, any remaining funds will revert to the VP-RED Office.

Budget requests should be itemized and also contain a budget narrative that explains the need and the amount of the budget expenditures.

  • If a course buy-out is requested, the application must include a letter of support from the department head or school director that includes the cost of the course buy-out (best to check with your College’s budget administrator). Explain in the budget narrative the need for a course buy-out.
  • For travel expenses, explain projected travel expenses in the budget narrative, being as specific and realistic as possible about the cost of transportation, lodging and other expenses. When budgeting for travel, please follow State approved In-State, Out-of-State and International rates regarding per diem, mileage, and lodging.
  • For summer salary requests, please indicate what month and how you will use this time.
  • Budgets must include the 6% admin fee that will be assessed to your award by the Vice President for Finance and Administration Office.
  • The following items are unlikely to be funded unless specifically justified: computers; equipment, unless it has a direct and clearly explained relation to the proposed project; post-production costs of books, articles or other creative activities; travel to professional conferences regularly attended by the applicant.


Please submit your proposal electronically to InfoReady (https://montana.infoready4.com/). Click "Log in" in the top right-hand corner of the InfoReady homepage and log in with your MSU NetID and password.

From this page, find the Table that lists funding opportunities. Click the down arrow under the column labeled “Category” and select “Internal Opportunity.” From there, select “Scholarship and Creativity” in the “Title” column and click “Apply." Proceed to complete the required fields and upload the necessary documents. An application may be saved as a draft before submission. You will receive a system notification when your application has been received. Decisions will be announced via InfoReady. New InfoReady users can contact [email protected] for assistance.

Applicants should submit their S&C proposal as a single PDF document, which will be distributed to external reviewers and S&C ERC members. The proposal should include all of the following:

  • A cover sheet, including a brief abstract of the project (see attached below).
  • A project narrative of no more than five single-spaced pages, minimum of 11 point font, minimum 1-inch margins
    • Describe the project purpose and goals
    • Identify specific tasks to be undertaken during the granting period (the scope of work)
    • Provide a timetable for completion of the project
    • If your project will require Institutional Review Board review, please describe what level of review will be required and include on your timetable
    • Give an itemized budget and include the 6% admin fee
    • Provide a budget narrative
    • Address the 6-7 review criteria in the above proposal sections
  • A maximum 3-page curriculum vitae or bio sketch of each Principal Investigator
  • If requesting a course buy-out, attach a letter from your Department Chair/Head indicating approval and confirmingthe cost proposed in the budget
  • If you have received S&C, REF and/or HASS grant(s) in the last three years, also attach your final report(s).

Review Process:

Once an S&C proposal is submitted, the chair of the S&C executive review committee (ERC), Dr. Shanahan, will identify two to three reviewers for the proposal, with at least one reviewer being from a different department/college. Reviewers will be asked to provide their comments and recommendation within three weeks. After the independent reviews are submitted to InfoReady, the S&C ERC will review comments and your proposal and make a recommendation to the VP-RED within approximately one week. When coupled with some administrative review time on the front and back end of the review process, applicants can expect to receive a decision and access the reviews in InfoReady approximately 6 weeks after submission. Potential outcomes of the review are 1) highly meritorious and fund immediately, 2) invitation to resubmit based on specific criteria identified by the S&C ERC, or 3) not competitive and do not fund.

Cover Sheet

Scholarship & Creativity Grants, FY 2023


PI name:                                              Department or School:


Rank:                                                  PI Email: 

[if this proposal is a team, please list co-PIs information as well here]


Title of Project:


Amount Requested:                           


Award Period Requested (select one):   ____  Fall        ____  Spring    


Abstract of Proposal (not to exceed 250 words)