Graduate Student Competitive Grants Program
The College of Agricultural Sciences Graduate Student Competitive Grant Program is sponsored by the College of Agricultural Science’s Office for Research and Graduate Education. This program is a unique opportunity available to doctoral candidates advised by College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) faculty. The program serves as professional development for all CAS graduate students by providing a $2,500 award for dissertation research conducted by CAS doctoral candidates. Historically, the funding rate for the program is estimated at about 34%. It is anticipated that up to fifteen (15) awards of $2,500 will be awarded this fiscal year.
All doctoral candidates advised by CAS faculty, including students enrolled in college and intercollege programs are eligible. Applicants may not have received a previous CAS Graduate Student Competitive Grant. All applicants submitting proposals for the 2016/2017 fiscal year must have attended the Fall 2015 Workshop OR the upcoming workshop and information session scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. in 126 Business Building. Send your inquiry email to email@example.com to confirm your attendance at last year’s workshop to be eligible to submit a proposal this year.
Due Dates and Funding Decisions
Electronically provide (in one pdf file) an approved application package to firstname.lastname@example.org, by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 28th 2016. Only applications that are received by the deadline date will be considered and evaluated. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of CAS graduate faculty and the decisions will be made in late November and announced in early December.
Application packages should include the following items, in order, as one pdf file to email@example.com.
I. Cover Page: Review document to be certain that all certifications are complete and all required signatures have been obtained. This page will be developed by the Grants and Contracts Office, but signatures will be required.
II. Abstract: Limited to approximately 200 words. Use a separate sheet from body of proposal. This will be used for outreach purposes and should be written clearly so that it is understandable to a layperson. If selected for funding, this abstract will be uploaded to the CAS Research and Graduate Education website.
III. Proposal: Limit the body of the proposal to four pages and number your proposal pages and use 12 point Times Roman font. All graphs and images will be considered part of the four-page proposal. Cover page, Abstract, Citations, Budget, Budget Justification, and Curriculum Vita are not part of the four-page limit.
Use the following headings in following the proposal:
- Project Rationale: Introduce the research problem.
- Background Information: Selective review of literature of the research problem.
- Description of Proposed Research: Include research questions and methodology.
- Impact of Research: Discuss the contribution that the research will make to societal issues.
IV. Budget: Must be developed in consultation with the CAS Grants and Contracts Office in 107 Ag Admin Building. To schedule a meeting to discuss and prepare your budget, please contact Betsy Hockenberry (firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-865-5419) no later than Wednesday, October 12, 2016.
The maximum budget for each award is $2,500. Expenditures can include, but are not limited to: lab supplies, wage payroll, animal care costs, DNA sequencing, analysis of soil samples, travel to research sites, and software for data analysis. Travel to attend scientific meetings is an unallowable expense. All expenditures must occur within the award timeframe.
Awarded funds will be available by December 1 and must be expended by May 31, 2017; no extensions will be granted. Requests to re-budget funds must be made in advance by sending an email to email@example.com.
V. Budget Justification: Include as a separate page, a narrative paragraph(s) explaining briefly the rationale for each budget item requested.
VI. Curriculum Vita (CV): Two-page maximum.
Proposals are reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Clarity of hypothesis or statement of problem
- Background information that frames the context of the proposal
- Whether the procedures address the objectives of the proposal
- Clarity of expression - writing style and proposal organization
If you have questions about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.