SNIP provides support for faculty-driven, interdisciplinary initiatives at the vanguard of agricultural and natural resources research.


The College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) Office for Research and Graduate Education invites proposals for Strategic Networks and Initiatives Program (SNIP) grants to be awarded at three levels in 2022/2023. At all levels, funding will be awarded to collaborative interdisciplinary teams seeking to investigate focused research problems in pursuit of large-scale extramural grant opportunities

The goal of SNIP is to offer ambitious CAS faculty members the opportunity to explore novel research problems. The primary aims of the program are to help faculty to build a network of colleagues and form an area of strength in the college for transformative research. The three SNIP levels are tailored to assist teams at different points in the process of pursuing large-scale extramural grant opportunities. SNIP provides funds for network-building activities and preliminary work that are typically during the discovery phase of a project and often not allowable on extramural grants, including (but not exclusively) exploring the potential of a research problem, engaging in team-building activities, and collecting preliminary data.

Download 2022-23 SNIP RFP

The printable RFP includes proposal requirements for all levels of support, proposal review process, and reporting guidelines. See below for links to abbreviated versions of the proposal submission requirements for each level.


  1. For all levels, the PI must be a faculty member with an appointment in the College of Agricultural Sciences (tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track).
  2. For all levels, projects must seek to address a critical research need and opportunity beyond the scope of a single laboratory or investigator’s focused area of research. All proposed research projects must require the participation of interdisciplinary collaborators with complementary fields of expertise. All ideas for multidisciplinary topics are encouraged.
  3. For Level I grants, a plan for engaging multiple departments is required, but all team participants do not have to be identified in the proposal. The primary investigator (PI) must have a faculty research appointment in CAS.
  4. For the current cycle, Level I and Level II SNIP grants can also be expanded to initiate collaborations with investigators from other colleges at Penn State. If funds are necessary for supporting non-CAS personnel or other expenditures in another college or campus, cross-college collaborations will require prior approval for cost share from the associate dean for research of the collaborating unit. Although the request for approval will be routed to the collaborating college leadership through the InfoReady submission, applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate these discussions well in advance of the full proposal submission deadline.
  5. For Level II and Level III grants, teams must include at least three persons with faculty appointments and across different departments. Team members should be from at least two different departments in CAS. See specific proposal requirements below. Faculty from any college at Penn State may be included as participants; however, SNIP funds cannot be used to support any non-CAS personnel or students. The primary investigator (PI) must have a faculty research appointment in CAS.

Two-Phase Application Process

Phase 1 Concept Note Submission: Level I (strongly encouraged); Levels II and III (required)

Submit a short concept note for proposals (max 300 words) using the online submission portal in InfoReady linked below. Concept notes may be submitted at any time after June 17, 2022, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until July 31, 2022. Concept notes submitted after this deadline will not be accepted as the pre-requisite for Levels II and III full proposals.

Include the following in the note:

  • A brief summary of the research problem and why an interdisciplinary team is required to address it;
  • Expected outcomes and duration of the grant (within the limitations outlined in the summaries on the first page of this RFP).

Submit a Concept Note

Phase 2 Full Proposal Submission

Full proposals must be submitted through InfoReady before midnight on August 31, 2022, to the Office of Research and Graduate Education. The competition portal will be opened for full proposal submissions on August 1, 2022.


Please email Dr. Gretta Tritch Roman (, Director of Research Development and Initiatives, for assistance with development of proposals and background information related to the program.

SNIP Grant Levels

View the specific proposal requirements for each grant level by clicking on the links below.

SNIP Level I

Launch Grants: Up to $10,000 for one year to support the initial development of an innovative research question and the formation of an interdisciplinary collaborative team required to address it.


Pursuit Grants: Up to $25,000 for two years to strengthen established interdisciplinary research initiatives to be competitive for large-scale extramural grant submissions.


Cohort Grants: Support for 3-5 new Ph.D. students for up to two years to provide established interdisciplinary research initiatives with the opportunity to build interactive graduate student-faculty teams who will pursue extramural funding.

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802