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About the Seed Grant Program

Central to the vision of the Rutgers University - Newark strategic plan, Where Opportunity Meets Excellence, is the notion of Rutgers Newark being a place where people with tremendous talent, intellectual capacity, and imagination can fully leverage these assets for the benefit of our students, our university, and the many communities with which we interact.


In order to achieve the ambitious goals articulated in the strategic plan, Chancellor Nancy Cantor dedicated funds to support the development and implementation of projects proposed by members of the Rutgers University community to seed innovative projects that support research, learning, and community engagement.


To date, the seed grant program was able to fund 125 projects across four (4) cycles.

At this time, dates for the next seed grant cycle have not been proposed.

Eligibility: The Chancellor’s Seed Grant Program was open to all RU-N faculty and professional staff. Applicants could serve as a Principal Investigator (PI) on one proposal only; however, an applicant could have served as a collaborator or co-PI on multiple proposals. Priority was given to projects and PIs/Co-PIs that had not received funding previously under this program.

About the Submission Process

All proposals included:

  1. Cover Page with signatures.

  2. Abstract: A one-page or less summary of the proposed project that included an outline of the project’s goals and its significance. The abstracts were written in language that was accessible to those with varying levels of expertise.

  3. Project Description (maximum 5 pages)​​

    • Project overview, methods and goals for the grant period, including a statement regarding originality or innovation.

    • Anticipated impact from seed grant activities, including measurable outcomes and metrics.

    • Statement outlining the project’s advancement of one or more of RU-N’s strategic priorities (see RU-N Strategic Plan Implementation page).

    • Description of multi-disciplinary partnerships, including the names and affiliations of the individuals collaborating on the proposal, with letters of support from participants (not included in page count).

    • Plan for sustaining the project beyond the initial funding cycle.

4. Signature of approval from the dean for faculty PIs, and department head or director of the PI’s home unit for others on the Cover Page.

5. A budget and budget narrative that provided an overview of projected expenses, including the following: personnel expenses, supplies, events/travel, and other.


Additional faculty compensation (e.g., summer salary, stipends, etc.) was not allowed.

Each proposal was reviewed according to the following criteria:

  1. Originality: Proposals reflected projects/curricula/programs that contributed to a spirit of innovation on our campus. Priority was given to proposals that could successfully bring something new and different to RU-N.

  2. Impact: High impact scholarship that positively affected the lives of our students, our university community, and/or another identifiable community was central. Proposals included a statement of the project’s expected impacts and outline very clear metrics as to how impacts would be measured.

  3. Mission focus: Proposals addressed one or more of the priorities articulated in the strategic plan. All applicants were strongly encouraged to examine the strategic plan carefully. 

  4. Interdisciplinarity: Proposals demonstrated partnerships across two or more academic RU-N units and where appropriate, with other academic partners, agencies and organizations

  5. Sustainability: The seed grant initiative provided start-up funding for projects that could be sustained over time. Each proposal addressed whether the project was intended to be time limited or sustained over time. If the project was not time limited, the applicants described how the project would be sustained over time.

A competitive advantage was given to proposals that: (1) provided professional development, training and/or research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and post-docs, and/or (2) demonstrated support from additional sources (e.g., deans, directors, external funding), including matching funds and/or cost-sharing.


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Meet the Awardees

If you'd like to learn more about the projects funded, please visit the Chancellor's Seed Grant Program Adobe Spark page.

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