How does the program work? 

The College of Science Research and Innovation Seed (SciRIS) Program, funds projects based on collaborative research involving the college community and beyond. The funds for this innovation seed program come from Education and General funds.  

Stage 1 provides up to $10K for team formation, research planning, and initial experiments.

Example costs supported

  • Planning sessions
  • Workshops, training in innovation & commercialization
  • Speaker series
  • Student and postdoc stipends
  • Materials, supplies, and services

Stage 2 provides $75K to support research toward a proof of concept.

Example costs supported            

  • Team expansion
  • Workshops, training in innovation & commercialization
  • Student and postdoc stipends 
  • Materials, services, and supplies
  • Informal Science Education training
  • Broadening participation training

Stage 3 provides $125K to accelerate work toward or commensurate with an external funding opportunity.

Example costs supported

  • Team expansion
  • Workshops, training in innovation & commercialization
  • Student and postdoc stipends
  • Materials, services and supplies
  • Informal Science Education training
  • Broadening participation training
  • Proposal writing support
  • Leveraged funding opportunities, cost share

External Collaborations

The SciRIS program welcomes proposals involving collaborations with faculty external to the College of Science. For such proposals, the requested funding should primarily benefit faculty, student and staff in our college. 

When to submit?

Stage 1 proposals must be submitted by July 15.  

The College will consider proposals annually.  Funds will be awarded for a project start date of September 15. Funds must be expended within 12 months beyond start date.

Stage 2 and Stage 3 proposals must be submitted by April 15.  

The College will consider proposals annually. Teams may choose to skip Stage 1, if the collaboration and proposal are sufficiently developed to support a Stage 2 project. Only current successful Stage 2 projects are eligible for Stage 3 funding. We do allow a one-year gap for currently funded Stage 2 proposals to submit to Stage 3. Funds will be awarded for Stage 2 and Stage 3 project start dates of July 1.  Funds must be expended within 12 months beyond start date.

Note: If the 15th falls on a weekend, the proposals will be due on the next business day.


How to submit

Email one combined pdf to bettye [dot] maddux [at] oregonstate.edu by the deadline.


Proposal Guidelines and Reporting

Eligibility: All COS faculty and research associates are eligible to submit a proposal.  The PI must hold a tenured or tenure-track appointment in the College. At least two COS Departments must be represented in an application. Applicants may serve as PI or receive major funding for only one Stage 1, Stage 2, or Stage 3 project at any time.  Applicants may serve in support roles on one or more SciRIS grants.

Stage 1 Proposal Guidelines: The proposal must adhere to the following guidelines. Incomplete proposals will be returned without review. 

The project description is limited to two pages for Project Narrative, 1 page budget & budget justification, 2 page bio-sketch for each co-applicant and Current & Pending (no page limit) for each co-applicant. It must be formatted 1-inch margins and 10pt font or larger, with the exception of figure legends (as applicable). 

  1. The Project Narrative is limited to two pages, 1-inch margins and 10pt font or larger, with the exception of figure legends (as applicable).  It should include the following sections: 
    1. Title, short abstract, names & affiliations of all participants
    2. Project plan and timeline
    3. Vision addressing originality of idea and transformative potential of research and/or innovation. 
    4. Description of broad impacts including student research
    5. Anticipated outcomes, e.g., manuscript, proposal submission, subaward.
    6. Statement on Inclusive Excellence goals (examples: broadening participation, fostering equity, access & inclusion)  
  2. Append 2-page biographical sketch of each PI and student to the project description. 
  3. Budget & budget justification (including any cost-share) (1 page)
  4. Letter of collaborations (Required only for external to COS collaboration)
  5. References (optional, but limited to 1 page) 
  6. Current & Pending for each faculty co-applicant (no page limit, do not list expired awards)

Reporting: Awardee must submit a report describing how the award contributed to advancing a partnership toward concrete outcomes. The report is due within one year of the award date.

Stage 2 Proposal Guidelines: The proposal must adhere to the following guidelines. Incomplete proposals will be returned without review. 

The project description is limited to three pages for Project Summary & Narrative, 1 page References, 2 pages funding & other support, 2 page bio-sketch for each co-applicant and Current & Pending (no page limit) for each co-applicant. It must be formatted 1-inch margins and 10pt font or larger, with the exception of figure legends (as applicable).  

    1. Project Summary  (1 page) 
      1. Title, names & affiliations of each co-applicant 
      2. Vision and Goals 
      3. Intellectual Merits (addressing development & transformative Potential) 
      4. Broad Impacts (Innovation, outreach & public impact) 
      5. Inclusive Excellence Goals 
    2. Project Narrative (2 pages) 
      1. Prior & Supporting Results  
      2. Project Plan, potential outcomes & timeline 
      3. Plans for extramural funding support 
      4. Student Involvement & broadening participation 
    3. References (1 page)
    4. Funding & Other Resources Support (2 pages) 
      1. Budget & budget narrative 
      2. Source of cost sharing (if applicable)
    5. Biographical sketch for each co-applicant (2 pages each) 
    6. Current & Pending for each co-applicant (no page limit, do not list expired awards.)
    7. Letters of Collaboration (required only for external to COS collaboration)

Stage 3 Proposal Guidelines: The proposal must adhere to the following guidelines. Incomplete proposals will be returned without review. 

The project description is limited to six pages (Project Summary & Narrative), 1 page References, 2 pages funding & other support, 2 page bio-sketch for each co-applicant and Current & Pending (no page limit) for each co-applicant. It must be formatted 1-inch margins and 10pt font or larger, with the exception of figure legends (as applicable).  

  1. Project Summary  (1 page) 
    1. Title, names & affiliations of each co-applicant 
    2. Vision and Goals 
    3. Intellectual Merits (addressing development & transformative Potential) 
    4. Broad Impacts (Innovation, outreach & public impact) 
    5. Inclusive Excellence Goals 
  2. Project Narrative (5 pages) 
    1. Prior & Supporting Results (including SciRIS Stage 2 outcomes) 
    2. Project Plan, potential outcomes & timeline 
    3. Plans for extramural funding support 
    4. Student Involvement & broadening participation 
  3. References (1 page)
  4. Funding & Other Resources Support (2 pages) 
    1. Budget & budget narrative 
    2. Source of cost sharing (if applicable)
  5. Biographical sketch for each co-applicant (2 pages each) 
  6. Current & Pending for each co-applicant (no page limit, do not list expired awards.)
  7. Letters of Collaboration (required only for external to COS collaboration)

 Applications that do not meet the proposal guidelines will be returned to the applicants without review.


Reporting requirements and due dates

Stage 2 and Stage 3 proposals will be considered reports for Stage 1 and Stage 2 projects, respectively.  Stage 2 and Stage 3 projects must submit a one-page interim report to the College of Science on January 15, immediately following the project start date.  Terminal Stage 1 projects must submit a final report on May 15 immediately following the project start date.  


Proposal review criteria

SciRIS supports transformative research that will lead to extramural funding. Such research involves ideas, discoveries, or tools that radically change our understanding of an important existing scientific or educational practice or leads to the creation of a new paradigm or field of science or education. 

Proposals will be judged on scientific merit, significance of the proposed research, development of new or existing partnerships with industry, potential impact on future funding, creativity in the use of emerging technology and the potential to broaden participation, equity and access. Proposals must demonstrate

  • Originality & Transformative Potential:  How original is the proposed idea? Does the research challenge current understanding? What is the transformative potential of the proposed work?  Does the research open pathways to new frontiers of science?
  • Inclusive Excellence:  How well does the project promote equity, inclusivity, and access? Does It provide opportunities for broadening participation of under-represented groups? 
  • Intellectual Merit: What is the potential of the work to advance knowledge both within a discipline and across disciplines? What are the tangible outcomes? 
  • Broader Impacts: What are the benefits to society?  Does the plan incorporate training of graduate students, mentoring postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty or involves undergraduates in research experiences.
  • Effective Teamwork: Are resources aligned with proposed work and outcomes? Is the team integrated and poised to succeed? Are there plans in place for extramural funding (Stages 2 and 3)? 

Cost sharing

Cost sharing is not required, but it is encouraged, especially as projects move to later stages.

Examples of potential cost sharing include the following:

  • Department support for travel and students
  • Uncommitted 201 and start-up funds 
  • University venture development funds
  • Seed grant from Oregon Signature Research Center
  • Seed grant from other colleges or Research Office
  • NSF EAGER grant or similar award from federal agency or foundation
  • Aligned OSU Foundation gift 
  • New, aligned grant or contract from industry

Learn more about the full program

  • SciRIS (Stages 1-3) - awards seed funding for high impact collaborative proposals that build teams, pursue fundamental discoveries, and create societal impact (deadlines in April, July). For past awards made in this program, see this page.
  • SciRIS-ii (individual investigator) - funds individual faculty who seek to establish or augment research relationships with external partners (deadline in December). For past awards made in this program, see this page.
  • The Disease Mechanism and Prevention Fund - supports research into the mechanism, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of (human) disease (deadline in December)
  • The Betty Wang Discovery Fund - supports College faculty by maintaining state-of-the-art laboratories to advance fundamental discoveries in the basic sciences (deadline in December)
  • The College of Science Innovation Award  - This award provides critical resources for projects that take a new direction, utilize a new technology or are in the “proof-of-concept” phase. Undergraduate & graduate students and faculty researchers can participate in the research, with a preference given to graduate students and faculty who are developing new areas of research AND establishing or augmenting research partnerships with external industrial partners (deadline in July).