The College of Science Innovation 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/augmenting research partnerships with external industrial partners. The Innovation award is made possible by funds from the College of Science Venture Fund.

These awards provide funds to establish partnerships with industrial partners, accelerate project development, generate data and manuscripts, and foster proposal submissions. The Innovation award will make faculty much more competitive for extramural grant funding by providing them with the seed funding necessary to build bridges, demonstrate the feasibility of their ideas, and quicken the pace of scientific discovery. Successful projects can subsequently apply for a Stage 2 SciRIS award.  

Objectives: The Innovation Award specifically seeks to

  • Identify transformative research opportunities,
  • Cultivate external engagements with industrial partnerships, 
  • Broaden participation and foster equity, access & inclusivity,
  • Cultivate ideas that strengthen the research & innovation enterprise.

Outcomes: The Innovation Award is expected to lead to two or more of 

  • Industrial partner engagement,
  • Collaborative research,
  • Collaborative publications,
  • New proposal submissions,
  • Engaging a diverse workforce.

Example costs supported: The following costs are allowed

  • Student stipends and OPE (internships, or research including summer research),
  • Research related travel, particularly for students,
  • Materials, supplies, and services,
  • Equipment purchase or upgrade,
  • App development,
  • Innovation training,
  • Funds for a course release for faculty. 

Note: Faculty salary is not allowed.  

Guidelines, Eligibility and Due Dates

Total funds awarded to a single proposal: $10,000

Number of Awards in FY 2021: Up to 3.

Timeline: Awards will start in Fall 2021. Funds must be expended within 12 months of award date.

PI Eligibility: Faculty (tenure track)

Proposal deadline: July 15, 2021  

Submission: Submit one combined pdf to bettye.maddux@oregonstate.edu by the deadline.

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

  1. The project description 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. Briefly describe what innovation means to you and how your project fits in the definition (for example). 
    4. Description of broad impacts; external industrial partnership, 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 collaboration from industry partner. (1 page)
  5. References. (not mandatory but limited to 1 page) 
  6. Current & Pending for each faculty co-applicant (do not list expired grants)

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.

Proposal review criteria: 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 is the potential to strengthen an external industrial relationship via additional extramural funding? 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? 

Cost sharing: Not required.