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Seed Grant Program

The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) Seed Grants Program provides funding for promising research at the intersection of statistics and the social sciences. The goal is to stimulate scholarly initiative by encouraging faculty to explore new directions in research and scholarship that contributes at the cutting edge to the development of statistical methods for social scientific problems. Although we encourage collaborative research across disciplines--particularly between statisticians and social scientists--such collaboration is not a formal requirement of the program. We are particularly interested in projects that show a high probability of leading to extramural funding. Thus, the funds will typically be used to pursue pilot studies, feasibility studies, or preliminary research that initiates a larger line of research. A subsequent extramural grant that derives from seed grant funding would be administered through CSSS. Awards will be in the range of $15,000-25,000, and typically include one-month summary salary for a principal investigator and one quarter salary for a research assistant. In the past, proposals have had a high rate of funding.


Faculty holding the following ranks at the time of the award are eligible to apply: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Assistant Professor. Faculty with acting appointments at the time of the award may be eligible and should contact the Associate Director in advance of submitting a proposal. Faculty who have received a CSSS award as PIs are ineligible to receive another until three years following the termination of the first. A PI may submit only one proposal per round. Co-PIs may submit more than one proposal, but no more than one of the proposals will be funded. A proposal that is not funded may be resubmitted in a later round only if it is substantially revised or if the review committee recommends resubmission.

Research Project Requirements:

Research projects must use statistical methods to address a social scientific problem. Strong proposals will use innovative statistical methods to address cutting-edge social scientific research questions. Collaborative interdisciplinary research such as between a social scientist and a statistician is encouraged but not required. All personnel funded by the grant are expected to participate regularly in the CSSS Seminar Series, both by attending and by giving at least one seminar on the project topic. The proposal should indicate which member(s) of the research team will be the primary seminar participants.

External Support:

Proposals that show promise for future extramural funding will be given preference. Indeed, PIs who plan to submit an extramural grant proposal based on their Seed Grant proposed project can increase their chances of receiving a Seed Grant Award by guaranteeing that they will submit an extramural proposal through CSSS immediately after the funding period. In such cases, the review committee may grant awards conditional on the PI submitting an external grant within a year of the funding period. In general, support will not be given merely to extend or supplement existing funded research projects. Instead, proposals should seek to initiate new research ideas. An extramural proposal that derives from a project funded by the Seed Grants Program is expected to be administered through CSSS. A funding supplement of up to $10K may be applied for following the submission of an external grant proposal.

Please check our website during autumn quarter for the next Request for Applications.