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Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts (SSHA) Seed Grant Program

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts (SSHA) Seed Grant Program logo

Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts (SSHA) Seed Grant Program

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Program Overview

The Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts (SSHA) seed grant program is administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships. The aim of this new program is to enhance research and creative endeavors for faculty in non-STEM fields at OU. Recipients of this funding commit to developing their project to a stage of impactful publication or other forms of significant recognition for research and creative activity (such as performances, exhibits, digital media, and/or community-based research). SSHA recipients also commit to developing their project for major grant and fellowship applications within two years of the seed funding’s conclusion.

Eligibility and Award Limitations

Proposals for SSHA seed grant funding must be led by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in an arts, social sciences, or humanities field. Topics and approaches are open. Applications may be individual or collaborative. Renewable term faculty, research faculty, as well as permanent professional/technical staff may also serve as co-PIs on proposal teams.

Funding received from the SSHA seed grant program may not be used for faculty salaries during the spring and fall semesters, and can only be used as summer salary if no overload or summer teaching is undertaken during the period of the grant.

Faculty are eligible to receive an SSHA seed grant at the same time as other internal research funding (such as FIP, JFF, AHFF, or CAS Junior and Senior Faculty Fellowships), but not for the same stage of the same project; this distinction would need to be made clear in the application narrative.

The Application Process

The written proposal must include the following consecutive sections, as listed below (single spaced, 12-point font, Times Roman). No letters of commitment are required. Both individual and collaborative SSHA proposals should be submitted by the semester deadline as a single pdf file (entitled SSHA_Applicant_Name) via the Application Portal.

  • I. Project narrative (3pp. max): Provide the intellectual justification for the project. The narrative should include the following sections:
    • Research and contribution (explain in relation both to the field and to the OU Strategic Plan Pillar 5;
    • Methodology and work schedule;
    • Final product and expected outcomes (including external funding plans).
  • II. Selected bibliography (1p. max).
  • III. Budget sheet (1p. max): Expenditures should be related to the project and may include: research travel, including field work and archival work; honoraria/travel for external consultants/visiting scholars; course release (PI should consult with unit director and dean and indicate dollar amount needed to cover one course release); book subvention support; technology purchases (no computers) limited to one third of the overall budget; other research materials; summer salary; student research assistance; funding for professional development; support for hosting a conference or other public event (PIs may seek matching funds from other units).
  • IV. Short CV (2pp. max, per applicant).
  • V. Human Subjects Plan if the work requires IRB.

Budgeting, Available Resources, and Evaluation Process

There will be a total of $150,000 available for all selected SSHA proposals during the spring 2021 and fall 2021 semesters. It is possible that proposals totaling $150,000 might be selected during spring 2021, resulting in there not being a fall 2021 part of the SSHA program.

These seed grants fund up to twelve months of work at two levels: individual (between $5,000 and $10,000) and collaborative (between $10,000 and $20,000).

An OU selection committee will evaluate SSHA proposals based on scholarly potential and feasibility; sustainability and impact of any scholarly outputs to be produced; and the potential of the proposed scholarly outputs to serve as the foundation of a larger-scale, externally funded project.

Note: OU faculty in the social sciences, humanities, and arts who wish to apply for capital equipment purchases should consult the new Strategic Equipment Investment Program (SEIP).



The 2022-2023 application cycle will be announced soon.