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Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts Seed Grant Program

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

Program Overview

The Social Sciences, Humanities, & Arts (SSHA) seed grants program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, is designed to enhance research and creative endeavors for faculty 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. Topic and approach 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 a 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. Any questions should be directed to Janet Ward, Senior Associate Vice President for Research & Partnerships (janet.ward@ou.edu), who serves as the point of contact for the SSHA seed grants.

  • 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).

Timeline

There are two proposal cycles: SSHA seed grants with a spring deadline are funded June 1, 2021, and those with a fall deadline are funded December 1, 2021.

Spring 2021:

  • April 19, 2021 – Written proposals due by 5:00 pm CT;
  • April 30, 2021 – Notification of selected proposals for awards;
  • June 1, 2021 – Project start date.

Fall 2021:

  • October 1, 2021 – Written proposals due by 5:00 pm CT;
  • October 31, 2021 – Notification of selected proposals for awards;
  • December 1, 2021 – Project start date.

FAQ

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF (entitled SSHA_Applicant_Name) via the Application Portal by 5pm CDT on Monday April 19, 2021. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Principal Investigators (PIs) must be OU Norman campus faculty (including Norman Campus programs faculty in Tulsa). Faculty should be in OU units associated with the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. PIs should be tenured or tenure-track. Co-PIs may be renewable term faculty, research faculty, as well as permanent professional/technical staff, and may be from any OU campus.

It is possible that there will be a second round of SSHA seed grant program applications during the fall semester of 2021. If all funds are expended in spring 2021, there will be only the current round of applications.

Yes, STEM-based, quantitative research areas of the social sciences are encouraged as potential SSHA seed grant applications.

Yes, creative activity applications are an integral part of the SSHA seed grant program’s intended range.

Very important. Applicants for the SSHA seed grant program are required to state their external funding plans, and will need to follow through on external funding applications within two years of the conclusion of the SSHA grant. 

Faculty are eligible to receive a 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.

Applications should use single-spaced Times New Roman, with a font size of 12 points. Margin size should be 1 inch on all edges of the page.

Your application should include: project narrative (3pp. max); selected bibliography (1p. max); budget sheet (1p. max): short CV (2pp. max per applicant); Human Subjects Plan if the work requires IRB.

Funds can be requested for expenses such as: research travel, including field work and archival work; honoraria/travel for external consultants/visiting scholars; course release (PI should consult with unit chair/director and dean for the approved dollar amount that is 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).

You cannot fund a collaborator at another organization using this seed grant program. However, you can apply SSHA funds to paying an external consultant or to hosting a conference/symposium that is relevant to your research project.

No longer than twelve months after the project start date of June 1, 2021 for spring 2021 (or December 1, 2021 for fall 2021, if applicable).

  • Scholarly potential and feasibility;
  • Budget aligns with project scope;
  • Sustainability and impact of any scholarly outputs to be produced;
  • Potential of the proposed scholarly outputs to serve as the foundation of a larger-scale, externally funded project.

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). Recipients of the SSHA seed grant program are expected to apply for external funding within two years of funding completion.

Applicants will be notified no later than April 30, 2021 (spring cycle) / October 31, 2021 (fall cycle, if applicable).