Proposals will be evaluated primarily based on scientific merit, and secondarily on the robustness of the collaboration envisioned and the project’s relevance to the interests and concerns of society at large. If there is to be an outside collaborator, that individual’s letter of commitment to the project and evaluation of the proposal must be included in the proposal. In the evaluation of scientific merit, the evaluation criteria should include the background and prior related work the researcher brings to the proposed project, the feasibility of the deliverables, and on the degree to which the proposed budget is designed to appropriately support the project. In other words, we will seek projects that are within the grasp of the researcher as demonstrated by prior work. The research can be in any of the fields within the programs of the College of Science, and the interdisciplinary element may include a related field inside or outside of the College of Science. Projects involving human subjects must show evidence of IRB approval, and projects involving animal subjects must show evidence of approval by the Animal Care Committee.
A progress report is due within a year of funding. A final report is due after a year and a half, and should include any manuscript or evidence that a scientific journal has accepted the resulting paper for publication. The quality of the final report will have a significant bearing on whether any future proposals by that person will be funded under this program.
A Review Committee consisting of Professor Emerita Joan Sieber (the convening and nonvoting member) and three faculty members from three different disciplines to be appointed by the College Dean will evaluate proposals.
Based on the experience of making awards for this first year of proposals, we wish to clarify the criteria for awards. Preference is given to proposals for research that:
- Help prepare students for the science/technology workforce of tomorrow
- Empower students as collaborators and potential co-authors of research
- Focus on topics that are somehow of social significance, whatever the field of science or technology
- Apply research to problems that span multiple disciplines, thus mirroring the current integration of fields of science/technology and their methodologies
- Demonstrate your willingness to share the (modest) funding with other applicants by asking for the absolute minimum needed
- Involve collaborators from other departments, and universities, or companies, research laboratories or agencies
- Demonstrate that they are creatively drawing support from other resources as well
- For example, Cal State East Bay’s Center for Student Research Scholar’s Program might also be used to provide support for student collaborators
It is not expected that any proposal would meet all of these criteria. This list of criteria is simply intended to indicate the kinds of qualities this small grant program is intended to support. To help clarify what is not supported, the following is a non-inclusive list of who should not submit a proposal to this program:
- A scientist with lots of outside support should not apply, to add a little more money to the pot
- Someone contemplating development of a whole new research direction for which they have not developed and tested their methodology
- Someone wishing to pay students who would only help out with the investigator’s own obscure or isolated research program
- A researcher wanting to receive a stipend for themselves.