Funding for Signature Projects
The Small Grant Program for Signature Projects is intended to support certain expenses in a way that complements, but does not duplicate, Theory-to-Practice Grants. This Program can fund individual student projects and also projects that involve a small group of students working together.
Small grants generally are limited to no more than $750*, so students seeking a larger amount of funding should consider other sources, e.g., Theory-to-Practice Grants. Additionally, the Small Grant Program process is quicker than other grant processes, as proposals are considered on a rolling basis.
*In exceptional cases, grants may be as large as $1,000.
Guidelines for Small Grant Program Funding
Signature projects are extended activities completed outside of the classroom supervised by faculty to complement academic studies for individual students and for small groups of students.
These capstone learning opportunities are usually particular to one course, but may be related to more than one course in a particular major. Projects involving a small team of students must be supervised by the same faculty member.
Signature projects traditionally extend through at least a semester or summer. Therefore, a short trip to gather data or present research or creative work would qualify if the research or creative process took place over the course of a semester or summer.
To be considered academically complementary, the signature project should (1) be relevant to the student’s major, (2) be directly associated with the work of an upper-level, independent study, senior seminar, internship or directed reading course and (3) be supervised by the faculty member teaching the course and endorsed by the Chair / Director of the Department / Program of the course.
A Small Grant proposal must clearly show how the clearly stated objectives/outcomes of the planned signature project are connected to the specific upper-level course. It is most common for the supervising faculty member to be a member of the Department in which the student is majoring.
- Grants will be awarded only for expenses associated with Signature Projects.
- Research projects involving human subjects need Institution Review Board (IRB) approval; those involving animals require Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval.
- Proposals must be connected to a specific OWU student, with a specific project and specific expenses related to the project. If the proposal involves a small team of students each student involved must submit a proposal; the faculty member supervising the project will submit a separate on-line form.
- Grant applications must describe how the project is academically complementary and relevant to the student's academic program.
- Proposals must be endorsed and the student application form signed by the participating / supervising faculty member (the one teaching the course) and by the department chair or program director of the student’s major (the person who leads the department or program that controls the course).
- If the proposal involves a small team of students, each student must complete a separate application signature form, including a brief description of its connection to coursework and a copy of their unofficial transcript, but need not submit a budget nor get the SGP form signed. The supervising faculty member will submit a Small Grant Program -- Group Application form on-line and send a budget to email@example.com. The IOCP/OWU Connection Programs Office will then reach out to the Department Chair for departmental approval. If funded, each student, though not the faculty member, must submit a separate final report. Funding is for student expenses. Faculty funding can come from other sources. The participating / supervising faculty member will submit the final student budget/expense report. Questions should be directed to Darrell Albon.
- Grants will not fund:
- stipends, wages or direct payments to individuals, except for gratuities.
- expenses associated with a credit-bearing experiences at other institutions.
- conference attendance unless the student has been formally invited to present, perform or compete.
- certain high risk activities prohibited by the University's insurance carrier. (See the TPG Program site for details about this or contact the OWU Connection / IOCP Office).
- Students must be in good academic standing.
- The Grant application form -- Small Grant Program Application & Signature Form -- must be included as a cover sheet with all applications. Signatures are required, except for small team proposals, as described above.
- The Grant proposal should specify whether the student has sought and/or been granted other sources of funding or is applying for other funding, either internally or externally.
- Grant proposals meeting these basic requirements will be judged on relative merit and the student initiative required. Thus, a promising original project initiated by a student is more likely to receive a grant than is a project required of all students in a major.
- Funds are limited. If there are multiple worthy proposals, efforts will be made to spread the grants broadly across students and departments to meet a wide variety of demands. Proposals are reviewed as they are submitted, so all funds may be spent prior to the end of the academic year.
- Completed proposals are normally reviewed within fifteen business days of submission during the academic year. Proposals submitted during the summer will take longer to review. Proposals with requests for funding in excess of $750 or proposals involving international travel will also take longer to review. Some proposals require follow-up with faculty or department chairs / program directors during the review process; when this happens, the review will take longer.
- Those who receive a Small Grant may either submit receipts for reimbursement after the fact or request an advance. An advance will only be done at the request of the recipient and usually takes two to three weeks to process. Those requesting an advance should make sure that their banking information is updated in the Nelnet "refund tab." If a method is not selected, a paper check will be mailed to the address on file with OWU. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all information is accurate.
- All expenses must be documented and accompanied by receipts; documentation and receipts must be submitted to the OWU Connection desk Slocum Hall 311.
- Those who receive a Small Grant will be required to book travel and accommodations through the University's designated travel services provider, Christopherson Travel, and will be advised on the process for doing so.
- Proposals that include international travel will take longer to review and are subject to greater scrutiny. (The guidance for the funding of international travel for Theory-to-Practice Grants should be followed for Small Grant proposals -- see here under "Please carefully note.")
- Upon completion of the project, the grant recipient must submit to the IOCP Office in Slocum Hall, within 21 days:
- A short, written reflection (normally 250 to 500 words) on the experience that includes an explanation of how the experience enhanced and/or expanded the learning in the upper-level course(s) noted in the Grant application and, more broadly, how the experience related to other work done in the major. This must be reviewed and endorsed by the supervising faculty member who endorsed the Small Grant application.
- An expense report that documents all of the expenditures for the experience accompanied by original receipts. (In the case of an approved small team project, the supervising faculty member will submit the expense report.)
Projects (including the final report) must be completed prior to graduation.
Proposals submitted to fund projects or experiences that have already been completed are not always funded. If submitted, an explanation of the reason for the post-project submission must be given.
Examples of Expenses That May Be Funded
- Transportation, registration, lodging, and meals associated with an academic conference during which a student presents his or her research or creative work. Students will not be considered for funding simply to attend a conference.
- Transportation and fees associated with an unpaid internship.
- Essential equipment, supplies, and software that are not otherwise available -- these will become the property of the University following the completion of the project.
- Travel expenses for a small group of students enrolled in the same upper-level course to engage in field work / research / creative endeavor related to a project for the course.