Funding for Signature Projects

For information about program changes for this year, including restrictions on travel, please see the OWU Connection / IOCP  2021/2022 Program Updates Page

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.

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 designed to be 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 to complement your academic studies. These capstone learning opportunities normally are particular to one student, but projects involving a small team sometimes can be undertaken.

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 be relevant to the student’s major and be associated with the work of an upper-level, independent study, senior seminar, or directed reading course.  A Small Grant proposal must clearly show how the objectives of the planned signature project are connected to one or more course(s).  It is most common for the Participating Faculty Member who supervises the experience 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 (AICUC) approval.
  • Proposals must be connected to a specific OWU student, with a specific project and a specific demonstrated expense.  
  • Grant applications must describe how the project is academically complementary and relevant to the student's academic program.
  • Proposals must be signed by the participating / supervising faculty member and by the department chair or program director of the student’s major.  
  • Grants will not fund stipends, wages or expenses associated with a credit-bearing semester away from campus.
  • Grants will not fund conference attendance unless the student has been formally invited to present, perform or compete.
  • 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.
  • 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.  Requests for more than $750 will take longer to review.  
  • 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 one to two weeks to process.  All expenses must be documented and accompanied by receipts; documentation and receipts must be submitted to the OWU Connection desk in Merrick Hall.  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 OWU Connection Office in Merrick Hall:
    • 1.  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. 
    • 2.  An expense report that documents all of the expenditures for the experience accompanied by original receipts. 
  • 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 normally funded.
  • For Projects involving small teams of students, each student must complete a separate application.

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 summer internship.
  • Essential equipment, supplies, and software that are not otherwise available.
  • 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.

Administrative Director of OWU Connection


Darrell Albon
Merrick Hall 109
P 740-368-3072