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Bureau of Educational Research

Seed Funding Living FAQ 2022 - 2023

Bureau of Educational Research

Last update: December 15, 2022

Application  submission Interface

A. Eligibility and Fit

How many researchers can be named as part of the research team? How should the team be organized?

 We encourage collaborative efforts; these will receive preferential consideration in the CRC review process.

What external sources of funds could I be aiming to pursue?

A broad array of external funding opportunities may be considered, selecting those sources best matched to the proposed research topic and plan. In some cases, multiple sources and source types could be considered if they are positioned to fund specific components of a particular project.

The purpose of this program is to be inclusive and interdisciplinary, so funded projects will be those with the potential to maximize educational and social impact.

I plan to name a graduate student a Co-PI role in my seed funded project. Will I be able to give that student a similar role in the external funding proposal I eventually plan to submit?

External proposals are submitted in the name of the university, and so need to adhere to university rules governing research participation. Graduate students can be named as “senior personnel” if they play significant roles in an external funding proposal. University submissions do not typically name students in PI or co-PI roles because that entails fiscal responsibilities for the conduct of the project. Please consult the Bureau with specific questions.

I am a pre-tenure faculty member conducting research supported by startup or other institutional funds. I have encountered difficulties or delays in conducting research due to the pandemic. Am I eligible to apply for a seed award to address these additional needs?

This program is not designed to provide supplemental funding. Pre-tenure faculty in need of support for project completion due to COVD-19-related hardships should contact the Dean’s Fellow, Rodney Hopson, who is charged with assistant professor development.

How should I share the external funding proposal I develop from my seed-funded project?

Please contact Elizabeth (Beth) Niswander to share updates as your plans develop. Provided you initiate discussion early on, Beth will also field requests for strategic support (e.g, feedback on proposal drafts, assistance in finding needed resources or collaborators).

The project I wish to pursue is in a topic area, or of a type, for which external funding is generally not available. Am I eligible to apply for a Seed Funding award?

The explicit purpose of this competition is to provide resources that will help faculty teams to organize education research projects with potential for significant impact. For topics that do not fall within areas of research generally competitive for external funding, a competitive proposal will present a clear argument of need and evidence of the likelihood that research outcomes will influence the field. 

External funding from sources less commonly identified with education research may be available. Information on both internal (e.g., Campus Research Board) and external supports for projects related to the arts, humanities, and other fields is available from the OVCRI Research Advising and Project Development (RAPD) team.

B. Research Compliance

I want to work with video conferencing technologies for research data collection. What considerations should I take into account?

Guidance from OVCRI/OPRS for actively evolving video tools and platforms is being updated periodically, focusing on concerns about the performance and compliance with human subjects protections. OPRS has posted a Virtual Resources Guidance document with detailed recommendations.

Will I need IRB Approval for this project?

Please follow all necessary IRB requirements through our University Office for the Protection of Research Subjects OPRS). Note that OPRS will be the best source of research safety information, should changes in Covid-19 or other infectious diseases require that research activity be modified.

Will I need to secure FERPA for this research project?

FERPA questions and requirements about access to school records will be dealt with in the course of OPRS review.

C. Budget and Financial Needs

What budget materials do I need to submit?

For the seed funding submission, you need to include both an Excel budget and narrative that explains the purposes for which you will use of funds, with a dollar amount for each item. Preparation and submission of the seed funding application is the researcher’s responsibility. You may request help from BER pre-award staff via (Kim Darnell and Laura Cooky) to generate an Excel budget with correct salary and fringe benefit rates. Please make that request at least two weeks before you submit your seed funding proposal. When selected for funding (and before you start spending), these documents will enable College administration of your award funds.  

How should student participation in the project appear in my budget request?

Please include student support as an hourly wage, with fringe benefits; do not budget this as a percent time assistantship.

When will project funds be available, and how can I access them?

Funds will be available for use as soon as you receive notice that you have received funding. The Bureau will share copies of your proposal and budget with Business Operations in Finance; in due course, they will assign your grant charges to the right program code (CFOP) and will send out reports of expenditures to PIs.

For seed projects leading to an external funding proposal, when should I submit this?

External proposal submissions are expected as an outcome of the seed-funded project. Because funder due dates vary, they may fall within, or following, the six-months to one-year window for seed-funded activity.

External proposal submissions should follow normal BER submission processes. Please contact Kim Darnell and Laura Cooky via as soon as your funder submission date is known to plan the submission process. 

For projects establishing a sustained research effort, how and when should my creative work project by presented?

Timing and method for sharing will depend on the particulars of the proposed project. Please confer with Beth Niswander in the BER to ensure proper BER and College recognition.

What if I need to revise my project budget following an award?

Where budget revisions are tied to a significant re-design of the project (e.g., adding a collaborator, changing research design), please contact Kim Darnell for assistance, and then share narrative and budget revisions with Jessica Li and Beth Niswander.

Where budget revisions are administrative (e.g., adjusting student worker hours, purchasing minor supplies), working with Kim Darnell and Laura Cooky will be sufficient; she will communicate revisions with the Finance Office.