Request for Proposals

Tyson Faculty Seed Grant for Interdisciplinary Research

The Tyson Faculty Seed Grant is designed to fund projects that stimulate interdisciplinary field research at Tyson Research Center (TRC). The grant serves as a platform for collaborating faculty to increase their competitiveness for external grants by facilitating the generation of preliminary data, demonstrating the existence of collaborations, and testing proof of concept. Key criteria for awarded proposals include the following:

  • Faculty must be located in different departments (or schools).
  • Proposals should demonstrate the potential for sustained collaborations and for obtaining external support for continued research at TRC.
  • Proposals should pose research questions that are at the forefront of cross-disciplinary research, and that require the involvement of all disciplines included on the proposal (i.e. questions cannot stand alone within individual disciplines).

Who may submit proposals

Proposals may be submitted by tenure-track faculty from any Washington University school or department. Co-PIs need not be tenure-track, but should have a WUSTL appointment (full-time academic or adjunct).

Use of funds
Funds may be used for any activity directly related to the conduct of the research proposed with the following exceptions: faculty summer salaries, staff salaries, course buyouts, seminar speakers, consultants, conferences or travel. Funds will be awarded by April 15.

Number of awards and amounts
Funding is available for up to two awards per year for three consecutive years. Individual award budgets may be up to $20,000. Investigators may use funds for up to two years. Faculty will not be awarded as PI more than once but can be co-PI on multiple awards.

Proposals should be submitted via email to the Tyson director ( by March 1 of each year. Fall 2016 deadline: October 24, 2016.

Proposal Review Process
The Tyson director will convene a review committee composed of faculty from multiple departments and programs and who are not themselves grant applicants. Faculty will be informed of awards by April 1 of each year.

Proposal Preparation Instructions
All proposals should be single-spaced and using Arial size 11 point or larger. All margins should be at least 1 inch.

Cover Page – The cover page should include the following:
1. Proposal title
2. PI information:
a. Name
b. Title
c. Department and school
d. Email address
3. Co-PI(s) information:
a. Name
b. Title
c. Department and school
d. Email address
4. Total award request
5. Targeted future funding opportunities, including sponsoring agency name and current solicitation numbers (if available).

Project Summary – No more than 1 page. At least one figure is recommended.

Project Description – No more than 5 pages. The project description should include:
1. Introduction/background
2. Research plan and technical approach, including:
a. Specific aims and methodology
b. Anticipated results
c. Specific needs for preliminary data for future external solicitations
d. Proposed site(s) to be studied at TRC (Note: These may not interfere with current research plots. Please contact Tyson director for current research locations.)
3. Infrastructure needs from Tyson (e.g. vehicles, space in lab, research garden, or high tunnel)
4. Plans for providing opportunities for Tyson undergraduate fellows and high school fellows (participants in SIFT and TERF programs).

Budget and Budget Justification – No more than 1 page.

References – No more than 1 page.

External Funding Target(s) – No more than 2 pages. This section should:

  • Indicate why the collaboration creates a more powerful, synergetic project than could be achieved alone;
  • Identify how the proposed research makes a more competitive proposal for a particular future funding opportunity;
  • Identify the specific federal funding agency and opportunity that will be targeted for subsequent funding.