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Social Sciences Research InstituteSocial Sciences Research Institute


Seed Money grants for up to $20,000 are available for the development of larger projects leading to research grant proposals to outside funding agencies.  An external funding proposal should be submitted within 12 months of the spending of the internal funds.  If the sponsor to which you are applying does not have a deadline within 12 months, please contact Chris Rodriguez (contact information is below) to discuss your intended submission.   There are three awards available each year for Social Sciences tenured and tenure-track faculty, and all subject areas and methodologies within the School are considered equally.  Untenured faculty members are especially encouraged to apply.  The proposals will be evaluated by the School’s Faculty Advisory Committee, a 14-member panel which consists of two members from each department, so proposals must be written with a multi-disciplinary audience in mind.  Funds may support research-related travel (transportation, lodging and subsistence expenses, etc.), wages (including fringe benefits) for graduate or undergraduate student workers or staff, supplies, special software needs, if the need is clearly tied to the project, and other miscellaneous research expenses.  Requests for travel funding should be actual dollar estimates of your anticipated expenses – per diem for lodging and/or meals is not allowable.  No support is provided for faculty supplemental compensation, travel to conferences, or computer hardware.  It is anticipated that award notifications will be made in January 2017, and awards will expire on December 31, 2017.  A no-cost extension of up to six months can be requested for Seed Money grants if an acceptable justification outlining why the extension is needed is provided.  All funds remaining at the time of award expiration will be returned to the SSRI.  Please note that investigators are permitted to submit applications to just one competitive SSRI program each year, so the submission of a Seed Money proposal would make an investigator ineligible for the Research Professorship or Collaborative Research Grant competitions in the same year.  In addition, recipients of Seed Money grants are not eligible to apply for another Seed Money grant for three years.  Members of the Faculty Advisory Committee are ineligible for Seed Money Grants while they are serving on the committee.  

Application Packets

Submit the following to the Social Science Research Institute Office (Baker 180-I) or to Chris Rodriguez (carod@rice.edu; 713-348-2985) no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, November 18, 2016.  Please note that all application materials should be prepared using a minimum of 11-point Arial or Times New Roman and one-inch margins.  Questions related to the application preparation should also be directed to Chris’ attention.  

1. A cover sheet (click here for cover sheet) signed by the applicant; an electronic signature is acceptable if the application is being submitted via email
2. An abstract (200 words maximum)
3. A proposal narrative, single-spaced, three pages maximum
4. List of references/Bibliography
5. A budget justification
6. A curriculum vitae, three pages maximum


SSRI awards are for research-based expenses.  The primary criterion is the quality of the research itself:  the significance to the field, the sophistication, the innovativeness, and the consequences of the proposed research.  The proposal should also specify why this particular funding mechanism (i.e., a Seed Money grant) is the most appropriate one for the project being proposals.  The following five criteria must be addressed in the proposal narrative: 

1. Are the leading ideas and their significance clearly articulated, and in a manner that is understandable and appreciated by a non-specialist, academic audience?
2. Are the research methods well presented and justified?
3. Is the Principal Investigator aware of the existing literature of the field?
4. Is it demonstrated that the project can be completed in the available time?
5. Is the end product defined, and is it reasonable for the project?

Successful Applications

Those who receive an SSRI seed money grant are required to submit two additional pieces of information:

1. A 1-2 page research report should be submitted to the SSRI within 60 days of the expiration of the award. 

2. SSRI staff should be notified when the external application is submitted to the funding agency, which should be within 12 months of the expiration of the award.  If the sponsor to which you are applying does not have a deadline that falls within the 12 month window, please contact Heather to discuss your intended submission.

Past Grant Recipients