Research Seed Grant

Details at a Glance:

    • Award Amount: Up to $5,000 Requires 1:1 Match
    • Submission Deadline:  November 13, 2024 (11:59pm)
    • Period of Performance:  May 1, 2025 – December 31, 2025
    • Award Announcement:  by March 1, 2025 with cost-reimbursable sub-award agreements expected to arrive at MSGC’s affiliated institutions by late Spring 2025
    • Application:   Applications considered for funding MUST be submitted via MSGC’s online submission portal ‘Submittable’. Applications open September 1, 2024!

Note: You are required to consult with and secure prior approval from your institution prior to submitting to MSGC

Program Description:

MSGC’s Research Seed opportunity supports junior faculty and research scientists at MSGC affiliate institutions as well as mid-career and senior level faculty pursuing new areas of research and development relevant to NASA’s strategic interests as expressed in NASA’s 2014 & 2018 Strategic Plans. Specifically, research focused on aerospace, space science, and earth system science.  Faculty working in other related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are also eligible to apply. The objective of this program is to support early career research and development necessary to collect preliminary data required to apply for extramural support.

Eligibility: Participation in this program is limited to faculty at MSGC-affiliated institutions. Applicants may be faculty members or research scientists who are either early career (PhD up to seven years postgraduate) or starting a new area of research.  Applicants are not limited to one proposal. However, applicants who receive a Research Seed Grant as part of this year’s funding are not eligible to submit a proposal the following year.  Awardees are prohibited from holding two consecutive years in a row.  Women, under-represented minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Merit: The merit of each proposal will be judged based on primary and secondary criteria.  The primary merit criteria are scientific merit, relevance to NASA strategic interests, clarity of the proposal, quality of the relationship between the budget and the statement of work (including narrative about how both Space Grant funds and the matching funds will be used to carry out the project), and the ability of the research to advance the faculty’s future research efforts.  Secondary merit criteria are interdisciplinarity of the project and the potential for extramural support.

It allowed me to pursue research opportunities that I loved and fostered a passion for engineering, applying what I learned in a wide variety of fields, and much more.

2017 Research Seed Grant Awardee, Hope College

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium has been great to me as a student, faculty member, and mentor. My history with the MSGC also helped me to mentor a student to obtain a graduate fellowship from the INSGC recently.

Multiple Awardee, Michigan Technological University

Proposal/Application Requirements:

Applications considered for funding MUST be submitted via MSGC’s online submission portal ‘Submittable’.

The abstract should not be more than 150 words (to be entered in the text box provided in the online application)

Proposal Narrative/Statement of Work:
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name_SEED_SOW_2025, insert last name where indicated).
(up to 6 pages) Upload to Submittable as a SINGLE PDF with a HEADER containing the Applicants FIRST & LAST name PROPOSAL TITLE, PROPOSAL TYPE & SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION name.  (Please DO NOT include Budget information with your Proposal Narrative document) References Cited is not included in the page limit.

The proposal narrative should include sufficient information needed for evaluation of the project and should be specific and informative and avoid redundancies. Components of the proposal narrative, or research plan should include:

  • Proposed research or public service activity
  • Specific Aims
  • Research Design and Methodology
  • How the proposed activity is related to NASA’s strategic interests

Impact Statement, Project Time-line, and Future Plan (included with the Proposal Narrative)

  • An Impact Statement describing the goal of the specific research proposed as well as the broad, long-term objectives.
  • Project Timeline
  • Future Plan stating clearly and specifically how this grant will lead to future grant funding.

Note:  Because the reviewers come from a range of scientific fields, the writer should carefully consider the terminology used in the essay. 

References Cited: – (to be included as the final page of your Proposal Narrative. References Cited is not included in the page limit.)

(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name_SEED_Budget_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Can be for any amount up to the maximum noted in the RFP. MUST be submitted on the MSGC Budget Template provided.  (*Note: The MSGC Budget Template is available for Download ONLY.  To download, follow the link to the Form, selected ‘file’ and then ‘download’) Upload to Submittable as a SINGLE PDF with a HEADER containing the Applicants FIRST & LAST name PROPOSAL TITLE, PROPOSAL TYPE & SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION name.

Allowable Budget items include research salary, fringe benefits, stipends, tuition, travel, research supplies and other federally allowable direct costs not subject to Uniform Guidance that comply with 2 CFR Subpart E – Cost Principals

  • 2 CFR 200.413 defines Direct Costs as those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular final cost objective, meaning federal award, program or project that specifically benefit the award.

Unallowable items include, but are not limited to: cost overruns, retroactive funding, renovations, and any expenditures subject to Uniform Guidance; including, furniture, hosting, office supplies or “equipment”, including computers.  Computer programs may be considered if specialized and directly related to the proposed project. Applicants are encouraged to contact the MSGC staff with specific questions about allowability of specific types of expenses. Note: The Federal Government defines ‘equipment’ as tangible personal property with a useful life of more than one year and a purchase price of $5,000 and above.

Waived and Imputed indirect costs may be applied towards cost-share for projects requiring 1:1 match. WAIVED IDC = amount of IDC waived on the Sponsor/MSGC side of the budget. Whereas, IMPUTED IDC = amount waived on the Cost-Share side of the Budget. Other sources of eligible direct cost-share include waived costs for tuition and faculty mentorship time. For additional guidance regarding cost-share see 2 CFR §200.306. Note: Organizations without a federally negotiated IDC rate are eligible to use a 10% Flat Rate/De Minimis Rate

Budget Justification:
Please include your Budget Justification in the space provided marked Budget Justification’ on the MSGC Budget Template. To include, an Itemized explanation for each expense of the budget; as well as a list of the names of all personnel who are involved on the project, regardless of whether salary support is requested. Provide a clear explanation for ALL personnel by position, the role that they will be playing on the project, and level of effort. For domestic travel include the purpose, the number of trips and expected location, duration of each trip, airfare, and per diem.  Other costs must also be explained in reasonable detail as well; including negotiated indirect costs. The same shall be done for cost-shared funds.

Appendix Include:

Previous Award Final Report:
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name _PA_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Prior awardees are not eligible to hold two consecutive awards in a row. If you have an active award from MSGC with a 2021 award start date, you are not eligible to apply at this time. You will be asked to upload a copy of the final report for the project you were last awarded for.       

Letter(s) of Support:
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name_SEED_LOS_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Collaborators other than the applicant, with a significant role on a project should provide a Letter of Support for their participation. Faculty Mentors associated with Faculty led Undergraduate Fellowship proposals are required to provide a letter of support. Letter(s) of support may be uploaded as a PDF attachments, where indicated on the online application.

Biographical Sketch(es): (Required)
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name _BIO_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Is required for each Principal and Co-Investigator on the project (applies to proposals submitted for Faculty Led Fellowship awards, Research Seeds awards, HONES awards & Educational Program awards). To include professional experiences and positions, and bibliography of recent publications. May be uploaded as single or as multiple PDF attachments where indicated on your online application.

Current & Pending Other Support: (Required)
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name _OS_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Is required for PI and Co-PI and any Co-I who proposes to devote greater than or equal to 10% of their time to the proposed work (applies to proposals submitted for Res Seeds, HONES & Education Programs) Not required for Students or Collaborators. To include all current and pending projects and proposals regardless of salary support. Do not include the proposed project in the listing. The following information is required for each project: Title of award/project; name of PI on award; Sponsoring agency and program name (if appropriate), including Sponsor point of contact information; period of performance; Total amount received by the investigator, commitment by PI or Co-PI in terms of person-months per year.

Institutional Sign-off/Letter of Support: (Required)
(Naming convention for attachment:  Last name_SEED_ILOS_2025, insert last name where indicated).
Institutional approval by the Department Chair, Division Head or Grant Administrator indicating the application budget is endorsed and the cost-sharing requirement has been agreed to. Required for all proposals submitted by faculty or students from the University of Michigan or any of one of MSGC’s 10 affiliate institutions. MUST be satisfied prior to submission. Verify your institution’s process for prior approval with the affiliate representative from your institution. For a list of MSGC affiliate representatives visit the MSGC website at


Post Award Expectations:

Notice of Award:
If a proposal is approved for funding, the applicant will be notified by e-mail once the Board has had an opportunity to consider all applications from the round. An award letter will be sent containing a start date, which is anticipated to be May 1, 2025. The duration of an award is 8 months, by which time all funds must be spent. 

It will be the responsibility of the awardee and his/her respective department/institution to monitor funding activity and expenditures. Awarded funds are limited specifically to the expenses itemized and approved as part of the original application and may not (without MSGC approval) be utilized for any other expenditure not previously identified. Any residual funds at the close of the study will be returned to the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

Regulatory Requirements:
Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and any other applicable regulatory requirements are not required at the time of submission but should be initiated immediately following award notification. All regulatory approvals MUST BE OBTAINED WITHIN 3 MONTHS of the award start date (e.g. IRB, UCUCA, FDA, Technology Transfer, Conflict of Interest, etc.).

Mid-Year Progress Update: – Due August 15, 2025
Required from all awardees. Will be emailed directly to you at the beginning of the year in the form of a short survey to be completed upon receipt.  Used to collect a summary of the progress made to date: including, resulting peer reviewed publications, applications for extramural funding and, if applicable, an explanation for any project delays. This is the approved time for requesting an extension. Well-justified no cost time extensions for up to six months may be considered if submitted with this progress report. However, if no progress has been made toward completion of the project after the one year period, the Michigan Space Grant Consortium reserves the right to request that unexpended MSGC funds be returned.

Final Report: – Due January 15, 2026 or within 2 weeks of project completion
As projects are completed, the Michigan Space Grant Consortium requires all awardees submit Final Reporting documents; including 

  1. Final Narrative
  2. OEPM Form (if applicable)
  3. Student Data (if applicable)

Reporting requirements unique to each award type and reminders for completion will be sent until all of the required information has been collected.

Publication & Citation Requirements:
Researchers submitting NASA-funded articles in peer-reviewed journals or papers from conferences are required to make their work accessible to the public through NASA’s, PubSpace at Research papers will be available within one year of publication to download and read.

As a requirement for accepting a MSGC award and to continue to help us continue our mission to foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan please cite our federal award number 80NSSC20M0124 in publications and presentations resulting from our support.

Acknowledgement Statement: Research reported in this publication was supported in part by funding provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), under award number 80NSSC20M0124, Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).

MSGC Annual Fall Conference:
All funded applicants will be invited to present the findings of their work at a poster session as part of an upcoming annual Fall symposium hosted by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium. The 2024 Fall Conference will be held Saturday, October 19, 2024 in Ann Arbor. More details to follow as more information becomes available.