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Seed Grants for Transitional and Exploratory Projects (STEP)

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Important Dates

Program Deadline:
Thursday, October 6, 2016, 4:30 p.m. 
Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to
Please consult with your school/college deans regarding their internal deadlines.

STEP Grant Information Sessions:
Thursday, September 8th, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., MUC Missouri Room. No R.S.V.P. required or
Friday, September 9th, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. via Zoom webinar. R.S.V.P. to

Estimated Award Announcement Date:  December 16, 2016 
Summer Salary Contracts Due: March 15, 2017 and March 15, 2018 
Project Period: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 
Final Report Due Date: October 2, 2018


Seed grants for Transitional and Exploratory Projects (STEP) provides seed funding on a competitive basis to SIUE faculty and staff to support research and creative activities. Seed funding is intended to encourage faculty to initiate new research directions or new research projects. Seed grant funding is not intended to sustain or supplement current research programs but rather to:

  • help junior faculty undertake pilot projects that will aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators and enable them to successfully apply for extramural funding
  • help established faculty perform transitional and exploratory research, particularly on novel or pioneering ideas, to determine project feasibility, and to develop preliminary data to support extramural applications.

Junior faculty in the pre-mid-term review stage of their career may submit proposals to revise dissertation material.  However, applicants must make a strong argument for how the STEP project may propel the applicant’s career in a significant and lasting research direction.

Faculty members beyond the early stages of their careers must demonstrate how the STEP project represents a significant transition in their research as opposed to previous activity. Successful proposals by established faculty will outline specific differences between the STEP project and previous scholarly activities, including publications and conference presentations, so an educated lay reader is able to discern the new direction of the proposed project. 


All full-time continuing members of the faculty may apply to the STEP program.  Research staff members on continuing appointments who have served as an investigator or co-investigator on an externally sponsored grant are also eligible for the STEP program.  The terminal degree must be completed by the time of submittal. All applicants, including PIs and Co-PIs, must have submitted completed final reports and fulfilled the terms and conditions, including submission of an external grant proposal, of projects previously funded by the SIUE Graduate School at least 5 business days before this program deadline in order to be eligible for this program. This requirement applies to all PIs and Co-PIs of the previous internal award.

Definition of Research and Creative Activities

Research and creative activities are broadly defined as all creative, critical, scholarly, and/or empirical activity that expands, clarifies, reorganizes or develops knowledge or artistic perception. This definition includes the theorization, demonstration, implementation, and application of research.

Ineligible Activities Include:

  • Faculty Development – activities such as learning a new technique, language, methodology or completing a thesis or dissertation;
  • Institutional Research – studies related directly to the operation of the University that are not generalizable and have little application beyond SIUE;
  • Public Service and Consulting; and
  • Departmental Curriculum Development, such as the preparation of curriculum materials, curriculum modifications, and student interest surveys. Curriculum Development that includes empirical studies of the effectiveness of new program formats, or techniques and content that are generalizable and have application beyond SIUE may be considered research for this grant program.


Pending availability of funds, funding is for one fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th) and is awarded by budget line item.  All line items must be allowable costs.  Awards will not exceed $16,000; typical awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Annette and Henry Baich Award

An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the best STEP application out of the pool of eligible proposals. Details will be provided in the electronic application materials. For further information about eligibility, please visit the Annette and Henry Baich Award website at

Program Materials and Resources

STEP FY2018 Program Guidelines

STEP Application Cover Page
*Note: Proposals with more than one faculty investigator should receive signed approval from all appropriate department chairs and deans on the Proposal Cover Sheet.

Previous Funding Form

External Funding Potential Form

Subpanel Review Rubric and Graduate School General Guidelines for Reviewers

Baich Award webpage

Final Report webpage

Previous Awardees

FY 2017 STEP Grant Awardees List, FY17 Baich Awardee: York

FY 2016 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2015 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2014 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2013 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2012 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2011 STEP Grant Awardees List
FY2010 STEP Grant Awardees List


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