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IRWG Faculty Seed Grant: Open Topic


The IRWG Faculty Seed Grant program, established in 1996, supports disciplinary and interdisciplinary faculty projects on women, gender, and sexuality. Support may be requested for individual activities, such as research assistance, research-related travel, or research materials. We also support collaborative projects, such as pilot studies or initial research efforts. While providing funds for new and emerging work is a priority for this program, requests to add a gender component to an ongoing research project may also be considered. Applications from all academic disciplines, including the arts, humanities, and sciences are welcome.

Deadline: February 23, 2024 (by 11:59 p.m. ET)

How to Apply:

Submit your proposal and apply online through InfoReady (link opens in a new tab). 


Funds may be requested from $500 to $7,500, depending on the scope of the project, with timelines of up to two years. Typically, awards are given in the mid-range. We encourage applications from those seeking matching funds for grants from other sources, up to our limit.

Faculty Seed Grant Awards typically take 6-8 weeks from the deadline before decisions are announced.


  • IRWG affiliated tenure-track, non-tenure track, clinical faculty, research faculty, and librarians at the University of Michigan are eligible.*
  • Applicants are encouraged to include students in project plans, but the principal investigator may not be a student or postdoctoral fellow.
  • Priority consideration may be given to proposals submitted by an applicant who has not received IRWG funds during the previous academic year.
  • Individuals who receive an IRWG Faculty Seed Grant must wait at least one year from the completion date of the funded project before applying for another IRWG Faculty Seed Grant.

Please speak with Rebecca Irvine (rsirvine@umich.edu) if you would like to request dispensation from any of the eligibility criteria.

*U-M faculty who are not yet affiliated can apply to be an IRWG affiliate through a simple form.

Application Procedure:

Applications will be accepted through our online submissions portal, InfoReady. You will need the following 5 items for your proposal:

1. Project Abstract - 100 word summary accessible to a general reader. If awarded, we will use this description on our website and in social media.

2. Project Narrative - In no more than five (5) pages please include the following:

  • Background/Problem StatementProvide context on why this project is needed
  • Goals & Objectives: What does this project hope to achieve (include proposed research questions/ topics of exploration) and how does it contribute to the mission of IRWG?
  • ActivitiesInclude proposed project activities, methods used, and an estimated timeline
  • Roles of the CollaboratorsInclude anyone named in the proposal, their roles and responsibilities, and expected level of effort (e.g. percentage of time or hours committed)
  • Project Deliverables/Dissemination Plan: This may include journal articles, a book project, performance/s, community events, etc. 
  • Future Research Plans: Explain how the seed grant would contribute to future research agendas and/or become sustainable (e.g. does it establish new partnerships, offer proof of concept data, provide training of junior scholars, lead to external funding applications, etc.)
  • Letter of support: If your project includes partnerships with community organizations or outside institutions, please include a letter of support from each proposed partner.

3. Itemized Project Budget - Please adapt the provided template (download the Excel file here) to suit your project

4. Budget Justification - In no more than two (2) pages describe your project’s budget 

  • Outline budget expenses, including their justification.
  • Specify contingent budgets.
  • Any salary expenses must include appropriate calculation of benefits. Please note that faculty salary will not be funded.
  • Please list any other sources of funding (and amounts) that you’re receiving or applying to receive for this project. This may include any percentage of match funding from your own discretionary account, startup funds from your department/college, or other sources of research funding. If applicable, explain why you need additional funding to the ones listed in your budget justification. 

5. Short Curriculum Vitae - max 3-page or NSF/NIH biosketch will be accepted. For projects with multiple collaborators please include a one-page resume for each person including affiliation, major publications, and grant awards.

Selection Criteria:

Reviewers will score the applications based on EACH of these four criteria:

  1. Quality and significance of the scholarly or creative activity proposed;
  2. Centrality of research on women, gender, and/or sexuality;
  3. Value of the project to the career development of faculty (in terms of scholarly, training, or obtaining further external funding) or that of students;
  4. Inclusion of an intersectional approach (including appropriate attention to issues of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, social class, nationality, religion, disability, or other social differences).

Answering the following questions will strengthen your proposal and reflect the fact that our evaluation criteria may differ from other funders:

  1. Why should IRWG fund this project? How does your project fit IRWG's goal of funding feminist research?
  2. Why is your project important for the field of gender or sexuality studies? What impact will it have? 
  3. How will your work contribute to the study of women, gender, or sexuality at UM?

Additional Information:

Reviews will be completed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty affiliated with the institute, including previous Seed Grant recipients. All applicants will receive feedback from the review panel.

Human Subjects Review: Compliance with all appropriate regulations governing conduct of research will be required. Research proposals involving the use of human subjects will be subject to project review and approval by the appropriate IRB. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain IRB approval in a timely manner so that research is not delayed. For the purposes of the application, you do not need to have IRB approval before submitting for consideration. 

Please review ongoing covid-related research restrictions, regularly updated on the Office of Research's Research Re-Engagement website.

Post Award Expectations:

  • Acknowledge IRWG support in presentations and publications resulting from the funded project.
  • Inform IRWG of resulting funding, presentations, and publications for publicity purposes.
  • Agree to serve as a reviewer for future awards.
  • Provide a written progress report 1 year from the date of the award and a final grant report at the conclusion of the project. Awardees will receive an email to submit these reports through InfoReady.


Email Rebecca Shea Irvine at rsirvine@umich.edu

Apply now!

Read about Previous Seed Grant Awardees: