Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) has announced more than $4 million in seed grants under the Chancellor’s Seed Grant Program, which is more than double the $2 million projected in the competition’s original request for proposals. Designed to cultivate sustainable projects that advance the priorities articulated in the university’s strategic plan, Rutgers University–Newark: Where Opportunity Meets Excellence, the competition yielded more than 50 individual awards to schools, institutes, centers, and administrative offices ranging from $12,000 to $125,000.

“We were thrilled with the overwhelming response to the request for proposals,” said Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “With the quality of proposals being so high overall and the volume so remarkably large, we knew we should shift gears and invest as much as we possibly could in this first year of the competition to build even greater momentum in implementing our strategic plan.”

Teams that earned grants will use them to fund new and creative projects that support economic development; strong, healthy neighborhoods; diversity and social justice; new RU-N degrees; K-20 education; arts and culture; and science. (A detailed list of the seed grant awardees can be accessed by clicking the link below.)

A standing Strategic Seed Grant Committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students facilitated the selection process. The committee looked for proposals that addressed one or more of the priorities articulated in the strategic plan; provided a plan for long-term funding; involved multiple units; and created something new and different. Moreover, a competitive advantage was given to proposals that integrated one or more of RU-N’s existing centers, institutes, or programs, as well as proposals that provided support for graduate and professional fellows. Final award decisions were based on the Strategic Seed Grant Committee recommendations and detailed reviews by the deans of each school, Chancellor Cantor, and Provost Todd Clear to maximize RU-N’s strategic priorities and community and university impacts while encouraging innovations in scholarship and education.

“More than 70 proposals were submitted in accordance with the specified criteria and a competitive request for proposals process,” said Kyle Farmbry, chair of the Strategic Seed Grant Committee and acting dean of the Graduate School. “The proposals were as diverse as RU-N’s community, and the high caliber of each made our deliberations all the more challenging. Fortunately, under the strategic plan, grant seed funding now is an annual endeavor at Rutgers University–Newark. So those who did not receive funding during this first round are strongly urged to resubmit for the next cycle.”

The other members of the Strategic Seed Grant Committee include: Anne Englot, professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FASN); Lindsey McDougle, assistant professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA); Lyra Monteiro, assistant professor in the Department of History and the Graduate Program in American Studies of FASN; Natalia Morisseau, director of the Office of Financial Aid; Rosa Oppenheim, professor and chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management and Marketing Sciences at Rutgers Business School (RBS); Andres Rengifo, associate professor and director of the MA Program at the School of Criminal Justice; Lyneir Richardson, executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at RBS; Shana Russell, doctoral candidate in American Studies; Jongmin Shon, assistant professor at SPAA; Michael Simmons, program manager at the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies; Lee Slater, professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of FASN; and Jennie Valverde, clinical professor at the School of Law.

The RU-N community can expect the second request for proposals in February 2016. The aggregate award amount will likely be $2 million.

List of 2015 Seed Grant Awardees