Small Grants Program

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The Polson Institute's Small Grants Program is designed to expand and support the research activities of faculty, associates, and graduate students in the Department of Development Sociology.

Funding is designed to provide seed funding for new, collaborative research projects or to support special lectures, workshops, or seminars that contribute to the intellectual life of the Department, the College of Agriculture and Life Science, and the University.

There are two rounds of competition for the Small Grant Program each year, with application deadlines on October 1 (with awards announced by November 1) and March 1 (with awards announced by April 1).

$500 to $5,000


  • Research projects
  • Campus conferences, workshops, and seminars

Grant funds cannot be used to cover salary replacement, summer salary, graduate student assistantships, off-campus conference participation, on-going program-related expenses, equipment, or dissertation research.


Faculty, senior associates, and graduate students in the Department of Development Sociology may apply, but the principal investigator on the proposal must be an associate or member of the faculty in the Department. Projects may support collaborations across campus and beyond.


Recipients are required to present a written or multi-media summary (e.g. think-piece, white paper, video, etc.) to the Polson Institute for broader dissemination, and/or to hold a public seminar or another activity (e.g. panel discussion, workshop, conference) that is open to the public. Applicants should indicate in the application how they intend to meet this requirement, and what they plan to do in order to maximize impact, outreach, and engagement. Recipients are expected to participate in Polson Institute efforts to promote supported work.


All funds must be used within one year of the award date. A six-month no-cost extension may be requested by submitting a summary of accomplishments as well as a plan and timeline for completion of the remaining activities.

Please see the additional information on procedures and eligibility before filling out your Small Grants Proposal Form.


Proposals should be submitted electronically to