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Justice Center Seed Funding

Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) Seed Funding Mechanism

Request For Proposals (RFP) Due Date: October 26, 2018

Award Announcements: December 2018

CJRC Proposal Submission Form (doc)

Financial support range: $500 - $5,000 (or one faculty course buyout)

The CJRC provides financial and other resources to support the development of high quality criminal justice research at PSU. The center also provides consultation on proposal development. Our proposal review process is evaluative (we seek excellent proposals for funding) and developmental (we assist faculty members in initiating research programs that will build their careers and eventually attract external funding). The success of center-affiliated faculty in winning external funding provides the resource foundation for a sustainable seed grant program. 

The CJRC seed funding mechanism is primarily designed to assist PSU faculty (including Commonwealth Campuses) to pursue external funding by (1) buying out an investigator’s time, (2) supporting project-specific research meetings or workshops, (3) providing research personnel support,  (4) collecting pilot data, and (5) other research-related activities in the area of criminal justice. Although we encourage interdisciplinary and intercollegiate collaborations, our priority is on developing projects within the College of the Liberal Arts (CLA) at University Park. For this reason, the proposed project should use CJRC resources (i.e., research assistants, administrative support) or have at least one investigator who is faculty with a continuing appointment in CLA.

  • Seed fund proposals range from $500-$5,000 or the amount of one course buyout at a standard internal rate (i.e.,  $7,500). For course buyout requests, investigators should also seek approval from their department heads prior to proposal submission.
  • Seed fund proposals should be short (2-3 pages) and may be submitted (1) in response to yearly CJRC Requests for Proposals or (2) at other times provided a specific need.
  • The CJRC Director, Managing Director, center-affiliated faculty, and advisory board members are potential reviewers for these proposals and typically provide feedback within 2 months.
  • Funds are typically allocated for a 6-12 month period.

Seed funds are intended to provide support for:

  • Development of new, innovative research projects
  • Creation of agency partnerships
  • Support for project meetings or workshops (including travel)
  • Research assistant time
  • Paying outside consultants
  • Small pilot studies

Seed funds are NOT intended to support:

  • Expenditures generally made by departments and colleges (e.g., travel to general professional conferences)
  • Delivery of outreach programs or services
  • Requests for funds for meals and snacks should be kept to a minimum
  • Student projects (masters, dissertation research)

Criteria for Review

  • Priority is placed on new ideas that are directly relevant to CJRC themes (Courts and Sentencing, Corrections and Re-Entry, Substance Abuse and Treatment, and Policy and Evaluation) or agency partners.
  • A well-articulated plan of activities that promises progress toward external funding
  • Teams comprised of investigators who range in seniority and experience
  • Proposals must provide evidence for access to the population of interest and/or criminal justice agency monitoring that population
  • Proposals must make a clear contribution to a criminal justice domain

Structure and Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted as one document via email to To complete your proposal submission, you must download, complete, and email the forms below:

CJRC Proposal Submission Form (pdf) 

On those occasions where proposed research will involve either primary data collection or the use of secondary data, investigators are expected to prepare and submit the appropriate requests for IRB approval of research involving human or animal participants (whichever is appropriate to the project).

Project Reports

Investigators are expected to provide an annual project status update and a brief (one page) final report upon completing the project. These efforts allow us to track and report outcomes as well as monitor the successfulness of our seed grant program.

If you need to make changes to the project team, description, design, or budget during the course of your projects, please send a request to with the details of these changes.