Photo of hands cupping a small seedling in dirt.
Published on: Nov 4, 2018

Penn State community members, including faculty, staff and students, are invited to submit ideas for pilot projects that are aimed at supporting the University’s Strategic Plan to advance innovation, research, learning and engagement at the University and beyond. Proposals for the fourth cycle of RFP submissions for the Strategic Plan seed grants are due by Jan. 31, 2019. The application portal will open on Monday, Nov. 5.

In the Fall of 2017, Penn State implemented a funding model to help develop new strategic initiatives that align with the University’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan: Our Commitment to Impact. As part of this model’s first two cycles, Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones awarded seed grant funding for 22 pilot projects that support the Strategic Plan’s thematic priorities, supporting elements, and foundations.

Additionally,  a number of committees have launched a call for concept papers, which are described in depth on the Strategic Planning website. These concept papers provide an opportunity to receive preliminary feedback for potential proposals. The Driving Digital Innovation concept paper deadline is Nov. 20, and the Advancing the Arts and Humanities concept paper deadline is Dec. 7. Please note, the Transforming Education concept paper deadline was Oct. 26.

Potential proposal authors with initiative ideas under other themes and supporting elements are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate Steering Committee chairs to determine whether  their ideas are appropriate for strategic initiative funding and, if so, to receive assistance in developing their ideas prior to submission. Examples of proposals that have been funded to date can be found at

For more information about the strategic plan funding model and seed grant process, including proposal and submission guidelines, FAQs, timeline and review processes, visit Questions about seed grants and other components of the strategic plan should be directed to