Seeding USU Research Growth

Integrated Team Research Workshop
Ahead of each cycle submission date, the Office of Research holds an Integrated Team Research (ITR) workshop to help potential applicants understand the program and learn application best practices. Materials from the fall 2023 workshop (slides, recording) will be available soon.

ITR – Integrated Team Research

Generating novel solutions as an integrated research team to address big research challenges

The Integrated Team Research (ITR) program provides funding to leverage the strengths and expertise of researchers, often trained in different fields and who otherwise work independently or as co-investigators on smaller-scale projects, to generate novel solutions as an integrated research team that address a research challenge and/or present-day problem that will lead to future external funding. The expectation is the team will be a minimum of three PIs, two of which must be at USU.

How is an integrated research team different from a collaboration? Collaborations usually see researchers working relatively independently on different aspects of a research challenge/problem which are then combined. Integrated research teams see researchers collectively working on a research challenge/problem with a high level of interaction, sharing leadership responsibility, resources, data, and decision-making authority.

ITR grants provide up to two years of seed funding. Teams must justify their proposed timeline in the application. Budgetary requests should be consistent with the scope of the proposed activity and be up to $100,000 for the development of a new team-based research project resulting in at least one multi-PI external proposal submission of $1 million or more. Lesser budgetary requests will be equally considered during the review process.

The ITR program is not intended to be a parallel funding program. As such, projects which seek parallel funding (i.e., the project has been proposed to and is under review by an external funding agency at the time of seed grant application or is scheduled to be submitted externally before the seed grant project is substantially complete) will be disqualified from consideration. Under rare circumstances (e.g., Extension seed grant program, etc.), parallel application submissions may be appropriate; however, projects can receive funding from only one internal program. Such projects should be discussed with the Office of Research prior to submission of an ITR application.

Questions? Contact Jeri Hansen at or (435) 797-3437.

Applicants must complete the Office of Research-sponsored faculty proposal writing seminar to be eligible for a seed grant award.


  • The integrated team must be a minimum of three PIs, two of which must be at USU and hold faculty appointments as defined in USU Policy 401.
  • Professionals in term positions (e.g., adjunct faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate research assistants) are not eligible to be an integrated team PI. These individuals can be key personnel on the project, however.
  • PIs who do not submit the required external proposal resulting from a seed grant project will be ineligible for future Office of Research funding of any type until this requirement is met. The seed grant PIs may serve as PI or Co-I on the external proposal, but USU must be the lead institution controlling the submission of the resulting external proposal (i.e., USU cannot be a subcontract on the project).
  • For the initial ITR cycle (January 15, 2024 due date), applications will be open to all except for PIs who have a current seed grant that has not expired as of the cycle submission date and/or the PI has not submitted the required external proposal resulting from a funded seed grant project.
  • Proposal ideas that have already been submitted to an external funding agency and for which a funding decision is pending, or those already reviewed by an external funding agency and found to be non-competitive (rated as less than “good”), are not eligible for seed grant funding consideration.
  • RESUBMISSIONS - If a proposal is not funded by the Office of Research, an applicant is allowed one resubmission of a revised application for the same project in a subsequent grant cycle. Resubmissions must include the seed grant review panel summary and a line-by-line description of how the comments were addressed as an attachment (Appendix G)

Proposal Format

General Formatting Requirements

  • Eight (8) pages
  • Single-spaced text
  • 12-point font, 1-inch margins, page numbers
  • Page limitation includes figures and tables
  • Page limitation excludes cover sheet, external funding target(s) information, abstract, references, budget form, budget justification, and appendices

Cover Sheet

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External Funding Target(s)

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One-page limit.



250-word limit.

Briefly describe in layman’s terms the proposed project and its goal(s). Avoid using technical language and acronyms.


Research/Project Plan

Eight-page limit.

Refer to general formatting requirements above.

Subsections listed below must be included and in the order shown.

Introduction and Seed Grant Project Description

Describe the proposed research/scholarship the integrated team will undertake. Include a summary of relevant literature, specific research challenge/problem to be addressed, anticipated approach, unique and compelling aspects of the project, and broader impacts.

Include a one-paragraph description of how the project will enhance identified research/scholarship strength areas at USU.

Provide an explanation of possible pitfalls/risks of the project and how these will be mitigated. If the proposed project will involve human subjects, documentation showing support for the research/scholarship by a partner (e.g., school district, care facility, tribe, etc.) must be provided and included in Supplementary Documentation (Appendix F).

Integrated Team Management Plan

Provide a strong rationale for why the project should be an integrated team-based approach to solve a scientific challenge and/or present-day problem and how the team as a whole will produce a more competitive external proposal.

Provide a detailed plan for how the integrated team will interact and carry out the proposed project. Describe the scope of work and project responsibilities of PIs and key personnel of the seed grant project, and for items such as data management, information/communication management, etc.

If the seed grant project involves external Co-Is, include a description of how they will be integrated into the research, the strengths such individuals bring to the project team, and what role they will have in the external proposal. Include a CV for any external Co-I in Appendix A.

If students will be involved in the project, describe how they will be mentored and their work supervised. If student involvement in the project is not feasible/appropriate, provide an explanation as to why.

Justify the requested performance period of the seed grant (up to two years). Provide a timeline for major activities with clear milestones, including the preparation and submission of the external proposal.

Research/Scholarship Products

Identify and describe the expected research/scholarship products (e.g., publications, data sets, etc.) that will be produced as a result of the seed grant project, aside from the external funding request.

Relationship of Seed Grant Project to External Funding Goal

Explain how the seed grant’s project outcomes/products are relevant and necessary to the development of a strong $1 million+ external proposal to the targeted funding opportunity. Clearly describe how the seed grant work will enhance and be incorporated into the external proposal.

In addition, describe how a less than satisfactory outcome of the project will be mitigated in the external proposal. Seed projects targeting NSF may want to consider involving Extension specialists to help improve the Broader Impacts requirement of the external proposal.

Relevance of the Proposed Research/Scholarship to the Integrated Team Members' Careers

Include a description of how the seed grant and the external proposal will advance the careers of the PIs who are part of the integrated team (e.g., future planned projects, external proposal submissions, etc.).



No page limit.


Budget Form

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Budget Justification

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No page limit.

Provide a summary budget and justification for all proposed expenses, including faculty, student, postdoctoral researcher, and/or Extension specialist support; fringe benefits; supplies; data analysis costs; equipment needed to generate preliminary data for the external proposal; and travel required to complete the project. Research/Project Plans that include travel must comply with USU travel policies. Up to one month of salary support plus benefits per year per USU investigator is allowed (prorated as applicable).

Explain any departmental or college contributions to the project (not required, but could include providing student help, travel or administrative support, or other expenses associated with external proposal development).

For PIs who have current start-up funding, explain how expenses requested in the seed grant budget which also appear in the start-up budget differ. For example: Graduate student support is requested in the seed grant budget and an applicant’s start-up budget also includes graduate student support. A description must be provided in the budget justification explaining how the seed grant request for graduate student support is different from the graduate student support provided in the start-up budget.

The following costs are not allowed: course buyouts, conference travel, tuition/fees, literature review costs, and funding paid to non-USU institutions, investigators, key personnel, or students.



Even if an appendix doesn't apply to the project, a page must be included indicating such.

Appendix A. Curriculum/Curricula Vitae

Two-page limit per person.

CV information is required for all investigators (including those external to USU). Include as part of the CV a record of grant writing experience and role (PI or Co-I). If no funding has been received, indicate any grant writing training received.

Appendix B. Current and Pending Support
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No page limit.

Include a separate form for each USU investigator.

List the current and pending support for all USU investigators. For any current or pending projects that are related to the proposed seed grant project, include a separate description of the specific objectives and how they differ from the objectives of the seed grant.

Appendix C. Conflict of Interest

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Include a separate form for each USU investigator.

Disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest is required for all USU investigators.

Appendix D. Education and Training Plan

No page limit.

If the targeted external funding opportunity requires a major educational or training component, describe how these elements will be addressed. Outline any plans for recruiting, retaining, or educating students from underrepresented groups.

Appendix E. Special Requirements of Project

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Identify any special requirements of the project (human participants, animal use, hazardous materials, etc.) and whether protocols are pending or approved.

Appendix F. Supplementary Documentation

No page limit.

Include letters of support from external partner(s) whose collaboration is integral to the execution of the proposed seed grant project (e.g., school district, care facility, tribes, etc.).

If the project will require access to sites/land/data sets owned by others, include documentation that access is/will be granted

Appendix G. Review Panel Comments

No page limit.

If the seed grant proposal is a resubmission, the previous seed grant review panel comments must be included and addressed line-by-line. Do not include information that should otherwise be in the Research/Project Plan as a way of circumventing page limitations.

If the research/scholarship outlined in the seed grant application is intended to support the resubmission of an external grant proposal that was not funded in a recent cycle, but did receive favorable scores from the agency review panel, a full copy of the agency review panel comments must be attached.

Appendix H. Results of Previous Seed Funding

One-page limit.

Provide a description of the results of any previous Office of Research seed funding the PIs have received.


Optional Pre-Application Workshop & Review

An Integrated Team Research seed grant workshop will be held before each cycle submission date to provide information to potential applicants on the program’s goals and expectations as well as advice on how to construct a competitive application. Potential applicants are welcome to attend this optional workshop.

The Office of Research will also provide an optional review and feedback of a project summary statement/white paper to aid in the development of a competitive application. This service is reserved for first-time applicants to the ITR program only.


Proposals must be submitted to the PI’s Dean's Office. Applicants are advised to check with their colleges regarding internal submission deadlines and appropriate contact person for seed grant submission.

Projects are funded semi-annually for up to 2-year performance periods, with start dates that are flexible but no later than June 1 or December 1. Applicants should propose a timeline that best ensures they can develop and submit an external grant proposal within three (3) months of project completion.


Proposals are reviewed independently by three different reviewers comprised of Research Associate Deans (or substitute), the Associate Vice President for Research, and the Director of Research Development. Note that Research Associate Deans (or substitute) do not review proposals from their own college. Evaluation Criteria (scored 1=low to 5=high)

  • Strong rationale for why the proposal should span across disciplines to provide a novel, competitive, and integrated team-based approach to solve a scientific challenge and/or present-day problem
  • Strong connection to external funding target(s) demonstrated by program officer support, clear relationship of the proposed research to funder/program goals, recent history of funding agency awards that are comparable to proposed research, etc.
  • Clear project milestones that will lead to an application for extramural funding
  • The innovation and significance/approach of the proposed research aims
  • Detailed plan for how the integrated team will interact to carry out the proposed research
  • The feasibility of the team interactions and methodology proposed
  • The qualifications/expertise of the individual investigators and a strong rationale for how the integrated team as a whole will produce a more competitive external proposal
  • Preference will be given to projects with multiple external funding targets, leveraging the disciplines and funders of the individual team members

External Proposal Development Support

Groups receiving an Integrated Team Science award will have access to the Office of Research large proposal coordinator, in addition to their college proposal development specialist(s) (if available), to support the development and submission of a high-quality external proposal resulting from the seed grant project.

Timeline & Deliverables

Deliverable Spring Semester Cycle Fall Semester Cycle
Optional Integrated Team Research seed grant workshop October

November 20, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm MT via Zoom
Optional white paper review and discussion with Office of Research November-December April
Proposals are submitted to Dean’s Office for internal review College determines internal deadline

(allow ample time for review and signatures by the Department Head and Dean)
College determines internal deadline

(allow ample time for review and signatures by the Department Head and Dean)
Dean’s Office submits proposals to the Office of Research January 15

(if this falls on a weekend or USU holiday, proposals will be due the next business day)
June 15

(if this falls on a weekend or USU holiday, proposals will be due the next business day)
Notification of awards by the Office of Research March August
Grant period Flexible start date within 6 months of award notification; up to 2-year project period Flexible start date within 6 months of award notification; up to 2-year project period
Final financial report Within 60 days of project end date Within 60 days of project end date
Final project report Within 60 days of project end date Within 60 days of project end date
External proposal submission Within 3 months of project end date Within 3 months of project end date