Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Initiative

The Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Initiative is designed to foster new collaborative research and creative activities between faculty members from different disciplines and/or areas of expertise. Proposals that create and integrate ideas across the arts, sciences, humanities, and all professional colleges will be most competitive. Research partnerships across GVSU units and between GVSU and other universities and institutions are strongly encouraged. 

Eligibility And Funding Limitations

Eligibility: Tenured or tenure-track faculty members on continuing appointment are eligible. Visiting Faculty, Affiliate Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, and Staff can be co-Principal Investigator (PI), but not lead PI.

Funding Limitations:

  • Only one proposal per review cycle.
  •  Up to a maximum funding of $10,000.
  • Supports faculty summer stipends, student help, supplies, necessary travel, and other costs of projects. Travel to conferences are allowed for data collection but not for dissemination.
  • A total of up to $5,000 may be requested in salary for the PI(s). Note that this is not per individual PI: salaries for multiple individuals may be requested, but the total cannot exceed $5,000. The salary requested should be proportionate to the amount of effort expended by the faculty member and should be indicated in terms of time period and equivalent corresponding percent of effort.
  • Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of merit.
  • Successful applications must demonstrate how the collaborative effort will help solve the question/problem under investigation in a way that individual effort is less likely to do so.

Funding Deadlines

There will be two submission cycles per year with deadlines at the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on October 1st and March 1st of each year. If the 1st falls on a weekend the deadline is moved to 5:00 p.m. on the next business day.

Grants awarded in October will run for one year - November 1 through October 31 of the following year. No extensions.

Grants awarded in March will run for one year - April 1 through March 31 of the following year. No extensions.

Grant Application Example

Annis Water Resources Institute Example


Proposal Guidelines


Letter of Support


Review Process

Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Initiative proposals are awarded by a competitive review process. Proposals are reviewed by a committee composed of faculty from several disciplines, and therefore must be written to be understood by members of these multi-disciplinary review committees, i.e., an educated lay audience, rather than by narrow specialists in your field.

Criteria used in evaluating proposals include: project justification, significance of project, appropriateness of project design and methods, level of collaboration of the team members, qualifications of the applicant for implementing the project, probability of achieving project objectives, and appropriateness of the schedule for project activities, if applicable.  All of these criteria must be judged in terms of the likelihood that the project will result in the acquisition of future external funding and/or recognition for the faculty member, his or her department, and the University.

Collaborative Grant FAQs

In recent years, 0-3 Collaborative Grant applications have been funded per review cycle, about 3 per year. Roughly 35% of Collaborative Grant applications have been funded.

Here are some frequent problems:

  • Applicants fail to demonstrate bona fide, original collaboration. For example, an applicant in the social sciences asking a lab scientist or statistician to perform a routine analysis would not be viewed favorably in terms of collaboration. If, however, the social scientist and statistician showed that they jointly developed and articulated the project and were using a non-routine method or approach, this would be viewed favorably. One indicator of bona fide, original collaboration would be that the two (or more) collaborators both authored the narrative of the application. Another indicator would be that the two (or more) collaborators both would be able to publish an article in their field based on the project.
  • Applicants do not come from different disciplines and/or areas of expertise. It is possible for the two (or more) collaborators to come from the same department or units, but the application must make the case that the methods or approaches taken by the collaborators differ substantially and are not routinely used simultaneously in that discipline or area. Conversely, two applicants from nominally different disciplines that appear to be using highly similar methods or approaches might not be viewed favorably.

Yes. You may budget for reassigned time. Please allocate the cost of $3,000.00 for a 3-credit course. It is imperative that your letter of support from your Unit Head indicates their support for your reassigned time. It is important that you indicate which semester you plan on requesting your reassignment. Approval for the reassignment is dependent on support from your unit and your college. The extra time for the proposed project is accountable by normal University standards.

Yes. The Collaborative Grant guidelines indicate that you are able to allocate up to $5000 in stipend support. The request for stipend support must be well justified and match the time commitments of the research team. Stipend support can be split between collaborators based off of the level of effort described within the proposal.

Page last modified September 8, 2023