Research Grant


In 1999 the Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) was created to champion and serve family owned businesses through scholarship, education and advocacy. Nationally and internationally, programs like the Scholar in Residence and the FOBI Grant have given FOBI a recognition as a center that supports research in family businesses. Given that one of the objectives of FOBI is to support Seidman faculty in the creation and application of knowledge for family owned businesses, the FOBI Grant is being reoriented to exclusively support Seidman scholars interested in the field.

Family Businesses Studies is a multidisciplinary field of research that focuses on the paradoxes caused by the involvement of family in the business. The field aims at building knowledge about family firms, the most prevalent form of business organization in the world (Sharma et al., 2014, p. 1). The field has been growing in the last few years in terms not only of the quantity of publications, but on their quality. Family Business Review, the first journal dedicated to family businesses has increased its impact rising up to the level of more traditional management journals and high quality journals from a variety of areas have been publishing special issues dedicated to research in family businesses applied to their fields. Family Businesses Studies is full of opportunities and they have been increasing. This grant is a resource for Seidman faculty to explore the field and take advantage of these opportunities. 

Who can apply

Both tenure-track and tenured faculty from any field from the Seidman College of Business are eligible to apply. The FOBI grant amount will be set at $5,000. 


  • The research can be from any field (finance, management, accounting, marketing, international business, entrepreneurship and economics) as long as it is directly related to family businesses.
  • In the case of multiple researchers working together on the same project, only one proposal and only one author will be considered for the research grant.
  • The Recipient will be required to submit a grant report by April 30th, 2018. In the report they should document the impact, engagement, and innovation of the work in the family business field.
  • Grant recipient must prepare a report summarizing the results of the project to the FOBI Director after a year.
  • Seidman faculty cannot reapply to the grant until the research is published[1].
  • The grant funding will be disbursed in two phases. The recipient will receive $4,000 at the initiation of the grant (it will follow the summer grant process). The final $1,000 will be disbursed once the paper has been submitted and accepted to a research conference[2]


[1] Only in academic journals that are B or higher in Seidman’s journal list.

[2] Only the most recognized in the corresponding field or in the family business field and those that required a paper (not an extended abstract).

Suggested Outline for Application Summary

  • Introduction
  • Research objective: State the overall objective or long-term goal of your project.
  • Brief Literature review: review the most significant previous work, and describe the current status of research, including your own in this field. Document with references. Show the relationship to your previous work.
  • Research outcomes: State the specific purposes, immediate and eventual, of your project. What do you hope to establish or achieve? What type of publications, proceeding, and presentation? Do you anticipate extensions of this project to future work?
  • Project Plan: Give details and dates. Research applicants need to include descriptions of methods to be employed, kinds of data to be gathered, and the means by which you will analyze or interpret those data. The outputs of the research (one paper to be submitted to what journals).
  • Detailed budget.
  • Facilities and Equipment: Describe potential problems of access of conflicts in use.
  • Support from other sources: Specify. Are you requesting support from any other agency? Indicate status of request. Can Grand Valley support act as seed money in obtaining funding for this project or an extension of it from a private or governmental agency?
  • Collaborative arrangements: As appropriate, show evidence that the other institutions or individuals involved agree.
  • Conclude your application with a paragraph describing how receipt of a grant will lead to evidence of continuous improvement in any or all of three vital areas: innovation, impact, and engagement. These three areas of emphasis come from the new 2013 AACSB accreditation standards. 

Applications are due in the FOBI Director's Office on April 30th 2017.  Awards will be announced by May 22nd, 2017

If you have questions please contact

Ana Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Director, Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI)

Visiting Faculty, Management Department

3120 L. William Seidman Center

Ofc: +1 616 331 7359

Page last modified April 13, 2017