• Proposal Format

Full proposals in response to the PSIEE Seed Grant Program should follow the format laid out in this document. Proposals (items 2 through 7 below) should not exceed 5 pages. Proposals must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman font size no smaller than 12-point type, left- aligned with one inch margins. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on 26 January 2015 and should be submitted via email to psiee@psu.edu. Late proposals will not be considered.

Title Page

Provide the following information:

  1. Title of proposal
  2. PSIEE Theme
  3. Lead Investigator
    1. Name (PSU Access ID [i.e., abc12])
    2. College  & Department
  4. Collaborating Investigator(s) (make additional entries if more than 2 PIs)
    1. Name (PSU Access ID [i.e., abc12])
    2. College  & Department


Provide a succinct overview of the proposal. Assume that reviewers do not necessarily have technical knowledge in your specific field. Avoid or explain technical jargon, field-specific terminology, or acronyms.

Brief background, rationale, and specific aims and objectives

Provide a brief summary of the background and rationale for the proposal. List the specific aims and objectives of the proposal. Be sure to explain the current state-of-the-art, how your project will address critical challenges, the nature of your innovation, how the project relates to a PSIEE research theme, and how the accomplishment of this project will advance scholarship and contribute to Penn State’s leadership in this field.

Project plan

Describe the methods and activities for which support is requested. Indicate the roles and interactions among PIs and other key personnel as well as external partners, and any plans to encourage interdisciplinary interactions (e.g. co-advising of graduate students, participation in interdisciplinary conferences or other activities). Indicate any use of Penn State or other shared research instrumentation or core facilities.

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

Describe the anticipated impacts of the funding in operational terms. Detail plans for specific outputs (publications, research/outreach/educational programs established) and justify expected outcomes (improved environmental performance, enhanced decision processes, increased energy security. reduced greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).

Proposals for the development of conferences, workshops, courses or training must include the plans for dissemination and outreach (anticipated dates, methods for dissemination, target audience, advertising strategy and expected numbers).

Continued Activity and External Funding Potential

Explain plans for continuation of the project beyond the term of the seed grant. Continuation can include many strategies for research and public engagement, but must include scholarship, external funding, and societal impact. For external funding include specific agencies and programs with the following details:

  1. investigators involved
  2. title of proposal(s)
  3. time frame of proposal(s), and
  4. external funding sources to be targeted


Describe the anticipated timeline to accomplish the goals of the proposal.

Budget and Justification

Provide an itemized budget and budget justification for your funding request:

  • Projects can start as early as 15 March 2015.
  • Ending date will be June 30, 2016; time extensions are not available.
  • Funds are to support research development and coordination such as:
    • Graduate and undergraduate student support
    • Instrumentation fees and sample analysis to collect preliminary data
    • Travel associated with the conduct or reporting of research
    • Equipment and supplies, and participant payments
    • Hosting a research planning meeting for an interdisciplinary team
    • Planning and hosting conferences and symposia
  • Funds cannot be used for faculty salary support or course buy-outs.
  • Include the following with the justification
    • Name and phone number of your budget coordinator
    • Budget and fund number
    • Administrative area number

Investigator Information

Identify the lead investigator, collaborating investigators, and the departments or units they represent. Contact information must be included for all investigators, even if the list is unchanged  from the pre-proposal.

  1. Lead Investigator:
  2. Name Title
  3. Department/Organization College/Campus
  4. Phone Email

Collaborating Investigator (make additional entries if more than 2 PIs):

  1. Name
  2. Title Department/Organization College/Campus
  3. Phone Email

[Please include complete contact information for additional investigators  here.]

Letters of Support and 1 page CVs from All Collaborators

All collaborating investigators and any named external partners must indicate their support of the project by writing letters of support; these letters should be included in the proposal document submitted. A 1 page CV for each investigator should also be included in this appendix.  Proposals that do not include these materials will not be reviewed.

Review Criteria

All proposals will be classified into one of three categories:

  1. Award this year.
  2. Award if funding is available.
  3. Do not award this year.

The criteria  used to classify the grants into those categories is as follows:

  1. Relevance to PSIEE Research themes (3 points)
  2. Creativity and innovation (3 points)
  3. Significance of Goals and Results (2 point)
  4. Soundness of Research Summary (2 point)

Evidence of New or Expanding Collaborations*

*Please note: Single collaborator proposals will be judged on a separate scale for this item. Favorable assessments will be given to single investigators who demonstrate how the seed grant will better prepare them for future interdisciplinary research.


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Chopra, Surinder Future Energy Plant Science Establishing high-throughput methodology to screen sorghum germplasm for improved biomass College of Agricultural Sciences
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Fuentes, Jose D. Climate Meteorology Influences of air pollutants on plant-insect interactions College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
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Horn, Mark Future Energy Engineering Science and Mechanics Sputtered Tin Monosulfide Thin Films for Photovoltaic and Thermoelectric Applications College of Engineering
Lear, Ben Future Energy Chemistry Understanding the Impact of Nanoconfinement on Biomass Upgrading within Zeolites Eberly College of Science
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Gernand, Jeremy Health Energy and Mineral Engineering Characterizing Aerosol Particulate Emissions over the Lifecycle of a Marcellus Shale Hydraulic Fracturing Operation and Assessing Public Perceptions of Dustiness and Health Effects College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
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Markowski, Paul Climate Meteorology DandeLion: A Versatile Atmospheric Observing System Comprising Networked Airborne Probes College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Mejia, Alfonso Water Civil and Environmental Engineering Water Footprint of Cities in the US College of Engineering
Martins, Douglas Water Meteorology The Investigation of Methane Leak Rates from Natural Sources in the Marcellus Shale Region College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Mohney, Suzanne Future Energy Material Science and Engineering A New Approach for Preparation of Catalysts for Conversion of Water to Hydrogen for Fuel College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Meyer, Jennifer Water Other Evaluating the impact of dam construction on Hammer Creek Penn State Harrisburg
Morgan, Eugene Smart Energy Energy and Mineral Engineering Integrating geophysical surveys and 3D X-ray computed tomography for improved mapping of subsurface gas College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
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French, Kirk Climate Anthropology Land and Water Revisited Film Project College of the Liberal Arts
Regan, John (Jay) Water Civil and Environmental Engineering Dissimilatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium: Effects on N2O Emissions, Nitrogen Retention, and Carbon Oxidation in Wastewater Treatment and Wetland Processes College of Engineering
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Smithwick, Erica Climate Geography Landscapes of fire and people: how climate, human values, and shifting ecologies will influence mid-Atlantic forest management College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Asadi, Somayeh Smart Energy Architectural Engineering Energy Use and Carbon Emissions Assessment in Urban Settings Using a Smart Network Infrastructure Model College of Engineering
Tooker, John Water Entomology Exploring the influence of neonicotinoid insecticides on aquatic invertebrate communities College of Agricultural Sciences
Rim, Dongjyun Smart Energy Architectural Engineering Development and Benchmarking of a Full-Scale Desiccant Dehumidifier Prototype Utilizing Microwave for Desiccant Regeneration and Inactivation of Airborne Microorganisms College of Engineering
Velegol, Darrell Water Chemical Engineering Controlling electrokinetic flows for preventing membrane fouling College of Engineering
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