What is a seed grant?
Georgia Tech defines a seed grant as a small amount of money (seed) in a restricted funds account (grant). Seed grants may be internal or external and do not have a set limit in terms of their definition, but tend to be between $25,000 and $60,000 per grant.
When do I need to route my proposal through OSP prior to submission?
Seed grants funded entirely by internal dollars do not need to be routed through OSP. Funding opportunities through an external – or partially external – source such as the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), the Coulter Foundation, the Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium (APDC), the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) or Emory University must go through the standard routing process.
Should seed grant proposals be reviewed for IRB, IACUC and other compliance elements?
All seed grants, regardless of the funding source, are subject to the same requirements for research compliance as any other sponsored project. Program administrators have some discretion as to how those reviews are done, but ultimately assume responsibility for ensuring that all requirements are met. ORIA is always willing and available to assist with reviews.
At what point in the process should PIs submit relevant protocols? If ORIA is involved, when do they want to see the proposals?
ORIA is willing to review proposals at any stage, even before funding decisions are final. In fact, their feedback on submitted protocols may enhance the peer review process. ORIA recommends that PIs submit protocols at the same time that they submit their proposals.
Is Conflict of Interest a concern for seed grants?
Yes. Disclose potential conflicts through the eCoI system, just as you would for any other research project.
What is the best way to ensure that the PI has considered all elements of compliance and conflicts?
The OSP routing form asks the right questions about these topics. You may use the form itself or incorporate the questions into a different form or cover sheet.
How do I know whether or not to include overhead in my seed grant budget?
There are some general guidelines related to overhead for seed grants:
- Seed grants with a federal or industry sponsor as the prime carry the same overhead as any other federal project, unless otherwise specified in the call. When the funds originate from GTRI, GTF or GRA, the overhead is funded by Georgia Tech, so you do not need to include overhead in your budget.
- When projects are funded by Emory, They fall under GT’s standard overhead cost share agreement with Emory, so you do not need to include overhead in your budget.
The best source of information is always the specific guidelines for your call.
How do I know whether or not to include tuition remission in my seed grant budget?
When a seed grant program is funded by internal state dollars, you do not need to include tuition remission in your budget. Should your seed grant be selected for funding, you will work with the student’s home department in order to obtain a waiver. However, if your seed grant will be funded by a sponsor, you must include tuition remission in your budget as it will be charged to the sponsor.
How do I know which costs are allowable for internal funds?
Georgia Tech rules apply to all grants, regardless of the funding source. If it wouldn’t be allowable on a federal grant, it’s not allowable on a seed grant.
How do I route seed grant funds to someone outside of Georgia Tech?
In order to issue a subaward to an outside source, you would follow the standard procedure by requesting a subaward in the OSP system. However, if the funding is in an internal account such as GTF, the funds will need to be moved over to an OSP account prior to requesting the subaward.
The process for this is to send a routing form along with a scope of work and budget for the amount of funding to be sent to the outside source, to Vannessa Daniels. Also, please note the Fund number of the current source of funds on the routing form. She will set up a project over in OSP and then you can proceed with your request for a subaward.
Intellectual Property (IP)
I am interested in applying for a seed grant that involves Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. How do I better understand the IP agreement between Children’s and Georgia Tech?
Do I need to disclose seed grant funds as background IP when relevant?
What are best practices for seed grant administrators?
- State clearly in your RFP the restrictions around budget, including overhead, tuition, fringe, etc. If you are unsure of the exact source of funds at the time of the call (e.g. state funds vs. GTRC), err on the side of asking PIs to budget for everything. Better for them to have more money to allocate to other areas later than to lose funding because they have to account for something they didn’t consider up front.
- Help PIs to consider any compliance issues or conflicts up front by asking the relevant questions in the application. The OSP routing sheet works well for this.
- Use the experts. OSP and GTRC are more knowledgeable about sponsored projects than anyone else on campus. Contact the appropriate office and ask your questions up front; you’ll save everyone a lot of time and hassle down the line.