Seed Grant: Call for Proposals


To support the study of American democracy, IDEA funds seed grants for individual research projects on a yearly basis. These grants are available to both faculty and graduate students. The call for proposals for 2020 seed grant applications is currently open. See below for guidelines and instructions for submitting proposals. 

Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability
Call for Research Proposals
February 2020

IOSU’s Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA) invites OSU faculty and graduate students to submit proposals for funded research. Proposals should be related to the general topic of "democratic governance," broadly conceived. Proposals that include the U.S. as a focus or a case will be given special consideration, as will those from graduate students and faculty at the rank of assistant professor. The proposed research need not follow a particular format or methodology, and may be quantitative, qualitative, normative, or philosophical in nature, consistent with the interdisciplinary focus of IDEA, and as appropriate to the contribution that the research intends to make.


Proposals should lay out clearly the purpose of the proposed research, how it addresses and improves on earlier work, and how it relates to the mission of the Institute. Proposals should describe the anticipated products, including published papers or chapters in books. In addition, proposals will be viewed most favorably if they demonstrate the possibility of and a commitment to developing and submitting a related proposal for additional external funding. One of the purposes of these internal grants is to generate external funding to demonstrate the commitment of OSU scholars to long-term investigations in this area.


Proposals requesting $3,000 or less should be no more than two pages in length, in addition to a budget and CV(s). Proposals between $4,000 and $12,000 should be no more than five pages in length, in addition to a budget and CV(s). Graduate student submissions should include a brief (one paragraph) endorsement from a faculty advisor.


The deadline for submission of proposals is March 6th. Please submit proposals to the IDEA email address: A review panel then will evaluate the proposals and announce grant recipients by March 23rd.


If you have any questions about this request for proposals, including about whether your research is appropriate, your budget, and so on, please contact Michael Neblo at