2016-17 Call for Proposals and Proposal Criteria

Effective September 24, 2016.

The Provost’s Office is soliciting outreach, translational and community-based research and public engagement proposals from UW-Madison faculty, staff and students through the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment for two types of awards (Projects and Mini-Grants) that begin on or after July 1, 2017.

The endowment reinforces our public mission and helps advance the campus Wisconsin Idea strategic priority by supporting the development of new and innovative projects, or new dimensions to existing translational outreach, community-based research and public engagement activities. Proposals that extend and apply our research, education and clinical knowledge in partnership with community and off-campus organizations or co-sponsors to help address challenges at the local level or take advantage of opportunities are encouraged. The endowment allows faculty, staff and students to advance their knowledge and expertise in partnership with off-campus audiences in the tradition of The Wisconsin Idea – the notion that the knowledge and solutions generated at the University benefit the people of Wisconsin, our nation and our world.

Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Projects:
The maximum award for this call will be $120,000. Project duration may range from one to three years. To get a sense of prior funded projects, see Previously Funded Projects.

Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Mini-Grants: The maximum award for this call will be $4,000. Up to ten (10) mini-grants will be awarded. These grants will be more modest in scale and duration, and are designed to enable seed projects or preliminary efforts to foster innovation and experimentation. These grants are not intended to fund conference attendance or professional development activities.

The amount granted each year is determined by the annual income from the Wisconsin Idea endowment.

For mini-grant proposals, the committee will be looking for pre-proposals that accomplish the following:

  1. Build on expertise and past experiences developed at UW–Madison where modest additional support will help further develop a promising idea or practice;
  2. Articulate goals, proposed methods and objectives in clear, concise and easily understood language;
  3. Include evidence that an external partner is interested in using our knowledge and expertise and is likely to commit to participating in the project;
  4. Have already identified the issue or opportunity to be worked on, or assess the need for the project.

For project proposals between $4,001 and $120,000, the committee will be looking for pre-proposals that accomplish the following:

  1. Build on expertise and past experiences developed at UW–Madison;
  2. Are very specific and fully articulate the goals, methods and objectives in clear, concise and easily understood language;
  3. Include evidence that an external partner is interested in collaborating and is willing to commit to participating in the project (such as having been involved upfront in the issue identification and/or the project plan);
  4. Have a well thought out plan with evidence that the issue or project opportunity exists (such as preliminary assessment or partner communications) and evidence or rationale that the proposed translational activities actually work (most successful projects have previously conducted some sort of pilot effort to determine the best approach to effectively share and apply knowledge and expertise). Describe the project’s impact and how this impact is measured and communicated.

A committee will review the proposals and make recommendations to the Provost about which proposals to fund. Proposals are ranked based on the documented need addressed by the project, evidence of existing partners or co-sponsors, the merit of the proposed activities, and the interests and capacities of the person(s) and university unit submitting the proposal. The Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment review committee also considers the geographic distribution of projects and the breadth of activities across the disciplines in making its funding recommendations to the Provost.

Please note that the fund is not intended to duplicate existing outreach projects, provide bridge funding for established programs, or replace activities that are a part of a unit’s normal operation. Further, the endowment is not intended to support the development of new undergraduate or graduate courses or student recruitment programs.

How to proceed

Please use the left-hand navigation menu to view the pre-proposal guidelines, pre-proposal cover sheet, budget submission form, budget instructions, previously funded projects, and to find out more about Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin.

The Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Call for Proposals involves two steps: 1) UW–Madison faculty, staff, or students must first submit a pre-proposal; and 2) Individuals whose pre-proposals are accepted will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Project Pre-proposals consist of a cover sheet, a pre-proposal of up to two 1.5-spaced pages, and a budget spreadsheet. Pre-proposals with cover sheet and budget are due in your Dean's Office, with sign-off from your department chair, by Monday, December 5, 2016. (Note that the pre-proposal cover sheet must be submitted on-line before being printed out for the department chair/unit director and dean signatures.) One copy of the pre-proposal with signed cover sheet and budget sheet is due in the Provost’s office by Wednesday, December 14, 2016. A scanned (pdf) copy of the pre-proposal packet may be emailed to Provost@provost.wisc.edu by the deadline, however the original should also be sent or delivered to the Provost's Office. 

Pre-proposals for mini-grants (requesting funding of $4,000 or less) consist of a cover sheet and a pre-proposal of up to two 1.5 spaced pages describing the project. These pages should include the budget requested and information on how these funds will be spent. The budget spreadsheet is NOT required for mini-grant proposals, but may be submitted if desired. The committee may select mini-grants directly from the pre-proposal pool, but reserves the right to ask for a full proposal, if the committee believes that additional information is necessary to make a decision about the proposed activity.

The target date for notification to those who will be encouraged to submit full proposals is Monday, February 6, 2017. Mini-grant pre-proposals selected for funding may also be awarded at this time.

Full proposals are due in your Dean’s Office, with sign-off from your department chair, by Wednesday, March 29, 2017 with the final signed copy (cover sheet, full proposal, budget sheet) due in the Provost’s Office by Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Again, a scanned (pdf) copy of the full proposal packet may be emailed to Provost@provost.wisc.edu, however the original should also be sent or delivered to the Provost's Office. Every effort will be made to provide notification of those receiving funding by Monday, May 15, 2017. Projects can start on or after July 1, 2017.

As a condition of the endowment, progress reports are required for multiple-year projects, with funding for years two and/or three contingent upon satisfactory progress towards meeting project objectives. Furthermore, all projects must submit a final report.

Proposals from individual students or student organizations must have a co-sponsoring faculty or staff member within a University department/unit.

Project budget

Both pre- and full proposals requesting funding over $4,000 must include a detailed budget sheet. Projects may last up to three years. The maximum funding for projects (whether the projects last one year or three years) is $120,000. Mini-grant pre-proposals are not required to submit the detailed budget sheet, but should include budget information in the body of the pre-proposal.