Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Project Grants

The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Project Grants are one type of grant provided through the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. Seed Projects often seek to explore or expand new dimensions of existing translational outreach, community-based, and research and public engagement activities. Seed Projects are animated by innovative ideas and are shaped by the priorities, needs, and interests of the communities they serve.


All UW-Madison faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply.

Important notes for students: Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to consider applying for the Morgridge Center for Public Service Wisconsin Idea Fellowships as an alternative to the Baldwin grants. However, all student grant proposals submitted to the Baldwin Committee will receive full consideration. Students must have a co-project leader who is a faculty or staff member. That faculty or staff member’s home unit will be responsible for managing the Baldwin grant funds, if awarded. The faculty or staff member who is working with the student on a proposal must be the individual who registers in the online proposal system and submits the seed grant proposal.

Seed Project Criteria and Funding

Seed Project Grants are designed to enable smaller projects or preliminary efforts to foster innovation and experimentation. The grants are not intended to fund conference attendance or professional development activities.

The number of projects funded each year is determined by the annual income from the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment.

  • Funding Range: Up to $4,000
  • Project Start Date: On or after July 1, 2021
  • Project Duration: Variable, but typically one year

New criteria for the 2020-21 cycle:  Project leaders must demonstrate how the proposed project can make progress under current COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. If more direct interpersonal contact is required, we encourage you to wait until the 2021-22 cycle to submit a Baldwin grant proposal.

Submit Proposals Online

All proposal components must be submitted via the online proposal system (Net ID and password required).

Submission Process and Guidelines

Follow the instructions outlined below or  download a PDF copy of instructions.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Proposal Submission Process

Step 1: Develop a proposal including a budget.

Step 2: Submit a proposal by November 9, 2020, via the online proposal system using your Net ID and password. Once logged into the system, click on “Submit a Proposal” in the menu bar and then select “Baldwin Grant Seed Project Proposal, 2020-21.”

Proposals must include a brief project title, proposal abstract and required proposal information.

All materials must be submitted online.

Step 3: Applicants should submit proposals to their department chair or unit director via the online proposal system for approval. If an applicant’s unit is not departmentalized (e.g., School of Nursing), the proposal should be submitted directly to the dean’s office. For seed projects that require a department chair’s approval, the deadline for approval by the department chair is November 20, 2020.

Step 4: Once approved by the department chair or unit director, proposals should be routed, via the online proposal system, to the designated dean for approval. For seed proposals that go directly to the dean’s office or those reviewed and advanced from the department level, the approval deadline at the dean level is December 4, 2020.

Applicants should check the approval status of their proposals in the online system. Applicants are responsible for securing approval of their proposals by their department chairs/unit directors and deans.

Step 5: Receive notification of proposal status. Target notification date: end of January 2021. In rare circumstances, a Seed Project Grant applicant may be asked to submit additional information before a final selection is made.

Please direct questions regarding the submission process to Laurie Leininger in the Office of the Provost (

Proposal Guidelines


A Seed Project Grant proposal should not exceed two pages in PDF form (including budget request).

General Guidelines

  • Articulate clear goals and objectives. Use clear and concise language.
  • Thoroughly describe the project activities.
  • Demonstrate that an external partner is poised to collaborate.
  • Reference evidence that links these activities to the expected outcomes.
  • If available, describe preliminary evaluation results in order to demonstrate anticipated project outcomes.
  • Describe intended outcome and impact, including how this impact will be measured and communicated.

Required Categories

The sections described below are required content in the online proposal form (Program Plan and Objectives; Intended Audience, Partner(s) and Anticipated Outcomes; Time Frame, Location and Personnel; Budget). Individuals are encouraged to prepare text prior to completing the online form.

Program Plan and Objectives

  • Describe the problem or opportunity to be addressed.
  • Describe your goals and objectives and explain the methods, techniques and formats.
  • Explain how this project is transferring knowledge and expertise from your unit (and potentially vice versa).
  • Include a statement of how this project is a new initiative or is a new dimension to an existing activity.

Intended audience, partner(s) and anticipated outcomes

  • Describe the audience that will be served and engaged with, and how the audience will benefit from the project.
  • Identify partnering organizations and co-sponsors (including in-kind support and/or financial support) and explain how they will be involved in the project.
  • Include an explanation of how this project is able to overcome potential/perceived operational limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions that could prevent the project from successful completion.

Time frame, Location and Personnel

  • Describe the project timeline and where the activity(s)/program(s) will take place.
  • List the name, title, affiliation and one-sentence description of the role of key personnel.
  • May include faculty, staff, PA/TA or student hourly support


  • Provide budget request in narrative or table format. There is no need to fill out a Budget Request Summary Form.

Final Report Guidelines

All Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment grant recipients – for both Project Grants and Seed Project Grants – are required to submit a final report in their final year of funding. Find further details and instructions for when and how to submit a final report. Please note that Seed Project Grants are required to submit a final report but not required to submit progress reports.


Eden Inoway-Ronnie, Chief of Staff, Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant Coordinator, Office of the Provost

Submission Deadline

November 9, 2020


November 9, 2020

  • Seed Project Grant proposals due

November 20, 2020

  • Department chair approval deadline

December 4, 2020

  • Dean (or designee) approval deadline

End of January 2021

  • Applicants notified of proposal status