Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Grants

The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Grants are one type of grant provided through the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. Seed grants often seek to explore or expand new dimensions of existing translational outreach, community-based, and research and public engagement activities. Seed grants 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.

Students and Postdoctoral fellows:  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 and postdoctoral fellows 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 or postdoctoral fellow on a proposal should be the individual who registers in the online proposal system and submits the seed grant proposal.

Seed Grant Criteria and Funding

Seed 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, 2024
  • Project Duration: Variable, but typically one year

Submit Proposals Online

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

Submission Process and Guidelines

Follow the instructions outlined below.

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

Proposal Submission Process

Step 1: Write a narrative that describes the Seed Project and create a budget.

Step 2: Submit a proposal by September 30, 2023, via the online proposal system using your NetID and password. Once logged into the system, click on “Submit a Proposal” in the menu bar and then select “Baldwin Grant Seed Project Proposal, 2023-24.”

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

All materials must be submitted online.

Step 3: Applicants must submit proposals to their department chair or unit director via the online proposal system for approval. The deadline for approval by the department chair is October 9, 2023. If an applicant’s unit is not departmentalized (e.g., School of Nursing), the proposal must be submitted directly to the dean’s office. The approval deadline at the dean level is October 16, 2023.

Step 4: Once approved by the department chair or unit director, proposals must 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 October 16, 2023.

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: Applicants will receive notification of their proposal status. Target notification date: mid December 2023. In rare circumstances, a Seed Project Grant applicant may be asked to submit additional information before a final selection is made.

For questions regarding the submission process, contact

Proposal Guidelines

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 and is engaged in the planning.
  • 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.


The combined content for the pre-proposal narrative sections cannot exceed 2 letter-sized PDF pages.


Page size:  8.5 x 11

Margins: 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an identfier may be within the 1″ margin.

Font: 11 point or larger.

Required Sections

The narrative portion of your proposal must be structured using the following headings:

  1. Program Plan and Objectives
  2. Intended Audience
  3. Partner(s)
  4. Anticipated Outcomes
  5. Time Frame and Location
  6. Personnel
  7. Budget

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

  • Describe the audience that will be served and engaged with, and how the audience will benefit from 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.


  1. Identify partnering organizations and co-sponsors.
  2. Include in-kind support and/or financial support.
  3. Explain how partners will be involved in the project and how they are being included at various stages of project development and implementation.

Anticipated outcomes

Describe anticipated outcomes and how the impact will be documented.

Time frame and location

  • Describe the project time frame.
  • Indicate where the activity(s)/program(s) will take place.


  • List the name, title, affiliation and a one-sentence description of the role of key personnel.
  • Include faculty, staff, RA/PA, or student hourly support, as needed.


Applicants can provide the budget details in the narrative as a table within the 2-page PDF document. Some applicants prefer to use the Reilly-Baldwin Project Grant Budget Sheet (download here).  Applicants who use the separate Project Grant Budget Sheet will upload it as a separate PDF document within the online application system.

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.


Catherine Reiland, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Reilly-Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant Program,, 608-262-0380

Submission Deadline

September 30, 2023

Information Sessions:

Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023

10:00-11:00 a.m.
via Zoom
Register for Sept 7 here

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023

4:00-5:00 p.m.
via Zoom
Register for Sept 13 here


September 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. CST

  • Seed Project Grant proposals due

October 9, 2023

  • Department chair approval deadline

October 16, 2023

  • Dean (or designee) approval deadline

Mid December 2023

  • Applicants notified of proposal status