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WISE Grant Application and Information




For a printable version of this information please click Grant Description.

The Women in Scientific Education (WISE) Initiative is a PAID (Partnership for Adaptation, Implementation and Dissemination) grant that is funded by the ADVANCE Program at NSF. This initiative is aimed at increasing the participation and advancement of women faculty members in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at the College of William & Mary (W&M), the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Richard Bland College (RBC) and Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC).

One of the goals of the WISE Initiative is to offer funding sources to support female faculty in the STEM disciplines. There are 5 grant mechanisms: W&M/VIMS summer research grants, Inter-institutional collaboration grants, Transition grants, Seed grants, and Travel awards.

1. Summer Research grants. The grants are intended for female faculty who have been as yet unsuccessful in obtaining external funding for their research, and to promote full-time research activities during 10 weeks of the summer. Grants will provide up to $4,000 summer salary to the applicant and $1,000 for research expenses. Click here for an application.

2. Inter-institutional Collaboration grants. These grants are intended to support collaborative research projects involving faculty from at least two of the participating institutions. Grants of $7,000 will be awarded to the research team who may use the funds for salary, equipment or research supplies. However, in terms of salary, there are two conditions: (1) a maximum of $6000 may be used for faculty salaries and (2) salary for one individual will be capped at $4000. Click here for an application.

3. Transition grants. These summer grants are intended to help female faculty as they deal with the stress and challenges of a major life transition. Such transitions include, but are not limited to, the birth or adoption of a child, a personal medical condition, caring for an elderly parent, or a major family illness. Grants will provide $4,000 in summer salary and $1,000 for research expenses. Applications for this grant must include a written statement about the type of transition being experienced and how it has impacted their career thus far. Additionally, a letter of support from the applicant’s department chair must be included. Click here for the application.

4. Seed grants. These grants are intended to support exploratory/pilot research projects with the intention of collecting data that will be used for an external grant application. Applications will be accepted three times each year (March 15, July 15 and November 15). This grant may be used for equipment, supplies or other research expenses, but will not cover faculty salary. The maximum amount of these grants will be $3,500. Click here for an application.

5. Travel awards. Applications for travel awards will be accepted three times per year (March 15, July 15 and November 15), for travel that will occur sometime during the four months following the application deadline. A statement regarding the purpose of the travel (scientific presentation, invited address, education, networking) as well as an itemized list of estimated expenses must be included with the application. Applications can be found here:

6.Teaching Resource Grants. The goal of this grant is to support female faculty members in their mission to provide meaningful scientific demonstrations and research experiences to students within the classroom, independent studies or honor projects. For all awardees of this grant, there is an expectation that they will write a protocol for the experiment/demonstration which will include the experimental question or goal, the materials and methods required, and the outcome, to be submitted at the end of the semester. This will be posted on the WISE website so that we may create a repository of "Experiments in a Box," ideas that may be shared with other STEM faculty members for teaching. All awardees will also be invited to an informal year-end reception in which they will be asked to present the project in the form of a poster.  Applications can be found here.




To be eligible for a WISE grant or award, both of the following criteria must be met:

1. Principal investigator. Only female members of the faculty of The College of William & Mary (W&M), the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Richard Bland College (RBC) and Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) who are not emeritus and who are at the rank of visiting, assistant or associate professor are eligible to serve as the PI on a WISE grant application. Applications will be received from all academic departments and schools from these institutions.

2. The proposal must address a scientific question and use the scientific method to answer the question.

Conditions of Grants (with the exception of Travel awards)

1. Grants are made with the expectation that the recipient will remain in the service of their institution (W&M, VIMS, RBC or TNCC). A recipient who resigns from, or is not retained by, their institution will be required to relinquish the grant or the unexpended portion thereof.

2. The three summer grants (Summer Research grants, Inter-institutional Collaboration grants and Transition grants) are made with the expectation that the recipient will devote full energies to research during a 10-week period of the summer. Other research conducted with salary support from another source or employment of any kind may be consistent with the terms of the WISE summer grants only if the Committee certifies that it does not conflict with the applicant’s ability to complete the proposed project (recipients should be prepared to provide a statement to this effect and appropriate documentation about the time involved in any additional professional activities).

3. Recipients of WISE summer research grants should acknowledge this support in all subsequent publications or other work arising from research conducted during the term of

the grant in the following manner: “Research supported by a Women in Scientific Education (WISE) grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to the College of William & Mary.”

4. Recipients of any grant type should provide the WISE Initiative Committee a 1-2 page report (double-spaced) of the results of their research and/or the benefits provided by a Seed grant. This report should be submitted no later than one month following the end of the grant cycle. Failure to submit a report in a timely fashion will cause the recipient to be ineligible for future grant submissions.

The Application

The entire application should be compiled into a single pdf file and e-mailed to Applications which do not adhere to the limitation on length or are received after the deadlines will not be considered.

1. Application cover page. Be sure to indicate the type of grant mechanism you are applying for on the cover page.

2. Research proposal. Proposals should state specifically the goal of the research project and why the research question being addressed is important and significant to the field. The applications will be reviewed by colleagues familiar with research, but who are likely not experts in the applicant’s field. It is up to the applicant to make the research project comprehensible to the reviewers. Proposed research activities should be described in 2-3 pages (single-spaced, double-spaced between paragraphs, a minimum of one-inch margins, minimum 11-pt font).

3. Curriculum vitae. Current vitae of the PI and, if relevant, the collaborator must be included.

Additional application materials:

Inter-institutional collaboration grant applications should contain a justification for the collaborator’s role, including the quantity of work to be done, the planned division of labor and any special expertise which makes the collaborator essential to the project. This justification should be concise (500 words) and is not included in the 2-3 page limit of the research proposal. Note that there are no restrictions on academic rank or gender of the collaborator, although these individuals must be a member of the faculty at one of the participating institutions.

Seed grants must include a detailed budget. Budgets should be prepared in a spreadsheet. All items for amounts greater than $1,000 should be itemized. Lab supplies generally considered disposable do not need to be listed individually.

Evaluation criteria

Within the limits of available funds, the WISE Initiative Committee desires to support research in all fields and by all female members of the faculty who are using the scientific method to address a research question. The intrinsic scholarly merit of the project to the extent that it is successfully communicated in the research proposal is the primary criterion for evaluation. A second criterion is the previous research record of the applicant. Preference will be given to female faculty who are early in their careers and who have not received external funding within the past three years in support of their research.

Notification of payment

Applicants will be notified by the WISE Initiative Committee if their proposals are selected for funding. For Summer grants, award notifications will be sent on or before May 1, 2013. Applicants selected for funding will receive a one-time payment on June 15th for the full amount awarded less applicable taxes. For Seed grants and Travel awards, award notifications will be sent within 2 weeks of the deadline.