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Spark Microgrants

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The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) recognizes the importance of flexible funding to help stimulate ambitious ideas and help faculty find collaborators across the University. To support faculty research, the OVPR makes small grants of up to $1000 to support faculty who wish to convene possible collaborators outside of his or her primary disciplinary area.

Process and Timeline

Applications are online and require some basic information about the collaborators and a short description of the project and budget.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and OVPR will review applications weekly. Projects need to be completed within three months of approval. Therefore, please only apply when you are ready to start. If you need to look out more than three months to get a collaborator scheduled, you are welcome to test the idea with Jasmin Patel (jasminpatel@slu.edu) who can tell you whether it is something OVPR is likely to fund as a Spark Microgrant.

What do these grants support?

The funding supports work that seeks to bring together a new collaboration or to pursue a new opportunity with faculty in different schools and colleges. This does not necessarily preclude collaborations between two departments within the same school, but the fields and methods should be distinct enough to warrant an extra effort to encourage collaboration.

Spark Microgrants aim to support faculty collaborations, if you are asking for something that does not look like it would support a faculty collaboration, you will want to explain it for the reviewers. For example, if you intend to apply for funds to support a student, please make it very clear how the work of the student will enhance the collaborations between the faculty members. OVPR will usually reject requests for supplemental salary support.


Once your project is complete, we need a report on your expenses and a one page summary of what you learned and what you want to do next with this potential collaboration. If your grant is approved, we will provide more details about deliverables and request your fund transfer information