News Archive

C-RASC Seed Funding Opportunity | Spring 2021

Follow C-RASC on Twitter

Recent Tweets

*** The 2021 C-RASC Seed Grants have been awarded. Scroll down to the C-RASC Seed-Funded Projects on our Funded Projects page to learn about the awardees***


Purpose: The following Seed Grant Program is supported by Mason’s Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) to provide financial support to Mason researchers to conduct preliminary research and/or develop data in support of seeking extramural funding on transdisciplinary projects related to resilient and sustainable communities.

I. Program Description

This program is designed to provide seed funding for Mason researchers who intend to seek extramural funding for transdisciplinary projects related to resilient and sustainable communities, which are greater than or equal to $100,000. This includes, but is not limited to, projects related to social, political, environmental, ecological and/or technological aspects of topics such as:

  • Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
  • Infrastructure Resilience
  • Cyber and Cyber-Physical Systems Resilience
  • Coastal/Ecosystem Resilience
  • Natural Resource Use/Management
  • Water/Energy/Transportation/Agriculture
  • Pandemic Resilience
  • Community Well-Being (e.g. Food Security, Health Outcomes, Civic Engagement, Social Equity, Digital Divide)
  • Sustainability/Sustainable Development

A requirement of a seed grant award is that the recipient will submit an application for extramural support, indicating C-RASC as an affiliated center in the Office of Sponsored Program’s request for proposal support. Affiliating C-RASC with a proposal has no impact on departmental indirects. The extramural funding application should be submitted within approximately one calendar year of the award date of the seed grant, or the awardee must provide a written update on progress toward submission. Within 60 days of the submission of the extramural funding proposal, a copy of that proposal, along with a final report of seed grant activities should be sent to crasc@gmu.eduOnce the extramural funding proposal is submitted, an additional $1,000 (separate from the proposed budget) will be allocated, as the team determines, to research team members’ indirect accounts. These funds can be used for professional development, travel, research or other professional expenditures, as Mason policy allows.

Awarded projects will be asked to include the C-RASC logo on all printed materials related to the proposed activities, and include, where appropriate, the following statement: This __________ is supported, in part, by the Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities.

II. Award Criteria

A number of highly competitive awards, generally limited to $10,000 (exceptions may be made), will be funded based on the probability that this funding will translate into significant funded extramural grants as described above. Awards are for costs associated with conducting preliminary research and/or developing data needed to apply for extramural funding. Awards may also be used for faculty stipends or summer salary, as appropriate and allowed by Mason policy. Priority will be given to transdisciplinary, collaborative projects for which the sponsor will allow for the payment of indirect costs.

III. Review Criteria

1. Applicant and team qualifications

  • Does the project involve the formation of or collaboration with a diverse transdisciplinary team?
  • Does the applicant have the appropriate experience/training to carry out the proposed research?
  • Is the proposed project/activity further supported by other sources of seed funding?
  • Is the applicant a C-RASC member? (Not a requirement; Contact to discuss C-RASC membership)

2. Relevance of project to resilient/sustainable communities

  • Does the seed funding application make a strong case to explain how the seed-funded project is relevant to resilient/sustainable communities?

3. Intellectual merit

  • Does seed-funded project lead to a project/activity that will advance intellectual merit and discovery?
  • Can the seed-funded project be executed in a timely manner?
  • If the aims are achieved, will they form a basis for an extramural proposal?

4. Well-defined plan for submitting a proposal for external funding

  • Does the application include a target agency for application?
  • Does the application provide a URL to the specific announcement?
  • Does the application state how success of the seed-funded work will lead to larger application for the research team?

IV. Eligibility

  • This program is intended to help Mason researchers to develop projects related to resilient, sustainable communities, specifically in support of submitting a proposal for extramural funding. Any Mason researchers whose research is administered through OSP are eligible (including adjunct or affiliate faculty who are eligible with approval of their dean or institute director).

V. Period of Award

  • Award funds may be expended at any time during the twelve-month period following the award (or until the external funding proposal is submitted if an extension has been granted).

VI. Application Timing

Applications are due no later than April 9, 2021, with the review and decision occurring by May 3. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF via email to with the subject line: C-RASC Seed Funding Request <APPLICANT-LAST-NAME>.

VII. Application Process

A. Applications must include the following (see subsection B. Application Details below):

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Project description
  3. Specific plan for the development of the extramural proposal
  4. References
  5. Budget with budget narrative
  6. Biographical Sketch
  7. Dean/Director and Chair approval

B. Application Details

  1. Cover Sheet: Cover sheet must include applicant information (name, academic unit, email, C-RASC membership status – if applicable); Project title; Total budget requested; Extramural funding proposal to be supported by this seed funding (with link to solicitation, if available).
  2. Project Description: Maximum of 4 pages (single‐spaced, 1” margins, at least 10-pt Arial or 11pt Times New Roman) for non‐specialist readers. The description should be brief, non‐technical and include:
    1. General background
    2. Statement of the central problem or question to be addressed by this research, its scholarly significance and its relevance to resilient and sustainable communities.
    3. Objectives of the project, the methods to be employed and (where relevant) the project’s relation to existing literature in the field.
    4. Description of how the project will assist in competition for external research support.
    5. Statement of applicant and team’s qualifications.
    6. Project timetable for completion of the major elements of the project
  1. Specific plan for the development of the extramural proposal (1 page):
    1. Sponsor to which you intend to apply for extramural funds (including link to the solicitation, if available)
    2. Extramural proposal application deadline
    3. List of other faculty/disciplines with whom you will be collaborating to develop the extramural proposal and their departments/units
  1. References: Limited to 1 additional page
  2. Budget with budget narrative: Itemized project costs and budget narrative should not exceed 1 page. Please note that applicants are welcome and encouraged to combine C-RASC seed funding with other seed funding, as long as the other seed funding does not disallow it. Examples of allowable expenses include (but are not limited to): support for travel and supplies; postdoctoral candidate stipends; full or partial stipends and tuition for advanced graduate students who have completed their coursework; and research stipends for undergraduate research assistants. No indirect expenses should be included.
  3. Applicant’s Biographical Sketch: Not to exceed 2 pages; NSF-format is appropriate.
  4. Chair Approval: The applicant must provide a brief letter of approval from their Department Chair. If you are the Chair of your department, your letter of approval should come from your Dean/Director. Letters should be included with the application and should not exceed 1 page.

** Applications should be submitted as a single PDF (no longer than 11 pages) via email to with the subject line: C-RASC Seed Funding Request <APPLICANT-LAST-NAME>.

VIII. Selection: The Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities awards seed grants upon recommendation of the Director, in consultation with the Assistant Director for Research Operations and an appointed, ad-hoc committee of at least 2 additional C-RASC members. Members cannot serve on a review committee for their own seed funding requests. Please note that success in receiving extramural funds under the Seed Grant Program will be considered in future applications to this program.

IX. Equity Statement: C-RASC is committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

X. Contact Information: Contact with any questions.