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Office of the Provost

Provost Grants

How to Apply

Completed proposal packets should follow the application procedure as outlined. Title page, three-page project narrative, current and pending support documentation, budget form, detailed budget justification, references and biographical sketch are all required. Select a section below for instructions and template files.

For more information on how to submit a proposal online, see the USCeRA submission instructions.

Required Grant Proposal Elements

Title Page (required)

Project Narrative

The three page Project Narrative should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include: 

  1. A brief discussion of the background of the scholarship activity
  2. Objectives
  3. Significance of the scholarship work
  4. Timeline with expected accomplishments during the course of the grant
  5. Work plan with potential impact of and specific outcomes of the project.  The work plan must include the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and when appropriate, provide a clear description of experimental methods and procedures.  The applicants should address what they want to do (activities), why they want to do it (significance/justification), how they will know if they achieve success (outcomes) and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful (impact). 

Follow-up report on previous project (if applicable)

If the applicant has received a previous grant sponsored by the Office of the Provost (including CTE grants if applying for a pedagogy grant) or the Office of Research, the application must include a one-page follow-up report on the earlier project, focusing on the project’s impact and outcomes.  This report is required regardless of whether the current application directly relates to the earlier project.

Current and Pending Support

This section of the proposal calls for required information on all current grant funding and pending grant funding from both extramural and internal sources (e.g., federal, state, local, or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations, all university internal grant programs).

See the current and pending support template [pdf].

Budget and Justification

detailed budget [xls] for total project costs and a budget justification [pdf], which clearly justifies each cost, consistent with the list of allowable/unallowable costs shown below. The proposal may request funds under any of the categories listed so long as the item and amount are considered necessary, reasonable, allocable, and allowable under the program solicitation. Amounts and expenses budgeted also must be consistent with the University policies and procedures.  If other funding is attained, commitments against this internal award should be reduced. View the Budget Primer [pdf] for more information.

Allowable costs*

  • Salary and fringe benefits of undergraduate students and graduate students
  • Faculty salary support for summer compensation in compliance with university policy as governed by HR 1.81, limited to the equivalent of one month salary support per project fiscal year. See the Tip Sheet for Calculation of Non-Instructional Summer Compensation [pdf].
  • Buy-out of teaching classes, limited to one course per year (amount is restricted up to $6,500 or less per course—cannot exceed standard department payment). The Course Buyout Request Form [pdf] is required with the initial application.
  • Equipment (acquisition cost of $5,000 or more).
  • Computers (Requests for computers must demonstrate that computers are essential to the project and not otherwise available to the project).Note: Computers become the property of the department upon completion of the project.
  • Project costs and supplies (such as completing a book or article, developing or producing an exhibit, film, compact disc or DVD, pursuit of new work, etc.)
  • Contractual services (detailed justification required).
  • Travel essential to conduct the project (detailed justification required). Note that the work plan of a proposal could be built around travel to a particular library or archives for focused research using documents or other resources not otherwise available. See the Tip Sheet for Travel [pdf].

*Note: All expenditures must be made in accordance with university policies and procedures. All expenditures must be submitted through normal purchasing processes.


Unallowable costs

  • Costs in connection with faculty degree requirements
  • Travel to professional meetings
  • Undergraduate tuition and fees
  • Academic year salary for any faculty
  • Compensation for research grant employees
  • Compensation for classified/unclassified staff
  • Retroactive expenses
  • Personal consumption (food/beverage) items
  • Gift/debit cards


Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. Applicants must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. While there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the three-page Project Narrative.

Biographical Sketch

A two-page biographical sketch of the principal investigator and of the co-investigator(s), if any, should include professional experience, significant accomplishments and contributions, and other information as appropriate.

Formatting Guidelines

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF that satisfies the formatting guidelines:

  • Standard, single column format for the text
  • Line spacing (single-spaced or double-spaced)
  • Font size: 12 points (except for mathematical formulas, equations or special characters)
  • Margins: 1 inch, in all directions