SJSU RSCA (Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity) Seed Grant Program

Award Period: July 1, 2021, through August 31, 2022

General Description and Instructions

The Office of Research, in the Division of Research and Innovation, announces the SJSU RSCA Seed Grant Program (formerly known as the CSU Central RSCA Grant Program), partially funded by the Chancellor’s Office, in support of Unit 3 faculty RSCA. Applicants are invited to submit proposals for funding to assist them as they advance an on-going RSCA project or as they launch a new avenue of RSCA. Faculty who receive funding through this program are expected to submit a report on award results, share their accomplishments at a campus-wide event, and serve as a resource for future applicants. Applications must be submitted via InfoReady by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. See Proposal Submission Process section for further information. Late proposals will not be accepted.


All Unit 3 faculty are eligible. Only one proposal per faculty member may be submitted. Collaborative proposals submitted by more than one faculty member will be considered. In such cases, each faculty member should write their own proposal independently describing the joint effort in general and their particular contribution in greater detail. Indicate whether the project can go forward if only one faculty member’s proposal is funded. Collaborative proposals that contain identical sections will not be reviewed.


By 5:00 p.m., February 3, 2021 (Wednesday), faculty members submit proposals via InfoReady.  

By 5:00 p.m., February 17, 2021 (Wednesday), Department Chair/School Director/College Dean (or designee) review/approve submission via InfoReady.

By 5:00 p.m., February 24, 2021 (Wednesday), College review committees submit their review to the Office of Research 

By 5:00 p.m, March 4, 2021 (Thursday), RSCA Advisory Council submit their recommendations to the Office of Research

By late April, the Office of Research sends Notification Letters to faculty

Types of Funding

  • $5,000 fellowship salary award*, July 2021 or June 2022
  • $5,000 fellowship salary award*, July 2021 or June 2022, and up to $2,500 in RSCA-related expenses
  • Up to $5,000 in RSCA-related expenses

*Fellowship salary award option is available to Unit 3 Faculty members with a Semester appointment, an Academic Year (AY) appointment, or a 12-month faculty appointment of .8 or less. The fellowship salary award is considered taxable income and is taxed as follows: 

  • Federal tax: 22%
  • State tax: 6.6%
  • Social Security and Medicare: 7.65%.

Proposal Submission Process

Applicants must submit their SJSU RSCA Seed Grant Program proposals via Infoready. Once logged in with InfoReady, follow the online instructions, answer the required questions, and upload the proposal narrative. You will also need to upload the Budget Request and Justification form.

The proposal narrative may not exceed three pages and should be written in a style that is easily accessible to a reviewer from outside the applicant’s discipline or area of expertise.  Those narratives written with jargon or technical language tend to be less favorably reviewed.

The proposal narrative needs to address the following elements:

  1. A statement of the need or problem to be addressed.
  2. The scope of work for the proposed project including methodology.
  3. The likely impact of this work on the fields involved.
  4. A description of how this work will enhance your short- and long-term RSCA plans.
  5. A description of how this RSCA will enhance student outcomes at SJSU.
  6. Plan for sustaining the project or its logical offshoot with seeking external funding.
  7. A timeline for the project.
  8. References/works cited, as appropriate (not counted as part of the 3-page limit). 

Criteria for Selection

Proposals will be evaluated at the college and University Library levels and categorized into: fund at all costs (category 5), fund if sufficient funds are available (category 3), or do not fund at this stage (category 1). 

The following criteria will be considered:

  • Clarity and completeness of the proposal
  • Contribution to knowledge and scholarship in the discipline (i.e., state significance)
  • Likely educational impact on students
  • Feasibility of the proposed activity within the timeline
  • Consistency of the budget request with respect to the proposed project. 


  • IP Policy Reminder: You will abide by the terms of the University IP Policy (F98-3) and cooperate with efforts to protect and promote any intellectual property related to the funded work. You understand that the funding is provided as extraordinary resources to support your research, scholarship and creative activity (RSCA) and to advance the innovation goals of the University. 
  • Gift Cards: Gift cards can now be used as an incentive to encourage participation in research if required for your RSCA project. [Remember to seek IRB approval.]
  • Information Sharing: Information contained in the application proposal or attachment(s) may be shared with SJSU Division of Research and Innovation, Academic Affairs, and/or the CSU Chancellor’s Office—if requested.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the SJSU RSCA Seed Grant Program, please contact the Office of Research at using “SJSU RSCA Seed Grant” in the subject line.

Additional Note: Previously awarded SJSU Central RSCA Grant awards (2019-2020) spending periods are extended through June 30, 2021.

The extension affects grants with budgets which included RSCA-related expenses such as travel, supplies, student assistants.  [Awards with release time or fellowship salary awards are not affected.] Reach out to your department, or Office of Research, for assistance with your budget.