Innovation and Seed Funds

Drawing primarily from ICR funds, the University Library invests in its future by funding research that will advance innovative ideas and services in support of the communities it serves.  Two categories of funding are available.  All proposals will be reviewed semiannually (June 30 and December 31 application submission deadlines) by a small group drawn from the Library’s Executive Committee and from the AULs, with recommendations advanced to the University Librarian.

Innovation Funding

The objective of this funding is to provide opportunities for Library Faculty and Academic Professionals to be innovative and make original contributions to the ways in which the Library works. Aligning with the Library’s strategic plan and/or long-term vision, the proposal must do one or more of these premises:

  • Pilot or advance new ideas, services, or technologies
  • Investigate new or alternative ideas, technologies, or processes for conducting or organizing Library activities
  • Encourage users in using and enhancing library-managed content
  • Initiate or advance strategic partnerships with other campus units, other libraries or library consortia; or other organizations
  • Demonstrate scalability

Seed Funding

Seed monies will be awarded for institutional research leading to future grants.  Funding will be available to Library Faculty or Academic Professionals who wish to develop and/or pilot small projects to test design prior to preparing formal applications for external funding of full-scale projects.


Applications should be submitted as a Word document or PDF to the Vice Chair of EC. Applications should include the following:

  • The project idea
  • Objectives: what problem(s) will it solve
  • How it fits with existing activities in the Library
  • Resources needed (be specific, e.g., for backfill, equipment, hourly employees)
  • Sustainability (for Innovation Funding)
  • Likely funding sources (for Seed Funding)
  • Time-line
  • How to measure benefits of the project
  • How to determine whether the project has succeeded or failed
  • Which other Library and/or University units have been consulted with in the development of this proposal

To facilitate evaluation of the project and its impacts on the library, answers should be substantive and offer sufficient rationale and detail.  In addition, all applicants should submit drafts of proposals to the Director of Library IT and the AUL for Digital Strategies for feedback on feasibility and likely IT support needs, prior to submitting final versions to EC.  Library IT will work with applicants to identify the potential IT impact of their proposal.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have consulted closely with other Library and/or University staff in units whose support is necessary for the project’s success.

Although we urge individuals to plan activities and apply for funding well in advance, we are aware that there are sometimes emerging opportunities. We will therefore accept occasional applications off-cycle. If you are filing an off-cycle application of this kind, it is necessary for you to explain why you were not able to request funding on the normal application schedule.

All successful awardees are required to submit a short report at the end of the project’s specified timeline.

EC 5/9/2022

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