Center for Social Research

CSR Funding - Small Grant Program and Guidelines

This support is available primarily to Calvin College employees.


  1. The application must provide all the information requested on the application form. Applicants may attach up to one additional page of explanation, if necessary. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the CSR director prior to submitting an application. Applications should be reasonably detailed, as space allows, about the project's hypotheses, design, execution, and research value.
  2. Applications are accepted at any time. Applications should be submitted by using the CSR Project Proposal Form.
  3. Proposals are reviewed by the CSR director in batches at October 15, January 15 and April 15 each year. Urgent requests will be considered but may not receive priority.
  4. Support up to $1,000 in funds or up to $3,000 of in-kind support from CSR staff and tools are permitted; larger requests may be considered on their merits but are generally not supported. All applications for cash support in excess of $1,000 will be forwarded to the CSR Board for review at its next regular meeting (usually three times per year, roughly November, February and April). Applications received after April 15 will be considered at the first fall meeting.
  5. Normally, applicants will be informed of the CSR decision within two weeks of the proposal batch deadline or, if applicable due to larger requests, immediately after the relevant Board meeting.
  6. If approved, funds will be immediately available after the applicant is notified; in-kind support availability will be available as permitted by CSR's workload.
  7. Funds should be spent within 12 months from the date the request was approved. Deviations from this deadline should be reported to the CSR.

Award Criteria

The following criteria are used to determine decisions on funding requests:

  1. Grant funds and support are intended to be used for activities not normally covered by other internal funding programs.
  2. The projects must be by social scientists, or employ research methods typical of scholars in the social sciences.
  3. The projects should primarily advance the research interests of Calvin College faculty.
  4. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, transcription costs, data collection costs, postage costs, and similar expenses. In-kind funding in the form of CSR services may be requested. Salary replacement is not fundable, nor is travel to conferences or the indexing of books and other manuscripts.
  5. Preference is given to applications that involve the use of Calvin students.
  6. The Center welcomes applications that use the services or expertise of the Center itself. Proposals for in-kind grants are welcome.

Award Conditions

  1. Grants of funds are generally awarded on a cost reimbursement basis for services provided or materials purchased. Award recipients should NOT seek their own reimbursement for out-of-pocket payments made to persons working on the project. Rather, these persons should be directly reimbursed. For equipment and materials purchased, the CSR will reimburse the applicants, provided that receipts or other documentation is available.
  2. Expenses above the amount approved by CSR are not allowed. Applicants will be personally responsible for such overages.
  3. At the completion of the project, each grant recipient is expected to submit a brief memorandum summarizing the results of the project for which s/he received the grant. This memorandum should be submitted to the CSR at the completion of the project. If such a memorandum is not submitted, future applications for CSR funds by the applicant may be disadvantaged.
  4. Grant recipients may be required to make a presentation of findings in a CSR-sponsored venue.