Applying for the Seed Fund? Read these FAQs

As the deadline for our first Seed Fund approaches, we wanted to provide some helpful tips on developing your application for submission by answering some FAQs and providing some insight on the guidelines.



Eligibility
I am not located at a Puerto Rican university but my research will be conducted there, can I still apply?

The Seed Fund is designed to give our local students the financial boost they need to get started in research. So, for the time being, the fund is only available to students who are enrolled at a local university and conducting research here.

I am not a biology or oceanography major, but my undergraduate research project involves studying the plant and animal life located in sand dunes. Does this apply?
I am a molecular biology major. I need to sequence my meiofauna samples that I collected from the ocean. Does this apply?
I am a graduate student with a current grant funding my salary, but my grant no longer has a supply budget. During my sampling, I discovered that I needed to collect more water samples from other sites that I did not originally budget for, but I no longer have a supply budget. Does this apply?
I am not sure if I am eligible. How can I check?


Developing the application
I have never written a project proposal before, where do I begin?

We realize that some students may be very new at writing a research proposal. This grant application may be the first time that you have started to outline and draft your research question. Please do not consider this to be a fault, as we will take this into consideration when we are reviewing the applications. For tips on writing a research proposal, check out this blog post - there's lots of great info here on what to consider!

How can I make my project proposal really stand out?
I am applying to attend a training. Do I still need to write a project proposal focused on my research question, or should it be about the training?
Does the project proposal need to be written in English?
What is a budget justification?
My resume/CV is longer than two pages, is that okay?
My advisor wrote my letter, but sent it to me. Can I submit it to you with my application?



Application Review

Your application will be reviewed by the Isla Mar team. Each project proposal will be judged based on the following criteria:


Eligibility - Does the applicant meet the necessary requirements to apply? Has the applicant submitted every part of the application package? Is the project proposal a maximum of three pages? Is the amount requested equal to or less than $2000? Does the applicant have the skills necessary to achieve the project, or demonstrate the ability to achieve these through training?


Thoroughness - Does the project proposal adequately introduce the research question and demonstrate how the applicant will address the question? Are the methods appropriate to answer the question? Are the expected results within the scope of what can be achieved with the methods? Does the applicant demonstrate an understanding of their topic? Does the project proposal leave no remaining questions about the rationale, design, and expected results?


Use of Funds - Are the intended use of funds appropriate for the project's goals? Will the funds help the project or applicant achieve their intended results? Is the funding amount requested appropriate?


Reference - Is the support from the advisor clear and concise? Does the advisor demonstrate that they know of the applicant's ability to achieve the project goals?




We hope these FAQs have helped answer any lingering questions about the Seed Fund application process and review. If you have any additional questions, please be sure to reach out soon so we can answer quickly! Remember that your application is due on May 30!