Special Grants Program




Funding for the Special Grants Program is made possible by gifts to the Southwest Fund. Recipients are selected by the Fundraising Committee of the SMSU Foundation Board of Directors. The purpose of the program is broad and designed to serve the curricular, professional and program development needs/priorities of SMSU.


Comprised of a minimum of three voting members of the Foundation board, this group reviews all grant requests and awards grants based on the dollars available and the priorities established by the Board in consultation with the University administration.


Awarded to encourage a wide variety of projects which enhance the academic quality and reputation of the University and for which there is limited or no appropriated money available. The proposal must present a clear plan describing the purpose of the project and the activities it will accomplish.


The Special Grants program is focused on funding high-impact, innovative, projects that support the strategic priorities of SMSU, with an emphasis in the number of students deeply served. 

  • Eligibility - Any faculty or staff member of the University community may apply.

  • Application Forms - Available via AcademicWorks (smsu.academicworks.com). All applications will be reviewed by the department chair and college dean or, if more appropriate, the vice president, to insure that both timing and optional funding sources were considered. All completed applications must be submitted via AcademicWorks. Please allow adequate time for the appropriate Chair, Dean, or Vice President to review your proposal. Application deadlines are posted and are firm. The committee is unable to consider applications turned in past the due date. Please contact Jessica Anderson (x6567 or jessica.anderson@smsu.edu) with any questions you have accessing the application.

    NOTE: If your project consists of an IT component, please consult with Dan Baun and his team prior to submitting your application.

  • Proposal Deadlines (AY 2020-21). Funding announcements will be made four to six weeks following each deadline.
    1. September 20, 2020
    2. December 13, 2020
  • Review Process - The Fundraising Committee will read and evaluate each application on its own merits and its significance to the mission and case statement of the institution. The amount of funding may vary from year to year. Applicants may be asked to make an oral presentation at a Foundation meeting.

  • Award Procedure - Once the committee has made its recommendations to the Foundation Board of Directors, letters of award or denial will promptly be sent to each applicant. Grantees will be notified of procedure for disbursement of grant monies.

  • Final Reports - All grantees must file a Final Project Report with the SMSU Foundation within 30 days after the project ending date. Financial and project accomplishments are requested. The project report will be submitted via AcademicWorks as well. Please contact Jessica Anderson (x6567 or jessica.anderson@smsu.edu) with any questions regarding this process. 
  • The proposed project should clearly be of benefit to the University and its students.

  • The proposed project normally is expected to be completed within a year. In some cases, a logical continuation could follow the report.

  • Normally, an individual cannot receive more than one award in a year. Everything else being equal, preference will be given to applicants who didn't receive a grant the previous year.

  • The SMSU Foundation requests that any publication, display, or presentation of any project funded should include appropriate recognition to the SMSU Foundation.

  • All property funded by the SMSU Foundation must be recorded as part of SMSU's inventory and have a fixed asset sticker applied.

  • In case of any patentable product as a result of a grant-funded research project:
    1. Any inventions or intellectual properties developed must be disclosed to the Foundation.
    2. The Foundaton will be given an opportunity to participate in the patent process.
    3. The Foundation retains the right to claim a fair and proportional benefit from the innovation.Funds granted must be spent solely for the purposes stated in the application. If funds are not used by the end of the project ending date, then the grantee must request an extension from the Committee. Changes made to the original grant request require re-submission of the proposal.
  • The Foundation prefers not to fund supplies.  

  • The Foundation will not fund academic course work toward graduate degrees or for post-graduate work.  

  • The Foundation prefers not to pay salaries for student assistants. If an exception is made and student salaries are approved, arrangements must be made to pay for the salaries via student help funding. (The Foundation will reimburse the University for any such expenses.)

  • The Foundation prefers not to pay honoraria for SMSU faculty or staff. If an exception is made, payments must be processed through the University's payroll system.
  1. Login as an applicant using your Star ID and password. (If you experience any troubles logging in, please contact Jessica Anderson at x6567 or jessica.anderson@smsu.edu)
  2. Complete the “General Application”
  3. Hover over the “Opportunities” tab and select "Ours" from the drop down menu
  4. Search for “SMSU Foundation Special Grant Application” in the search field
  5. Click Apply

Questions should be directed to:

SMSU Foundation
University Advancement Office
Founders Hall 229