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.


Funds will be awarded according to the following priorities. (Note: Priorities are listed in order, and will be considered in this order, with number 1 being the highest priority and number 4 being the lowest priority.)

  1. Unique one-time projects that lead to activities which attract students or other persons to the university so as to enhance the image of SMSU.
  2. Innovative research and/or curriculum development proposals that lead to new program development and which will have continued financial support from sources other than the Foundation.
  3. Applied regional research that leads to scholarly publication and a greater awareness of university service to the region.
  4. Travel to a conference or workshop to enhance expertise in a particular discipline or for the presentation of a paper. Travel is not prohibited, but the budget may not permit funding.



Projects that connect to the three University themes listed below will be given higher consideration for awarding. Preference will also be given to applicants who are actively supporting the work of the SMSU Foundation.

  1. Academic Excellence & Distinctiveness
  2. Student Learning & Success
  3. Meaningful Partnerships & Engagement



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

  • Application Forms - Available in the University Advancement Office (FH 225) or download the application from this link. All forms must be typed and signed 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 forms must be submitted electronically. 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.

  • Proposal Deadlines (AY 2019-20). Funding announcements will be made four to six weeks following each deadline.
    1. September 20, 2019
    2. December 13, 2019
    3. April 10, 2020
  • Review Process - The Fundraising Committee will read and evaluate each proposal 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. Download a copy of the Final Project Report here.
  • 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.


  • Applications and questions should be directed to:
    SMSU Foundation
    University Advancement Office
    Founders Hall 225