UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State community members, including faculty and staff, have been invited to submit ideas for pilot projects that are aimed at fulfilling the mission of the strategic plan to advance innovation, research, learning and engagement at the University and beyond. Proposals for the third cycle for RFP submissions for the Strategic Plan are due by Sept. 4.

In advance of that deadline, several committees are offering to review short concept papers to give constructive feedback to assist in creating stronger proposals. The committees on Advancing the Arts and Humanities, and Driving Digital Innovation, are accepting concept paper submission by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6.

Although submitting a concept paper is not a requirement to submit a seed grant proposal, participants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to get preparatory feedback before creating detailed proposals.

Advancing Arts and Humanities

Brief concept papers for strategic initiative proposals that fall under the umbrella of Advancing the Arts and Humanities should follow this formatand be emailed to the committee’s co-chairs, Mark Ballora ( and Carey Eckhardt (

Driving Digital Innovation

One-page concept papers for strategic initiative proposals that fall under the umbrella of Driving Digital Innovation should follow this format and be emailed to the committee’s co-chair Colin J. Neill at

About strategic plan initiative seed grants

Penn State last fall implemented a funding model to help develop new strategic initiatives that align with the University’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan, Our Commitment to Impact. As part of the model, Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones has since then awarded seed grant funding for 22 pilot projects that support the strategic plan’s thematic priorities, supporting elements, and foundations.

The Transforming Education steering committee also has offered preliminary feedback to those planning to submit proposals that fall under its purview. Potential proposal authors with initiative ideas under other themes and supporting elements are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate Steering Committee chairs to determine if their ideas are appropriate for strategic initiative funding and to develop their ideas prior to submission. Proposals that have been funded to date can be found at

For more information about the strategic plan funding model and seed grant process, including proposal and submission guidelines, timeline and review process, visit Questions about seed grants and other components of the strategic plan should be directed to