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Catalytic Grant Program

Biology Leadership Community participants are invited to apply for one of two $10,000 catalytic grants. The catalytic grants will support inter-college collaborations formed to devise innovations in general biology education. Each grant will fund one, highly-focused idea that might not be funded through departmental money or through other granting bodies. A catalytic grant could also form the basis for a subsequent, larger grant proposal to an agency such as NSF or HHMI. Catalytic grant funds must be used to support the participants’ collaboration.

Application Process
Three-page proposals to initiate collaboration between representatives of at least two different colleges plus a budget and budget justification must be submitted by May 17, 2024. A proposal must include at least two Biology Leadership Conference (BLC) attendees from the current meeting. Applicants must show that the proposal will support a collaborative effort to investigate a new teaching strategy, conduct research on learning, or to produce materials that will support biology education. Only two collaborators (each from a different school) need to be named in the proposal but others can be listed or added later. Participants are encouraged to consider projects that promote the themes of the 2024 Biology Leadership Conference (BLC).

The Catalytic Grant Review Panel will use the following criteria to make the award:
- The proposed collaboration addresses an important teaching and learning issue in the majors’ general biology course
- The idea proposed is creative and original
- The team members are well qualified to accomplish their task
- The activity or teaching innovation planned is appropriate to the project and is achievable
- The proposal includes a plan to evaluate the success of the innovation

- The budget is realistic and well-justified

Key Dates
5.17.24 Proposals must be submitted electronically as email attachments, by midnight on the due date

(submit to
6.3.24 Applicants will be notified of successful awards
6.1.25 Summary report in the form of a 3-5 minute video
Results will be presented at the 2025 BLC, although it is not assured that all members of the grant team will be able to attend

Your application should follow the following outline:
1. Title of project
2. Name and institution of collaborators
3. The issue the project intends to address
4. A short description of the proposed project
5. The anticipated impacts of the project
6. A justification – why should this project be funded?
7. A timeline/calendar for activities and or product development
8. A simple itemized budget with a description of each item and estimated costs 

Please note, this grant cannot be subject to indirect costs.


The Funders 

The Catalytic Grants are completely funded by the Campbell and Freeman general biology author teams.



The funders have no conflicts of interest to disclose and no relatives or family members of the grant review panel are eligible for an award.

Two examples of past, funded proposals:

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