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West Coast Poverty Center

Call for Applications - Mini-Grants

The West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) is accepting applications for mini-grants to help jump start collaborations between WCPC scholars and community practitioners or agencies on topics related to poverty, social policy, and individual or family financial well-being, broadly construed. These $5,000 - $10,000 awards are intended to support pilot studies, initial data analyses, and/or the development of applications for larger sources of funding. In this round of funding, proposals are welcome on any poverty-related topic, but priority will be given to proposals that address criminal justice or housing issues. These funds are available through the support of the Seattle Foundation.


Mini-Grant Guidelines

Mini-grant awards of up to $10,000 are intended to help launch joint academic/practitioner research projects on issues related to poverty, inequality, or economic security.
Funds may be used to pay for research expenses (e.g., research assistant or other staff time, research related travel, access to data sets, statistical consulting). Funds are not intended to be used to support established scholars’ time; untenured faculty may allocate up to half of requested funds for salary.
Eligibility: Applicants for mini-grant funds must be WCPC faculty affiliates at the University of Washington, but the proposed research project must involve at least one external practitioner from a non-governmental organization. (Governmental agencies may be involved as additional partners.) The external partner(s) must be substantively involved in the research, via co-developing the research questions, advising analysis, and/or using and disseminating project results.
Award Criteria: Proposals will be scored by an interdisciplinary group of WCPC Faculty Affiliates based on the following factors:
  • Relevance to regional poverty-related issues. Priority will be given to proposals that address criminal justice or housing issues.
  • Relevance of the project to the work/needs of the community partner organization
  • Scientific merit
  • Probability of ongoing collaboration and/or securing additional funding
Application Process: We are requesting letters of intent prior to proposal submission. A brief letter of intent should be sent to by 12:00 p.m. on May 17th, with the subject “Mini-grant proposal.” Please include the following information:
  • The names of the researcher(s) and organizational affiliations
  • A brief (200-word) description of the proposed project and partnership
Letters of intent are for internal planning purposes and will not be evaluated.
Full proposals should be sent to by 12:00 p.m. on May 23rd, with the subject “Mini-grant proposal.”
The following elements are required:
  • A proposal of no more than 4 single-spaced pages which includes the following sections:
    • Research team. Please provide a list of members of the research team along with their organizational affiliations;
    • Research question. Please describe the issue/research question that is being explored and its relevance
      • to poverty in our region
      • the work of the community partner
    • Research plan. Please include a description of the planned research activities, including
      • methods to be used
      • the role each member of the research team will play in the project
      • a discussion of potential hurdles the researchers might encounter
    • Timeline. Please provide a timeline for completing the work, including seeking/receiving IRB approval, if needed.
    • Plan for research use. Please describe how the project’s proposed output could be relevant to the community partner’s needs and/or be used in their work.
    • Funding and future directions. Please note whether applicants have start-up funds or other funding they could be using for the research. Please provide a brief discussion of whether/how additional funding will be sought for this research.
  • A separate 1-page budget and budget narrative
  • A brief letter of support for/acknowledgement of the partnership from the external collaborator (sent via email to by the application deadline)

Timeline for Mini-Grant Submission and Awards

  • Letter of intent Due by noon on May 17, 2018
  • Full proposal and letters of support Due by noon on May 23, 2018
  • Award decisions Announced in early June 2018
Terms: Grants will be announced in early June 2018, with funds available by June 15, 2018. For this round of awards, projects must be completed by January 31, 2019.
Funds will be paid via a UW sub-budget. No funds will be provided for overhead or research administrative costs.
Researchers must complete a 2-page brief describing the partnership project and the results of the practitioner-researcher collaboration by January 31, 2019. Researchers must also share any additional products (e.g., papers or presentations) that result from the project with the WCPC. Grantees may be asked to share their research with a WCPC audience (e.g., at a Roundtable) and/or with the Seattle Foundation.
Questions? Please contact us at or (206)685-7727.