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Submit Your Proposal


The Application

New! Starting in Winter 2023, the STF is implementing a brand new application form and revising the proposal process. Read on below for a preview of the new application form to start refining your idea, collecting necessary information, and get drafting.

To get started, you’ll log into Submittable using your UW NetID and navigate to the submission portal. Before starting the proposal, we first ask you to read and agree to our policies and guidelines. Once past the policy acknowledgement, you will be able to review the entire proposal application, add collaborators who will help you fill out the application, and save drafts of your proposal to come back to later.

The application itself is divided into 7 substantial parts asking you to tackle specific aspects of your proposal from the idea to its implementation to its lasting impact. Review below a description of each section and a briefer on what will be asked of you in each section. In general, short responses are capped to 50 words and long responses are capped to 250 words. You are encouraged to be detailed, but concise, and incorporate metrics and specifics where appropriate.


  • Primary Contact. Provide the name, UW email, and phone number of the primary applicant (the individual signed into Submittable and starting the application). While you will be able to collaborate with anyone in the drafting of the proposal, only the primary applicant can finally submit it at the end.
  • Organization. Select the type of organization that best represents your group and select or provide the name. You will also need to provide your 10-digit organization code. Department/unit staff will be able to provide this to you if you’re unsure.
  • Department/Unit Authorization. To ensure that all proposals have pre-clearance from their respective department or unit and a guarantee that department or unit resources will be utilized to support the proposal, we ask that you submit a Department Affiliation and Authorization Request to an authoritative contact within your department or unit. In most circumstances, this will be a chair, director, associate dean, or dean – someone who can allocate departmental or unit resources.
    • If you are a RSO, this should be your departmental advisor, not your SAO advisor. If you are an RSO without an affiliation with a department or unit, you are not eligible for STF funding.
    • When you send the request, the individual will not receive any information about your proposal. Before sending the request form, it is a good idea to inform the individual about your proposal and let them know that this request is coming.

  • Describe the Problem. The first substantive application section asks you to define the problem or question you intend to solve through this project using STF funds. Be detailed, yet concise, in identifying the precise problem or question you intend to solve and be clear as to who the problem or unsolved question is impacting and why it is important that it be addressed. You will also be asked to briefly quantify how long this problem or question has been an issue and how students have been involved in the project.

  • Award Type. Select the award type that best represents your project’s needs.
    • Single Award: One-time, non-renewable awards and are typically the most common award type.
    • Block Award: Recurring annual awards typically used by departments or units with consistent technology needs or subscriptions. If you select a Block Award, briefly describe why your particular project needs recurring funding instead of one-time funding and indicate whether you anticipate any funding changes in the next 3 to 5 years.
  • Budget. This is the bread-and-butter of your proposal and details exactly what you intend to purchase. Download the budget template and fill it out, being as detailed as possible and following the instructions and guidelines provided on the template. Be considerate to research other vendors, brands, and models in drafting your budget to make sure the equipment you intend to purchase is the best price, quality, and specification for your needs. If you did not consider other vendors or brands in drafting your budget, be sure to briefly describe why and consider UW Procurement policies on solicitation of vendors for certain purchases.
  • Dept. Resources. You will also be asked to identify and list all the resources that your department or unit will provide to support this project. Consider equipment hosting and storage, maintenance, insurance and warranty coverage, procurement services, budget reconciliation services, provision of accessories and other components needed for the project that can’t be funded by the STF, construction and installation costs, subscription costs, outreach and marketing support, security monitoring, etc. Be detailed here and work with your department or unit to precisely scope out their level of support.

  • Campus. Indicate which campus(es) the equipment or service will be available on. In most cases, this will be only the UW – Seattle campus. If you intend to provide the equipment or service to other campuses, your proposal will be considered a Uniform Access proposal, meaning the Uniform Access Committee will need to review it. The Uniform Access Committee is comprised of representatives of each STF Committee across all three campuses. Please allow additional consideration time due to the logistics of arranging a Uniform Access Committee.
  • Users. Identify and specifically describe who the intended users of the equipment or service are. Also, indicate whether unintended users can request access to the equipment or service and describe how or why not.
  • Hours. Fill out the table provided indicating the general hours, days, and location(s) that the equipment or service will be available to users.
  • Other Considerations. Indicate whether training or appointments are required prior to using the equipment or service and, if so, how you plan to provide that training to users or solicit appointments. If you intend to charge users a fee, indicate that and describe, in detail, how much the charge is, who pays the charge, and what the charge is used to cover.

  • Location and Storage. Describe where the equipment and services will be stored, hosted, or used regularly and indicate whether that location is operated by your department or unit. If it is not, you must request a Hosting and Storage Agreement from the department or unit that will be responsible for hosting and storing the equipment or service. Additionally, if your proposal includes hazardous or controlled materials requiring specialized storage, describe how you will ensure they are properly stored. Finally, briefly describe how you will secure the equipment to prevent loss, theft, damage, or unauthorized use.
  • Risks. Identify any major risks that you foresee in the implementation of your project. While you are not expected to identify every potential risk, do take time to consider potential risks that can severely disrupt and impact your implementation plan. Next, describe how you plan to mitigate and respond to those risks if you encounter them. While you are not expected to have a perfect answer to each risk, clearly articulate how you and your team will respond if faced with a risk.

  • Briefly indicate and describe your plan to notify intended users about the availability of the equipment and service you intend to provide. If you have users that aren’t affiliated with your department or unit – if you are providing a service used by all students, for example – briefly describe the methods you will use to reach them.

  • Describe and justify the metrics – both qualitative and quantitative – that you will use to measure the success of your project. This is an opportunity to clearly identify the measures the STF will use when evaluating your project in your annual reports, so be sure your metrics are recordable. For example, if you have no way of tracking the number of users on the equipment, do not include “Number of users” as a metric.
  • That said, we do ask you to quantity the estimated number of users you expect to use the equipment each year. This can be a ballpark number, but it should help the Committee gauge the project’s use and impact.

  • Short Term. Describe a few short-term impacts you expect your project will have in the next year or two. Think both about intended users and the broader UW community and beyond. This is particularly relevant to research-related projects where the impact could be significant beyond the UW campus.
  • Long Term. Building off your short-term impacts, describe a few long-term impacts you expect your project will have in the next 3 years or more. Think about both intended users and the broader UW community and beyond.