Innovation Award Program 

The Innovation Award Program seeks to support VSU faculty, staff, and students (undergraduate and graduate) programs/projects that will enhance the mission of Virginia State University and address the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan's key goals, objectives, and priorities. Activities funded under the Innovation Award Program must be used to support 1) Opportunity and Access to VSU 2) Academic Excellence, 3) Students’ Experience, 4) Defining the VSU Brand, 5) Financial Resources, and/or 6) The Land Grant Mission. Information on these tenets can be found on the VSU website: The proposed team must include graduate and/or undergraduate students. Deadline for proposals is 5:00 p.m. EST Friday, March 31, 2023. All proposals should be submitted to the , as one pdf document.


To be considered for an Innovation Award, applicants are subject to the following eligibility criteria: 

  • The principal investigator or project lead must be full time faculty, staff, or matriculated student at VSU. 
  • Must be able to spend the awarded funds by May 31st of the funding year. 
  • Proposed program/project cannot be an ongoing project or have received funding from other sources.
Funding Availability 

The Innovation Award Program will seek to fund 15–20 applications from the $500,000 fund. Awards will be announced by April 21, 2023. Funds will be transferred to an account managed by the awardee. Each awardee would be expected to work with the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs regarding fund management. 

Budget and Allowable Costs 

Applicants may request funds for supplies, materials and equipment needed to support the proposed activities. Travel will be considered, based on justification of need. Payments to student workers are acceptable. If faculty or staff request course release, this must be approved by the department Chair and college Dean prior to submission. Course release cannot be treated as “overload” and the faculty member or staff cannot be compensated for this release. All Innovation Award Program submission budget requests are left to the discretion of the review committee and the Provost’s office.  

Review Criteria 

The Innovation Award Program Review Committee will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria: 

  • Evidence of need at VSU. The “need” must fall under the components of the Strategic Plan ( or research initiatives for VSU. 
  • Significance and feasibility of proposed project. 
  • Innovation 
  • Evidence of a professional relationship, if a collaboration is proposed (within or outside VSU). 
  • Budget justification. 
  • Should demonstrate graduate and/or undergraduate students involvement as a member of the project team.
Required Mid-Year and Project Completion Reporting 

A mandatory brief project completion report will be due to the committee, no later than June 1 of the funding year, with a mid-year progress report due no later than December 15th (if it falls on the weekend, the next business day). This final project report will contain all expenditures and activities that transpired during the award year. 

Innovation Award Proposal Format 

The Innovation Award proposal must contain a project signature page that must be completed in full, including all signatures, for the application to be considered. The proposal narrative may be no longer than five single spaced pages (excluding references) and must use 11 point font (Arial or Times New Roman). Additionally, the proposal must have an abstract with a maximum of 250 words and must meet the formatting instructions for the proposal narrative. The proposal must contain the curriculum vitae or resume of each member of the investigator/lead team. All charts/tables/figures must have a minimum of 10 point font. All documents should be saved in *.pdf format and submitted according to the following: PI/LM last name_date (e.g. Keen_03.15.2023). The following sections must be included in the Innovation Award proposal: 

  1. Significance and statement of need. 
  2. Presentation of which Strategic Plan component is addressed. 
  3. Detailed project description. 
  4. Innovation of the project and future steps or activities that are may be directly influenced by the proposed activities (e.g. “products”). 
  5. Potential pitfalls or limitations and how they will be addressed 
  6. Timeline of proposed events 

For more information about the Innovation Awards Program, please contact

Important Links

Incomplete applications, applications not prepared following the requested guidelines, those received after the deadline, or those from ineligible parties will not be reviewed.