CBE Intranet

CBE Inspire Fund

The CBE Inspire Fund is designed to support CBE research activities for which a relatively small amount of support can be transformative. This may include work that is traditionally underfunded, or that done by scholars who are members of groups currently underrepresented in our college.  

Inspire Fund proposals may request awards between $1,000 and $5,000.

Learn about the Inaugural Inspire Fund Awardees!


  • Lead applicants must be PI-eligible faculty or research staff with primary appointments in the  College of Built Environments; applicants must hold an eligible rank at the time of submission and  the appointment must be active in Workday.
  • Individuals may not serve as a lead on more than one project team.
  • Teams may not submit more than one application.
  • Individuals can be on more than one team, but can only lead one project team.
  • The proposal must have one or more of the following attributes:
    1. The research is centered in the arts and humanities disciplines; 
    2. The project engages with community partners in substantive ways, i.e., community-engaged research; 
    3. The project requires ‘seed funding’ with view to a larger source of funding.
  • The proposal must articulate why this research cannot be supported by other funds.
  • Funds can be used to support conferences or workshops per UW and state policy, and other  support to engage in the research, including salary, course buy-out, student research assistants,  supplies and materials, relevant travel per UW travel guidelines, and reasonable support for non UW partners.


  • October, 2020: RFP announced 
  • January 4, 2021: application period opens 
  • February 1, 2021: application deadline (11:59pm Pacific) 
  • February 12, 2021: awardees notified 
  • March 1, 2021- February 28, 2022: period of performance
  • February 28, 2022: final report and final budget reconciliation due (see terms and conditions)

Application Instructions

Please submit the following to beres@uw.edu by 11:59pm of the application deadline:

  • A description proposal’s goals and context (max 1 page):
    • Statement of work, including research questions, context, and justification
    • Relevance to the field and impact for community partners when applicable
    • List of the members of the project team along with their titles and UW or organizational  affiliations, and a description of the rationale for their involvement and the role each  member will play in the project. This should include students.
    • Work plan including potential hurdles the team might encounter
    • Timeline for completing the work
    • Anticipated outputs or deliverables, along with a plan for disseminating and/or using them
    • A brief discussion of whether/how additional funding will be sought for this project, including whether applicants have start-up funds or other funding they could be using
    • If the funds are intended as seed funding, identify the sources of funding that you will  be pursuing to build on this work
  • Budget and budget narrative (max 1 page):
    • Budgets must list all expenses and all funds (external and internal) available. Include justification or rationale for any budget items where need is not self-evident. If including travel in your budget, be specific and use the University per-diem rate.

Proposal Review Process

After submission to beres@uw.edu, a committee of CBE faculty will review the applications and make recommendations to the dean. The  committee will rate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Merit and impact (50 percent of overall rating): Will the proposed use of funds make a positive  contribution to the field? Will awarding funds for this proposal be money well spent in terms of  impact for the college, the university, and beyond?
  • Appropriateness for the Inspire Fund (25 percent of overall rating): How well does the proposed  use of funds fit within the proposed budget? Is the budget adequate to address the stated goals  of the proposal? Does the proposal describe how the budgeted funds will be used?
  • Feasibility of proposal (25 percent of overall rating): Does the proposal make a clear, articulate  case for the proposed use of funds?

If applicants have more than $5,000 in research funds available to them to cover these expenses, the Inspire Fund will give their applications a lower priority.  

Proposals will be reviewed with a lens of balancing across the three needs as listed in the Eligibility section: arts/humanities; community-engaged scholarship; and seed funding for a larger proposal. As well, CBE is interested in increasing funding equity; members of underrepresented or minoritized groups are encouraged to apply. 

Applications will be reviewed without name or affiliation. They will be also sorted by staff in advance to ensure that no faculty committee member reviews an application from their home department. Each application will be reviewed by two faculty committee members; in the case of a significant variation in evaluation such applications will be reviewed by a third faculty committee member. The Associate Dean for Research will make final review and recommendations to the dean.

Terms and Conditions

  • The award must be used within 12 months of release of funds (see timeline above).
  • For projects that involve research on human subjects or on animals, it is the PI’s responsibility to  ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and institutional regulations. Work may not  begin on the project until all appropriate compliance procedures are complete and verification has  been provided to CBE Office of Research.
  • Any unspent funds will be returned to CBE’s Office of Research..
  • Awardees shall submit a final report detailing accomplishments and final budget reconciliation no  more than 30 days from the project’s conclusion.
  • Awardees will be asked to participate in a post-program evaluation survey.
  • Awardees are requested to acknowledge the College of Built Environments in publications and  other dissemination of work funded by the Inspire Fund.


Questions: Please contact beres@uw.edu.