Innovation Award Program 

The Innovation Award Program seeks to supports VSU faculty, staff, and student (undergraduate and graduate) projects that will enhance the mission of Virginia State University and address key goals, objective and priorities of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. 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. 

Letter of Intent Proposal/Application 

The full proposal Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until June 25, 2021. 


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

  • Must be the full time faculty, staff, or matriculated student at VSU. 
  • Must be able to spend the awarded funds by May 31st of the funding year. 
Funding Availability 

The inaugural year of the Innovation Award Program will be 2021-2022 academic year. The Innovation Award Program will look to fund 20- 25 applications from the $500,000 fund. Awards will be announced by August 27, 2021. Funds will be transferred to 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 as long as the work can be completed and the student workers paid prior to the May 31st deadline of the funding year. 

Review Criteria 

The Innovation Award Program Review Committee will evaluate submissions beginning in summer 2021 based on the following criteria: 

  • Merit and feasibility of proposed project and applicants to address needs. 
  • Evidence of a professional relationship, if a collaboration is proposed (within or outside VSU). 
  • Budget justification. 
  • Should demonstrate graduate and/or undergraduate students involvement. 
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 15. 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 cover sheet that must be completed in full, including all signatures, for the application to be considered. The proposal narrative may be no longer than three single spaced pages (excluding references) and must use 11 point font (Arial or Times New Roman). Additionally, must have 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/manager 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_03.15.2021). The following sections must be included in the Innovation Award proposal: 

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