Public Service Endowment Grant (PSEG) Application Directions

[Link to downloadable form]

Proposers should keep the following focus in mind:  “collaborative interactions with community (Commonwealth based) and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources.” With the objective of sustainability, projects that will lead to competitive proposals for sponsored research will be given the highest priority.

Budget and Uses:

Awards will not exceed $15,000 and typically average $10,000 per project. Projects which request funds for ongoing activities will likely be excluded. Allocations can be made for all categories except release time and summer support of the faculty (that is, no faculty salary).

Method of Applying:

An investigator (or group of investigators) must complete the application form and submit not more than five pages of accompanying documentation (excluding the budget and curriculum vita). Simultaneous applications will not be accepted, i.e., investigators can participate on one proposal only. The following items must be included:

  1. Background and justification of the problem/need to be addressed
  2. A clear statement regarding who will be targeted by the project and the benefits to be gained by that group
  3. A description of the project’s objectives and methods for carrying them out (suitable for a non-specialist)
  4. Means of evaluating success of the project
  5. Specific plans for proposals and sources of sponsorship after the funds are expended
  6. Justification of each budget category
  7. Curriculum vita, short version (2 pages maximum)

Proposals written by non-faculty employees must be accompanied by a letter of support from their unit (institute, center, etc), supervisor or department head at the time of submission.

Review Mechanism:

A review committee will be appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement for recommendations on the evaluation of the applications. The members of the review committee will have a demonstrable record of research and engagement at the University of Massachusetts and represent the major areas from where applications have been submitted. The criteria which will be used to judge the applications, in no particular order, follow:

  1. The utility of the project. How many people will be impacted directly and indirectly, both during the period of this grant and the subsequent extramural funding that is envisioned? How important is that impact?
  2. The feasibility of the project. How likely is the project to achieve its goals? Are they applicants equipped to do as they propose?
  3. Documentation of the collaborative relationship with the community to be engaged in the project, both short and long term.
  4. Leverage of funding from non-University sources
  5. Budget justifications. Is the budget appropriate given the objectives of the project? Have all items been justified? Is there alternative funding for this project?

Submission Instructions:

Please fill out the linked form and send it via email to  The linked form is a "live" .doc file with boxes where you can enter the 5 areas of project description that it calls for. (Or you can put those 5 sections of your application in another file.)   The main body of the application should be the cover sheet and 4 pages of project description.  You also need a budget (with a short budget justification), a short CV (2 pages) for each PI, and for non-faculty proposals, a letter of support.  The total package (coversheet, project description, budget and justification, CVs, and in some cases, letter of support for non-faculty) should be assembled into a single pdf document before sending. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. The filename should have the following form: "PSEG2014_yourlastname.pdf"


Q: Is there a limit to how long the funds will be available?
A:  In principle, the funds should be expended within the fiscal year following the grant (July 1, year1 to June 30, year2).  If there is a reason to extend them beyond that period, a small explanation should be included in the budget justification.

Q:  Can I apply for a PSEG if I have already received one?
A:  There is no restriction on repeat applications.  However, the applicant should be demonstrate that the project (even if it's in the same venue) is substantially different from the one that was previously funded.

Q: Does the final application have to be a single document?
A: It is much more convenient for the judges to have a single document for each submission.  If this represents a hardship, please contact the PSEG administrator,  

Q:  Should I attach letters of collaboration from the community partner?
A:  Such letters are not allowed in the application.  As an alternative, please be very specific in the application about the individual(s) in the community with whom you propose to work.   You should refer to them by name and give details of any prior collaborations. If they are members of an organization, be clear about their role in it.  (Be sure to get permission from the partners to name them.  Use of their information will be considered a guarantee that you have gotten that permission.)

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