By Jada Golden
The Alumnae Association Executive Board Innovation Grant Committee is pleased to announce the second cycle of the Spring Innovation Grants. Innovation grants may be awarded up to $1,500 to Simmons undergraduate students who submit completed applications.
Each year, since 2004, the committee has seen an increase in applications, making the decision process more competitive. Due to the increase of applications and worthy innovative ideas presented, the Innovation Grant Committee decided to increase funding from $1,000 annually to $1,500 biannually.
In the Fall 2015 cycle, the committee awarded innovations grants to: the Health, Wellness, and Education Center to host a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training class; the Biology Liaison to attend a Conference on Riparian Restoration; the Art and Music Liaison for funds to professionally frame and exhibit Andy Warhol prints owned by Simmons College; and the Economics Liaison to host a talk by Professor Richard Wolff.
How can applicants decrease the chances of being turned down for a grant? First, make sure you are submitting an idea or project that we haven’t funded before, or that hasn’t already occurred on campus. We welcome students and clubs that have previously been awarded grants to apply for another grant, as long as what they are asking us to fund, we haven’t funded previously.
Second, make sure your application is complete. Occasionally students will apply for a grant, give a great presentation, and have a great idea, but they do not follow all the steps in the written application—-either by not having a faculty or staff member sponsoring the project, not having a sufficient timeline for when they plan to use the funds, having an insufficient budget plan, or having a lack of clarity in their written responses as to how their idea enhances the Simmons community.
There are three essential steps in the grant application process, or four steps if you want to ensure to have a comprehensive application.
Come up with an idea, event, or project, that you would like us to help fund, that will enhance the Simmons community.
Submit a completed application by March 21, 2016, via email, to Committee member Candyce Lindsay.
Once invited by the committee via email, present your idea to us, on campus, on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
The fourth optional step is really step one and a half. Students who are considering applying have the opportunity to gain support and valuable insight through an alumnae coach. An alumnae coach knows the grant application process well.
It can be overwhelming to determine what the committee is looking for in a presentation or what constitutes an innovative idea. Coaches are available to guide you through the process, edit your writing, and answer any questions for you along the way.
We hope that this information will help demystify the grant application process. It is an honor to be a part of seeing innovation ideas come into fruition here at Simmons.