NEOGEN Land Grant Prize Applications Due September 16, 2021

New Graduate Research Funding Opportunity


The Office of Research and Innovation announces a new award program, the Neogen Land Grant Prize. Funded by a gift from former Provost and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. John E. Cantlon, and his wife Carolyne Irene Cantlon, this endowed award program seeks to advance the work of an MSU graduate student whose research has the potential to contribute to economic and scientific improvements in society, with a promise of practical applications that benefit U.S. economic interests.

Applicants must be graduate students in good standing. The research leading to the proposed work should be ongoing or have been completed in the last five years. The application must be written by, and support the proposed work of, the applicant graduate student; the student’s research mentor must write a letter of support, describing their significant commitments to foster and nurture the proposed line of study.

One (1) prize in the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) will be awarded for 2021 and annually thereafter. The use of funds will be restricted to direct costs of research excluding salary or stipends. These can include supplies and services, prototype development, market studies, and other reasonably related activities (such as conference travel or publication expenses). The proposed work should occur over the period of six months to a year. Extension to the spending period (without a commitment of additional funds) may be requested for an additional year, after which unspent funds will be returned to the endowment.

Application Details

Applications are restricted to seven (7) pages, and should contain the following sections:

  1. Background Findings – detailing the foundational work already accomplished.
  2. Description of Potential Economic Value – description of how this work will eventually benefit the US Economy. To the extent possible – present evidence that validates the potential economic impact.
  3. Work proposed with these funds – detailing the experiments/development work to be accomplished in the term of the study.
  4. Path to Impact – describing the follow-on work (plan and anticipated funding beyond this award) required to achieve economic impact.
  5. Anticipated Pitfalls – what risks underlie the proposed project, and how may they be mitigated.

Links to external information may be included in the text, but reviewers may choose not to view those materials; the application should stand on its own merits, within the seven pages.

Curricula vitae for all key personnel in the application, and an itemized budget and narrative justification detailing anticipated expenses must be submitted with the application and does not affect the page count of the application.

Review Criteria and Process

The review process will judge applications on:

  • The quality of the preliminary research:
    • Does the applicant clearly describe the preliminary research?
    • Are the preliminary findings sufficiently sound (based on peer review, or sufficiently demonstrated in the application) to warrant further investment?
  • The potential to contribute to economic and scientific improvements in society, with a promise of practical applications that benefit U.S. economic interests:
    • Does the application clearly articulate the value proposition of the proposed end point for this work?
    • If the work proposed was successful and the end point reached, would the result make a significant impact to society?
    • If the work proposed was successful and the end point reached, would the result deliver an economic value to MSU/Michigan/USA?
    • Does the applicant adequately differentiate the end point of this work from other solutions?
  • The quality and clarity of the proposed work and its likelihood of success
    • Does the application clearly articulate the plan of work, in sufficient detail to judge the merit of the plan?
    • Will the proposed budget enable the proposed work, is the budget cash efficient?
    • Will the work proposed significantly advance the project toward a useful endpoint?
    • To the extent that the project anticipates falling short of the useful/impactful end point, does the application articulate the follow-on work required to achieve that useful end-point?
    • Does the application articulate a credible strategy to secure funding for this follow-on work?
    • Does the project plan sufficiently anticipate risk, and show strategies to mitigate risk?

A panel of reviewers will be convened, complementary to the subject matter of the proposals received. Reviewers may include persons external to MSU, and all reviewers will be bound by confidentiality, to protect the materials disclosed in all applications.

Graduate students are encouraged to consider this program to support ambitions that will make a difference in the world. Guidelines and instructions can be found online at the grant proposal system ( under the listing for the Neogen Land Grant Prize. If you have any questions after reviewing the material, please contact us at or call 432-3773. If you desire help with describing the potential economic impact of your work, please contact to be connected to resources at the MSU Innovation Center.

The Neogen Land Grant Prize submission deadline is Friday, September 17, 2021. An award will be announced in late November, with funds made available January 3, 2022.

This article was reposted from the MSU Office of Research and Innovation.

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