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Small Grant Proposal Instructions

Call for Small Grant Proposals:

TDLC will award small grants directly to TDLC Fellows and Trainees for research or related activities in keeping with the initiatives of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center. Applicants may request funds for new research or an ongoing project in the Center, but should justify why this project is not funded by their lab. We especially encourage collaborative projects between different TDLC labs or other Science of Learning Centers. Daring, high risk, but potentially high impact
studies are also welcome. The amount of funds available for each grant is $2,500.


Submission Guidelines:
All TDLC Fellows and Trainees are invited to apply. Workshop Proposals should contain the agenda for the workshop or invited speaker and a statement of impact for the TDLC.

Click here for a Small Grant Proposal Template.


Additionally, all proposals require the following:

  • Statement of relevance to at least one initiative of the TDLC (if the proposal activities are related to a specific project in the SIP, please specify the project number)
  • Clearly articulated relationships to learning and to temporal dynamics
  • List of people involved and their network affiliations
  • Budget (we expect that most proposals will be for amounts of $2,500 or less)
  • In cases where a project is supported by multiple funding sources, applicants should clarify how the requested funds will be used in conjunction with other resources
  • Proposal descriptions should be one page or less, not including the cover page (see template)
  • The cover page should describe all previous small grants won by the investigator, including the budget and what resulted from the grant being awarded
  • Justification for why the project is not funded by their lab


Allowable Costs

We can provide funds for many research activities including lab and computer supplies, travel to other TDLC sites to collaborate with other Fellows, workshops, and travel to a scientific conference to present results. However, since these awards come from the National Science Foundation there are certain cost categories that we cannot provide funds for such as: membership to a professional society, entertainment and alcohol. Additionally, we will not fund human subject payments and salary/stipend. All expenditures must conform to NSF and your own institutional regulations (including the Fly America Act for travel). If you are unsure if the expenditure you propose is allowable, please email Alex Khalil at akhalil@ucsd.edu.


Proposal Deadline: November 13, 2015, midnight PST

Send proposals to akhalil@ucsd.edu.

Successful Proposals

Here are some examples of successful proposals:

"The TDLC trainee research grant allowed me to assess the feasibility of extending my studies of eye-movement search in primates to freely-moving rodents searching for food. Both tasks involve a search for a hidden target that yields a reward. Target locations vary from trial to trial, but in a manner that describes an underlying distribution. Primates search in manner that suggests that they have implicitly learned the hidden target distribution. One goal is to observe how a rat foraging for hidden food targets given the same task constraints. Do the models that describe the primate behavior also fit the rodent behavior? This preliminary data from two pilot animals lead to a follow-on proposal in which we requested funds to build an automated arena for natural exploration tasks such as this. The next goal is to induce multiple learning transitions during a session so we could examine neuronal activity that correlates with that learning." -- Leanne Chukoskie

"I used the award to travel to Jim Tanaka's 'Face Camp' at the University of Victoria this summer, an event where kids come in for a day of playing and learning about faces. The kids spend one of 6 hours involved in experiments. I helped run two of the three camps and was in charge of managing the volunteers who were helping with data collection. I also helped run some of the other camp activities when the experiments were finished. It was a phenomenal experience. We got an entire developmental study on face perception completed in two weekends (something like 110 kids) and I got a chance to see how Face Camp is a great way to merge educational outreach and good science." -- Suzy Scherf