Innovative Project Grants - Frequently Asked Questions

What does “innovative” mean?

For IPGs, “innovative” is defined as “new activity for your local section.” In this program it is not necessary to devise a totally unique program. Actually, local sections are encouraged to be inspired by activities in other local sections. List of previously funded projects.

What does it mean that IPGs must “stimulate local section member involvement?”

There are many ways for programs to engage local section members, and an IPG should try to engage the entire local section membership as much as possible. Their professional development can be supported by technical symposia, as well as networking opportunities, leadership courses and training in auxiliary areas such as technology or management matters. Programs can involve members by providing structured volunteer opportunities for them to reach out to the general public, both children and adults, to enhance their scientific literacy and appreciation, especially in matters relating to the chemical sciences.

What are examples of a “unique upcoming opportunity for the local section” that might be funded by an IPG?

Celebrations of significant local section anniversaries, events to stimulate local section participation in a regional meeting, and participation in other one-time programs to promote the chemical sciences, such as science teachers’ conventions or science fairs are some examples of unique opportunities. For an ACS regional meeting, the IPG application must emphasize how local section membership, in particular, will benefit from the regional meeting program.

Can IPG funds be used for food?

IPG programs should be attractive enough to members that meal funding isn’t required to assure their success; however, support of light refreshments may be funded. Also, when volunteers are involved in outreach projects where meals are provided, then it is reasonable that they may have a meal with the attendees. For instance, volunteers devoting a weekend day to direct a chemistry badge scouting project may certainly have pizza lunch with the scouts and leaders.

What are some reasons that IPG proposals are not funded or fully funded?

Proposals need to have both clear objectives and a thought-through plan of action. A valuable tool for planning a successful program is the Event Planning Worksheet.

Local situations differ and a section’s IPG should be consistent with the local section’s strategic plans and its members’ and community’s needs. These need to be addressed in the proposal. A successful IPG proposal also needs to have a well-considered plan for executing the activity. The Central Wisconsin and Northeastern Ohio IPG proposals have well-developed project descriptions.

What other factors can ensure an IPG proposal’s success?

  • The “Full Description of the Project” portion does not exceed two pages.
  • The project planning is well enough developed that the line-item budget includes some detail of projected costs. Conditions in local sections differ, so brief explanation of expenses related to advertisement, technical support, and room rental are helpful to reviewers. The budgets in the Santa Clara Valley and Rochester IPG proposals are good models.
  • Consideration is given to finding economical ways to execute projects, while still meeting the project objectives. For instance, whenever possible, local sections are encouraged to use low-cost or free meeting facilities and advertising (e.g., through local section or sponsoring organization newsletters).

Can IPG funds ever be used for an on-going program?

As funding permits, it may be possible to receive support for a second year of a previously funded project. The maximum allowable award will be 50% of the original amount requested in the second proposal. To be considered for follow-up funding, the application deadline must be met; the application must clearly indicate how the results from the initial evaluation plan are to be incorporated into enhancement of the program. A second year of funding will also only be considered if it is clearly shown that the seed money provided will allow the project to become an on-going section activity. The IPG Final Report must be submitted prior to on-going approvals being made.

I’m not sure how to evaluate a local section project such as an IPG. Can you provide some guidance?

You may distribute an evaluation to attendees upon the conclusion of your program. Evaluation templates for program attendees and planners can be modified to suit your needs. Reading the final report form will also provide some ideas, as will these model final reports from previously completed IPGs: