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West Coast Poverty Center

WCPC Mini-Grant Program

The West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) invites applications for mini-grants to support research collaborations between WCPC scholars and local non-profits on topics related to poverty, economic security, and individual or family financial well-being, broadly construed. These awards of up to $12,000 are intended to both help partner CBOs answer questions that are relevant to their work in the region and help academic partners inform or broaden research agendas. Prior projects have included pilot studies and data collection, initial data analyses, and the development of applications for larger sources of funding.  

These funds are available through the generous support of the Seattle Foundation. For this round of grants, we will give priority to applications that include a Communities of Opportunity Systems and Policy Change grantee organization, but a partnership with a Communities of Opportunity Systems Change grantee is not a requirement. Participating organizations will receive a $1,275 stipend from the Seattle Foundation to support employee work on the project.

Mini-Grant Guidelines

Amount and use of funds: Up to $12,000 may be awarded to pay for the UW partner’s research expenses (e.g., research assistant or other staff time, research related travel, access to data sets, statistical consulting). Funds are not intended to be used to support established scholars’ time; untenured faculty may allocate up to half of requested funds for salary. CBO partners will receive an additional $1,275 for participation in project planning and activities (not included in the $12,000).

Eligibility: Applicants for mini-grant funds must be PI-eligible faculty at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, and the proposed research project must involve at least one external practitioner from a nonprofit community-based organization based in or near King County, WA. Governmental agencies may be involved as additional partners. The external partner(s) must be substantively involved in the research, via co-developing the research questions, advising on analyses, and/or using and disseminating project results.

Award Criteria: Proposals will be scored by team of reviewers based on the following factors:

  • Relevance to regional poverty-related issues
  • Relevance of the project to the work/needs of the community partner organization
  • Scientific merit
  • Probability of ongoing collaboration and/or securing additional funding
  • Inclusion of a Communities of Opportunity Systems and Policy Change grantee (optional)

Overview of Timeline for Mini-Grant Applications and Projects:

  • Letter of intent due by noon on July 11, 2023
  • Full proposal and letters of support due by noon on July 18, 2023*
  • Award decisions announced in late July 2023, with funding available shortly after
  • Project completion and final report by June 30, 2024

* Please note that we will have an early proposal review for projects that would be able to begin before the main review deadline. Projects submitted by noon on June 26th will be considered for early review.

** Contingent on funding, proposals submitted after July 19th will be considered on a rolling basis. If you would like to apply after July 19th, please first send a note to to check whether funding might be available. Projects will still need to be completed by the end of June 2024.

Application Process

Letter of Intent: A brief letter of intent should be sent to by 12:00 p.m. on July 11th, with the subject “Mini-grant proposal LOI.” Please include the following information in the letter of intent:

  • The names of the researcher(s) and their organizational affiliations
  • The name of the CBO and primary contact person
  • A brief (200-word) description of the proposed project

Letters of intent are for internal planning purposes only and will not be evaluated.

Full proposals: Full proposals must be sent to by 12:00 p.m. on July 18, 2023, with the subject “Mini-grant proposal.”

The following elements are required:

  1. A proposal of no more than 4 single-spaced pages which includes the following sections:
    • Research team. Please provide a list of members of the research team along with their organizational affiliations;
    • Research question. Please describe the issue/research question and its relevance to
      • poverty in our region
      • the work of the community partner
    • Research plan. Please include a description of the planned research activities, including
      • methods to be used
      • the role each member of the research team will play in the project
      • a discussion of potential hurdles the researchers might encounter
    • Please provide a timeline for completing the work, including seeking/receiving IRB approval, if needed.
    • Plan for research use. Please briefly describe how the project’s proposed output could be relevant to the community partner’s needs and/or be used in their work.
    • Funding and future directions. Please note whether applicants have start-up funds or other funding they could be using for the research. Please provide a brief discussion of whether/how additional funding will be sought for this research.

2. A separate 1-page budget and budget narrative

3. A brief letter of support for/acknowledgement of the partnership from the external collaborator (included with materials or sent separately via email to by the application deadline)

Terms: Applicants will be notified about funding decisions by the end of July, with funds available for UW support as soon as possible given the UW finance transformation. For this round of awards, projects must be completed by the end of June 2024.

Funds to UW faculty and students will be paid via a UW sub-budget. No funds will be provided for overhead or research administrative costs. CBO partners will be paid $1,275 by the Seattle Foundation.

Researchers must complete a 2-page brief describing the partnership project and the results of the practitioner-researcher collaboration by June 30, 2024. Researchers must also share any additional products (e.g., papers or presentations) that result from the project with the WCPC. Grantees may be asked to share their research with a WCPC audience (e.g., at a Roundtable) and/or with the Seattle Foundation.

Questions? Please contact us at or (206)685-7727.