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Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust

2023-24 Annual Schedule

  • An Information Webinar took place on September 12, 2023 at 2:00pm, providing an overview of the Showalter Trust.
  • Pre-proposals are due by 5:00 pm ET on October 30, 2023.
  • An Internal Selection Committee will screen all pre-proposals to select a subset for development into full proposals. Based on this selection, full proposals will be solicited in December.
  • Full proposal submissions are due by 5:00 pm ET on January 29, 2024.
  • Full proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the Internal Selection Committee and selected proposals will be sent to Showalter Trust Selection Committee for final award decisions.
  • The announcement of final award decisions should occur in late May or early June.

Program Overview Webinar

New this year, we will be hosting a one-hour webinar to briefly address the goals of the Showalter program and how these goals can be interpreted to better understand what is of interest to the Showalter External Committee. We will outline strategies to make pre-proposal and full proposal submissions more competitive. The webinar took place on September 12, 2023 from 2:00 – 3:00pm. For those unable to attend in real-time, the webinar and slides can be found here:


Eligibility is limited to tenure-track and research faculty on the West Lafayette campus who hold the rank of assistant professor at the time of application. Use of funds is limited to the Purdue University, West Lafayette campus, but collaborators or advisors need not hold a position at Purdue and academic collaborators can be of any rank. While there is no blanket prohibition against receiving a second Showalter grant, a proposal seeking a second grant may be subordinated to an equally compelling proposal submitted by an applicant who has never received a Showalter grant. If a person has received two Showalter grants, it is extremely unlikely that a third grant would be made to that same person.


The Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Trust grants program was established in 1975 to support research in the priority areas of:

  • Environmental research, including air and water pollution research
  • Research in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Research in the area of disease prevention, diagnosis, progression, treatment and control
  • Research in the area of new technologies for food production, preservation, distribution and safety
  • Research in the area of medical and biophysical instrumentation, including the analysis of large data sets

The benefactor’s will prohibits the use of funds to support research in psychiatry, sociology, or social studies.

Review Process and Priorities

The Showalter Research Trust Internal Selection Committee reviews and selects the most meritorious pre-proposals for development into full proposals and provides a ranked list of invited and reviewed full proposals to the external Showalter Selection Committee. The Internal Selection Committee is appointed on an annual basis and will include representatives of college-level units that submitted Showalter pre-proposals.

Priority is given to projects that have a high potential to compete for or leverage federal funding and to create programs with a life span longer than the Showalter award. Interdisciplinary proposals that establish new research relationships and/or new research directions are welcome, but it is not necessary to submit a collaborative project or involve an established investigator. Nevertheless, collaboration or consultation is encouraged and may be essential for some projects. For example, a project that proposes a near-term medical outcome benefits from the counsel or collaboration of a clinical expert or practitioner if the PI cannot supply that expertise.

PLEASE NOTE: Although the Trust identifies broad areas of research as priority areas, the external Showalter Selection Committee assigns higher priority to projects that present clear and unequivocal paths to improvements for humans and humankind. Please discuss your potential project with the associate dean for research from your college if you are unsure about the implications of this advice.

Pre-Proposal Submission Procedures

Pre-proposals must be submitted directly to the InfoReady link here:

The 2023-24 deadline for submission is 5:00 P.M. on Monday, October 30, 2023. Only one application is allowed per principal investigator.

Guidelines for preparation of the body of the Pre-proposal:

  • Use the pre-proposal application template
  • Single-spaced, not to exceed two (2) pages in length
  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Font: Arial 11

In addition, the following are required, but not included in the 2-page limit:

  • References
  • Standard NIH Biosketch (template)
  • List of current and pending support for the PI and each Co-PI
  • Outline budget and brief justification (please do not involve pre-award services)
    • Salary and Wages
    • Supplies and Expenses
    • Travel (should be minimal and tied to the project)
    • Capital Equipment (not encouraged; requires 75% matching funds)
    • Other (specify)
  • Response to Past Reviewers’ Concerns (not required) – not to exceed one page

Full Proposal Submission Procedures

Full proposals should be submitted through the PI’s assigned SPS pre-award specialist to the application link in InfoReady (provided within the invitation to submit) by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 29, 2024.
Full proposal applications must use one-inch margins and Arial 11 font size and must include the following components in order and paginated consecutively:

  • Cover Sheet (click here for template)
  • Layman’s Summary/Abstract (double-spaced, not to exceed 1 page)
    Clearly identify the problem, describe the general approach and the benefits anticipated from the results.
  • Budget (click here for Budget Form)
  • Budget Justification (one-page limit)
  • Standard NIH Biosketch (template)
  • List of current and pending support for the PI and each Co-PI
  • Scientific Proposal (double-spaced, not to exceed 12 pages):
    • Specific Aims
    • Significance
    • Research Plan (can include preliminary data)
    • Future Directions
    • Cited Literature (can be single-spaced)
  • Appendices (limited to 5 pages, not including cover page)
    • Cover page that lists and briefly describes the documents included (required)
    • A brief one-page status report for applicants who have received any previous Showalter support as a PI or co-PI (required)
    • A letter from the Department/School Head that indicates support for the proposal and for the development of the research career of the faculty member (required)
    • If the applicant is a Research Assistant Professor and is working under the mentorship of a senior investigator, an additional letter from the senior investigator should be included clarifying the level of independence of the applicant and the relationship of the proposal to the senior investigator’s research (required)
    • Letter(s) of support from key collaborators indicating their willingness to participate in the project, if applicable

Budget Instructions (Full Proposals Only)

The budget is limited to $75,000 total costs, including indirect costs calculated at 20% of total direct costs. The default project period is thirteen months: July 1, 2024 – July 31, 2025 (Click here for Budget Form).

  • Personnel
    • Faculty: the sum of salary support for all faculty personnel is limited to one month of effort budgeted on grant funds during the default project period. Any combination of academic year and summer salary support is acceptable as long as the combined sum for all faculty support does not exceed one month.
    • Post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate student salary support is allowed in accordance with university policy
  • Supplies
    • List supplies in general categories and provide justification
    • Animals: number and per diem rates should be stated and justified
    • Human Subjects: provide details and justification sufficient for reviewers to make informed decisions
  • Travel
    • Travel is allowed, but is carefully scrutinized by the external Showalter Selection Committee who make final funding decisions
  • Capital Equipment
    • Capital equipment requests must include a 75% cost share
  • Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A)
    • Calculated at 20% of total direct costs; total cost not to exceed $75,000

Reporting Requirements

A progress report is required for all funded projects and is due approximately at the end of the default project period. The report should be submitted electronically to ( by the date specified in the award letter. The annual report will be provided to the external Showalter Selection Committee and should be appropriate for their review. A template will be provided when the report is requested.

Project expenditures will be reviewed relative to the approved budget. Changes in personnel or redistribution of funds between budget categories may require prior approval through standard university processes. Further instruction on appropriate changes in project scope and spending practices will be provided with a notice of award.

For any project granted a No Cost Extension, a final report is required and must be submitted one month following the project end date following the same guidelines as above.

Approximately 3½ and 5½ years after the end of the project, PIs will be asked to complete a survey on the outcomes of the Showalter project and career status.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are subawards allowed?
  • No, funds must remain at Purdue. Small consultant payments may be considered but substantial partnerships resulting in subawards are not allowed.
  • Both myself and my collaborator would like to request one month of summer salary. Is this allowed?
  • No, only one month of faculty salary is allowed in total for all faculty participants, not for each participant. For example, with two faculty participants, each faculty participant could request 2 weeks of summer salary so that the total for both participants is one month.
  • What falls into the category of capital equipment?
  • Any item that exceeds the threshold of $5,000 for a single item would qualify as capital equipment and would require matching funding.
  • Do all documents in the submission need to follow the margin requirements above?
  • No, the standard NIH biosketch format uses a ½” margin and will be accepted in that format. Additionally, any letters of support will be accepted using the format they are received in. The primary proposal documents should follow the font and margin guidelines as described above.

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