Western Space Seed Grant

The Institute for Earth and Space Exploration was established in June 2019 and builds on the foundations of the former Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) that was established in 2008. The Institute is home to 64 faculty members from 8 faculties and 19 departments across campus. The research conducted by these faculty can be broadly grouped into 6 fundamental disciplinary Research Themes:

  • Earth Observation, Monitoring and Protection;
  • Exploration Technologies;
  • Planetary Processes and Materials;
  • Galactic and Stellar Processes;
  • Space Health;
  • Space Policy, Law and Education.


One of the primary goals of The Institute for Earth and Space Exploration is to support and promote interdisciplinary collaboration among our various departments and researchers to conduct innovative interdisciplinary research projects. The Institute is pleased to offer at least 4 seed grants of up to $15,000 per year for two years ($30,000 total funding) to initiate innovative, high-impact collaborative projects between Institute faculty members. These grants are intended for projects where external funding would be difficult to obtain due to the early-stage nature of the research. The goal is that these funds will be used to generate the preliminary results needed to obtain further funding for the work through other external grant programs. Proposals should clearly explain how they align with the Institute’s Research Themes, Vision, Goals and Objectives


  • Completed application form ( PDF link at the bottom of this page or for a .Docx version of the application form please email westernspace@uwo.ca)
  • CV* of the Principal Applicant and each Co-Applicant in PDF format.

*Any format is accepted but Canadian Common CV preferred. 

Application Deadline

  October 16th 2020

Application Guidelines and Additional Details

The maximum duration of the grant is 2 years and is non-renewable.


  • Funds are intended to initiate new projects, and not to sustain or augment ongoing research;
  • Proposals should align with one or more of the Institute’s Research Themes and/or Big Questions.
  • The Principal Applicant must be a Western Space faculty member employed by Western University inclusive of affiliates, and will be the applicant responsible for administering the funds and providing the report;
  • Applications must be submitted by a team, consisting of a minimum of two Institute faculty members, with an interdisciplinary focus;
  • Additional Co-Applicants can include non-Institute researchers, including from outside of Western;
  • An applicant may be part of only one seed grant application in a given competition, either as a Principal Applicant or Co-Applicant
  • Applicants must include the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration as an affiliation in any presentations or publications arising from the work, and must acknowledge funding from the Institute.


Submission and evaluation process

  • Submit the completed application form and CVs as a single PDF file to Courtney Barrett (westernspace@uwo.ca)
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Seed Grant Selection Committee, which will include a mix of Institute and non-Institute faculty members and Western research staff. This committee will be chaired by the Institute Director, Dr. Gordon Osinski, who will not be eligible to be an applicant on any submitted proposal.
  • Evaluation criteria and weighting are provided in the application form.
  • Final funding decisions will also take into account the requirement for distribution of awards across the Research Themes and the availability of funds, which includes contributions to the Institute budget from individual Faculties.


Use of funds

  • Maximum funding is $15,000 per year for up to 2 years for a maximum of $30,000.
  • Grants are expected to begin no later than January 01 2021 and finish no later than December 31 2022.
  • Applicants are expected to spend the funds in the manner proposed in the original budget and are compliant with Westerns Financials as per policies and procedures;
  • Eligible expenses include salaries for employees or trainees, travel directly related to field work and/or travel to scientific facilities, supplies, and services.
  • Ineligible expenses include indirect costs, travel related to conferences or non-fieldwork, and general computing equipment/software (exceptions may be made for specialized computing equipment or software that is essential for the proposed work).



A short report describing the outcomes of the project (e.g., publications, patents, additional funding obtained or applied for) will be due 4 months after completion of the project. Seed fund recipients will be required to provide information on any longer-term outcomes to Western Space for annual reporting purposes.



For any questions related to this Seed Grant, please contact Executive Administrative Officer Courtney Barrett or Institute Director, Dr. Gordon Osinski.