The research-extension connection

All researchers submitting proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) are evaluated on their intellectual merit and their broader impacts. The broader impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. MU Extension's mission is to bring research-based information to citizens across the state. To accomplish this mission, extension has faculty and professional staff on each University of Missouri campus and in each of Missouri’s 114 counties.

The extension network across the state can help you fulfill your broader impacts requirements.

Why partner with MU Extension?

Extension faculty can help you:

  • Gather stakeholder input that can inform your research and broader impacts activities.
  • Work with all age groups and issue-focused populations — especially those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — to broaden participation in your broader impacts activities.
  • Find venues to implement your broader impacts activities or present your research to the public or special interest groups.
  • Design and conduct evaluation of your broader impacts activities.
  • Partner with extension faculty on research projects.

At MU, extension is organized into six main program areas, each covering a range of issues and topics: Agriculture, Community Development, Business Development, Human Environmental Sciences, the 4-H Center for Youth Development and Continuing Education.

Seed-capital grants available for MU researchers

To ensure that field faculty are bringing trusted, research-based solutions for improving lives and communities, MU Extension is working to strengthen ties between campus researchers and extension field faculty.

A strong research and extension partnership also benefits researchers. By harnessing the statewide network of extension field faculty, researchers can fulfill the National Science Foundation’s grant requirements to demonstrate broader impact in the community.

To accomplish this goal, MU Extension is offering seed-capital funding to MU researchers who have projects that

  • Align with MU Extension’s strategic goal to enhance integration with research to ensure reliable and trusted educational solutions.
  • Help build collaborations and partnerships with MU Extension.
  • Have potential to lead to externally funded grants.

Individual faculty members or teams may submit proposals. At least one investigator on the team should be a campus or regional faculty member with an MU Extension appointment. Applicants may request up to $25,000 through the seed-capital program. Projects should be one year in duration.

Proposal format

Proposals should include the following:

  • Title page with an abstract (300 words or less)
    • Include the names and contact information for all investigators
  • Project narrative (no more than five single-spaced pages)
    • Include a detailed discussion of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed work — including goals, objectives, methods and expected outcomes.
  • References
  • Letter of collaboration from an MU Extension professional

Send complete proposals as a single PDF document to Marcia Shannon at by Oct. 1, 2016.

Review process

Proposals will be reviewed by the MU Extension strategic goal one committee and designated others. Awards will be based on reviewer feedback and availability of funds. The following criteria will be used to review proposals:

  • Project focus — The extent to which the proposal articulates important problems or issues relevant to the state of Missouri and proposed methods are appropriate for addressing the identified issues.
  • Alignment with MU Extension’s Strategic Plan — Is the proposal enhancing MU Extension's integration with research to ensure reliable and trusted educational solutions?
  • Expected outcomes — What outcomes will the project likely yield in terms of new knowledge, partnerships, publications, and/or educational engagement? What is the potential for this work to obtain further external funding?

Award administration

Funding decisions will be made by Nov. 1, 2016. Faculty who receive seed funding will work with the MU Extension assistant vice provost for administration of the award. All awardees must submit a final report, which includes activities, outcomes and project expenses, within three months of the project's completion.


If you are interested in partnering with MU Extension, contact Susan Renoe,, in the Broader Impacts Network or Dave Baker,, to start the conversation.