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Undergraduate Colleges and Universities

In addition to strategic grants, the Murdock Trust supports three initiatives for science research at four-year undergraduate institutions across the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about each program below:  

Research Start-Up Grants for New Science Faculty

Deadline: August 1 (one proposal cycle per completed application)
Awards Announced: Late November
To Learn More: Read the Guidelines for Research Start-Up Grants

This program offers support to supplement start-up costs for the establishment of new faculty positions in the natural sciences at private educational institutions. Grants are primarily targeted at undergraduate colleges and universities in the Trust’s five-state region.

Start-up packages are often offered by colleges and universities to new faculty in the sciences to assist with initiating their research. These start-up packages usually include both a cash component and in-kind, non-cash support.

An expert scientific consultant external to the college must be involved in every hire for which Trust support is sought. It is expected that this consultant, to be chosen by the institution, will provide advice on the professional scientific credentials of the applicant. Every application to the Trust must include a copy of the chosen consultant’s CV and a description of the role to be played by the consultant in the hiring process.

A panel of successful academic scientists representing the various scientific disciplines will evaluate the applications, and will advise the Trust concerning funding decisions. The panel will consider the likelihood that an outstanding candidate will be selected; the likelihood that the new hire can be successful in initiating a sustainable research presence on the campus; and the strength of the start-up package. In this way, the evaluation will not be of the candidate her/himself, but rather of the institutional setting and of the hiring process that is planned.

The deadline for receipt of these applications is August 1. Awards are announced in late November. To find out more, please download the Guidelines for Research Start-Up Grants and the Instructions and Checklist for Research Start-Up Grants information may be downloaded. Please read these documents carefully before you prepare and submit the complete application in the Grants Portal.  (Invitations to submit proposals, including the link to the Grants Portal, will be emailed to all eligible institutions during the early part of summer.) For institutions making multiple applications, each complete proposal must be submitted separately.

For more information about the Research Start-up Grants for New Science Faculty, email Dr. Moses Lee at the Murdock Trust or call 360-694-8415.  


Murdock College Research Program for Natural Sciences

Deadline: October 1 (one proposal cycle per completed application)
Awards Announced: Early March
To Learn More: Read the Guidelines for Natural Sciences Grants

This program is designed to support research in the natural sciences at private, predominantly undergraduate colleges and universities in the Trust’s funding region. Eligible institutions must offer a bachelor’s degree, but not a doctoral degree, in the sciences. Principal investigators must hold a faculty appointment in a natural science department. The program was introduced in 1997 for supporting the life sciences and expanded in 2014 to include the natural sciences.

To find out more about applying for this program, please download the Guidelines for Natural Sciences Grants information. The application process differs from that of the standard grants program, so please carefully read the Instructions and Checklist before you prepare and submit the complete application in the Grants Portal.  (Invitations to submit proposals, including the link to the Grants Portal, will be emailed to all eligible institutions during the early part of summer.) For institutions making multiple applications, each complete proposal must be submitted separately. There is one proposal cycle per year with a deadline of October 1 for completed applications.

For more information about the Murdock College Research Program for Natural Sciences, email Dr. Moses Lee at the Murdock Trust or call 360-694-8415. 


Murdock College Science Research Program

The goal of this program — designed exclusively for private four-year liberal arts colleges in the Trust’s funding region — is to strengthen these institutions’ faculty and undergraduate student research efforts in the natural sciences. We award grants to colleges and universities with the capacity for developing division-wide faculty-student research programs that can be sustained with institutional resources and external funding.  This program is by invitation only. To learn more about preparing to enter the program, please email Dr. Moses Lee or call 360-694-8415.


Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award and
Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award

Deadline: June 1 (one nomination cycle per year)
Awards Announced: November at the Murdock College Science Research Conference
Submitting a Nomination: Institutions will receive an email nomination invite in March

The Murdock Trust is pleased to announce the creation of two annual awards: the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award and the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award as part of the Murdock College Science Research Program (MCSRP) and the Trust’s vision to “Support the Future of Undergraduate Research at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions in the Pacific Northwest.” The Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award is intended to recognize a senior faculty exemplar with an established, productive, and nationally recognized research program, while the Lynwood W. Swanson Promise for Scientific Research Award is aimed at recognizing a junior faculty who has demonstrated an exceptional potential in establishing an exemplary, productive, and sustainable research program. The latter award is intended to honor a junior professor with less than 10 years of experience as a faculty member.

For more information, email Dr. Moses Lee  or call 360-694-8415.

To see past award recipients, click here.