The IEEE new initiative process allows for proposals to be evaluated at any time during the year via a two-stage submission process. This process aims to: 

  • Reduce the time from submission to response and implementation
  • More proactively seek new initiative proposals
  • Encourage regular and rigorous reviews of ongoing and completed initiatives

Typical new initiatives are expected to require US$100,000 or more for a 12-month period. However, any project proposed to the New Initiative Committee with a total budget exceeding US$40,000 will be considered a New Initiative. Multi-year funding is allowable, with a maximum of up to three 12-month periods.

The Seed Grant proposal process is used for smaller-scale or high-risk proposals when relatively small amounts of funding (US$40,000 or less) are required and the project may be completed in 12 months or less.

Restatement of the purpose of the New Initiative Program

The new initiative program is designed to support potential IEEE new programs, products, or services that will provide significant benefit to IEEE members, the public, the technical community, and customers, or which could have lasting impact on IEEE or its business processes. Initiatives must be of strategic importance to IEEE.

Who may submit a New Initiative Proposal

A request for new initiative funding may be submitted by any IEEE member, volunteer, or IEEE unit, either individually or in cooperation with an IEEE staff group.

While IEEE staff proposals generally are considered to be operational, they may be submitted for consideration if they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are innovative (e.g., involve something new to a discipline, a new product, a new process with significant benefits, or an integration of multifunctional operations)
  • They have a volunteer champion or operational unit co-sponsor

New initiative proposals must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from a volunteer champion. Learn more about the volunteer champion requirements in the explanation of the two-stage new initiative proposal submission process.

Two-stage New Initiative Proposal submission process

Stage one

Stage one of the New Initiative process involves the submission of a preliminary proposal for New Initiatives Committee (NIC) review. The steps are as follows.

  1. Initiative leaders must find a volunteer champion to endorse the proposed project. The champion writes a short endorsement (in electronic form) and may offer suggestions that could facilitate approval of the project.
  2. Preliminary proposals may be submitted at any time using the IEEE New Initiatives Preliminary Proposal (DOC, 111 KB). Completed forms should be sent to the NIC email alias at The form requires basic information such as initiative leader, champion endorsement, brief description of the project, why is this new and innovative for IEEE, the expected outcomes for and deliverables to IEEE, costs, and timetable.  Note that new initiative funding cannot be expended for capital equipment or salaries.
  3. Proposals will be screened by IEEE staff to determine that all required information is included, and then forwarded to the NIC within five working days of submission. Staff will not evaluate proposals for content.
  4. NIC will evaluate the preliminary proposals and provide a decision to the initiative leader and champion after the next scheduled NIC meeting.
  5. If the preliminary proposal is accepted, the initiative leader will be asked to submit a full proposal and a project plan. If the preliminary proposal is not accepted, the initiative leader and champion will be notified with an explanation and possible suggestions for further action.

Stage two

Stage two of the New Initiative process requires the submission of a Full Proposal and Project Plan (DOC, 216 KB) after acceptance of the preliminary proposal. The steps in this stage are as follows.

  1. The initiative leader will be asked to submit a full proposal with project and business plans and identify an IEEE staff person as the project manager, within the timeline negotiated between NIC and the initiative leader.
  2. Full proposals will be screened by staff to determine that all conditions for submission have been met, and will be forwarded to NIC within five working days.
  3. NIC members will review the full proposal and ask for any additional information prior to or during the next scheduled NIC meeting. The NIC may designate a NIC member as a contact for the initiative leader.
  4. If the proposal is recommended by NIC to the Board of Directors and approved by the Board, NIC will negotiate the start date (which includes immediate release of funding). NIC-funded projects are expected to provide regular progress reports and reviews (either written or verbal) to NIC. For multi-year projects, NIC may appoint a committee member to be the NIC liaison to the project.
Additional information on the IEEE New Initiative Process