BRITE Lab Grants

Download BRITE-Grant-RFP-2024-25




RFP 2024-2025


Request for Applications:


The BRITE Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce our continuing grant program to support UW faculty and graduate students. The grants sponsor research that use experiments to develop insights to questions in business, consumer science, accounting, economics, and related fields. The BRITE Lab has $25,000 in grants available this year. We anticipate individual grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, with most prior funded grants coming in around $2,000-$3,500. The BRITE Lab funding can be used for paying student subjects or for other direct expenses related to running an experiment.

Proposals will be evaluated based on two key factors: intellectual merit and potential for success. The intellectual merit component is met by having a well-thought out and novel theory-based experiment. A reasonable budget justification and funding plan will facilitate meeting the “potential for success” component. he goals of this year’s grant process are to promote the BRITE Lab, foster graduate student research, and foster the exchange of ideas across departments and campus. Proposals that deliver on one or more of these goals will receive extra consideration. Proposals that intend to conduct incentivized online or in-person experiments using the BRITE Lab subject pool will be prioritized.  However, other experimental proposals will also be considered.


Who Can Apply:


Faculty and Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are eligible to apply. Graduate students must identify a faculty ‘sponsor’ who will read the application and approve it prior to submission. The graduate student and faculty sponsor can be from any department on campus, but preference will be given to faculty in the School of Business and School of Human Ecology. If funded, faculty and student sponsors are responsible for assuring that both IRB and BRITE protocols are followed during lab use.

The BRITE Lab will not fund proposals that do not use experimental methods as a primary measure.


How and When to Apply:


We will accept small-grant proposals on a rolling basis throughout the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years up to the point where we reach the limits of our funding.  There are no application deadlines.  We encourage any researchers interested in BRITE Lab funding to initially reach out to Director Karla M Zehms [] with the preliminary idea for the study to be conducted.  Director Zehms will likely schedule a short meeting to discuss or provide initial feedback in another way. At this stage Director Zehms will give the best indication possible of whether the study is likely to receive BRITE funding.  After that initial contact, we encourage submissions on a rolling basis.  We encourage researchers to apply for funding at least two months prior to when they plan to run their study, but we can consider shorter time frames as needed.


About the BRITE Lab:


The overarching goal of the BRITE Lab is to encourage collaborative and cross-disciplinary research using experiments. Experiments conducted through the BRITE Lab involve monetary compensation and often have incentivized decisions or effort as part of the tasks. The BRITE Lab is both a hub for researchers interested in behavioral and experimental social-science research and a physical computer lab for conducting experimental studies.  The BRITE computer lab facility has 21 networked computers with high-speed internet access and has z-tree software installed.  The BRITE Lab maintains a pool of subjects who are interested in participating in studies, comprised primarily of undergraduate students at UW Madison. The subject pool can be used for both in-person and online studies. The BRITE Lab also has a graduate-student lab manager to help with scheduling of lab sessions, accessing the subject pool, and other issues surrounding running experiments through the BRITE Lab.  For more information on the lab, visit our website at:


Proposal Requirements:


A complete application consists of the following components, ideally in this order: Cover Page (1 page), Project Description (5 pages maximum), Bibliography, CVs for the PI, co-investigators, and faculty sponsor (if applicable), Bibliography, Timeline (not to exceed 1 page), and Budget (not to exceed 1 page). The entire application should not exceed 20 pages.


  • Cover Page: List the following – Title of the project, name of researcher, name of faculty sponsor (if applicable), amount of funding requested, agreement to present at a future BRITE workshop or symposium, and most importantly, a single sentence with the main research question.
  • Project Description (not to exceed 5 pages, not necessarily in this order):
    • Motivation: A clear statement of intellectual merit of the research and expected significance should be included. In addition, broader impact (i.e., importance for policy) and significant innovations should be discussed.
    • Contribution: The description should be clear about the specific contribution. This section should include the related literature in the area of focus, and how the researcher’s proposed project addresses short comings in existing knowledge. Please focus just on the key contribution. This is not a place where you need to highlight your tie to every paper in the literature, but it should be clear to a researcher outside your field how this study would contribute to knowledge at the frontier.
    • Theory: This section should address the theoretical model, and propose hypotheses that will be tested by the design. Appropriate theoretical models may be mathematical, but do not need to be so.  The goal of this section is to describe concretely how the experimental tests proposed will inform some broader theoretical insights about behavior, markets, etc.
    • Experimental Design: The design section should include a brief description of the full experiment design, including information about the treatments proposed and the number of participants needed for each treatment.
  • Bibliography The bibliography does not need to follow any specific format, but we prefer that you stick to one type (APA/MLA etc.). Make sure that any references cited in the work are in the bibliography, and that any work in the bibliography is cited in the main text.


  • CVs: The CV does not need to follow a specific format. We prefer short and concise CVs that include: education, experience, research interests, related publications and working papers, other publications and working papers, and previous grants awarded to the investigator.


  • Timeline: A timeline should be included; list the main activities to be completed and the timeline to completion. Explain the steps for obtaining IRB, programming in z-Tree etc., running the experiments, analyzing the data, and working paper drafting.


  • Budget: Determine the average amount that you will pay per subject, the number of subjects per treatment and the total budget that you will need. Since this is internal money, you do not need to budget for indirect costs. Also, you should budget only for subject payments or expenses directly related to running an experiment. You cannot budget for your own time, for travel or any other expense that does not directly generate data.


Submission and Questions:


Submissions and questions should be made electronically to the BRITE Lab care of:

Please indicate that this is a grant submission in the subject line.