UCI Research Seed Funding Program 2023-24

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Website UCI Office of Research

The 2023-24 UCI Center-Scale Multi-Investigator Research Seed Funding Program is aimed at investing in promising convergent research directions where internal seed level investment can lead to externally funded “center-scale” research programs. The UCI strategic plan identifies convergence research as one of the keys to achieving the vision of research growth that makes a difference. Here convergence refers to deep integration of knowledge bases, tools, techniques, and ways of thinking from physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, computing and social sciences, humanities, arts, business and law to address major societal challenges.

Accordingly, seed funding proposals are invited from multidisciplinary teams that can compete for extramural funding. Please note that the Seed Funding Program is not intended to serve as a funding mechanism for internal UCI-based centers.

Seed funding can be used for planning, capacity building, and research development activities. Examples of extramural opportunities that teams can target include the NIH P30, P50, PPG and SPORE programs, the NSF ERC, STC, MRSEC, CCI, and Expeditions programs, the DOD MURI program, the DOE EFRC program, the DHS S&T COE program and large grants offered by any of the NSF cross-directorate funding initiatives, the NEH, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list but is meant to be illustrative.  The targeted funding opportunity(ies) to which proposals will be submitted must be provided at the time of application. Proposals that are vague on this point or produce a list of sponsors without apparent focus, will be scored lower than those who can identify specific and timely opportunities.

Funds will be provided for one-time awards that may be used up to two years from the time they are awarded. Funds can be used for meetings, supplies, students or post-doctoral fellows, equipment, travel, or other common research uses. Use of funds for faculty salaries (or course buyouts) is not allowed. As these are internal campus funds, no indirect costs will be charged.

UC Irvine faculty members who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators may apply. Only multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary teams and proposals are eligible.

Seed funding may be requested for a period of up to two years, and it is anticipated that 5 – 8 awards of up to $150,000 each will be given.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, January 16, 2024 at 11:59 pm, via the UCI Review application portal.

Proposal Guidelines


Applications are strictly limited to the cover page information and a total of 5 additional pages, plus CVs/Biosketches. The full application packet includes the following items:

  • Cover Page including the project title; Principal Investigator’s (Pl) name and contact information; any co­ investigators’ names and contact information, and the administering unit and financial management contact for this project, if awarded. In addition, this section should list targeted external funding opportunities and submission deadlines.
  • Research and Collaboration Plan not to exceed 3 pages (References do not count toward this page count and can be included on additional pages).
  • Rough Budget not to exceed 1 page,_The budget should state the total amount requested from the Research Seed Funding Program, as well as the level of external funding that the research team will pursue. (see Use of Funds section above).
  • Letter of Support from the Dean, Chair, or Director of the administering unit, including their agreement to receive and manage the award, if approved (not to exceed 1 page). Regarding the content of this letter: at most, we are seeking acknowledgement from the administering unit that it is aware of and supports the project proposal.
  • CV or biosketches of the collaborating investigators, not to exceed 2 pages each.

Proposal Development Resources

During the proposal development process for this Research Seed Funding Program, the Office of Research encourages teams to schedule a consultation with the UCl-based, Team Scholarship Acceleration Lab (TSAL). TSAL will work with teams on developing a strategic plan for their research (including developing and aligning goals), team communication and on creating team scholarship management plans. To schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Maritza Salazar Campo at, maritza.salazar@uci.edu.

Review Process

A review committee, composed of faculty members representing a wide range of disciplines, including representatives from the Academic Senate Council on Research, Computing and Libraries (CORCL), and key Office of Research (OR) staff members, will review the applications and provide a ranked list to the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). The VCR and his Senior Managers team will then bring in teams ranked high on this list for a 1-hour meeting to further discuss the aims of the research team, the grant programs it intends to target, and how it plans to utilize seed funding resources, if funded.

Oversight and Reporting for Award Recipients

A brief report will be requested after year 1, and a final report detailing the work accomplished through the Research Seed Funding Program is to be submitted within 3 months of the completion of the award period.  This report should include a financial report indicating the use of the awarded funds, and information on the proposal(s) submitted, or planned for submission, including the targeted call/FOA/RFA/RFP (titles and program number), and their submittal due date(s).

Contact Information

Questions regarding the 2023-24 UCI Center-scale Multi-Investigator Research Seed Funding Program can be directed to Mike Gallo, Director of Research Development, at, magallo@uci.edu.

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