Internal Grants & Awards

2021 Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program

The Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Programs, launched first in 2017 and again in 2019 through a partnership between the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, were highly successful as reflected by the value of external grants subsequently won by teams to pursue the work initiated through these seed grants.  In response to this continued success, President Morehead has committed funds for a third competition in 2021 and invites interdisciplinary faculty teams to submit proposals.

Research Focus

Team proposals should address a significant challenge at the local, national, or global level and support UGA’s 2025 Strategic Plan goal of growing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Challenge examples include those in areas identified by the Provost’s Task Force (precision agriculture, security, climate and environment, and brain and behavioral sciences), those requiring close collaboration between social/behavioral and biomedical faculty, and those leveraging advances in data science and AI.

Program Structure

Up to $1.5 million will be available to support interdisciplinary teams of UGA faculty who submit compelling proposals. Applications may include external collaborators from academia, government agencies, or the private sector, but any funds awarded through this program must be spent at UGA. Proposals must describe work that will position teams to be competitive for specific, externally-funded, multi-investigator and/or multi-institution awards. Proposals may include academic and public service faculty, and both research and outreach components when appropriate.

Proposing faculty teams that did not participate in the Team Interdisciplinary Research Pre-Seed Program may compete, but if successful, such teams must budget for and engage in a focused team Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) Workshop during the first two months of their award period in coordination with OVPR’s Integrative Team Initiatives.


Awards may range from $50,000 to $150,000 per grant proposal, with actual amounts based on itemized and justified budgets. Funds may be used in any customary way to support research, including for salary/stipend support of key personnel (faculty summer salary capped at two months) and, in particular, graduate students. However, these funds may not be used to support conferences, external collaborators, or course buyouts. Awarded funds are expected to be available December 1, 2021 and must be expended by June 30, 2023.


Faculty may participate in more than one application this funding cycle, provided that each application is for a scientifically distinct project. Faculty should not submit proposals that either represent the continuation of a project previously funded by the Presidential Seed Grant Program or have significant overlap with a proposal previously funded by the Presidential Seed Grant Program. Proposals that were reviewed but not funded in previous Presidential Seed Grant Program rounds should not be submitted to this round unless they have been substantially revised. Projects that are currently funded via external grants are not eligible.

Proposal Submission and Review

 Letter of Intent (LOI)

Teams were required to submit a short LOI by 11:59 PM, August 1, 2021 using the submission website link. The LOI includes proposal title, name and email of the contact PI, names and affiliations the UGA faculty in the team; and a brief but clear description of the challenge to be addressed, goals and approach of the proposed team research (5 sentences maximum).

Full Proposal

Leads of teams that have submitted an LOI received a link via email to the submission website during the first week of August through which they may submit a full proposal. The deadline for full proposal submission is 11:59 PM on September 15, 2021. Late proposals will not be considered. Proposals must include:

  • Project title.
  • Identification of the relevant theme/challenge.
  • Name, affiliation, and email of the contact PI (must be a single individual).
  • Name, affiliation, and email of all other co-PIs at UGA or elsewhere.
  • For each PI/coPI, a brief paragraph describing their relevant experience and accomplishments. Faculty may participate in more than one proposal.
  • Project summary, written in lay terms and not to exceed half a page.
  • Work plan (bulk of proposal). What will the team do? Will it build on prior interactions? What are the anticipated outcomes? Be as specific as possible. The work plan must not exceed 5 single-spaced pages with a minimum 11-point font and one-inch margins.
  • Identification of future external funding opportunities the team intends to pursue (be specific; do not use “such as” or “like”).
  • Itemized budget using the template that will be provided on the submission site.
  • Brief Budget Justification.


Proposals will be reviewed by a team of UGA faculty and administrators jointly assembled by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. Review criteria will include:

  • the degree to which the proposal addresses the specified challenge and its significance,
  • extent of interdisciplinary collaboration,
  • strength of the team and its leadership,
  • soundness of approach, and
  • the specificity with which the team has identified and researched a subsequent external funding target and competitiveness and likelihood for such external funding.

Please direct any programmatic questions  to