The Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program, launched first in 2017 and offered again in 2019 and 2021 through a partnership between the Office of Research and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, has been 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, we have committed funds for a fourth competition in 2023 and we invite interdisciplinary faculty teams to submit proposals.
The 2023 Program has two tracks, the New Frontiers Track and the Cluster Engagement Track.
New Frontiers Track: Interdisciplinary team proposals may identify and propose early-stage exploration of potentially transformative opportunities leading to significant advancement in addressing grand challenges at the community, state, national or global level. Successful proposals to this track will include compelling evidence of transformative potential and plans for early engagement of user communities.
Cluster Engagement Track: Team proposals may address one or more of the themes of the 10 interdisciplinary clusters of the Presidential Interdisciplinary Faculty Hiring Initiative in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (https://provost.uga.edu/data_science_ai/). Consistent with UGA’s 2025 Strategic Plan goals, successful seed projects will lay the foundation for creation of an ecosystem connecting research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnerships with communities. Successful proposals shall advance the fusion of data science and AI in crosscutting areas to address a significant cluster theme area challenge and in parallel begin user and community engagement to forge pathways for direct and/or commercial translation for impact. Proposals that assist in engaging new or planned cluster hires with established scholars and communities are especially encouraged.
Please contact Paul Brooks in Public Service and Outreach (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Larry Hornak in the Office of Research (email@example.com) for questions regarding cluster area focus/scope or team formation.
Funding 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 seed 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 and extension faculty, and both research and outreach components are encouraged.
The development of cohesive and collaborative teams is integral to project success. While not required, prior engagement in the Teaming for Interdisciplinary Research Pre-Seed Program, the Leading Large Integrative Research Teams (L2-IRT) Workshop Series, CTSA, or the Provost’s Rural Engagement Workshop are strongly encouraged. Teams that include both academic and public service or extension faculty are strongly encouraged. All teams proposing to the Cluster Engagement Track 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 Integrative Team Initiatives in the Office of Research.
New Frontiers Track awards may range up to $60,000. Cluster Engagement Track awards may range from $60,000 to $150,000 per grant proposal. Actual amounts will be 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 targeted to be available by January 1, 2024, and must be expended by June 30, 2025.
Faculty may participate in more than one application this funding cycle, provided that each application is for a distinct project. Faculty may serve as lead PI on only one proposal. Faculty should not submit proposals that either represent the continuation of a project previously funded by the Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program or have significant overlap with a proposal previously funded by the 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 and align with the focus areas of the current competition. Collaborative projects that are currently funded via external grants are not eligible.
Proposal Submission and Review
Letter of Intent (LOI)
Teams must submit a short LOI by August 14, 2023. LOI submission is done via InfoReady at https://uga.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1904656. The LOI includes proposal title; name and email of the contact PI; names and affiliations of the UGA faculty in the team; track type; select keywords reflecting the work; and a brief but clear description of the challenge to be addressed, goals, and approach of the proposed team research (5 sentences maximum).
Only teams that have previously submitted an LOI will be invited to submit a proposal by 5 p.m. EDT September 29, 2023. Late proposals will not be considered. The submission website will be open for proposal submission immediately following the LOI deadline. Proposals must include:
- Project title.
- Track of Proposal, New Frontiers or Cluster Engagement.
- For Cluster Engagement Track proposals, identification of the relevant theme(s) from among those at https://provost.uga.edu/data_science_ai/.
- 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, including all figures and tables and not including references, must not exceed 3 Pages for New Frontiers Track proposals and 5 pages for Cluster Engagement Track Pages must be single-spaced with a minimum 11-point font and one-inch margins. Noncompliant proposals will not be reviewed.
- Within the work plan, proposals should clearly outline the project’s broader impacts. These may include the potential to benefit the state, nation or world. Ideally, projects teams will include public service faculty from Public Service and Outreach or Cooperative Extension.
- Identification of external funding targets the team intends to pursue. Specific website links are required; Do not use “such as” or “like.”
- Itemized budget using the template that will be provided on the InfoReady 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:
- Degree to which the proposal addresses the specified challenge.
- Extent of interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Strength of the team and its leadership.
- Soundness of approach.
- For New Frontiers Track proposals, compelling evidence of transformative potential and plans for early engagement of user communities.
- Description of anticipated outcomes and potential for broader impact and community engagement.
- 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 questions regarding the program to firstname.lastname@example.org.