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Faculty research seed grants on human trafficking in the U.S. and across the globe

The Center on Human Trafficking & Outreach is accepting applications for seed grants that will result in external funding in human trafficking research, programming and policy work in the U.S. or internationally.

The mission of the Center on Human Trafficking & Outreach (CenHTRO) is to conduct research, develop programming and influence policies that drastically and measurably reduce human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. CenHTRO’s vision is to become the leading hub for human trafficking research, policy and programming development across the globe. The interdisciplinary and international center is housed within the School of Social Work, with current engagements in about 10 countries across the globe. 

To build on their successful research on human trafficking abroad, and through funding from the UGA Office of the Provost, CenHTRO is accepting applications for seed grants that will result in external funding in human trafficking research, programming and policy work in the U.S. or internationally. 

Areas of Research Priority: CenHTRO is seeking seed grant projects that address one (or more) of the following human trafficking research areas: 

1. Disrupting the social and economic networks of human trafficking – leading to a National Science Foundation grant 

2. Long-term sexual, physical and psychological health impacts of human trafficking exploitation – leading to an National Institutes of Health or a Centers for Disease Control grant application 

3. Successful reintegration of human trafficking survivors – Leading to a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services

4. Harnessing big data, AI or machine learning to combat human trafficking research – leading to an NSF grant or other sources 

5. Strengthening policies to support survivors and victims and to punish perpetrators – leading to a grant with the Department of Justice, Department of State or Department of Labor

While the above research ideas and potential funders have been identified by CenHTRO, applicants may propose other areas of research and potential funders as long as they are very specific. Applications that focus on the U.S. are highly encouraged. Applications are also encouraged to include CenHTRO affiliates and faculty. 

Letter of Intent: Applicants are encouraged to submit a short LOI by July 30, 2021. The LOI should include the proposal title; name, title and email of the contact principal investigator; names and affiliations of the faculty on the team; and a brief but clear description of the proposed research, goals and approach (five sentences maximum). The LOI should be no more than three single-spaced pages. 

Full Proposal Deadline: Sept. 30, 2021, at midnight EST. 

Please submit full proposals to

Funding and Eligibility: A total of $45,000 is available. Awards will be up to $15,000 per grant proposal, with actual amounts based on itemized and justified budgets. Funds will be made available on Nov. 15, 2021, and all awarded funds must be expended by June 30, 2022

Funding Details: Funds may be used in any customary way to support research, including for payment of participant incentives, purchase of datasets to conduct data analyses, data collection costs (which may include travel), and salary/stipend support of key personnel (including faculty summer salary) and graduate students. However, funds may not be used to support conferences, external collaborators or course buyouts. 

The proposed project must be led by a faculty member from the University of Georgia but can include faculty collaborators from other institutions. Faculty may participate in more than one proposal, provided that each is for a scientifically distinct project. 

These projects may be expansions of existing projects aimed at further developing methods or hypotheses or small, stand-alone projects. All funded seed grant projects must be directly related to the submission of a federal grant application (e.g., NIH, NSF, CDC, DoL, DHHS, DoJ, etc.) in the area of human trafficking in the near future, and the proposals must clearly articulate how the seed grant project will increase the likelihood that the grant application will be successful. Seed grants are intended to fund pilot research that will generate preliminary data to leverage extramural research grant opportunities. 

Subsequent grant applications related to the seed grant project must either be submitted through CenHTRO or give notification to CenHTRO that a grant proposal is resulting from the seed grant project. Any manuscripts, presentations and posters resulting from the seed grant should acknowledge CenHTRO. 

Grantee Requirements: Grantees are required to submit a report no later than Sept. 30, 2022 describing how the seed grants were used, as well as the outcomes of the project, including plans for future grant submissions. 

Submission Instructions: Applicants should submit a letter of intent by July 30, 2021, by emailing Full proposals should be emailed by midnight EST on Sept. 30, 2021, to

Full Proposal: Proposals must include: 

a) Project title. 

b) Identification of the relevant theme. 

c) Name, affiliation and email of the contact PI (must be a single individual). 

d) Name, affiliation and email of all other co-PIs at UGA or elsewhere. 

e) For each PI/co-PI, a brief paragraph describing their qualifications, relevant experience and accomplishments; a two- to three-page resume; and capacity to carry out the project. Faculty may participate in more than one proposal. 

f) Project summary/abstract, not to exceed one page. 

g) Project narrative, which should include: 1) specific aims and expected outcomes; 2) brief background and significance; 3) a description of research design and methods; 4) consideration of risk and ethics of the proposed research plan; and 5) a timeline of the proposed research activities. The project narrative must not exceed five single-spaced pages with 11-point font size or larger and one-inch margins (excluding references). 

h) Identification of future external funding opportunities the applicant intends to pursue (be specific [agency, mechanism, PA]; do not use “such as” or “like”) and a description of how the seed grant project will increase the likelihood that the external grant application will be successful. 

i) Project budget listing main expense categories, dollar amounts and a brief justification for use of the funds. 

j) References. 

Review Process and Criteria: Proposals will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary ad hoc committee using the following review criteria: 

• the degree to which the proposal addresses the specified human trafficking research area(s), 

• clarity of the specific aims, 

• scientific rigor/soundness of approach, including a realistic timeline and an ethical methodology, 

• strength of the team, including relevant experience and capacity to carry-out the proposed project, 

• the specificity with which the team has identified a subsequent external funding target mechanism and competitiveness and likelihood for such external funding. 

Contact: For questions about the seed grant program prior to the deadline, please contact Dr. Lydia Aletraris, CenHTRO PRIF Project Coordinator,, 706-542-3655. 

See CenHTRO’s work at