Investing to Develop Center-Scale Multidisciplinary Convergence Research Programs

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Proposal Guidelines

  RFP Issue Date: January 6, 2017

  Applications Due: Friday, April 14, 2017

Program Description

The 2016-17 UCI Research Seed Funding Program is aimed at investing in promising 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 key directions to achieve 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, social sciences and reaching out to humanities, arts, business and law to attack societal and global grand challenges.

Accordingly, seed funding proposals are invited from multidisciplinary teams of faculty for planning, capacity building, and research development activities which can compete for extramural funding. Examples of such opportunities from the Federal agencies include: NIH P30, P50, PPG, SPORE; NSF ERC, STC, MRSEC; DOE, DOD MURI; DHS S&T COE. It is anticipated that several seed funding awards of up to $150,000 for a period of up to two years will be made.  


UC Irvine faculty members who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators may apply.  Only multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary teams and proposals are eligible.  Applications aimed at educational or service missions are not eligible.

Deliverables and Use of Funds

The key deliverable for awards will be the submission of one or more center proposals to extramural funding agencies, including federal (NIH, DOE, DOD, NSF, DHS, NASA, NEA, NEH, etc.), state, non-profit foundations (American Cancer Society, Keck Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.) by leveraging the work accomplished through the Seed Funding Program awards. Letters of intent or white papers do not satisfy the deliverable requirement. The targeted funding opportunity to which proposals will be submitted, with submission deadlines (if available), should be provided in the seed funding application.

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-docs, equipment, or other common research uses. Use of funds for faculty or administrative staff salaries is not allowed. As these are internal campus funds, no indirect costs will be charged.

Guiding Principles and Funding Priorities

The overall goal of the Seed Funding Program is to stimulate successful extramural research proposals. Applications will be judged competitively based on the likelihood that the proposed research plan and scope of work will result in robust preliminary data to support strong proposals for center-scale extramural funding. Other important considerations include the scientific merit, overall feasibility of the proposed plan, the track record of success of the research team, and the effective use of the requested resources.

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 staff members, will review the applications and provide a ranked list to the Vice Chancellor for Research. Feedback for each proposal will be provided in a timely manner after final funding decisions have been made by the Vice Chancellor for Research.


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 (PI) 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 (if known).
Information in this section will be entered directly into the "UCI Review" online submission system, the remaining items will be uploaded as a single document.

Research and Collabortion Plan not to exceed 3 pages.

Rough Budget not to exceed 1 page (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 they are aware of and generally support the project proposal.

CV or biosketches of the collaborating investigators, not to exceed 2 pages each.

Oversight and Reporting for Award Recipients

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


Hung Fan, Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, 949-824-3079 or

Jill Kay, Director, Research Policy, 949-824-1410 or

Greg Ruth, Manager, Research Advancement & Communications, 949-824-0372 or

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