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Table of Contents

1.  Program Purpose
2. Applicant Eligibility
3. Budget Restrictions
4. Application Process
5. Post-Award and Final Reporting Requirements

Program Purpose

The goal of the Research Incentive Seed Grant Program is to support investigators in collecting preliminary data in new, innovative research areas that will be leveraged for extramural grant applications. In brief:

  • The VPR approves a set amount of funds for each college. The amount of these funds is based on the extramural award performance of the college.
  • Each college will run a competitive seed grant program that aligns with their specific needs.
  • Colleges will submit a list of research projects to the VPR that they recommend for seed funding.
  • Lead investigators on recommended projects will submit a project summary and detailed budget to InfoReady. After final VPR approval, the PI will work with the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) to set-up a DSS account to access the seed funds.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Tenure-line faculty and Career-line faculty who hold at least a .75 FTE appointment are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty must be in-residence at the University of Utah to be considered for Seed funding.
  • Faculty in Institutes/Centers/Programs, the Honors College, and the Libraries will need to apply via their home colleges.
  • Proposals must exhibit high potential for leveraging extramural funding and PIs must commit to submitting at least one external proposal based on the pilot project. If funded, all applicants will be required to present proof of extramural submission in the Final Report.
  • All applicants must clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the proposed project represents a new research direction in an area that is likely to generate extramural funding. Research that is already supported by other sources is not eligible for Seed funding. (For example, PI’s cannot receive funding from the URC program and the Research Incentive Seed Grant Program for the same or similar projects.
  • Proposals that have already been submitted to an extramural agency, or those already reviewed and found noncompetitive by an extramural agency, will not be considered for funding.
  • Applicants that have significant start-up, cash reserves are not eligible for funding.

Budget Restrictions

Grant funds cannot be used for:

  • Travel that is not directly related to project research (including curriculum or career development, taking courses, or attending professional meetings and conferences)
  • Society/group memberships, consultants, or office equipment (including computers) unless clearly and convincingly justified

Application Process

  • Colleges will receive a notification in August from the VPR Office regarding funds available for their seed grant program.
  • Assistant/Associate Deans of Research, or their equivalents, are expected to submit a college-specific, competitive seed grant process to the VPR Office that includes:
    • Aim/goal for utilization of seed funds.
    • Methods for soliciting seed grant applications from faculty.
    • A description of the internal seed grant review process.
    • The college’s intended plan for reviewing applications, and a description of the review committees.
  • Colleges need to communicate their internal competition plan to the VPR Office by September 11, 2020 to be eligible to participate in the Research Incentive Seed Grant Program. A college may begin to collect seed proposals once the internal process is communicated to and approved by the VPR Office.
  • All colleges will need to adhere to the same internal competition deadline of November 30th, 2021.

Following the internal review process, colleges will need to submit a recommendation of research projects to be funded to The college will be required to use the Project Summary Sheet provided to the Associate Deans for Research. Project recommendations for seed grant funding must be submitted no later than January 15th, 2021

Investigators Approved to Receive Seed Grants


The VPR Office will notify Awardees and Colleges of their seed grant award status by February 1st, 2021. Lead Investigators on projects approved for funding are required to submit the following information (via InfoReady):

  1. Project Summary/Abstract (Project Summary/Abstract)
  2. Full Proposal/Application Package (originally submitted to College)
  3. Detailed Budget (Budget Page – PDF; Budget Page – Excel

Upon receipt of the documents, the VPR office will instruct faculty on creating a DSS in eProposal for the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP). Note: Failure to create an InfoReady application or DSS can result in a potential reduction of budget or dismissal of project.

Post-Award and Final Reporting Requirements

  • All Seed Grant awards are expected to begin March 1st, 2021 and will expire on February 28th 2022, 12 months after activation of the award.  No-cost extensions will not be considered unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • A Final Report will be due to the VPR Office and the awardees’ colleges within 3 months of the project end-date (May 28, 2022). Investigators will submit their Final Report to their Associate Dean for Research who must approve the report at the college level to ensure that the college’s goals and requirements have been met. Approved reports should then be sent to the VPR Office via Infoready for final approval by the VPR -
  • Final reports must include proof of proposal submission to an extramural funding agency. If the investigator has not submitted to an extramural funding agency at the close of the seed grant, their final report will not be approved by the VPR Office.
  • Investigators with outstanding final reports are not eligible for additional funding from the VPR Office.

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Last Updated: 5/21/21