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Provost’s Venture Fund - ProFund:
Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research Teams

ProFundThe Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research, is launching a seed grant program to fund collaborative efforts between scientists at SBU seeking to apply to externally funded research and training initiatives.

This seed grant program will award proposals in the following areas of interest:

  1. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and related topics
  2. High-performance computing, semiconductors, advanced computer hardware/software
  3. Quantum information science and technology
  4. Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing
  5. Climate change and national and anthropogenic disaster prevention/mitigation
  6. Advanced communications technology and immersive technology
  7. Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics and synthetic biology
  8. Advanced energy, industrial efficiency technologies including batteries, and advanced nuclear technologies
  9. Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies and cybersecurity, biometrics
  10. Advanced materials science including composites and 2D materials

The program will fund up to five multidisciplinary teams that commit to submitting proposals for medium/large scale grants (i.e., >$3M for research grants and >$2M for training grants) in the following categories: multi-PI grants, center grants, instrumentation grants, and training grants. Awarded projects will receive up to $100,000 for a maximum award period of two years. In addition, if the internally awarded project successfully leads to external funding, additional funding of up to $100,000/year for two years will be provided.

How to apply

The deadline is April 4, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST. A second round of competition may be announced at a later date. 

Eligibility requirements:  
  • All PIs must be current, full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty at Stony Brook University;
  • Applicants can only be PI on one application and Co-PI on one application. There is a limit of four Co-PIs on any application.

All documents should be combined in the following order and uploaded to the application submission portal as ONE PDF file. Each section must start on a new page (the page limits for each are listed below). Font size must be 11 points or larger with 1 inch margins. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.

  • Abstract (300 word limit);
  • Description of Aims/Goals/Objectives (1 page limit);
  • Significance Statement (1 page limit), describing how the project will advance collaborative research at SBU in the areas of interest. This section should include a timeline for submitting at least one proposal to an external sponsor. It is advisable to indicate the specific sponsor/program and RFP targeted. When developing the timeline for external submissions, please keep in mind that award periods will be no more than two years and PI teams are expected to apply for external grants within the award period.
  • Project Description (3 page limit), explaining the project goals and design, and how they align with the seed grant objectives;
  • References (no limit);
  • Research Team and Roles (500 word limit), describing the strength of the team, the unique expertise of each member, prior experience with collaborative efforts and any shared grants or publications among the team members. For training grants this portion should feature a description of the mPIs and pool of training mentors.
  • Current and pending funding for all PIs and Co-PIs (no page limit);
  • Biosketch/CV for all PIs and Co-PIs (2 page limit per investigator);
  • Budget Justification (no page limit) that includes:
    • A budget that does not exceed $100,000. Salary for PI/Co-PIs must present strong justification and all personnel related expenses must include fringe. Travel funds may be requested but must be necessary to perform the proposed research. Given that these are internal funds, F&A costs should not be included in the budget;
    • A timeline for spending the funds that is no more than two years;
    • A proposed use for the additional $100,000/year (for two years) in the event that the external proposal is awarded. These funds can be used toward institutional matching for the external proposal.

Applications will be peer reviewed by a panel selected by the Office of the Provost and Office of the Vice President for Research. The following criteria will be used for evaluation:

  • Innovation and Excellence: What is the potential for the proposed project to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?
  • Match: How well does the project fit the areas of interest and the purpose of the seed grant?
  • Overall Impact: To what extent would the proposed program benefit SBU’s research community and advance desired societal outcomes?
  • External Funding: To what extent would the proposed research create opportunities for attracting external funding? How likely is it that the research team would submit at least one proposal to an external sponsor within the award period?
  • Research Team: How well qualified is the team to conduct the proposed research? Is the team sufficiently diverse? Does the team have the necessary track record for the targeted external funding opportunities? (Teams targeting multi-PI and center-scale research grants should show a history of collaborative efforts. Teams targeting training grants must have experience with training mechanisms and/or training program-level leadership. Teams targeting equipment grants must have experience managing shared equipment and/or should have a history of success with external equipment grants.)
  • Budget: To what extent is the budget clear, efficient, and well-justified?

Finalists may be required to present their project to a panel of university academic/research leaders for final selection.

Progress report:

Awarded projects will be required to submit a progress report 12 months after the start date of the award and a final report at the end of the award period. A template will be provided

Additional Information/Questions

For more information, please contact the Office of the Provost at