Seeding Success Grant

The Seeding Success Grant supports new work or directions with strong potential for impact or funding from federal, foundation, or industry sponsors.

The Seeding Success Grant has been updated, and now offers seed opportunity funding exclusively. The course buyout track formerly offered by the Seeding Success Grant is no longer available, but faculty may propose a course buyout via the separate Scaling Success Grant with the support of their dean.  In all other respects, the Seeding Success Grant is the same as in previous calls.

Applications for the Spring 2024 Seeding Success Grant Cycle are due on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 11:59pm.

Click here to visit the Seeding Success application portal.


Fund Uses

The Seeding Success Grant may generally be used for:

  • Capital expenses
  • Postdoctoral hires
  • Graduate student wages, stipends, and fees
  • Term limited consultants or skilled workers such as a web programmer or survey developer
  • Scientific and technical staff salaries
  • Travel
  • Materials or supplies
  • CORES

Unallowable uses generally include:

  • Book subventions
  • Faculty salaries
  • Tuition or financial aid support for students.

Award Eligibility & Terms

  • Project funding is $5,000 to $60,000 per year for up to two years, with larger amounts considered if proposal warrants and program budget allows.
  • All full-time, VU-employed faculty are eligible.
  • Faculty may submit up to one proposal per application cycle as lead faculty.
  • Applicants are encouraged to consider how their proposal advances inclusive excellence.
  • Project funding cannot support faculty salary.
  • Applicants may apply for up to $60,000 per year in salary and fringe support from OVPRI awards for postdoctoral researchers. Any amount over the $60,000 per year must be covered by the PI. Additionally, the application should cover:
    • The necessity of a postdoc to the project
    • The work the postdoc will be doing on the project
    • Detail plan to sustainably support the postdoc after their internal award period ends
  • Faculty are not eligible to submit another proposal until all reporting requirements have been met.
  • Each participating faculty member must disclose all institutional research support funds, including endowed-chair funds, annual allocations, and other such sources.
  • All funds must be used within the awarded project period (i.e. no carry forward).

Review Process

  • Proposals will be due once per semester. This twice-annual deadline will provide increased flexibility for faculty to leverage their funding.
  • Decisions and awards will be made by the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Funding will begin in the summer.

Internal Awards Review Committee

Internal Awards Review Committee


Application Checklist & Information

Applications for the Spring 2024 Seeding Success Grant Cycle are due on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

Click here to visit the application portal. 

Application Checklist

Part I: Applicant Information

  • Lead Faculty First and Last Name
  • Lead Faculty VUnetID
  • Lead Faculty Department
  • Lead Faculty Appointment Title
  • Department Administrator Name and Email
  • Co-Applicants (up to 4 faculty)
  • Project Discipline (Science & Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Humanities, or Social Science)
  • Total Funding Requested
  • Total funding for Y1
  • Total funding for Y2

Part II: Proposal Information

These responses will be entered into text boxes on InfoReady.

  • Proposal Title
  • Project Abstract (100 words)
  • Research & Methods (750 words)
    Briefly explain your proposed project, the research question(s) it addresses, and the methodological approach and rationale of your project. Also discuss the significance and impact of the work proposed on your field and subfields. References are not required, and any included will count toward the word count, though you may upload an optional references/bibliography document to this application. Please make sure that your response is free of field-specific jargon and will be accessible to readers in your selected discipline (Science & Medicine, Arts & Humanities, Engineering, and Social Science).
  • Workplan (500 words)
    Describe your workplan, timeline, and notable benchmarks.
  • Research Trajectory & Deliverables (500 words)
    How does this project fit into your research trajectory? Please explain your plans for future external sponsorship, any deliverables that will result from the proposed work, and collaborations that this work will facilitate. (500 words)
  • Roles/Contributors (500 words max)
    If applicable, please describe the role of all individuals listed on the project, including the PI and any co-collaborators
  • Postdoc Support (500 words max)
    If hiring a postdoc, please explain a) the necessity of the postdoc to the project, b) the work the postdoc will be doing on the project, c) if a postdoc has already been selected or will be a new hire, d) if hiring a new postdoc, please discuss the desired qualifications of the postdoc, and e) a sustainable plan for supporting the postdoc after the Seeding Success Grant ends. Please note that OVPRI Internal Awards will only cover up to $60,000 for postdoc hires.
  • Budget Justification (500 words max)
    Please explain and justify what the requested funds will cover, if awarded. This section should correlate to the attached budget.
  • Disclosure of Internal Funds
    Disclose the specific dollar amounts of all internal funds currently available (start-up funds, annual allocations, endowed-chair funds, other internal awards, etc.) for each VU faculty member listed. Indicate why these monies cannot be used for the proposed project expenditures and if there will be any cost-sharing on the part of the PI/co-investigators from those internal funds.
  • Pending Applications
    Disclose all pending applications for all VU faculty-including other internal award opportunities for this project.
  • IRB Approval
    Does this project require IRB approval? If so, has this process been initiated?

Part III: Uploads

These uploads must in .pdf format. Additional written content or files, other than what is described before, will not be reviewed.

  • Detailed budget
    Upload a detailed budget using the template provided on the Details page of this competition. Please be thorough in describing your costs. For example, if there is any staff support listed on this grant, you must list the % effort and how the rate is calculated, etc.  The expenses listed should be justified in the budget justification above.
  • Scholarships & Sponsorship Information
    All VU faculty listed on this application must upload a list of their five most recent and relevant (to this project) publications or works. Please do not upload entire copies of these publications; citations are sufficient. All VU faculty listed on this application must also include a list of all external sponsorship from the last five years, including:
    • Project Title
    • Sponsoring Group/Agency
    • Grant or Award Type
    • Individual role
    • Dates of Award
    • Total Award Amount
  • Optional References/Selected Bibliography
    Optional Supporting Image Attachment: Attachments are only for images or graphics that cannot be included in the program description text box. Additional written content will not be reviewed. (You may include brief captions to any images, but they should be short and descriptive).

Previous Seeding Success Awardees

  • Spring 2023 Seeding Success Awardees
    • Markus Eberl, “Acquiring a LiDAR drone to enable a geospatial revolution at Vanderbilt,” Associate Professor, College of Arts & Science, Anthropology
    • Caglar Oskay, “Modeling Properties of Heterogeneous Materials via Quantum Computing – a New Frontier for Multiscale Modeling and Simulation”, Professor, School of Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering
    • Jessika Boles, “Patient Awake While Scanned: A Multidimensional Quality Analysis of a Pediatric Non-sedate MRI Program”, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Peabody College, Psychology & Human Development
    • Allison Anoll, “Race and the Politics of Childrearing: Survey of Parent-Child Pairs”, Assistant Professor, College of Arts & Science, Political Science
    • David Michelson, “The Union Catalogue of Syriac Manuscripts: A Linked Data Research Tool”, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Divinity School
    • Ying Sheng, “Palpitations in Breast Cancer Survivors: Using ECG Monitoring for Detection of Palpitation-Associated Arrhythmias”, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Academics
    • Jules White, “Assessing the Threat of ChatGPT-based Phishing Attacks in Collaboration with VU Cybersecurity”, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Computer Science
    • Melissa Gresalfi, “Designing for Playful Mathematical Engagement in Middle School”, Professor, Peabody College, Teaching & Learning
    • Kevin Leach, “Personalized Intelligent Measurements for Mental Health”, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, Computer Science
    • Amanda Lea, “Testing evolutionary explanations for modern day cardiovascular disease”, Assistant Professor, College of Arts & Science, Biological Sciences
  • Fall 2022 Seeding Success Awardees
    • Samira Sheikh, "How did Indians find their way? South Asian maps before colonialsim",  Associate Professor of History, College of Arts and Science, Department of History
    • Akos Ledeczi, "Code to Joy: A Music-Based Framework for Teaching Computer Science", Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science
    • Jonathan Sprinkle, "Transition to Practice for Energy-Saving Cruise Controllers", Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science
    • Kendal Broadie, "Biosensor kinase signaling in brian learning/memory circuits", Stevenson Professor of Neurobiology, College of Arts and Science, Department of Biological Sciences
    • Ronald Emeson, "MECP2 Targets for ADAR-Mediated Transcript Therapeutics in Rett Syndrome", Professor of Pharmacology, School of Medicine - Basic Sciences, Department of Pharmacology
    • Jason MacGurn, "Targeting inter-organelle communication to promote healthy aging", Associate Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, School of Medicine - Basic Sciences, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology
    • Andrea Page-McCaw, "The role of cellular tension in wound healing", Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, School of Medicine - Basic Sciences, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology
    • Han Su, "Barriers and facilitators to employment after critical illness: interaction between individual, job, and environment", Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing
    • Elma Zaganjor, "Understanding how blocking purine biosynthesis prevents high fat diet-mediated weight gain", Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine - Basic Science, Department of molecular Physiology & Biophysics
    • Jacob Sauer, "Huilo-Lanin Environmental Anthropology Project", Senior Lecturer of Anthropology, College of Arts and Science, Department of Anthropology
  • Spring 2022 Seeding Success Awardees
    • Christopher Candelaria, "'Local Impacts of Washington's McCleary Fix:' A study of Residential Sorting and Housing Markets," assistant professor of public policy and education, Peabody College
    • Marcelo Disconzi, "Neutron star mergers at the intersection of mathematics and physics," associate professor of mathematics, College of Arts and Science
    • Martin Egli, "Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroEd) of RNA and RNA-Protein Interactions," professor of biochemistry, School of Medicine Basic Sciences
    • Todd Giorgio, "Biomaterials to Prevent Preterm Birth," professor of biomedical engineering, School of Engineering
    • Alfredo Gurrola, "Unveiling new forms of composite matter from a new force of nature," assistant professor of physics & astronomy, College of Arts and Science
    • David Hyde, "Advanced cloud-based Data- and Visualization-Integrated Simulation EnviRonment (ADVISER) for Ice Flow and Fracture Modeling," assistant professor of computer science, School of Engineering
    • Jonathan Lane, "Children's Detection of Social Bias," assistant professor of psychology and human development, Peabody College
    • Ethan Lee, "Development of Kras inhibitors that target a newly identified protein packet," professor of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine-Basic Sciences
    • Mulubrhan Mogos, "Pathogenic memory T-cells As Potential Therapeutic Targets for Preeclampsia," assistant professor, School of Nursing
    • Jeremy Neal, "Differences in labor-associated inflammation following spontaneous labor onset among low-risk Black and White nulliparous women," assistant professor, School of Nursing
    • Robert Pitz, "Study of carbon-free ammonia-air flames in tubular burner," professor of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering
    • Yi Ren, "Chaperone-mediated regulation of PIKK stability and function," assistant professor of biochemistry, School of Medicine Basic Sciences
    • Jenny Schafer, "Upgrades to the Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) Zeiss Z1 Lightsheet Microscope to Increase Imaging Capabilities and Sample Compatibility," research associate professor of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine Basic Sciences
    • Lori Schirle, "The Feasibility of Incorporating Pain Sensitivity Testing into Total Knee Replacement Workflow," assistant professor, School of Nursing
  • Seeding Success 2021 Awardees

    Seed Fund Projects

    • Terrah Akard, "Human-Animal Interactions to Improve Reading Fluency and Comprehension for Children with or at Risk for Learning Differences," associate professor, School of Nursing 
    • Felipe Barrera-Osorio, "Long-term Direct and Intra-household Spillover Effects of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program: Experimental Evidence from Colombia," associate professor of public policy, education, and economics, Peabody College
    • David Braun, "Catapult Legs: Enhancing Human Physical Ability with Robotic Limbs," assistant professor of mechanical and computer engineering, School of Engineering
    • Andrew Coe, "Vanderbilt Laboratory for Research on Conflict and Collective Action," assistant professor of political science, College of Arts and Science
    • Markus Eberl, "Machine learning-based identification of ancient Maya microartifacts," associate professor of anthropology, College of Arts and Science
    • Raheleh Filsoofi, "The Resonance of the Land: An Intersection of Art, Music and Technology," assitant professor of art, College of Arts and Science
    • E. Duco Jansen, "A novel imaging-based approach for real-time dosimetry monitoring during photodynamic therapy of Staphylococcus aureus," professor of biomedical engineering, School of Engineering
    • Antonia Kaczkurkin, "Generalized anxiety disorder is actually a mood disorder: A pilot study using a novel method for identifying data-driven brain networks," assistant professor of psychology, College of Arts and Science
    • Eunji Kim, "Revisiting the Power of Fox News," assitant professor of political science 
    • Shihong Lin, "Single-layer and conductive graphene membrane for electro-regulated selective solute separation," associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering 
    • Odie Lindsey, "A New Novel About the Blurring of Creative Identity, Commercial-Cultural Sellout, and the Creolization of the American Music," Writer-in-Residence of Medicine, Health, and Society, College of Arts and Science
    • Cathy Maxwell, "Mitochondrial Fitness and the AFRESH Wellness Program," assistant professor, School of Nursing

    Course Release Projects*

    • Joanne Golann, "Forming Habit(us): A Video-Ethnography of Everyday Interactions Inside 12 American Families," assistant professor of public policy and education, Peabody College
    • Lijun Song, "One Course Buyout, Two Network-Based Research Purposes to Complete," associate professor of sociology, College of Arts and Science
    • Guillermo Toral, "Democracy on Payroll: Uses and Abuses of Government Jobs in Brazil," assistant professor of political science, College of Arts and Science 

    *Course buyout was only available for the Spring 2021 cycle. 


Purchase Requisitions & Expense Reporting

Purchase Requisitions & Expense Reporting

Contact Information