Seed Grant Program

Eligibility and requirements

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2020, Feb. 21, 2020, or March 1, 2020, depending upon the TAE


The Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence (TAE) Seed Grant Program is meant to advance new ideas that cross disciplinary lines and can build Binghamton University's expertise and reputation. Proposals for collaborative projects are invited from groups of two or more faculty who will employ diverse methods and bodies in knowledge to address a central problem. This competitive, peer-reviewed program provides initial support for proposed long-term, collaborative research relationships and scholarship that have strong potential to attract external funding and create new partnerships. The program rewards potential high impact research proposals, including work that develops new methods, applies theories or methods to new substantive areas, or translates among previously unrelated theoretical perspectives. Proposals that involve faculty from more than one department are highly encouraged. Projects funded through this program are expected to lead to the development of a proposal for external support. Twelve-month awards will be made for projects beginning June 1, 2019.

Proposals should be directed toward one of the six Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence (TAE): Health Sciences; Material and Visual Worlds; Smart Energy; Citizenship, Rights, and Cultural Belonging; Sustainable Communities; and Data Science. More information about the TAE research themes, TAE-specific review criteria, and specific proposal planning meetings hosted by TAEs is available on this website

Program eligibility

This program is not a bridge fund nor is it to support research in lieu of external grant funds. There is no restriction on the number of collaborations any individual may join. Collaborators may include individuals from off campus, but funding for other than Binghamton University personnel requires justification.

Review panel

All proposals will be reviewed by the program-specific TAE Steering Committee. Consequently, it is essential that proposals communicate clearly to reviewers outside of the proposal discipline(s) what is being proposed and why it is important. The general criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals are below. Each TAE may have slightly different review criteria or different weights for review criteria from those listed below. Check the webpage of the TAE you are interested in for any additional criteria and clarifications.

1. Relationship of the proposed research to the directed TAE. (20 percent)
2. Originality, significance, quality and future impact of the proposed research. (40 percent)
3. Ability to attract future federal, state, philanthropic or private funding. (30 percent)
4. Strength of record of achievement of the team. (10 percent) (Note that OSP will supply Current and Pending data to the Review Panel for submitted proposals.)

Proposal preparation

Awards ranging from $3K to $15K for a maximum of one year are anticipated depending on the needs of the project and the specific TAE sponsor. Applicants are highly encouraged to review the TAE webpage to see additional guidance specific to each TAE. Applicants are encouraged to discuss budget preparation with the staff of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Completed application packages must be submitted electronically to The proposal deadline for the TAE program is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2020, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, or Sunday, March 1, 2020, depending upon the TAE. Awards will be announced by April 2020 for projects beginning June 1, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to submit non-proprietary content and clearly mark proprietary information, when applicable.

All proposals must be contain the following elements, in one document:

A. Proposal cover page (attached cover page must be used)

B. Project narrative (three pages maximum, single-spaced, one-inch margins, 11- point font)

• Describe the project, its significance, quality and future impact;
• Describe relationship of the proposed project to the directed TAE; proposers should review the TAE webpage for additional guidance;
• Describe PI and Co-Investigator contributions to the project. Discuss participation of post docs and/or students, if applicable;
• Provide a brief statement of the benefits of this project, if funded, to the University. Specifically address the increase in fundability or visibility that would be achieved;
• Describe plans for seeking external support for this project based upon this collaboration. Include a listing of potential sponsors and timelines for proposal preparation.

C. Literature cited: Provide the key citations which relate directly to this project.

D. Budget and budget justification: Funds for the period June 1, 2019 - May 31, 2020 may be requested using the attached page.

E. Biographical sketches: Maximum two pages per investigator. (NSF style will be accepted, as will standard curriculum vitae format.)


The lead PI will be expected to provide a mid-year update to the committee and a final report summarizing the outcomes of the project gathered from the team, including any abstracts, publications, proposal submission activities, and invention disclosures (if applicable). Further, plans for submitting proposals to external funding agencies should be described. In addition, information on awarded projects (Title, PI Team and non-confidential abstract) will be posted to the TAE webpages. The project must be completed within the awarded timeframe. Budget revisions will require approval.

Further information

Questions about proposal preparation (including PI eligibility) or budgeting should be directed to the OSP staff. Additional proposal questions may be addressed to the directed TAE chair listed below.

TAE chairs

Citizenship, Rights, and Cultural Belonging:
Participation in seed grant contingent on naming of chair

Health Sciences:
Gail Rattinger,

Material and Visual Worlds:
Daniel Davis,

Smart Energy:
Mark Poliks,

Sustainable Communities:
Carl Lipo,

Data Science:
Xingye Qiao,