Seed grant funding available for energy, environmental research

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) announced the availability of seed grant funds focused on energy and the environment. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) announced the availability of seed grant funds focused on energy and the environment. Researchers are encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate interdisciplinary innovations in all five of IEE’s research themes (including Health and the Environment), as well as three crosscutting topics:

  • Food-Energy-Water Systems
  • High-Performance Buildings
  • Energy and Environmental Resilience

This year, at least $500,000 of funding is available. Additionally, proposals that include innovative partnerships between Penn State colleges and campuses may be awarded up to $50,000, double the maximum of last year.

The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. on Nov. 7.

Tom Richard, director of IEE, said the Seed Grant Program is among the most effective investments for innovative interdisciplinary research.

“Our prior seed grants have resulted in new external awards to Penn State of more than three times our initial investment in just the first three years, as well as high-impact scholarly publications in areas of emerging research,” Richard said. “The diverse expertise on these teams drives creative synergies, resulting in novel ways of understanding and improving energy and environmental systems."

Preferred activities for funding under the Seed Grant Program include the development of new interdisciplinary research teams to position them for substantial external funding success; novel research in theme areas, especially high-risk, proof-of-concept projects; and collaboration between junior and senior faculty to promote research development and mentorship.

All Penn State faculty members who hold appointments of half-time or more at any Penn State campus are eligible to submit a seed grant proposal as principal investigator.

In addition, an informational webinar is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Oct. 10. For more details, visit

Please direct any questions regarding the proposal process to

This request for proposals is sponsored by IEE, which is one of seven interdisciplinary research institutes at Penn State. It fosters and facilitates interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration to positively impact important energy and environmental challenges. IEE brings together more than 500 extraordinary faculty, staff and students to advance the energy and environmental research missions of the University.

Last Updated October 05, 2018