Materials Research Institute accepting proposals for two seed grant projects

Seed grants to spark interdisciplinary, inter-institutional materials research partnerships with high societal impact

December 9, 2022

By Jamie Oberdick

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Penn State News.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Materials Research Institute (MRI) offers a series of seed grants to Penn State researchers that encourage high-risk, high-impact collaborative projects across multiple disciplines with great potential for societal benefit. Currently, calls for proposals are open for two seed grant programs.

Penn State-Taipei Tech Collaborative Seed Grant Program

This seed grant is part of two memoranda of understanding that were signed in October between Penn State and the National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT). The grant program will provide funds to faculty groups with the goal of fostering collaborative and multidisciplinary research that involves researchers and students from both universities. Subject focus includes areas in science and engineering of materials such as microelectronics and optoelectronics, low-power or self-powered sensors for applications such as monitoring personal health and environmental biosecurity, and power storage technology. 

Awards will be made based on short proposals and peer reviews, and priority will be given to proposals that have not only excellent intellectual merit but also make a strong case for sustained and long-term collaborations between Penn State and NTUT. Each project is required to have a least one principal investigator (PI) or co-PI from Penn State and at least one PI or co-PI from NTUT.

The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 31, and more information, including how to submit, can be found on the Penn State-Taipei Tech Collaborative Seed Grant Program’s InfoReady page.

Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Opportunities in Multiple Areas Across Partnerships in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR)  

This seed grant program is a collaboration by MRI with a number of Penn State research entities, including the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Social Science Research Institute, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, Institutes of Energy and the Environmental, the College of Medicine and the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). The seed grant is designed to encourage researchers to pursue high-risk, high-impact transformative ideas by gathering preliminary data that can be used to pursue larger grants and to encourage faculty to establish new research relationships outside their own unit and area of expertise. Theme areas include:

  • Artificial Intelligence for Accelerative Materials Discovery, Design and Synthesis
  • Materials and Professes Challenges and Opportunities in the Transformation of Carbon and Hydrogen Economies
  • Regenerative Medicine and Engineering
  • Wearables and Implantables for Health
  • MRI-ARL Partnership

The PI for these grants must be a faculty member with a research appointment (tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure-track) from any unit within Penn State. Postdoctoral scholars, students and staff may be included as co-PIs. Information including award criteria, eligibility, submission instructions and required documentation can be found on the Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Opportunities in Multiple Areas Across Partnerships in OSVPR’s InfoReady page. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Eastern time Jan. 17, 2023.

More information about other seed grants and additional opportunities for Penn State researchers can be found on MRI’s Grants, Awards and Opportunities page



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