Seed Grant Program

Notre Dame Nanoscience and Technology (NDnano) – Seed Grant Program

Request for Proposals

I. Research Goals

Seed Grant Program

The Center requests proposals from Notre Dame faculty to promote interdisciplinary research in nanoscience and technology. Of particular interest are proposals that address important scientific questions and grand technical challenges, and proposals that advance a Notre Dame research vision. Proposals should be multidisciplinary, multi-PI, and address the evaluation criteria below.

II. Funding

The total available funding for this seed grant is $200k for one year. The aim is to support a graduate student or a fraction of a postdoctoral researcher to enable a research collaboration. This means the $200k could support four projects at roughly $50k each, or fewer projects if the award amounts are higher.

III. Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria: (a) compelling motivation and research plan with clear objectives, (b) potential to transition to sustainable funding from external resources, (c) ability of the research to advance Notre Dame research in strategic directions, and (d) engagement of principal investigators (PIs) in NDnano and interest to shape Notre Dame research vision. Preference will be given to proposals with cross-college collaboration.

Research proposals will be evaluated by a Steering Committee appointed by the Director. Final decisions will be made in consultation with SRI (Strategic Research Initiative) center directors.

IV. Notre Dame Research Requirements

Internal grants are intended to better enable faculty to compete for external funding by demonstrating feasibility and likely success of research and scholarship. For this reason, NDnano seed grants are subject to the following Notre Dame Research requirements:

  • All recipients of internal funds are required to submit a substantial proposal to an external funding organization within two (2) years of the receipt of funding. The funding proposal should clearly identify the program and sponsor to which a future proposal is likely to be submitted, and explain in clear, non-technical language how the grant funds will result in a more competitive proposal.
  • In addition to any other reporting requirements associated with a specific grant program, all recipients of internal funds must submit a report to the awarding unit that describes the extramural proposal(s) submitted, including sponsor, program and grant request amount, and any extensions or significant changes in the funded project. 
  • Any exception to these requirements must be approved in writing by the Vice President for Research.
V. Eligibility

Proposers do not have to be currently affiliated with NDnano, but if awarded will be expected to affiliate with NDnano, participate in center discussions, and report results.

VI. Proposal Format

1. Title page including PIs/co-PIs, department affiliations, and contact information
2. 1-inch margins, 12-point font, single-spaced (4 pages, excluding references and budget)
3. Include these sections: (a) Executive summary, (b) Background and motivation, (c) Proposed research, goals, and plan, (d) Relationship to currently-funded projects and submitted proposals, including other SRI seed grants, (e) Strategic vision for Notre Dame, and (f) Potential for further external funding.
4. 1-year budget with justification (1 page)

VII. Due Date

The proposals are due on January 15, 2020 by email to Heidi Deethardt, with funding decisions by April 1, 2020. Address questions to Derek Lake, NDnano associate director (

VIII. Seed Grant Recipients

2020 Recipients

2019 Recipients

2018 Recipients