Published: April 4, 2018 By ,

Research & Innovation Office Seed Grant Program

Selection of 2018 Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program Winners

Gesel Mason, Arts & Humanities Category

No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers

  • Mason will transform a 15-year dance performance project into a digital humanities archive, a new and innovative platform to disseminate, access and interact with the legacies of African American choreographers.

Heather Lewandowski, Basic Physical Sciences Category

High Resolution Spectroscopy of Catalytic Clusters

  • Lewandowski and collaborators will employ a new experimental system and a widely-used molecular physics tool to understand the structure and properties of metal oxide catalytic clusters at an unprecedented level of precision, opening up a new field of experimentally driven catalyst design.

Kendi Davies, Grand Challenge Category

Linking Remote Sensing, Ground Sensors and Biodiversity Data in Rapidly Changing Environments

  • Davies will use a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to predict the impact of land use change on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and thus inform preservation efforts. Davies and collaborators will develop a new, cross-cutting analytic approach by linking remote sensing and in situ sensor data to field-based biodiversity and ecosystem function data.

Stephen Billings, Social Sciences & Professional Schools Category

Inequality in the Costs to Society of Sea Level Rise

  • Billings, with co-PIs Asaf Bernstein and Ryan Lewis and collaborator Matthew Gustafson, will use a nationwide research design to better understand (a) the inequality of current and future costs of sea level rise based on income, race, political affiliation and education and (b) how sea level rise concerns lead to “climate gentrification.”

Sherri Cook, Engineering & Applied Sciences Category

Resilient and Sustainable Sanitation Systems: Characteristics, Links, and Barriers

  • Cook and graduate student Katie Chambers will collaborate with investigators in Environmental Studies and Earth Lab to evaluate the social and technical components of resilient and sustainable sanitation systems. The team will develop an integrated resilience-sustainability analysis framework to develop strategies and recommendations to increase access to and long-term performance of sanitation systems. 

The CU Boulder Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program (RISGP) recently announced approximately $800,000 in seed funding through 16 grants, with a focus on interdisciplinary ventures that take investigators in creative, high-impact directions.

The 2018 awards, announced by the CU Boulder Office of the Provost and Research & Innovation Office (RIO), are funding 16 grants for up to $50,000 each, including $150,000 for three projects supporting work directly connected to the CU Boulder Grand Challenge. The program stimulates new and exciting areas of research and creative work on the CU Boulder campus, as highlighted by a small sample of the 2018 Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program winners, listed to the right.

About the 2018 program

The 2018 program featured 56 applications, which were reviewed by 37 faculty volunteers, including previous RISGP recipients.

The selected projects represent an investment in the future research and scholarly or artistic vitality of the university and demonstrate promise for expansion of the project goals. The awardees come from disciplines across the university—with several of the ventures involving interdisciplinary work that will foster collaborative interaction among CU faculty—as well as disciplines not traditionally connected to sponsored research.

In addition to funding specifically earmarked to further strengthen the campus Grand Challenge, the RISGP had a special category for big data projects.

Impact over the years

Since 2008, the RISGP has provided more than $11 million to fund 254 innovative projects across campus. While 2016 and 2017 projects are still underway, results from previous years demonstrate the program’s impact.

Seed grant projects have resulted in measurable impacts including published manuscripts, artist residencies, inventions and millions of additional funding dollars for CU Boulder research. Outside of the measurable benefits, other RISGP impacts across campus are less quantifiable but equally powerful. New data, partnerships and research directions are often achieved, opening up opportunities that may otherwise not come to fruition. Additionally, funded projects provide undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and other investigators with critical research development and creative work experiences.

The 2019 program

RISGP submissions are generally requested early in the spring semester with reviews taking place in February and March, and selections announced in March or April.

Specific dates for the 2019 RISGP will be announced in the fall of 2018.  

For more information on this program and other funding opportunities, visit the Research & Innovation Office website or subscribe to the bi-weekly RIO Bulletin.