Published: April 21, 2021 By

The 2021 Research & Innovation Seed Grants, announced by the CU Boulder Office of the Provost and Research & Innovation Office (RIO), are funding 16 new proposals for up to $50,000, including two new CU Boulder Grand Challenge projects.

The purpose of the seed grant program to stimulate new and exciting areas of research and creative work on campus, as reflected in the projects of the 2021 Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program winners.

About the 2021 program

The 2021 program attracted 66 proposals, which were evaluated by 39 faculty volunteers, including previous seed grant recipients.

The program and projects signify an investment in the future research and scholarly or artistic vitality of the university. Awardees come from disciplines across the university—including ventures involving interdisciplinary work that will foster collaborative interaction among faculty—as well as disciplines not traditionally connected to sponsored research.

A small selection of awardees and projects illustrates the breadth of this year’s submissions:

  • Allie Anderson (Aerospace Engineering)—High Performance Spacesuit Glove with Novel Material Layup for Human Space Exploration
  • Kristen Carpenter (Law)—Implementing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Language: Revitalization in the U.S.
  • Morteza Karimzadeh (Geography)—Recovering from a Pandemic: Unraveling Neighborhood Geographic Disparities in Consumer and Business Behavior in 2021
  • Ivan Smalyukh (Physics; RASEI; Materials Science Engineering)—Food, energy, climate change & space colonization: metamaterials for better greenhouses & extraterrestrial habitats
  • Helanius Wilkins (Theatre & Dance)—The Conversation Series

Long-term impact

Since 2008, the program has provided more than $13.5 million to fund 320 innovative projects across campus. While 2018 and 2019 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 tens of millions of additional funding dollars for CU Boulder research.

Outside of the measurable benefits, other seed grant impacts across campus are equally powerful. New data, partnerships and research directions are often achieved, opening up opportunities that may otherwise not be available. Additionally, funded projects provide undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and other investigators with critical research development and creative work experiences.

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