OVPR Seed Grant Program


OVPR Seed Grant Program Overview

OVPR Seed Grant Program

The OVPR Seed Grant Program aims to give Stony Brook University faculty a competitive edge in securing external research funds by supporting and fostering innovative scientific and scholarly activities that will lead to the development of highly competitive proposals for extramural funding. Competitive seed grant applications must provide strong evidence that the proposed research topic is aligned with existing or upcoming funding priorities.  The types of projects proposed can range from proof of concept or feasibility studies, to the development of new, interdisciplinary teams leading to the formation of large, collaborative research projects.  Applicants can be single PI or multiple PIs and the typical project lengths should be 12-18 months.  Proposals should provide a clear timeline to the submission of a proposal to an external sponsor within 18 months.

We expect to make at least 10 awards at a maximum of $70,000 per award in the 2019-20 academic year.

We are currently accepting applications for the OVPR COVID-19 Seed Grant Program. Please click here to view the RFP.

Please direct all questions to:  OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu

How to Apply to the New OVPR Seed Grant Program


There are two competitions in the 2019-2020 academic year.  For seed grant applications in Spring 2020, we strongly encourage a Letter of Intent be completed online here and received no later than February 12, 2020.   The Full Application deadline is 11:59 EST March 4, 2020. You may access the online submission portal here. The portal will open January 2nd and will not accept applications later than 11:59pm EST on March 4th. You will receive a confirmation email that your application has been received.  If you do not receive this email, please contact the Office of Proposal Development at OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu to confirm.


  1. All PIs must be current, full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty at Stony Brook University. Exceptions for full-time non-tenure track faculty may be requested and must be accompanied by written endorsement from the department chair at least 15 days before the deadline (sent to:OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu).  A response will be provided within 5 business days. 
  2. You may only be PI on one application and Co-PI on one application. There is a limit of three Co-PI's/Co-I's on any application.
  3. You may not apply as PI for the Spring 2020 OVPR Seed Funding grant if you currently have an active OVPR Seed Funding grant.

Letter of Intent (strongly encouraged), Due February 12, 2020. Please click here to submit:

  1. Name and Department(s) of PI and Co-PI's/Co-I's
  2. Title of Application
  3. Brief paragraph describing the research that will be proposed. 

Full Proposal, Due March 4, 2020. Please click here to submit:

Page limits for each section are listed below. All documents should be combined in the following order and uploaded into ONE PDF file. Font size must be 11 points or larger with 1 inch margins. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.

  1. (i) Brief statement (1 to 2 paragraphs) of how this will advance the PI/Co-PI's/Co-I's career and/or research program and (ii) timeline for submitting a proposal to an external sponsor. It is advisable to indicate the specific sponsor/program. (1 page limit) 
  2. Overview/Abstract (1 page limit)
  3. Project Description (including project goals/objectives and how they align with the seed grant objectives) - (4 page limit)
  4. References (There are no limitations to the number of references cited. This section should consist of full citations including authors, year of publication, title, journal, and inclusive pages. Do not include any abstracts, summaries, or other annotations)
  5. Budget Justification (no page limit).
  6. Current and pending funding for all PI's and Co-PI's/Co-I's (no page limit)
  7. CV required for all PI's and Co-PI's/Co-I's (2 page limit per investigator)

Please note: Name of PI and Co-PI's/Co-I's, and their respective department(s), Project Title, and Budget will be entered directly into the application portal.

Budget/Justification: All costs should be itemized in the budget and justified in the budget justification. Budgets should not exceed $70,000. Salary for PI's/Co-PI's/Co-I's must present strong justification and all personnel related expenses must include fringe. Travel funds may be requested but must be necessary to perform the proposed research. Given that these are internal funds, F&A costs should not be included in the budget. The Graduate School is offering a Tuition on Research Grants (ToRG) waiver and tuition scholarship for supported Stony Brook PhD students. Please indicate TORG waiver request in your budget justification but do not budget tuition.*  

*PIs should indicate this in their budget submission and also, check "waiver" on the students' payroll appointment forms. This is only relevant to programs administered by the Graduate School. PhD students' graduate tuition scholarships should continue to be processed via their graduate program's GTS rosters through the Grad Finance office. 


All applications that comply with these guidelines will be peer reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific innovation and excellence
  2. Strength of the research team
  3. Clarity and efficiency of the budget
  4. Opportunities created by the project for attracting external funding
  5. How this will advance the PI/Co-PI's/Co-I's career and/or research program

Finalists will be required to present their project concept to a panel of university academic/research leaders for final selection.

Progress Reports: Awarded projects will be required to submit a progress report 12 months after the receipt of the seed funds and a final report 18 months after.  A template will be provided.

Please direct all questions to:  OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu

OVPR Seed Grant Program Timeline

Timeline (dates are subject to change): 

Spring 2020:

Letter of Intent deadline: Receipt on or before February 12, 2020
Application deadline: Receipt on or before March 4, 2020
Notification to finalists: Week of April 13, 2020
Closed presentations: Week of April 27, 2020
Winners announced: May 8, 2020

Fall 2020:

Letter of Intent deadline: Receipt on or before September 21, 2020
Application deadline: Receipt on or before October 5, 2020
Notification to finalists: TBD
Closed presentations: TBD
Winners announced: TBD


Please direct all questions to OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu.

OVPR Seed Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Updated 3/28/2020:

Q:  If I do not win in the fall, can I automatically be considered in the spring?

A:  No, you must reapply.  If comments were provided, we will make them available to PIs to help inform improvements.

Q:  How will I know whether my application was received on time?

A:  You should receive an email containing a timestamp from the submission portal confirming that your application was received. If you do not receive this email, please contact the Office of Proposal Development at OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu to confirm.

Q:  Can my seed grant project have subawards?

A:  Yes, if strong justification is provided.  Note, however, that sub-awardees will require F&A costs, which could add a significant amount to the budget.

Q:  Are there any restrictions on being a PI or CoPI on more than one application? 

A:  A faculty member can only be PI on one application and CoPI on one application.

Q: If I currently have an OVPR Seed Funding grant, can I still apply as a PI or Co-PI?

A: No, if you currently have OVRP Seed Funding, you are not eligible to apply. You must wait until the 18 month funding period is over to apply again. This does not apply to the OVPR COVID-19 Seed Grant Program as it is a special initiative.

Q: Can I charge a PhD student salary on this grant? If so, how do I go about it? 

A: You would need to create an Employee Appointment/Change form to modify the labor schedule.  The personnel transactions on the seed awards are treated like research grants and therefore exempt from the position compensation form approval process.

Q: Can I include personnel salary in the budget?

A: Yes, it is fine to budget for personnel costs for research staff (students, technicians, etc.).  However, salary for PIs and CoPIs must be presented with strong justification.

Q: Should indirect costs be included in the budget?

A: No, indirect costs should not be included in the budget.

Q: Does my department need to match any portion of the seed funding?

A: No, there is no expectation for a match.

Q: Can I include support letters in my application?

A: No.  However, you may briefly describe the letters of support you received within the 4-page project description.
Q: Will we receive feedback regarding our application?
A: We ask reviewers to make comments on each of the applications they review. Not all reviewers do this.  However, if you request comments, we will summarize any comments they provided and share them with you.
Q.  Is there a lower limit on the funding amount or duration of the project?
A.  There is no lower limit for either funding amount or duration.  However, if your project will be less than 12-18 months in duration, then your budget should coincide with the activity period you propose.
Q:  Can PIs at Stony Brook on the same seed grant project receive separate funding awards?  
A:  Yes, each PI can have their own projects with signature authority on only their portion of the award.  The budget justification should clearly indicate the relevant budget items for each PI.
Q:  How can I trust confidentiality in proposing my research ideas?   
A:  All peer reviewers will be selected after the receipt of all applications to minimize conflicts of interest. In addition, the expectation of confidentiality among the reviewers will be emphasized throughout the review process.  The reviewers will provide scores on multiple scales to ensure reliability of the scoring rubric and will be encouraged to provide review comments to guide improvements to the proposal.

Q.  Will the institution provide support for the development of these seed grants into proposals for external funding?  

A.  Yes, the intention of this seed grant program is to support our investigators in the pursuit of extramural funding for their most promising research ideas.  Therefore, as part of this new seed grant initiative, the Office of Proposal Development is available to provide support to all seed grant awardees in the development of full proposals to external funding agencies.

Please direct all questions to:  OPD_OVPR@stonybrook.edu

Spring 2019 Seed Funding Award Winners

Below are the winners of the Spring 2019 Seed Funding Program Competition. Faculty were asked to submit an abstract, a five-page proposal as well a timeline showing how this seed funding would help to develop a highly competitive proposal for extramural funding. 56 applications were received spanning the School of Medicine, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The following faculty proposals have been selected.

Alfredo Fontanini and Giancarlo La Camera, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior with their proposal: Cortical clusters formation underlying the neural coding of expectation

Jeffrey Ge, Mechanical Engineering, Daniel Birk, Department of Neurosurgery; Nilanjan Chakraborty and Shikui Chen, Department of Mechanical Engineering; David Rubenstein, Department of Biomedical Engineering; and T. A. Venkatesh, Department of Materials and Chemical Science Chemistry with their proposal: Towards a Bionic Spine: Kinodynamic Holistic Spine Modeling and Development of Novel Implants for Spinal Restoration

Gabrielle Russo, Department of Anthropology and Isaiah Nengo, Turkana Basin Institute with their proposal: Paleontological reconnaissance at Napenagila South: a new potentially early Miocene primate site in West Turkana, Turkana Basin, Kenya

Stacey Scott, Kristin Bernard, Department of Psychology, and Krishna R. Veeramah, Department of Ecology & Evolution with their proposal: Integrating Epigenomics with Life Stress Measurement to Predict Accelerated Aging

Flaminia Talos, Department of Urology and Pathology and Daifeng Wang, Department of Biomedical Informatics with their proposal: A new bladder cancer model based on tissue reprogramming and gene targeting

Stella Tsirka Department of Pharmacological Sciences and John Haley, Department of Pathology with their proposal: Feasibility Studies for small molecule inhibitors targeting Neuropilin-1 in glioma

Laura Wehrmann, School of Marine and Atmospheric with her proposal: First insights into the biogeochemical cycling of (bioessential) trace metals in the proglacial zones of Arctic glaciers (Coastal Svalbard, Norway)

Tzu-Chieh Wei and Dominik Schneble, Department of Physics and Astronomy with their proposal: Harnessing a Novel Ultracold-Atom Platform for Quantum Simulations and Information Processing

Fall 2019 Seed Funding Award Winners

Below are the winners of the Fall 2019 Seed Funding Program Competition. Faculty were asked to submit an abstract, a five-page proposal as well a timeline showing how this seed funding would help to develop a highly competitive proposal for extramural funding. 76 applications were received spanning the School of Medicine, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The following faculty proposals have been selected.

Stanislaus Wong, Ping Liu, Chemistry, Anatoly Frenkel and Dilip Gersappe, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering with their proposal: Multi-Scale, Structure-Reactivity Modeling of Nanowire-Based Single Site Catalysts for Small-Molecule Reactions

Helen Hsieh, Department of Surgery and Lonnie Wollmuth, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior with her proposal: The Impact of Gut-Brain Interactions on Brain Development in Premature Infants

Lauren Richmond and Suparna Rajaram, Department of Psychology with their proposal: Investigation of the Protective Effect of Social Connections on the Neurobiological Underpinnings of Memory in Aging

Roy Price, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Gregory Henkes, Department of Geosciences with their proposal: A Proxy for Life Detection on Other Planetary Bodies: Calcium Carbonate Clumped Isotope Geochemistry from Serpentinizing Environments

Petar Djuric, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Charles Mikell and Sima Mofakham, Department of Neurosurgery with their proposal: Exploring the Latent Structure of Consciousness

Fusheng Wang, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Richard Rosenthal, Psychiatry and Behavior Health, Wei Hou and Elinor Schoenfeld, Preventive Medicine with their proposal: Al Based Opioid Overdose Prevention

Gordon Taylor and Steven Beaupre, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences with their proposal: Do Microplastic Contaminants Distort our Understanding of the Ocean's Carbon Cycle?



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