UCSC Campus Seed Funding

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, UC Santa Cruz invites Principal Investigators on the Santa Cruz campus to apply for research support through our new Campus Seed Funding program. Separate from the broader CITRIS Core Seed Funding initiative, which funds collaborative research between the four CITRIS campuses, the UC Santa Cruz Campus Seed Funding program focuses on strengthening interdisciplinary connections here on the Santa Cruz campus. Through the program we will fund early-stage research, by at least two PIs from different UC Santa Cruz campus divisions, which furthers the CITRIS and the Banatao Institute mission and has strong promise of securing external funding.

Submission Deadline: July 31, 2019

Awards Announced: Early September 2019

Funds Released: September 22, 2019

Questions: mmatkin@ucsc.edu

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute create information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. Established in 2001, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) leverages the interdisciplinary research strengths of four UC campuses – Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Davis and Merced – to advance the University of California’s mission and the innovative spirit of California. The institute was created to shorten the pipeline between world-class laboratory research and the development of cutting-edge applications, platforms, companies, and even new industries. 


Want help connecting with a PI from another division? Fill out our matchmaking form.

View or download a copy of the Information Session Slides.

View or download a sample draft of the Application Form.

Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

UCSC – 2019 Campus Seed Funding

Area of Interest: Research that includes a focus on Information Technology and proposes to solve a significant societal issue.
Total Funds Available: $50,000
Project Amount: $1,000 – $40,000
Eligibility: All applicants must have PI status on UCSC campus.
Minimum of two PIs per proposal.
At least two PIs from different campus divisions (Engineering, Physical and Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts).



  • May 2019: Call for 2019 CITRIS and the Banatao Institute UCSC Seed Fund proposals announced online, via email to existing CITRIS PIs and distributed to campus news outlets.
  • Early June 2019: in-person and online information session for potential applicants. Dates and details will be posted on the Seed Funding webpage.
  • June 2019: Matchmaking and multi-division team formation occurs among Principal Investigators. Complete the seed funding interest form for assistance with finding compatible co-PIs. 
  • June 30, 2019: Online application portal opens for submissions. Link to the portal will be posted on the Seed Funding webpage.
  • July 31, 2019 at 5:00pm PST: Applications are due online.
  • Early September 2019: Awardees are notified.
  • September 21, 2019: Performance period begins for 2019 Seed Fund Award projects.
  • Sept 20, 2020: Final reports for 2019 Seed Fund Award projects are due.

Eligibility and Proposal Requirements:

  • To encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration, each proposal must include at least two Principal Investigators, from at least two different UCSC divisions: Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, Physical and Biological Sciences.
  • Projects are expected to include a focus on Information Technology and propose to solve a significant societal issue. Proposals that include applications of such technology in developing regions and/or underserved communities are welcome.
  • Exclusions:
  • CITRIS Seed Funding may not be used for faculty salary or non-resident tuition.  
  • Principal Investigators may participate in a maximum of one proposal per application cycle.
  • Principal Investigators who have previously received seed funding through the CITRIS Core Seed Funding Initiative must submit an online status report for the previous project(s) before being considered for a CITRIS UC Santa Cruz Campus Seed Fund Award.

Evaluation Criteria:

CITRIS UC Santa Cruz Campus Seed Funding proposals are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Feasibility: Can the stated goals be achieved within 12 months?
  2. Creates solution to a societal challenge: Is the societal problem and its scale clearly identified? Will the proposed project help to address this challenge?
  3. Potential for follow-on funding: Has this area of research been identified by federal agencies or other funders as an area of future investment? Will the CITRIS Seed Fund Award help the investigators make a stronger case for future external funding?
  4. Alignment with CITRIS mission and the charter of the Banatao Institute: Does the proposal contribute to solving a societal issue through the creation or application of Information Technology?
  5. Inclusion of pre-tenured faculty is highly encouraged but not required.

Submission Instructions and Requirements

The online application portal can be accessed here on the CITRIS UC Santa Cruz Campus Seed Funding webpage. You can easily submit and manage your applications online when the portal opens on June 30, 2019. We suggest that the Lead PI initiates the online application for each proposal team, using a campus email account. Any listed co-PI(s) will receive an automatic email link to log on and view or edit the joint proposal. To help you prepare, please have the following information ready to complete the online application:

❏ Name, home department, and CV link for each PI

❏ Project Title

❏ Abstract (250 words max)

❏ Brief narrative (2-3 pages) What problem does the proposal address? What new technology will be developed? Will the project apply existing technology in a novel way? If successful, what would be the impact of the new technology or application? What qualifications do the team members offer to address the challenge?

❏ Budget narrative with allocation of funds between PIs (paragraph). Please include name and email of Research Administrator for each PI.

❏ Up to five references (web links). These may refer to the challenge being addressed or to previous work that the PIs intend to build upon.

❏ Optional: upload a one-page .pdf or image file to illustrate the project.

❏ List of prior CITRIS Core Seed Awards (if any): PI names, year, project title.