Innovation Grants

AY2023 – Proposal Deadline Monday, January 16, 2023

The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers numerous Innovation Research Grants to faculty for cutting-edge research in traditional engineering disciplines, interdisciplinary areas, as well as SEAS strategic initiatives. These grants are designed to allow faculty members to engage in research that is not easily fundable through standard outside channels, or to provide sufficient preliminary research to enhance chances to secure continued outside funding.

SEAS invites proposals (up to $250K) in topic areas that enhance innovative engineering research across the school or that continue building momentum and excitement for the strategic priorities of the school, including:

  • Innovative engineering research (disciplinary and interdisciplinary)
  • Robotics
  • Next Generation Networking
  • Health
  • Neuroscience
  • Decentralization of power through blockchain and other technologies: Proposals should spark new and/or collaborative research on blockchain or other decentralization technology foundations, applications of these technologies, and/or their policy, economic, societal, and ethical considerations. 
  • Digital Technology and Society: Innovation grants to spark impactful, collaborative research among faculty to understand and improve the relationship between digital technology and society. This includes research in platforms & digital infrastructure, privacy and security, and data science & society. The program is specifically designed to foster collaborative cross disciplinary relationships. Preference will be given to new collaborations that appear likely to lead to long-term research partnerships among PIs that share interests in overlapping areas but have not worked together before. Priority will be given to research projects that create both academic and societal impact.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) for engineering: Innovation grants to encourage collaborative research among SEAS faculty to pursue projects that explore engineering applications of AI (including machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and other AI-related areas).  Potential projects include development of new tools or algorithms, accelerated simulation or design, and other creative concepts at this interface, as well as activities to build intellectual communities to support these goals.

Internal support for other SEAS initiatives such as Quantum Technology, Bioengineering, Energy & the Environment, and more is available through separate funding sources. For questions about these additional funding sources, please contact   

Proposals should include:

  • Application form
  • Detailed overview of the proposed research (three-page maximum)
  • Detailed budget (up to $250K) outlining how the funds will be used (budgets will be reviewed carefully for reasonable and appropriate expenses)
  • Two-page CV and a list of current and pending research support for all team members

Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee and funding decisions will be announced in March.

Application Form


  1. Faculty members are not eligible to apply for a SEAS Innovation Research Grant if they currently have an active innovation grant from SEAS.
  2. At most, each faculty member could have one SEAS innovation research grant and one SEAS seed grant at the same time, provided that the two are on different topics.
  3. Large proposals (over $150K) require teams of 2-4 PIs.
  4. SEAS expects that funds are spent according to the proposed budget. Any major change in budget allocation should be discussed in advance with SEAS.
  5. Extensions (including no-cost extensions) to project duration will not be granted unless exceptional circumstances arise; please choose appropriate research start and end dates during the application process. Please note projects can range from three months to two years.
  6. Proposals selected for funding will be required to submit a summary report annually to provide an update on research objectives and fund expenditures, as well as a final report at the conclusion of the project.
  7. Any unspent funds at the end of a project must be returned to SEAS.
  8. Preferably, proposals include a minimum of one SEAS faculty member.