Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) has five strategic research themes of focus (listed alphabetically):

  1. Climate and Ecosystem Change
  2. Future Energy Supply
  3. Smart Energy Systems
  4. Water and Biogeochemical Cycles
  5. Health and the Environment

IEE established a Seed Grant Program since 2013 to foster basic and applied research focused on these strategic research themes. Over the previous rounds, IEE has awarded over $1.5 million to seventy interdisciplinary projects with investigators from fifteen Penn State colleges and campuses.

For 2017–18, approximately $300,000 of funding is available for proposals related to the first four research themes.

DEADLINE: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Preferred activities for funding under the Seed Grant Program

  • Development of new interdisciplinary research teams to position them for substantial external funding success;
  • Novel research in theme areas, especially high-risk proof of concept projects; and
  • Collaboration between junior and senior faculty to promote research development, mentorship.

To increase the impact of the Seed Grant program and align with expanding federal and foundation opportunities, we will give extra consideration to proposals addressing transitions to sustainability associated with any facet of the first four themes (Climate and Ecosystem Change; Future Energy Supply; Smart Energy Systems; Water and Biogeochemical Cycles). Through this focus on transitions to sustainability, we hope to see proposals that examine processes of transformation of coupled human and biophysical systems, including metrics, incentives and behaviors, policies and governance strategies that limit or facilitate innovation and change.

Funding Available

$300,000 of funding is available through this seed grant solicitation for 2017–2018. To encourage establishment of new collaborations and enhancement of networks, larger grants will require innovative partnerships of investigators from multiple colleges and/or campus locations. Funds up to $5,000 can be awarded for a single investigator project; up to $10,000 for two or more faculty from the same college (University Park) or Commonwealth Campus; and up to $25,000 for multi-college (across University Park) and multi campus (between campuses) collaborative grants.

Download the Request for Pre-Proposals with complete instructions:

Health and the Environment Seed Grant

As with last year, a separate multi-Institute request for proposals on the theme of Health and the Environment will be issued later this fall or winter.


Webinar Sept. 5, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. EDT by connecting through the URL


​Read the Application site quick start and apply:

Click here to download a FAQ list:

Please direct any questions regarding the proposal process to