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

  • Climate and Ecosystem Change
  • Future Energy Supply
  • Smart Energy Systems
  • Water and Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Health and the Environment

IEE established the Seed Grant Program in 2013 to foster basic and applied research focused on these strategic research themes. Since its start, IEE has awarded more than $1.5 million to seventy interdisciplinary projects with investigators from fifteen Penn State colleges and campuses.

Materials For Enhancing Energy And Environmental Stewardship Seed Grant

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) and the Materials Research Institute (MRI) partnered in a new seed grant program in 2019. 

Past Seed Grant Programs

Preferred activities for funding under the Seed Grant Program

IEE looks to foster the development of new thinking and collaboration to stimulate new knowledge that can help meet today's energy and environmental challenges.

IEE looks for:

  • The 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.

Health and the Environment Seed Grant

In 2017 and 2018, the Health and Environment theme had its own call. To help increase the seed grant's impact and reach, IEE partnered with several Penn State partners:


To assist researchers with the application process, IEE typically broadcast webinars that provide details and answers questions on the RFP process.


Click here to download a FAQ list:

Please direct any questions regarding the Seed Grant Program to