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Collaborative Seed GrantsCall for Seed Projects for Aging Collaborations Between UTMB and UT Austin

We invite teams of investigators from the University of Texas, Austin Center on Aging & Population Sciences, and the University of Texas Medical Branch Pepper Center / Texas RCMAR to submit collaborative proposals for seed projects to be completed during the period from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

Introductory Meeting


Submit a copy of the proposal to Subject: Attn: UTMB and UT Austin Collaborative Seed Project


For help identifying potential collaborators or questions about the process, please contact:

Proposal Deadline

January 7, 2022


    We seek cutting-edge research to illuminate how biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors intersect throughout the life course to generate disparities in health, function, and well-being at older ages. This call emphasizes new collaborations involving researchers from both institutions. A single scholar from one institution might take the lead as principal investigator, but collaborators at the other campus are expected to have significant roles in conducting the study and submitting future grant applications to NIA based on the seed project.

    Proposals will be prioritized that address diversity in population aging and health outcomes under the following themes:

    • Life-course precursors of later life health, function, and well-being 
    • Family demography, social engagement, and social isolation 
    • Place and health including neighborhoods, geographic region, and other indicators of place

    Seed projects should be designed to support the development of a larger research project that will be submitted under an NIA grant mechanism (R03, R01, R21). New collaborations are encouraged, though projects from established collaborations between UT Austin and UTMB will also be considered.


    Seed projects will be jointly funded by the campus centers, with parts of the project supported by one or the other campus. The project may be funded up to a total of $80,000 direct costs (do not include indirect funds in the budget). Funds may be used to cover expenses related to the proposed study within guidelines for federally allowable expenses, and as allowed by each of their respective campus centers.

    The UT Austin budget may not include funds for investigator salary. Include a budget justification for the overall project indicating how funds will be used in each campus, with a maximum of $40,000 in each. Investigators at UT Austin should email and investigators at UTMB should email to develop a sufficiently detailed budget for the seed project.

    Project time periods are for one year, and all proposed work must be accomplished during that period. Again, this is an important metric in reporting to NIA on the success of our research development programs. Depending on NIA allocations, we anticipate funding one to two collaborative projects.

    Proposal Requirements

    1. Description of project - 3 to 4 pages
      • Specific Aims and significance
      • Methods section
      • Expected Outcomes and how the results will be used for future grant proposal
    2. Collaborators and process for collaboration (Approx 1 page)
      • Description of key team members, the advantage of including both campuses
      • Facilities used in both campuses (if applicable)
      • Proposed process for ensuring collaborative work
    3. Timeline (approx. ¼ page)
      • Tasks and goals for the project broken down by quarters
      • Plan for submitting a larger grant to NIA, specifying the mechanism
    4. Budget (approx. ½ to 1 page)
      • Detailed budget, separate for each campus
      • Budget justification
    5. NIH Biosketch
      • Tasks and goals for the project broken down by quarters

    Human Subjects

    Projects selected for funding will also be required to provide an NIH section on human subjects:

    • NIH protection of human subjects information including enrollment table
    • IRB approval

    Review Criteria

    1. Description of collaborative effort that draws on strengths of investigators at UTMB and UT Austin. A key criterion will be the collaborative effort and the potential gains from collaborating.
    2. Topic area: The proposal will have an impact on understanding the psychological, cognitive, and physical function and health outcomes in diverse populations.
    3. Potential impact and innovation: Extending prior science via cutting-edge methodology
    4. Scientific design: Including conceptual framework, methodology, and measurement
    5. Feasibility: Timeline and budget appropriate for seed project goals and design
    6. End product goals: Presentations, publications, grant submission


    Early-stage investigators

    • Track record of publication
    • Strong interest in the grant proposal process, and intention to submit a proposal
    • Consultants and mentors appropriate for the project

    Mid-career and senior investigators

    • History of high impact research
    • funding record
    • Investigative team has a high potential for funding from NIA


    Project teams including investigators from UTMB and UT Austin are encouraged to include scholars who are:

    • New to aging research
    • From under-represented groups
    • Multidisciplinary teams