Department of Population Health & Health DisparitiesSeed Grants to Promote Inter-UTMB Center Collaborative Research to Advance Public Health

The goal of this joint pilot project program is to catalyze enduring, collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects across several UTMB Center programs and the School of Public and Population Health (SPPH) by funding seed projects of up to $ 25,000 for data acquisition and/or secondary data analysis; and up to $ 40,000 for other seed projects. These are direct costs. No indirect costs will be allowed. The goal is to foster the development of cross-center collaborations around issues important to public health.

Public Health is broadly defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. Public health research includes, but is not limited to, disease and injury prevention; detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious and emerging diseases; addressing and improving aging; health disparities and inequities; global health; gender differences & women’s health; environmental health; maintenance and recovery of physical and cognitive function; and mental health, including substance abuse and addiction. SPPH is a common home from which to promote interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and education in public health, ultimately impacting and improving health for all.

This mechanism provides funding to catalyze enduring collaborations in cross-cutting theme areas. Proposals should address topics spanning the missions of the participating units. Relevant topics are exemplified by the themes of the participating centers and SPPH, but other topics relevant to these programs will also be considered. The number of awards granted will be based on the funds available.

Proposals are encouraged that include trainees at any level of career development. Proposals are especially encouraged that involve interdisciplinary research covering areas of interest to two or more of the participating entities. Please explore the interests of the participating units by clicking on their links below:

Applications may seek support to collect or analyze data; convene experts to explore aspects of the theme area in detail; or develop multi- or interdisciplinary conceptual models to motivate further cross-center work. There must be clear evidence that all investigators will contribute meaningfully to the intellectual design and conduct of the research. Applicants may propose to use the funds over the period of the award as justified by the proposed activity.

Seed Grants List

  • Eligibility
    • Principal Investigators must be full-time faculty members.
    • Proposals are encouraged to include investigators affiliated with at least two different entities. Small clinical trials may be eligible if the proposed project can be completed during the award period.

    The following criteria are used to determine the merit of an application:

    • Relevance of the proposed aims to cross-cutting topics relevant to the missions of the participating entities while advancing public health;
    • Significance and innovation of the proposed research or planning project as well as the likelihood that it will develop into new externally-funded research collaborations;
    • Feasibility of the proposed activities;
    • Productivity of the investigators; and
    • Involvement of early career investigators and trainees.
  • Important Deadlines
    • Full application deadline:  January 8, 2024
    • Review of applications: January 16 – 19, 2024
    • Decision:  January 22, 2024
    • Start date:  February 1, 2024
  • Proposal Format

    Font and Line Spacing: 

    • Must be 12 points or larger, with lines spaced not less than 1 line apart.

      Recommended Fonts:

      • Arial
      • Georgia
      • Helvetica
      • Palatino Linotype
      • Times New Roman

    Paper Size and Margins

    • Use paper (page) size no larger than standard letter paper size (8 ½" x 11”).
    • Provide at least one-half inch margins (½") — top, bottom, left, and right — for all pages. No applicant-supplied information can appear in the margins.
  • Proposal Components

    The proposal must include:

For the review of applications, applicants will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of questions-answers.

We strongly encourage projects involving human subjects or animal research to have administrative and regulatory approvals according to NIH policy before February 1, 2024. Delays may jeopardize the execution of the project due to the short deadline. If all approvals are not secured before February 1, the project may lose eligibility to receive an award.

Institutional policies do not allow carry-over of funds across fiscal years. In general, all institutional funds must be used by August 15, 2024. Awardees are required to submit a progress report with a final narrative and financial report. This funding is expected to result in peer-reviewed publications and in externally funded grant applications.