iSEE Offers Research Funding Support

The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is announcing a call for proposals to support interdisciplinary research projects on topics related to sustainability, energy, and environment to promote new research collaborations or enhance existing collaborations among faculty across campus that will improve their potential for attracting external support. The goal of this funding is to enable faculty to develop exploratory research ideas that involve multiple disciplines and departments in any of the five thematic areas of interest to iSEE; collect preliminary data or other information to develop a research project; and prepare and submit research proposals for external funding.

iSEE welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists and engineers with extensive experience. The proposal must involve at least two experts from different disciplines and different campus units and is limited to a maximum of $30,000 for a year. A funding request for a second year will be considered contingent on demonstrated outcomes during the first year and strong justification. The key factors that will be considered in the selection process will include:

  • Quality, innovativeness, and interdisciplinarity of the proposed research;
  • Need for collaboration and how well the team is suited to tackle the problem at hand;
  • Probable impact the proposed work would have on the field;
  • Significance for developing a larger externally funded research program;
  • Productivity of the applicants and quality of their scholarship;
  • Specificity of identified sources for external funding that the applicants will seek; and
  • The fit to at least one of iSEE’s five research themes.

Successful applicants will be expected to submit at least one proposal through iSEE to a competitive external source for funding over the course of the funding year and to work with the Institute to communicate the findings of their research through the iSEE website in addition to submitting an annual report to iSEE. All ICR from external funding will be returned to the home department of the PIs. iSEE will provide administrative support for development of large proposals.

Support will be provided in the form of a research assistantship for graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, postdoc time, data purchase, and/or travel.


Guidelines for preparing the proposal

Only qualified scientists and engineers with extensive experience can submit an application. The proposal should include a front page with project title, co-investigator information (names, affiliations, and email addresses), and a 150-word abstract. Additionally, the narrative of the proposal should be maximum of three single-spaced pages (minimum 11 pt. font; 1-inch margins) not including references, figures and tables. The narrative should describe the problem, potential impact, approach, and plans for seeking external funding. Using the templates provided, a two-page CV that includes five most relevant recent publications and five other publications — and all internal and external current and pending research funding — should be included. An itemized budget should be submitted using the budget sheet provided.

The deadline for proposal submissions is 5 p.m. Dec 3, 2018. Proposals should be sent by email to Amy Rosenbery (, with iSEE Research Proposal in the subject line. Applicants will be informed about decisions by Dec. 21, 2018, with a start date for funding of Jan. 16, 2019.

Questions about this RFP may be addressed to Madhu Khanna, iSEE Associate Director for Research (