Submission Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, 11:59pm

The Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) Collaborative Seed Grant Program provides funding to any CUNY researchers pursuing interdisciplinary STEM projects that strive to inform and potentially lead to improved human, societal, and environmental well-being in the years to come. We seek to support creative, collaborative, and convergent research that addresses complex questions relevant to the most pressing and timely challenges in STEM. A primary goal is also to seed research that will become the basis for new external funding. As such, submissions that have a clearly defined research question and a goal to collect critical preliminary data for a specifically identified future granting agency and call for proposals will be prioritized.

The program encourages proposals that leverage the ASRC’s five Initiatives (Nanoscience, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience, and Environmental Sciences), 17 core facilities, and their analytical and human resources through collaboration.

The 2023-4 Seed Program will award five 12-month, $20,000 grants (in RF CUNY funds) to CUNY tenured, tenure-track, or research-track faculty who are pursuing collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects that are well-defined, compelling, innovative, and have a potential to yield meaningful, rather than incremental, advances. A requirement of the application is to identify ASRC researchers (tenure-line or research faculty) as a co-PI, and the research must take advantage of the ASRC’s facilities and resources in an explicit way.

The awardees will participate in a symposium at the end of the funding period to present their findings to fellow awardees and other researchers from across CUNY, with the opportunity to present the next steps towards securing additional funding and peer-reviewed publications.

It is required that you discuss your proposal, prior to submission, with the ASRC faculty Investigator(s) and/or Core Facility Director(s) that you propose to work with and name in your proposal to ensure feasibility. Visit our website ( to identify potential collaborators and, in particular for a description of the core facilities.

  1. Only CUNY tenured, tenure-track, or research-track faculty are eligible to apply. Lecturers, adjunct faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and full-time Higher Education Officers are not eligible.
  2. A faculty member may participate in and submit only one proposal for the present round of the competition.
  3. Proposals from faculty who have not received an ASRC Seed grant within the last five years will be prioritized, as will be junior faculty seeking to collect data for their first externally funded grant, and faculty seeking first time funding for novel interdisciplinary collaborations.
  4. Proposals without a clearly defined research question or hypothesis and affiliated research plan will not be considered. Similarly, proposals without a stated plan of how and what future external funding will be pursued will not be reviewed.
  5. Proposals should demonstrate a need for funding from the ASRC’s Seed Grant Program and use of ASRC facilities and resources and named collaborator from amongst the ASRC faculty.
  6. Prior or upon the award announcement, the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must approve research involving human or animal subjects prior to the release of any funds. Without IRB/IACUC approval funding will not be allocated for any human or animal subjects research. For more information about IRB and human subjects research, visit:
  1. Awardees must present progress on their seed-funded research at a public forum to take place at the ASRC near the end of the project period. At that event, they will also discuss opportunities and plans to apply for external funding to extend the research funded by the seed grant.
  2. Additionally, awardees will be required to submit a 2-4 page written report at the conclusion of the project period. An extramural grant proposal resulting from the work funded by the seed grant will be accepted in lieu of a written report.
  3. ASRC facilities should be properly acknowledged in any publications or presentations that emerge from their use.
  4. The ASRC will promote successful topics and outcomes from seed grants through a variety of channels, including its website, newsletters, and social media feeds.

Proposal review will be based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity and significance of the defined research question or hypothesis
  • Potential of the proposed study to yield transformative rather than incremental, scientific advances toward informing and potentially improving human, societal, and environmental well-being
  • Demonstrated rationale for interdisciplinary experimental approaches and well-founded collaboration plan
  • Technical quality and feasibility of the proposed research
  • Rationale for seed grant funding and support from the ASRC
  • Plan to pursue future external funding to extend the research program
  • Demonstrated record of scholarly achievement and promise.

Proposals will be reviewed by ASRC faculty and faculty affiliates. Funding decisions will be announced in late April 2024. All award decisions are final, and appeals will not be considered. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide written feedback on unfunded proposals.

Funds are available to provide up to five awards with budgets up to $20,000. Awards will provide Research Foundation of CUNY funds for a 12-month period that will start on July 1, 2024.

Grant funds may be used for Personnel (e.g., Summer Salary (salary limited to $6,000), Research Staff, Student Stipends, Fringe) and items other than personnel services (e.g. research materials and supplies, time on shared equipment at the ASRC or ASRC core facility user fees, and participant costs.) Funding may not support Academic Year Effort (Released Time), conference travel, or meeting/conference costs.

In all instances, funding is subject to the availability of funds and budgetary approvals. Funds that are unspent at the end of the funding period will be returned to the ASRC, unless a no-cost extension is approved by the ASRC Executive Director at least two months prior to the grant’s end date.

Full proposal name:

File name: ASRC24_LastNameOfLeadPI_proposal.pdf

The full proposal document must include the following as a single PDF document and emailed to C. Alexis: by the end of Feb. 29, 2024.

  1. Proposal Summary: 250 words maximum. Please include project title and the names/affiliations of the PI and all co-PIs (not included in the word limit).
  2. Narrative description of the project: No more than 3 single-spaced pages, exclusive of references and citations, with one-inch borders and 11-point, Times New Roman or equivalent font. The description should provide (a) sufficient background for an interdisciplinary STEM audience to understand the stated rationale, context, and goals of the defined research question and/or hypothesis; (b) innovation and potential impact of the proposed work within the field; (c) the experimental approach(es) and timeline; and (d) statement why the collaboration with the ASRC is essential. Finally, explain how the proposed project will support future grant proposals.
  3. Collaboration plan: No more than 1 page. The role of each investigator must be clearly stated, as should the proposed interactions with ASRC faculty and/or core facility directors. The plan should also include a description of the foundation for the collaboration, how the collaboration will be fostered and managed, and how conflict and improvement activities will be addressed.
  4. Biographical sketches: From each participating researcher, preferably in NSF or NIH format, max 4 pages each.
  5. Proposed budget: For the 12-month funding period; 1 page max.
  6. Budget justification: Clearly indicate any personnel who will be carrying out the proposed research and their effort, and the distribution of funds needed for other costs, including for use of specific ASRC facilities; 2 pages max.
  7. List of current and pending funding from CUNY and external sources for the lead PI only.

Please direct program inquiries to:

Mark E. Hauber, PhD, DSc
Executive Director, Advanced Science Research Center, GC CUNY