Innovative Seed Grant Program Success Stories

The Innovative Seed Grant Program (IGP) is designed to help our faculty launch innovative and collaborative research, scholarship, and creative works. Since the first IGP competition in 2007, 118 seed grants of up to $50,000 have been awarded to faculty and their research teams. To date nearly $5 million in grants have been awarded through this program. The promising results from IGP funded faculty include important research findings, publications, workshops, exhibits, and seminars. In addition, as of March 2011, IGP-recipients have been awarded over $9 million in state and federal awards to further continue to grow the research programs that were seeded by IGP funds.

Highlights from the IGP Recipient successes so far

ONR has awarded myself (PI) and Won Park $599k for a period of three years, an award that could be in part attributed to the $50k IGP award that Won and I received on 6/22/07. As of yesterday (Sept. 3, 2008), NSF has decided $1.05M for a three year period to myself and Dejan Filipovic, Won Park, Li Shang and Manish Vachharajani. This award can also be at least in part attributed to the 6/22/07 IGP. This makes a total of $1.65M of Nanotechnology research funds that the University has now received with me as PI due (in part) to a University seed of $50k. This is a 33 times (3.3k%) return on the original investment. We also gave three conference presentations in the summer of 2008 on aspects of this work.
I hope that this helps the IGP program as well as the University Nanotechnology Program. Thanks for all of your help.

-- Alan Mickelson, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Already this grant has helped to create additional funding opportunities, collaborations and innovations - we're delighted to be part of the program and its mission.

-- Sarel van Vuuren, PhD, CLEAR/Institute of Cognitive Science

My grant on "Diffraction Unlimited Photolithography" has been a great success. Some measures of that:
  • The first conference presentation won the "Best Student Paper" award. The details are: B. A. Kowalski, R. R. McLeod, T. F. Scott, "A two-color photopolymer system for high-capacity multilayer optical data storage," International Symposium on Optical Memory & Optical Data Storage, July 2008
  • We were invited by an editor of Science to submit a manuscript on the topic, October 2008: T. F. Scott, C. N. Bowman, B. A. Kowalski, A. C. Sullivan, C.N. Bowman, R. R. McLeod, "Single Photon Photoinitiation-Photoinhibition for Diffraction-Unlimited Photolithography."
  • Based on this milestone, we have a meeting set up with Intel to continue the funding.
  • A set of proposals to the NSF will follow in January 2009.
  • The work was one of the cornerstones of a 19M$ NSF Materials Center proposal.

--Robert R. McLeod, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Our IGP-funded work on using satellites to seek out water sources has resulted in:
  • Article in New Scientist (June 14, 2008)
  • We received funding from NSF ATM for $113,128 in April 2008: Collaborative Research: Development of GPS as a Soil Moisture Instrument / ATM Climate & Large-Scale Dynamics, Instrumentation & Facilities. Kristine Larson, PI; Eric Small (GEOL) and Penina Axelrad (ASEN) Co-PIs.
  • A co-PI from UCAR (John Braun) was awarded $37,793 at the same time.
  • We have a grant to NOAA under consideration.
  • And we have two publications:
    • Larson, K. M., E. E. Small, E. Gutmann, A. Bilich, P. Axelrad, and J. Braun, Using GPS multipath to measure soil moisture fluctuations: initial results, GPS Solutions, Vol 12 (3), July, 2008, 173-177.
    • Larson, K. M., E.E. Small, E. Gutmann, A. Bilich, J. Braun, V. Zavorotny, Use of GPS receivers as a soil moisture network for water cycle studies, Geophys. Res. Lett, acceptance pending revision.

-- Kristine M. Larson, Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

My IGP award helped us secure the following major award from NASA: 'Cerro Negro, Nicaragua: An analog for Assessing the Potential for Life on Early Mars (PI-Hynek), NASA-Exobiology Program, 6/1/08-5/31/11, $451,986. We have also proposed to continue this research as part of the new NASA Astrobiology Institute proposal that was submitted in the spring (PI-Mojzsis). We've yet to hear if that one is funded. So, yes, the IGP is a very useful program. Please continue it!

-- Brian M. Hynek Assistant Professor Department of Geological Sciences, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Here at least are a few lines relating the success story of the journal for which I am the Managing Editor, English Language Notes, which has blossomed with the support of an Innovative Seed Grant: A respected forum since 1962 for peer-reviewed work in English literary studies, English Language Notes-ELN-has undergone an extensive makeover as a semiannual journal devoted exclusively to special topics in all fields of literary and cultural studies. ELN is dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative work among literary scholarship and fields as disparate as theology, fine arts, history, geography, philosophy, and science. The new journal provides a unique forum for cutting-edge debate and exchange among university-affiliated and independent scholars, artists of all kinds, and academic as well as cultural institutions. As our diverse group of contributors demonstrates, ELN reaches across national and international boundaries. The Innovative Seed Grant funds enabled us to hire a publicity person and web designer to increase and improve the journal's visibility. We are now completing our new web site design. Through the purchase of the email list of 10,000 members of the Modern Language Association, we are also distributing an electronic brochure introducing our journal to its membership on a grand scale. In addition, we were able to purchase space at the American Library Association conference to increase our representation in University libraries. With all of these measures in place, we hope to be competitive in the contest for Best New Journal sponsored by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) this year.

Karen Jacobs, Associate Professor, Department of English