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Collaborative Seed Grants


The goal of this program is to support teams of PIs at the University of Washington to go after large, center-scale, team-based proposals to transform clean energy science and technology. Collaborative Seed Grants provide scholars the freedom to explore novel, high-risk/high-reward research topics while seeding new collaborations in research and education that raise the profile of CEI in ways that significantly increase the prospects for future extramural support.

Scope & Eligibility

Proposals are invited from teams of PIs to support ambitious, forward-looking research and educational plans with the specific goal of seeding a specific future collaborative extramural grant application (ERC, STC, MRSEC, MURI, NRT, NSF CBET, MRSEC IRG etc.) that has a strong component in the core CEI research areas of solar energy, energy storage, grid systems integration/smart grid science and technology, and/or advanced energy materials. Single PI grants will not be considered. 

Financial Support

Budgets should be appropriate to the scope of the project. The maximum funding amount is $100,000, though proposals requesting the maximum are less likely to succeed. Graduate student funding comes with state tuition waivers included and is thus encouraged as the most cost-effective way to utilize this support, however, requests for postdoctoral or staff funding accompanied by strong justification will be considered.  Summer salary and teaching buyout time are discouraged and will not be routinely supported, but may be permitted if justified by commitments of the PI above and beyond the routine direction of novel research (and approved by the home department in the case of teaching buyout). Please note that we WILL consider teaching buyout to support PIs who have advanced to the full proposal or site visit stage of highly-competitive, complex, multi-year (e.g. ERC, STC) proposals. These funds can also be used to support resources such as visualization and/or illustration services, red team review services, and science writers that would enhance the competitiveness of submissions.

Proposal Submission

PIs should complete the online application and upload a single PDF proposal that includes the following:

(i) cover page

(ii) project description (max one page)

(iii) budget justification

(iv) current and pending support for the PIs

(v) CVs of the PIs

(vi) Budget excel sheet

» See application for detailed proposal requirements.


Proposals submitted by April 20, 2022 will be ranked and scored in parallel with the CEI Grad Fellowship application. Proposals submitted after April 20, 2022 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Evaluation & Decision

Decisions will be made on an ongoing basis. Evaluation criteria will emphasize: (i) likelihood the results will lead to new extramural funding at UW, (ii) relevance to the CEI mission areas.

2022 Review Criteria – CEI Collaborative Seed Grants