Sowing Success through Seed Grants

March 08, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President

The grand challenges facing our state, nation, and world require comprehensive, integrated approaches. One of the goals of the University of Georgia, as we expand our institution’s research enterprise, is to support projects that achieve this aim. The Interdisciplinary Seed Grant program is fostering research partnerships among our faculty that cross traditional academic boundaries to generate new external funding for important projects that will help to improve health, strengthen communities, and secure our future.

In 2017, the first phase of the Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program awarded a total of $1.37 million to 12 research teams to address complex issues ranging from supporting survivors of human trafficking to preventing the spread of infectious disease. In alignment with UGA’s land-grant mission, many of the projects included outreach components. They also included partnerships with collaborators from other universities, government agencies, and the private sector.

Projects funded in the first phase have generated $12.9 million in awarded grants to date—a nearly 10-to-1 return on investment. To continue encouraging this type of collaboration, a second phase of the Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program was recently announced. This additional investment by the University of Georgia will expand the reach of the program to more faculty across campus, generating even more external research funding and—equally important—increasing our faculty’s ability to make a positive impact through their work.