WRC Faculty and Post-Doc Seed Grant Program

Now accepting Type I applications at any time!

Submit a Seed Grant Application Here!

The WRC invites applications for Research Seed Grants to support research and scholarly activities.  Applications should be submitted following the program guidelines provided below.

Two types of Seed Grant are available:

  • Type I Seed Grants are available for a maximum of $1000 per award and can be applied for at any time during the year subject to availability of funds.
  • Type II Seed Grants are available for a maximum of $3000 per award and can be applied for at specific times during the year.  The maximum amount of award allowed will be announced for each deadline.

Type I applications are accepted at any time.  Funds will be awarded to meritorious proposals as they are received until all funds for the grant period are exhausted.  Three grant periods will be supported each year with program funds renewed on Aug.15, Jan.15, and May 15 of each year.  The total amount of funds available each grant period is expected to be approximately $3000 for about 4-6 awards, i.e., a total of $9000 annually.  These awards are expected to typically support intermittent needs such as travel, page charges, emergency materials/supplies, or other research-related activities.

Type II applications must be received by specific deadlines announced on this program page with the expectation that a fall and winter call for proposals will occur each year (around Sept. 30 and Jan.30).  The total amount of funds available for each call may vary and will be announced for each program deadline.

  • Next application submission deadline: Type II Seed Grant Applications are temporarily on hold as we review program priorities.
  • Maximum request for this submission deadline: $3000 per award
  • Award notification is expected within a few weeks of the deadline
  • Report/completion of work and plans moving forward: June.30 2022 (if an alternative end date is requested, it must be specified in the proposal)
  • Update on stated commitment to apply to larger funding opportunity: Aug.30 2022

Seed Grant Program Guidelines

The mission of the Water Resources Center (WRC) is to support ECU faculty and students in developing collaborative projects, new analytical and sensing capabilities, and innovative data analysis techniques for the characterization and modeling of the natural, engineered, and socioeconomic aspects of water resource systems. The WRC Faculty Seed Grant Program (FSGP) will provide grant funding to facilitate collaborative faculty research teams and networks in support of our mission, and aid in the career development of early-stage investigators, including postdoctoral associates and junior faculty members. The WRC FSGP encourages collaborative approaches to bettering the quality of waters in NC and beyond through partnerships between faculty in multiple disciplines, including engineering, natural sciences, economics, health, policy, and computer science. Teams receiving WRC FSGP funding will be expected to pursue federal and state grant funding opportunities which include F&A funding.

The WRC FSGP priorities and objectives will be reviewed as part of the WRC annual review process.

Eligibility: ECU faculty (tenure-track, tenured, fixed-term, and teaching) and postdoctoral associates who are affiliates of the WRC are eligible to apply. To become a WRC affiliate, send an email expressing interest to water@ecu.edu. All eligible faculty and post-docs from any College are welcome!

A Principal Investigator (PI) may submit one proposal per funding cycle per grant type (Type I or II) and can serve as co-PI on an unlimited number of other proposal submissions.

Exclusions: A seed grant awardee (PI or co-PI) is not eligible to apply for seed grant funding again in the subsequent funding cycle per grant type (Type I or II).

Budget: The amount of seed grant funding will vary from year to year. Applicants should clearly justify all budgetary needs.

Funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • Travel to support building or expanding collaborative partnerships for research implementation and proposal preparation (may include conferences; applicant should clearly describe plans to form collaborative partnerships)
  • Supplies
  • Equipment
  • Access to or purchasing of data and/or software
  • Student stipends
  • Teaching buyouts
  • Other justifiable and allowed expenses

Impact and Deliverables:

  • Proposal Submission: Awardees of Type II large seed grants are expected to apply for extramural funding opportunities within one year of receiving a seed grand award and affiliate this submission with the WRC in eTRACS. Proposals should clearly articulate plans to pursue higher level grant mechanisms (i.e., federal and state funding) which include F&A funding. Requests for proposals (RFPs) that teams plan to pursue should be specified.
  • Final Report: A report describing the outcomes of the project appropriate for public release must be submitted to the WRC upon completion of the project.  This is a requirement for both Type I and II grants, though a simple paragraph describing outcomes is acceptable for Type I grants.

Investigators will not be eligible to apply for additional funding through the WRC until the affiliated proposal and final report are submitted.

Proposal Review Process
Proposals that do not meet stated eligibility and formatting requirements will not be reviewed. The WRC FSGP committee, which consists of junior and senior faculty from multiple ECU Colleges, will review proposals and provide recommendations of funding to the WRC Director, who will notify successful PIs of awards and make arrangements for spending the awarded funds. The following review factors will receive favorable funding consideration:

  • High-quality research that aligns with the WRC mission
  • Collaborative research team that includes faculty from multiple fields of study and involves community stakeholders, when appropriate
  • Career development of early-stage investigators
  • Likelihood that the project will lead to extramural funding from state and federal agencies

Application Materials and Guidelines
Proposals should be formatted using 1” margins, spacing of 1.5 or more, and no smaller than 11 pt Times New Roman or Arial font.
The application package should be complied into a single pdf document and submitted via the submission form included on this page.  The application package should include the following items:

  • Cover page: 1 page that includes: (i) the project title, (ii) names of PIs and co-PIs, (iii) abstract, (iv) bullet points listing specific aims, objectives, or hypotheses, and (v) a list of one or more programs the PI has identified as potential opportunities for future funding
  • Proposal narrative: the length of the proposal should be no more than 2 pages for Type I grants and between 2-5 pages for Type II grants, inclusive of figures but not including references.  The narrative should provide a brief overview of the sponsored activity (Type I) or project (Type II) that includes background, methods/approach, expected outcomes, and a description of how the project aligns with solicitation priorities of the proposed follow-on extramural funding opportunity
  • NSF or NIH-style biosketches of PI and co-PIs (required for Type II proposals only)
  • Budget table and brief budget justification are required for both Type I and II grants.  Expenditures are expected to be completed within the current fiscal year, but exceptions may be granted for a longer period if justified in the proposal and approved by the Director of the WRC.