Research and Development Science Team Seed Grants 2024

The objective of this RFP is to identify the next set of science teams that have the promise to accelerate innovation further with the support of Discovery Partners Institute (DPI). We would like to see innovative and ambitious plans that leverage DPI’s seed funding, its unique internal resources, and external connections towards greater success. This RFP outlines the resources provided by DPI and lays out the expectations from successful proposals. We expect the selected efforts to generate enough critical mass of activity at DPI in the next 24 months that would eventually result in thematic “Hubs” - freestanding centers of national reputation that bring academic and industry stakeholders in performing applied R&D, workforce upskilling and technology translation and thereby actively improving the region’s economy around those themes.

Proposals should focus on the following umbrella areas of DPI themes of research interest:

  • Fintech / Insurtech
  • Digital Health
  • Climate Solutions
  • Transportation / Infrastructure
  • Food Technologies
  • Computing and Information Technology
  • Cannabis (medicinal, agricultural and social equity)
  • Humanities, Arts, Media, Social Sciences, Law and Public Policy

Of areas listed above, we are particularly interested in funding proposals that address grand challenges involved in the federal Critical and Emerging Technologies list. Innovative use and considerations of computing technologies (AI/ML, Cloud computing, IoT, Security) to elevate the themes is encouraged.

For questions and inquiries about this Call, please contact and

You can read the full Call for Proposals at


Science team proposals that target translational research, industry-focused Practices or Startup Ventures require 3-5 faculty for 24 months. These proposal budgets are capped at $125,000.

Science team proposals that target Institutes / Centers must have the involvement of 10+ researchers from at least two or three of our U of I campuses and budget for a few key leaders of the proposal to have actual effort during the project duration at DPI. We recommend that the level of effort for 3-4 lead personnel be around ~1 day a week to work on translational research leading to an externally funded institute / center. Institute / Center proposal budgets are capped at $350,000.

PI Requirements

  • The PI and his/her unit are fully responsible for any overages if the funding request is calculated incorrectly
  • The PI is responsible for consulting with the relevant offices and meeting all requirements
  • To the best of the PI's knowledge, all the information provided in the application is correct.