About 2019 CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding Opportunities

About CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding Opportunities

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute create information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. Established in 2001, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) leverages the interdisciplinary research strengths of multiple UC campuses to advance the University of California’s mission and the innovative spirit of California. The institute was created to shorten the pipeline between world-class laboratory research and the development of cutting-edge applications, platforms, companies, and even new industries.

The Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) was founded in 1943 by Eugenio Garza Sada and a group of Mexican entrepreneurs who implemented their vision for a cutting-edge educational institution. ITESM is a private, non-profit institution, independent from political and religious affiliations. Tecnológico de Monterrey seeks to develop leaders who embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, a humanistic outlook, and are competitive on an international scale.

CITRIS invites Principal Investigators at its member institute, ITESM, to work with researchers at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz to apply for seed funding that furthers our mutual research interests, strengthens connections among the campuses, and catalyzes early-stage research that can lead to external funding.

Funded projects have attracted follow-on support from federal, state, corporate, and private sources including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Intel, Microsoft, Mellon Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

2019 CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding Program is Closed.

View the 2019 CITRIS-ITESM Seed Funded Projects

The 2019 Seed Funding RFP including detailed areas of interest and a checklist of information needed to complete the online proposal process:


2019 CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding
Area(s) of Interest Connected Communities
People and Robots
Sustainable Infrastructures
Women in Tech
Total Funds
Project Amount $25,000

CITRIS Campuses:
UC Berkeley
UC Davis
UC Davis Health
UC Merced
UC Santa Cruz

At least 2 PIs.
Minimum of one from ITESM and one from a CITRIS and the Banatao Institute campus.
Application Deadline  Oct. 5, 2018 at 5:00pm PST 

Deadline extended to Oct. 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm PT


  • June 20, 2018: Call for 2019 CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding proposals announced online. CITRIS Newsletter subscribers will receive the RFP information by email.
  • June – October 2018: Matchmaking and multi-campus team formation occurs among Principal Investigators. Contact us at seeds@citris-uc.org (University of California faculty) or Dr. Miguel Mendoza at mgonza@itesm.mx or Dr. Carmen Aguero at caguero@itesm.mx (ITESM faculty) for assistance with finding compatible co-PIs.
  • June 21, 2018: CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding workshop will be held at ITESM to facilitate joint applications between researchers in California and Mexico.
  • July 30, 2018: Applicants who received a Seed Grant in 2017 must submit a final report on findings and results in order to be considered for a Seed Grant in 2018.
  • Sept. 5, 2018: Online application portal will open for submissions at http://citris-uc.fluidreview.com
  • Sept. 6, 2018: CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding workshop will be held at UC Berkeley to facilitate joint applications between researchers in California and Mexico. Register at citris-itesmworkshop2019.eventbrite.com
  • Deadline Extended to Oct. 12 at 5:00 pm PST: Applications are due online at http://citris-uc.fluidreview.com.
  • By Nov. 8, 2018: Awardees are notified.
  • Nov/Dec 2018: Funds Distributed
  • Jan 1, 2019: Performance period begins for 2019 Seed Grant projects.
  • Jan 31, 2020: Final reports for 2019 Seed Grant projects are due.

Seed Funding Workshop

CITRIS & ITESM are hosting a workshop to bring together researchers for discussions about possible joint proposals. The workshop will be held in Sutardja Dai Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on Sept. 6, 2018. A block of meeting rooms have been held in Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley on Sept. 7 for collaborative meetings between CITRIS-affiliated and ITESM-affiliated PIs. Please contact Dr. Brandie Nonnecke (nonnecke@citris-uc.org) if you would like a meeting room on Sept. 7.

ITESM Faculty: Email mgonza@itesm.mx CITRIS Faculty: Register on EventBrite

Past Awards and Funded Projects

Eligibility and Proposal Requirements

For the CITRIS & ITESM Seed Funding opportunity:

  • Participation in the June 21 workshop at ITESM in Mexico City is open to UC and ITESM researchers. Participation is encouraged but not required. For workshop details, contact CITRIS Research and Development Manager Dr. Brandie Nonnecke at nonnecke@berkeley.edu
  • Participation in the Sept. 6-7 workshop at UC Berkeley between UC and ITESM researchers is encouraged but not required. For workshop details, contact CITRIS Research and Development Manager Dr. Brandie Nonnecke at nonnecke@berkeley.edu
  • To encourage California/Mexico collaboration, each proposal must include at least two Principal Investigators: at least one from ITESM and at least one from a CITRIS and the Banatao Institute campus (Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz).
  • Projects are expected to further one or more of the CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Initiatives: Connected Communities, Health, People and Robots, Sustainable Infrastructures.
  • Projects that use CITRIS research assets, such as the Marvell NanoLab and CITRIS Invention Lab, are also encouraged.
  • UC investigators need not submit proposals for review through their Sponsored Projects Office.


  • CITRIS Seed Funding may not be used for faculty salary or non-resident tuition. Indirect costs are not allowed.
  • Principal Investigator may participate in no more than two proposals per application cycle and serve as lead researcher on no more than one proposal per application cycle.
  • Principal Investigators who have previously received seed funding must submit an online status report for the previous project(s) before being considered for a new CITRIS Seed Grant.

Evaluation Criteria

Seed Grant proposals are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Feasibility: Can the stated goals be achieved within 12-18 months?
  2. Creates solution to a societal challenge: Is the societal problem and its scale clearly identified? Will the proposed project help to address this challenge?
  3. Potential for follow-on funding: Has this area of research been identified by federal agencies or other funders as an area of future investment? Will the CITRIS Seed Grant help the investigators make a stronger case for future external funding?
  4. Alignment with CITRIS research initiatives and the charter of the Banatao Institute: Does the proposal further one or more of the CITRIS interest areas described below? Proposals are also invited that further the goals of the newly chartered Banatao Institute at CITRIS, which leverages University of California expertise and IT solutions for the benefit of developing regions in the U.S. and abroad.
  5. Use of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute research assets including the Marvell NanoLab, CITRIS Invention Lab, or other CITRIS-affiliated testbeds is encouraged but not required.
  6. Inclusion of pre-tenured faculty is encouraged but not required.

The CITRIS Seed Grant Program is designed to support innovative, early-stage collaborative projects that can attract larger-scale support from federal, state, industrial, and/or private funding sources.

 Resources for Applicants and Awardees

Benefits of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Principal Investigator status

  • Successful Seed Grant applicants will receive CITRIS Principal Investigator status. Our staff will contact new awardees for a biography to include in the CITRIS Researchers online community and will provide information about other PI benefits. Please contact seeds@citris-uc.org with any questions.

How to acknowledge CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Seed Funding

  • A unique CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Seed Grant award number is issued to PIs for use in reporting, publication tracking, and follow-on proposals.
  • Acknowledgement statement: “This research was supported by a joint Seed Funding Award [CITRIS-Year-Award#] from CITRIS and the Banatao Institute at the University of California and Tecnológico de Monterrey.”
  • Please note that we have a new name and logo, effective September 1, 2017. Download current CITRIS and the Banatao Institute logos for poster, presentation, print, and online use.

How to submit a Seed Funding Final Report

How to submit a No-Cost Extension

Point of contact for CITRIS Seed Funding

View All CITRIS Seed Funding Opportunities



Updated: June 19, 2018