CITRIS Seed Funding 2014

The Seed Funding Opportunity invites CITRIS Principal Investigators at CITRIS campuses (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz) to apply for a one-year Seed Grant that will support CITRIS research initiatives, enhance cooperation among campuses, and facilitate early-stage research that can lead to external funding.

Total Funds Available in 2014: $500,000
Project Awards in 2014: $10,000 to $60,000

Past Awardees and Funded Projects

View the list of 11 research projects that received funding in 2014.


  • Early December: Call for 2015 CITRIS Seed Grant proposals announced
  • Last week in January: Deadline for online proposal submission
  • Last week in February: Final judging and selection of awards
  • First week in March: Announcement of seed-funded projects

Proposal Requirements

  • The project must be a collaboration among CITRIS PIs on at least two of the CITRIS campuses.
  • Collaborations between PIs on the main UC Davis campus and the UCD Medical Center meet the above requirement.
  • Project must be relevant to one of the four CITRIS Initiatives (details below): Health Care, Energy, Intelligent Infrastructure, or Data & Democracy.


  • CITRIS Seed Funding may not be used for faculty salary or non-resident tuition.
  • CITRIS PIs may participate in no more than two proposals and serve as lead researcher on no more than one.
  • CITRIS PIs who have previously received funding must submit the final report on their previous project before applying for another Seed Funding opportunity.

Evaluation Criteria

Seed Grant proposals are evaluated by a multi-campus committee according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific and technical merits, novelty and rigor of the proposal.
  • Likelihood that the project will have a tangible and positive impact on society, and that it will lead to significant scientific results.
  • Likelihood of larger-scale funding from government agencies or industries.
  • Evidence of cross-disciplinary collaboration among researchers based at the four CITRIS campuses.
  • Contributions to one or more of the four CITRIS research initiatives.
  • Use of CITRIS research assets such as the Marvell NanoLab is encouraged but not required.

The CITRIS Seed Grant Program supports innovative early stage collaborative projects that, if successful, can attract larger-scale support from federal or state funding agencies or the industrial/private sector.

Submission Instructions and Requirements

Step 1: Complete the online Project Proposal Form
CITRIS Seed Funding: Online Proposal Form
Please have this information ready to complete the online form:

  • Project Title
  • Abstract (250 words, text field)
  • Primary CITRIS Initiative(s) addressed (bullet choice)
  • PI name, campus, home department
  • URL for PI’s homepage or CV
  • Verification of PI status (yes/no)
  • Verification of CITRIS PI status (yes/no, link to CITRIS PI Application Form)
  • Co-PI information (space for two Co-PIs; not required)
  • List of any previous CITRIS Seed Grant awards: PI names, year, project title (text field)
  • Proposal Description (3 pages, 12-point font, PDF format)
  • Budget Form (2-tab Excel format)

Requested information for the 3-page Proposal Description listed above:

  • Title and abstract (<250 words)
  • A description of the work to be undertaken
  • An assessment of the project’s intellectual merit, innovation, and potential for broad-scale impact
  • The plan for requesting large-scale funding from government agencies, industry, or private foundations
  • Evidence of collaboration among researchers based at the four CITRIS campuses and of a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Anticipated use of any CITRIS-affiliated research labs or assets including the Marvell NanoLab is welcomed, but is not required
  • Discussion of any cross-over application to other CITRIS Initiatives is welcomed, but is not necessary for consideration of funding

Step 2: Complete and upload the Budget Form

  • Complete the Budget Form (Excel) and upload at the end of the online Project Proposal Form.

Step 3: Submissions will be acknowledged via email within one week.

Resources for Applicants and Awardees

How to become a CITRIS Principal Investigator (PI)

How to acknowledge CITRIS Seed Funding

  • A CITRIS Seed Grant award number is issued to PIs for use in tracking publications and follow-on proposals.
  • Link to downloadable CITRIS logos for poster, presentation, print, and web use.
  • Acknowledgement Statement: “This research was supported by a Seed Grant from CITRIS, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society.”

How to submit a Seed Funding Final Report

How to submit a No-Cost Extension

About the CITRIS Initiatives

1.    Health Care
This initiative is designed to improve access, and reduce disparities and costs, in health care through the development of telehealth, sensors and services, and gaming technologies. Particular emphasis is on improving outcomes and services to persons with chronic disease at the patient, provider, or system level, as aligned with the aims of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specific research topics solicited under this initiative include:

  • Service and care management solutions:  Complex chronic care management, integration of service/human factors and technology, advances in patient and provider engagement, services addressing access and disparities, innovative and sustainable telehealth and telemedicine programs.
  • New platforms and sensors:  Tele-immersion, 3D visualization, virtual reality, wireless, telehealth and telemedicine devices, passive sensors, imbedded sensors, interoperable systems, improved user interface.
  • Integrated wireless, mobile and apps health care solutions:  Game-based learning, behavior-change programs, social network solutions.
  • Technology solutions for aging and chronic disease:  Health care technology solutions for prevention, health promotion, and chronic disease management for older adults, innovative technology solutions for informal and formal caregivers.
  • Data analytics:  Sensor networks and algorithms, EMR integration and analytics, population health solutions, data management and analytics.

2.    i4Energy
CITRIS’s research in energy supports the development of technologies that will help realize the “demand-side” potential of the smart grid. We invite proposals in three key areas:

  • Integrated sensors to communicate vast amounts of real-time information.
  • Data management to gather, process and direct information. Projects involving the applications of sMAP ( are encouraged.
  • Advanced controls to act on the information, increasing the productivity and sustainability of energy systems.

3.    Intelligent Infrastructure
The invention of the wireless sensors and the smartphone created opportunities to understand, in real-time, the behavior of critical infrastructures and ultimately to manage such infrastructures more efficiently and effectively, as well as respond more effectively to disruptive events.  Within this theme, CITRIS seeks applications that will enhance its impact in:

  • Intelligent Water Infrastructures. Applications are encouraged that create a water monitoring system enabling any country, state, region or city to:
    • Operate its water system efficientlysustainably and equitably 
    • Meet the challenges created by climate changepopulation growth and changing demographics.
  • Disaster Preparedness and Response. Wireless sensor networks and low-cost communication devices, combined with social media apps, will transform the way in which communities prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters. Projects that develop new technology or combine existing technology for early warning and quick, effective response will be encouraged. End users include first responders, emergency management professionals, and community members.

4. Data and Democracy
The Data and Democracy Initiative focuses on social media, interfaces, algorithms, and models that enhance community engagement in political, economic, and cultural issues. Audiences for these innovations may be at the grassroots level (community organizers, citizen journalists, students) or policymakers and organizational leaders. Projects that increase access to education, promote civic transparency and accountability, or raise awareness of policy issues are welcome. These may include novel applications for public open data, innovative use of data visualization tools, or use of game-based principles, video tools, or social networking platforms for user engagement. Applications using mobile devices and those that recognize and mitigate disparities in access to technology are encouraged.