CITRIS Seed Funding

About CITRIS Core 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.

We invite Principal Investigators at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz campuses to apply for seed funding that furthers CITRIS and the Banatao Institute research initiatives, strengthens connections among UC campuses, and catalyzes early-stage research that can lead to external funding. Funded projects have attracted more than $60 million in follow-on support from federal, state, industrial, and private sources including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Intel, Microsoft, Mellon Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Quick Links for 2019 Seed Funding Opportunity

Download the Request for Proposals (RFP) Request Support for Team Formation Complete the Online Application
2019 Core CITRIS Seed Funding
Area(s) of Interest

New Initiatives in 2019

Total Funds Available $600,000
Project Amount $40,000 to $60,000
Requirements At least 2 PIs per proposal. Each from a different CITRIS campus.
Application Deadline January 31, 2019 at 5:00pm PST


  • November 30, 2018: Call for 2019 CITRIS Core Seed Funding proposals announced online. CITRIS newsletter and seed funding interest list subscribers will receive the RFP information by email.
  • January 2019: Each CITRIS campus may host an information session for potential applicants. Dates and details will be posted below.
  • November 2018–January 2019: Matchmaking and multi-campus team formation occurs among Principal Investigators. Complete the seed funding interest form for assistance with finding compatible co-PIs.
  • December 10, 2018 (planned): Online application portal opens for submissions.
  • January 31, 2019 at 5:00pm PST: Applications are due online. 
  • March 1, 2019: Applicants who received a Seed Fund Award in 2018 must submit a preliminary report on findings and results in order to be considered for a Seed Fund Award in 2019.
  • Mid-March 2019: Awardees are notified.
  • April 1, 2019: Performance period begins for 2019 Seed Funded projects.
  • June 30, 2019: Final reports for 2018 Seed Funded projects are due.

Seed Funding Information Sessions

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
UC Santa Cruz Seed Funding Info Session
Simularium, Room 180, Engineering 2

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
UC Davis Seed Funding Info Session (please RSVP)
Room 1127, Kemper Hall

Past Awards and Funded Projects


  • CITRIS Seed Funding may not be used for faculty salary or non-resident tuition.
  • Principal Investigator may participate in a maximum of two proposals per application cycle and serve as Lead researcher on a maximum of 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 Fund Award.

Evaluation 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 Fund Award 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 that include applications of such technology in developing regions are welcome.
  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 highly encouraged but not required.

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

 Resources for Applicants and Awardees

Benefits of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Principal Investigator status

  • Successful Seed Funding 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 with any questions.

How to acknowledge CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Seed Funding

  • A unique CITRIS and the Banatao Institute Seed Fund award number is issued to PIs for use in reporting, publication tracking, and follow-on proposals.
  • Acknowledgement statement: “This research was supported by a Seed Fund Award [CITRIS-Year-Award#] from CITRIS and the Banatao Institute at the University of California.”
  • 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 Status Update / Final Report Form

How to submit a No-Cost Extension

Point of contact for CITRIS Seed Funding

About CITRIS-ITESM Seed Funding Opportunities
Updated: January 8, 2019