Tec de Monterrey Seed Funding

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute - CITRIS Seed Funding - Tec de Monterrey

The 2020 CITRIS + Tec de Monterrey Seed Funding opportunity invites Principal Investigators at Tec de Monterrey to work with researchers at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health System, 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.

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 (Tec de Monterrey) 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.

Projects catalyzed by the CITRIS Seed Funding Program 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.

Email seedteam@citris-uc.org for questions or assistance.

CITRIS and Tec de Monterrey Seed Funding Program 

Area(s) of Interest
Project proposals for this call must have a well-articulated theme and reflect a mature or emerging research area, demonstrating a high-quality solution to confront the current health emergency due to COVID-19.

Main topics of interest:
Clinical Care/Therapeutics
Data Analytics/Modeling
Viral or antibody testing
Digital Contact Tracing Tools
COVID Test alternatives

Proposals that do not address the main topics can be considered for this call if they describe a high-quality solution relevant to COVID-19.

Total Funds Available

Project Amount
Up to $50,000 (budgeted 50% Tec de Monterrey / 50% CITRIS)

All applicants must have Principal Investigator (or exceptional PI) status on their campus. At least two PIs required per proposal. Minimum of one PI from Tec de Monterrey and one PI from a CITRIS campus at the University of California:

UC Berkeley
UC Davis
UC Davis Health
UC Merced
UC Santa Cruz

Application DeadlineWednesday, July 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM (PST) / 7:00 PM (CST)
  • June 2020: Call for CITRIS & Tec de Monterrey Seed Funding COVID-19 Response Proposals announced.
  • June – July 2020: Matchmaking and multi-campus team formation occur among Principal Investigators. Contact seeds@citris-uc.org (University of California faculty) or Dr. Pedro Ponce Cruz pedro.ponce@tec.mx (Tec de Monterrey faculty) for assistance with finding compatible co-PIs.
  • June 12, 2020: Online application portal opens for submissions.
  • July 15, 2020, at 5:00 pm PST: Applications are due via the online portal.
  • July 24, 2020: Awardees are notified.
  • August 3: Awardee funds are distributed.
  • August 10, 2020: Performance period begins for 2020 awarded projects.
  • August 10, 2021: Performance period ends for 2020 awarded projects.
  • Jan 31, 2022: Final reports for 2020 Seed Award projects are due.

For the CITRIS & Tec de Monterrey Seed Funding opportunity:

  • To encourage California–Mexico collaboration, each proposal must include at least two Principal Investigators: at least one from Tec de Monterrey and at least one from a CITRIS campus (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced, or UC Santa Cruz).
  • Projects that use CITRIS research assets, such as the Marvell NanoLab and CITRIS Invention Lab, are also encouraged.
  • UC investigators do not need to 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.

Seed Grant proposals are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Feasibility: Can the stated goals be achieved within 12 months?
  2. Creates solution to a societal challenge: Is the societal problem and its scale clearly identified? What potential impact will this seed-funded work have on the challenge, field, and/or society?
  3. Potential for follow-on funding: How will investigators build upon the Seed Fund Award outcomes? Has this topic been identified by federal agencies or other funders for future investment? Projects demonstrating a clear path from seed investigation to expanded funding will be rated more favorably. Awardees will be asked to report on resulting proposals.
  4. Alignment with the CITRIS mission and research thrusts: Does the proposal advance information technology solutions in one or more of the current CITRIS interest areas described below? Under the charter of the Banatao Institute, applications that benefit developing regions in the U.S. and abroad are also welcome, but not required.
  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.

  • CITRIS Researchers directory
  • Email seedteam@citris-uc.org for matchmaking assistance to find potential Tec de Monterrey co-PIs in your topics of interest
  • Email Dr. Pedro Ponce Cruz at pedro.ponce@tec.mx (Tec de Monterrey) for assistance with finding compatible CITRIS co-PIs

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.”
  • Download CITRIS and the Banatao Institute logos for poster, presentation, print, and online use. Any questions, please email communcations@citris-uc.org

Resources for current awardees

Point of contact for CITRIS Seed Funding

  • Email seedteam@citris-uc.org for questions or assistance.

Questions? Please contact: