Skip to main content

Seed grants

Seed grant awards

The seed grants are administered by the Biotechnology Development Program. They provide funding for researchers to use the Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) facilities with the intention of either:

  • Generating preliminary results for grant applications and apply extra-mural funding agencies, or
  • Encouraging Cornell researchers to expand the repertoire of biotechnologies they use in their research program.

Award Amount

Up to $10,000 based on the cost of the specific experiments or analyses necessary to meet the scientific objectives of the project. There is no minimum award amount.

Application and Funding Timeline

Award notices will be provided three times per calendar year. Funds will be available for use within 4 weeks of the award notice. Applications are due by 11:59pm on the date specified, regardless of whether it falls on a weekend or holiday.

Submission deadline

Notification date
January 31 March 1
May 31 July 1
September 30 November 1

Number of Awards

The number of awards in a given cycle will depend on available funding and the merit of the proposals.

Eligibility

  • Proposals must indicate a Principal Investigator (PI) who is a faculty member or senior research associate at any campus of Cornell University (Ithaca, Geneva, Weill Cornell Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Cornell Tech), and who is eligible to apply for extramural funding. The Biotechnology Development Program follows the definition of PI eligibility defined by the Cornell Research Division.
  • An individual PI will only be eligible for funding for one seed award in any 12-month period.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with one or more BRC Facility Directors before submitting a proposal.

Application Process

Legibility is important. Use Times New Roman 12 pt or Arial 11 pt, 1 inch margins and ensure that all figures/diagrams are fully legible and annotated. Proposals that do not adhere to the page length guidelines below will not be considered.

Applications should be submitted electronically to brc_director@cornell.edu as a single concatenated PDF document.

You application should contain the following sections:

  • Cover page (1 page max), with:
    • the name and contact information of the Principal Investigator (and co-PI(s) when appropriate)
    • the project title
    • a brief explanation of how the data will be used (e.g. new grant submission, grant re-submission or a manuscript re-submission). Include expected timelines
  • Scientific objectives and rationale (2 pages max). Th rationale should draw a clear connection between the objectives and the relevance to the cited extramural funding opportunity.
  • Research Plan (2 pages max)
    • Description of the BRC services requested
    • Description of services or resources not provided by the BRC that are essential for the successful completion of the project
    • Indicate whether the proposed work includes first time use of specific technologies or specific services of the BRC.
    • Include timelines for objective completion and subsequent applications for extramural funding
  • References cited in the Scientific Objectives and Rationale and the Research Plan are not counted in the page count of those sections.
  • Budget (1 page max)
    • List the required BRC services along with reference to published pricing or quote/estimate provided by a BRC Facility Director
    • List reagents, kits and consumables requested as part of the award and that are essential for executing the research plan.
    • If the budget exceeding $10k there should be an explanation of the source alternate funds to cover the excess.
  • Supporting Documentation
    • Support for specific use (provide all that are relevant)
      • Declined grant reviews
      • Declined/needs revision manuscript reviews
      • Reference to a specific funding opportunity/program for which you intend to apply within 12 months of the seed award that will be supported by data generated under this program
    • Standard NIH or NSF Biosketch for all PI(s)
    • Summary of current and pending funding for all PI(s)

 Evaluation Criteria

  • Scientific merit
  • Potential to support future extramural funding
  • Suitability of the requested services and amount of request for the stated scientific objectives
  • Collaborative proposals, especially those that involve multiple Cornell campuses, are encouraged.

Given our limited funding pool and the number of proposals that we receive, we strive to make awards to a diverse population of investigators across departments, colleges, research discipline, career stage, and familiarity with the services/technology requested.

Applications that include the use of technologies or services that are not offered by the BRC* may be considered if there is strong support of one or more BRC Facility Directors.

*For example, a service technology only available at another campus facility or an external service provider. Services of the TREx facility are considered part of the BRC for this purpose.

 Conditions and Restrictions

  • These awards support the use of BRC services and the purchase of supplies and reagents that are essential for executing the research plan. Salary and personnel costs are not covered by the award.
  • Any use of the award that were not described in the original application must be pre-approved by the Institute of Biotechnology. Submit requests to brc_director@cornell.edu.
  • Any award that is not consumed within 12 months will be returned to the award pool. This process can be appealed in exceptional circumstances with the support of one or more BRC facility directors. Submit requests to brc_director@cornell.edu.

Review Process

Applications are collected and tracked by the Associate Director of the Institute of Biotechnology. Proposals will be evaluated by review panels that may include BRC Directors and other Cornell researchers, as appropriate.

If your proposal is not funded, appeals will not be considered during a particular funding cycle. However, you are welcome to reapply during the next cycle, after considering feedback. Feedback will be provided on request and additional discussion with the program director and/or core directors is welcome.

Reporting

A post-award report will be requested 12 months after the award. The report should be a maximum of two pages and include:

  • Grant proposals submitted/resubmitted/awarded that included data produced using the award funds
  • Manuscripts submitted/resubmitted/accepted that included data produced using the award funds
  • IP disclosures submitted or patents awarded based on this work
  • Confirmation that the Institute of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Resource Center was properly acknowledged in manuscripts (http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/brc/brc/services/terms-and-policies#Acknowledgement)
  • Feedback on the administration and effectiveness of this program
Recipients should report any publications or awards received that were supported by this program.

Unexpected circumstances

Circumstance X means that I could not complete the project in the expected amount of time

Extensions will be considered in exceptional circumstances with the support of one or more BRC facility directors. Submit requests to brc_director@cornell.edu.

Circumstance X means that I have exhausted the award but have not met the stated goals

Please contact us at the first sign that this is a possibility. A supplement may be considered at the discretion of the award committee although, in some circumstances, the project will be abandoned or require support from some other sources of funding.