Energy Initiative Offers Seed Funding


Deadline: January 16, 2017

The Energy Research Seed Fund provides a financial head start for new multi-disciplinary, collaborative research teams, enabling Duke investigators to produce critical preliminary results that have a high likelihood of obtaining future external funding.

Learn how to apply.

About the Energy Research Seed Fund

The fourth annual round of awards is co-funded by the Duke University Energy Initiative, the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD). The maximum award per project is $40,000, although awards may be smaller than this amount, based upon review of selected proposals. The project performance period is 12 months, and we anticipate funding approximately six to seven proposals.

Projects must engage at least two Duke faculty members representing different disciplines, schools, or departments, and preference will be given to new interdisciplinary collaborations of investigators across Duke. Proposed projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University are especially encouraged. Proposals will be reviewed based on the quality of proposed research and potential to leverage seed grants to secure external funding.

Topics of Emphasis for 2017

  • Energy Data Analytics – With co-funding from the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), this year’s Seed Fund places special emphasis on research topics related to energy data analytics, including those that integrate big data applications, machine learning techniques, or the broader intersection of energy and advanced computation.
  • Data+ – Special consideration will be given to proposals involving energy data analytics that integrate or lead to the development of a Data+ project as a component of the research. Data+ is a ten-week summer research experience that welcomes Duke undergraduate teams interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges. Learn more about Data+ and its separate proposal process.
  • Bass Connections – The Energy Initiative is also interested funding a research project on an energy-related topic that integrates the core elements of Bass Connections. Specifically, the scope of research would be cross-disciplinary in nature and the project would be supported by a team composed of one or more graduate and undergraduate students. Learn more about Bass Connections.
  • Other areas – Co-funding is also available from the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering for energy research involving their respective faculty. Other potential areas of interest include energy materials, energy access and inequality, energy decision-making and behavior, energy efficiency, grid security, advanced alternative fuels and renewables, and the nexus of energy with other strategic resources (water, food). Research oriented toward solutions, rather than solely problem identification, is especially encouraged.