Energy Boost Seed Grants

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Energy Boost seed grants are intended to provide initial support for SIU faculty developing innovative energy-related research and scholarship with strong potential to develop into long-term, externally-funded programs.  Proposals are welcome from all disciplines, but the research and/or scholarship proposed must be clearly energy-related. 

Proposals for Energy Boost seed grants are competitive and subject to internal and external review by one or more ad hoc advisory committees selected by AEI. Proposals should clearly identify potential external funding agencies and/or programs that might provide continued support for the proposed line of investigation after completion of the seed grant.  Awardees are expected to submit a proposal related to their seed grant topic to an external funding source no more than twelve months after the award period begins.

Priority will be given to early career investigators, but investigators of any rank are welcome to apply.  Priority will also be given to proposals that initiate new research directions rather than supporting established programs.  Interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged.

This program is funded by AEI's Energy Boost Research Grant.

Questions concerning any aspect of AEI seed grants should be directed to 

Seed Grant Documents

Proposers are expected to carefully follow all proposal preparation instructions provided in the following downloadable documents:

Instructions for preparation of final reports are also available

Link to form for submission of P-card transactions and travel expenses 

Important Dates

Spring 2023:

  • Seed grant proposals are due by 4:30 pm, Tuesday, January 31st 
  • Anticipated project start date: July 1st unless otherwise specified
    (other start and end dates require written justification and prior approval
    from the Director of AEI)

Important Changes to AEI Seed Grants after 2020

Beginning in 2020, significant changes have been made to the Energy Boost Seed Grant Program.  Proposers need to be aware of these changes and to plan and budget accordingly.  Seed grant funds will now be awarded in two tranches:

  1. $25,000 to be expended in the twelve-month period of the seed grant (i.e. within 12 months from the start of the award)
  2. $25,000 to be available as matching funds to be applied to a proposal submitted to an external funding agency

Funds from the initial tranche may be used for most project-related expenses including materials and supplies, small equipment, project-related travel, and graduate or undergraduate student support.  They may not be used for faculty or regular staff salary, including summer salary, or consulting fees.

Funds from the second tranche will be encumbered when the seed grant is awarded and may be applied as matching funds applicable to proposals submitted for external funding.  Matching funds may be used at the discretion of the PI(s) in any manner consistent with the objectives of the proposal submitted to the external agency.  Funds from the second tranche will only be released in support of successful (funded) external proposals.  Funds encumbered to unsuccessful proposals will be released back to AEI.

These changes are intended to assist PI(s) by (1) encouraging development of proposals for external support, and (2) by helping make external proposals more competitive by being able to offer matching internal funding which is increasingly a requirement for many external funding agencies.