Call for Proposals

Special Call for Seed Grant Proposals

by the Center for Social and Behavioral Science and the Personalized Nutrition Initiative

Preproposal Deadline (required): May 1, 2024 | 11:59 p.m. CT
Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation only): July 15, 2024 | 11:59 p.m. CT
Funding available: up to $50,000.00 per proposal

Submission Guidelines (PDF)


These seed grants aim to bring together research teams across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) campus to develop ambitious and innovative research projects to advance social and behavioral science-focused personalized nutrition research with promise for external funding.

Supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation, these grants provide researchers a foundation to examine important, unexplored areas in social and behavioral science. Interdisciplinary approaches often yield the most groundbreaking work. Thus, priority is given to research teams with members from multiple disciplines.


Eligibility & Considerations

Projects are chosen based on:

  • Importance and significance
  • Innovation
  • Methodological and analytical strengths
  • Promise for external funding
  • Research teams with members from multiple disciplines

Seed grants:

  • A maximum of $50,000 may be requested
  • Has a maximum of 24-month project performance period

Not sure whether your research fits? Contact us at or


Criteria and Eligibility

The seed grants are intended to support activities that will result in submission of external funding proposals such as:

  • Development of new, innovative research projects
  • Small pilot studies to support larger funding proposals
  • Development of novel methodological approaches

Criteria for submissions:

  • Innovative approaches to addressing important issues advancing social and behavioral science-focused approaches in personalized nutrition
  • Rigorous methods and analyses that can answer the research questions and/or hypotheses
  • A clear path to submission of one or more grant proposals to external funding agencies

The funds for seed grants can be used to support the following project-related activities:

  • Personnel costs (i.e., graduate or undergraduate student research assistant or a non-student hourly worker)
  • Participant support costs
  • Supplies and materials
  • Data access or data set purchase
  • Transcription costs
  • Mailing costs
  • Travel for data collection to carry out the research

The seed grants are NOT intended to support:

  • Tuition waivers
  • PI/Co-I salary
  • Course buyouts
  • Fringe benefits for salary support for Illinois staff and students
  • Meetings (e.g., seminars, workshops, conferences, or brown bags)
    • Publication costs
    • Travel cost for presenting the research at a scientific conference

Eligibility for a seed grant is limited to:

  • Tenure-track or research faculty members at Illinois
  • Research professionals at Illinois (e.g., Research Scientist or Research Development Manager) Note: Graduate students and postdoctoral associates are not eligible to serve as a PI
  • At least one investigator must be an Affiliate member of the Personalized Nutrition Initiative
  • Must involve Co-PIs from at least two different departments/colleges


Submission Process



Preproposals are due on May 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST.

Applicants should upload the pre-proposal via the online Preproposal Submission Page. Please use this template (Word) for your pre-proposal.

The online Preproposal Submission Page should include:

  • Project title
  • The names and contact information of all project personnel. Clearly identify the PI or Co-PI(s) as appropriate
  • Requested funds. Include the total amount, up to $50,000, and how you will spend such funds.
  • External funding path. Describe your proposal’s connection to a specific external funding opportunity and agency, and include a funding announcement, if appropriate.
  • Attach one PDF of the pre-proposal


The pre-proposal should include components A-C:

A. 1-page pre-proposal with four sections

  1. Background & Significance (Describe the importance of the project and motivation for research)
  2. Goals & Objectives (Describe what you seek to accomplish in your project)
  3. Methods (Describe you methodological and analytical plan)
  4. Expected Outcomes

B. References (This is not part of the 1-page limit.)
C. Biosketches (A current Biosketch from each team member should be included in the pre-proposal PDF document. It can be in NIH, NSF or USDA format. This is not part of the 1-page limit.)

If the pre-proposal is deemed viable by the review committee, the research team will be invited to submit a full proposal, which is due on July 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST.