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Frequently Asked Questions on the Seed Grants

Who Can Apply

Are students and/or postdocs eligible to apply?

Students and postdocs can be paid through the grant but they can’t apply for the grants directly

Can non-UNC partners be part of the grant?

The PI for the grant must be at UNC-Chapel Hill. Non-UNC partners can be unpaid contributors on the grant. However, if they are a student or postdoc, they can be paid on the grant even if they are not at Carolina. There is no F&A coverage on UNC-Chapel Hill or non-university expenses.

Can someone with an EHRA-NF appointment as a researcher in a center or institute apply for these grants?


The RFP notes, “To encourage interdisciplinary activity, the lead must partner with groups or individuals outside of their home department.”

Must all partners be outside of the home department or can it be a mix?

A mix is fine.

Is there a minimum number of PIs that must be on the proposal?

The proposal must include at least two PIs.

Is there a limit on the number of PIs on the proposal?


Can a PI send in more than one application?

A team lead can only lead a single application though could be a supporting collaborator on other applications. A researcher can only appear as PI or co-PI in only one proposal, and as a collaborator on others.

About the Seed Grants and Awards

Are there minimum or maximums for the grant requests?

As you develop the proposal, please note the key review criteria listed in the RFP. Grant awards will be a minimum of $20,000.

Can funding be used for workshops?

Funds may be used for any allowable research-related expense, including workshops and symposia. However, grant awards cannot cover expenses for the PI or other personnel to attend a conference or workshop.

Can funds be used to pay for honorarium for invited speakers?

Funds can be used to pay for a small, reasonable honorarium.

Can funds be used for travel?

Funds may be used for travel. Travel can be paid to guests visiting campus, but not for UNC-Chapel Hill individuals to leave for outside conferences.

Can funds be used to pay international institutions or individuals to do work on our behalf?

International work or travel is not allowed due to source funding restrictions.

Can faculty salary be included?

Faculty salaries can be included in the proposal only if it’s well justified. These grants are designed to motivate large group collaborations.

What is the funding source of the grant and do proposals need to go through the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)?

UNC-Chapel Hill is providing the grant funds. Proposals do not need to go through OSP.

It sounds like one of the deliverables could be research-ready data sets shared across campus. What about building repositories of shared data sets that are geared towards use in classes only?

The data sets collected for research could certainly be shared for use in classes, but the primary purpose of the data sets must be research for these seed grants.