Seed Funding

Competitive teams from the campuses of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute at UC Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Merced, Davis, and Davis Health submit proposals for collaborative research projects.

CITRIS Seed Funding 2021 Request for Proposals

The CITRIS Seed Funding program issues short-term, targeted awards to further the institute’s research priorities for societal benefit, catalyze early results that can lead to significant funding, and strengthen connections across UC campuses.

Proposals are invited from principal investigators at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. Awardees embody the university’s public mission and innovative spirit of California.


Funded projects have attracted more than $60 million in follow-on support.

*$40,000–$60,000 per project.

Team Formation

Proposals should engage at least two Principal Investigators from different CITRIS campuses.

Find our P.I. directory here.

Info Sessions

Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 11–11:45 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 4, from 4–4:45 p.m.

Up to $60,000 dollars in funding for projects fostering connections among UC campuses to catalyze early-stage research that can lead to external funding.

The CITRIS Seed Funding Program is designed to support innovative, early-stage collaborative projects that can attract larger-scale support from federal, state, industrial, and/or philanthropic funding sources. Funded projects have attracted more than $60 million in follow-on support from federal, state, industrial, and private sources including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Intel, Microsoft, Mellon Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Stay connected to CITRIS newsletter for an exact release date in 2021, application link available soon.

Covid Funded Research

UC Davis researchers in nine COVID -19 related research projects that recently received June 2020 seed grants averaging $50,000 from CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, a systemwide initiate headquartered at Berkeley. The projects below feature 17 UC Davis researchers, listed with colleagues from other CITRIS campuses, divided up by research category.

Learn more about COVID related research funded by CITRIS here.

  1. A Multi-campus Infrastructure to Advance Telehealth Implementation for Low-Income Californians in Response to COVID-19.
  2. Augmented Reality Video-Assisted Clinical Care for Remote Management of COVID-19.
  3. Discovery of Symptom Phenotypes and Trajectories for COVID-19 Adaptive Interventions.
  4. Estimating the Local Spread of COVID-19 Around Long-Term Care Facilities in California Using Social Interaction Networks With Spatial Information.
  5. AmbuBox: Fast-Deployable, Low-Cost Ventilator for COVID-19 Emergent Care.
  6. Vine Robot for Automated Nasopharyngeal Swabbing.
  7. Ionizing Air to Trap COVID-19 Virus to Prevent Airborne Transmission.
  8. At-Home Personalized Monitoring of Exhaled Breath Inflammatory Biomarkers for Known or Suspected COVID-19 Patients.
  9. Integrated Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment and Geospatial Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater for Vulnerable Populations.

Recent Funded Projects

CITRIS Areas of Interest

The CITRIS Seed Funding Program launched in 2008 as an innovative mechanism to drive early-stage IT research with the potential to benefit society.

Core Technology

Technology & Society

Crafting a Successful Application

Projects demonstrating a clear path from seed investigation to expanded funding will be rated more favorably. Awardees will be asked to report on resulting proposals.

List of Funded Projects since 2016

Some items in our evaluation criteria

  1. Feasibility: Can the stated goals be achieved within 12-18 months?
  2. Creates a solution to a societal challenge and demonstrates impact: Are the societal problem and its scale clearly identified? What potential impact will this seed-funded work have on the challenge, field, and/or society?
  3. Potential for follow-on funding: How will investigators build upon the CITRIS Seed Fund Award outcomes? Has this topic been identified by federal agencies or other funders for future investment? Projects demonstrating a clear path from seed investigation to expanded funding will be rated more favorably. Awardees will be asked to report on resulting proposals.
  4. Alignment with the CITRIS mission and research initiatives: Does the proposal advance information technology solutions in one or more of the current CITRIS interest areas described below? Under the charter of the Banatao Institute, applications that benefit developing regions in the U.S. and abroad are also welcome, but not required.
  5. Use of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute research assets including the Marvell NanoLab, CITRIS Invention Lab, or other CITRIS-affiliated testbeds is encouraged, but not required.
  6. Inclusion of pre-tenured faculty is highly encouraged, but not required.

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