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 Awards

Proposals are invited from principal investigators at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. To encourage UC-wide collaboration, each proposal must include at least two investigators, each from different campuses. Proposals that engage multiple academic disciplines are encouraged.

  • Aviation
  • Sustainability and Climate Resilience
  • Digital Health
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Semiconductors and Systems

Awardees will be announced in December. Each winning team receives $40,000–$60,000 to pursue their research during the 12-month performance period. Awardees receive CITRIS Investigator status and can benefit from connections with the institute’s broader network and resources.


August 14: Application portal opens      
September 18: Virtual Info Session
October 13: Proposals due  
By December 15: Awardees announced


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.

Seed Spirit

CITRIS Core Funding awardees embody the university’s public mission and its innovative spirit.

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, application link available soon.


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? 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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