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Seed Grant Competition

Request for Proposals 2018

The Center for Resilient Infrastructures, Systems, and Processes (CRISP) is pleased to announce funding for 3 (three) collaborative seed grants focused on resilience, broadly defined. Each grant will support 1 Graduate Research Assistant for the Academic Year 2018-19 at the PRF base rate.


Important Dates:

CFP released: July 2

Proposals due: July 23

Results announced: Aug 1

Start of RA funding: Aug 15

Duration of funding: 1 year


Proposals are invited for research projects that provide solutions for making systems, infrastructures, or processes resilient. The domain area for a proposal can be one of:

  1. Cyber systems
  2. Cyber physical systems
  3. Socio-technical systems
  4. Built environment


Proposals should focus on innovative, high risk ideas that can be undertaken in a short period of time and leveraged toward large scale external funding opportunities. Research projects which are incremental or are a natural continuation of an existing project are not suitable for this RFP.

Proposals must be collaborative and should include at least two faculty members from different disciplinary areas (could be within the same department or across different departments). Some administrative guidelines for the proposal are:

  • The PI should be an affiliate faculty member of CRISP. The co-PIs need not be affiliated with CRISP.
  • A faculty member can participate as PI or co-PI on a single proposal.
  • Funding will be released first for Fall 2018 and then for Spring and Summer 2019.
  • The Spring and Summer funding is contingent on progress made during the Fall 2018 semester. The selected teams will be required to report their progress towards their goals by January 1, 2019. The report should include a publication or an external proposal (submitted or in preparation) by the team members.

Submission requirement: Here is what needs to be submitted for the proposal:

  • Cover page including Proposal Title, Investigators (names, ranks, and affiliations), and Domain Area (one of the four mentioned above)
  • Project description: 3 pages maximum, with minimum 11 pt font size, 1 inch page margin, single-line spacing. This should include:
    • Project Summary (max 150 words)
    • Outline 1 and 3 year research objectives and other metrics for success
    • 1-3 external funding programs suitable for this project, along with anticipated deadlines
  • References
  • 2-page NSF style CV for Principal and co-Principal Investigators

Note: Budgets for graduate students must be for 50% appointments for 12 months, and only include stipends. Proposals should not be submitted through the pre-awards office.

Evaluation criteria: Proposals should explicitly address the following criteria, which will be included in the evaluation process. Evaluation will be done by the CRISP leadership team plus some senior faculty members in the areas of the submitted proposals. All conflicts of interest will be carefully controlled for and CRISP leadership team members are ineligible to compete.

  1. Technical novelty: How novel is the proposed idea? Does the proposal unambiguously identify the gaps in prior work? Is there a credible plan to address these gaps?
  2. High risk/high payoff: What is the transformative potential of the project vis-à-vis the mission of CRISP? Indicate what aspects of this proposal are high risk. A proposal that is on a mature project, i.e., based on long ongoing work at the PI/co-PI’s labs is not suitable.
  3. Collaboration: Do the team members bring complementary skills to the table?
  4. Leveraging: What are the opportunities for this grant and ongoing activities of PI/co-PI(s) to obtain external funding?
  5. Project Management: Are the proposed activities well-structured to lead to the desired impact?
  • Submission: Proposal should be submitted as one combined PDF to In your email, please use the Subject Line: “CRISP seed grant proposal” to facilitate management of the proposal submissions. If you do not receive an acknowledgment of the submission within a day, please contact the CRISP members listed below.

For questions, please contact Saurabh Bagchi (, Jitesh Panchal (, or Milind Kulkarni (