IEE Seed Grant Program

Investing in innovation

The Institute of Energy and the Environment (IEE) Seed Grant Program fosters basic and applied research on strategic interdisciplinary topics that leverage faculty expertise across the University. The Seed Grant Program strives to:

  • Develop new interdisciplinary research teams and position them for high-impact research and substantial external funding success
  • Pursue novel research in IEE’s research themes, especially high-risk proof of concept projects
  • Promote research development and mentorship between junior and senior faculty

Since the seed grant program's beginning, its goal has been to sow investments in the beginning stages of new and innovative energy and environmental research. IEE has awarded funding to more than 400 researchers and 200 interdisciplinary projects across multiple Penn State colleges and campuses. 

2024 Seed Grant Program

The 2024 Seed Grant Program is accepting proposals through November 29, 2023.

2024 Seed Grant Program Request for Proposals

Institutes of Energy and the Environment Seed Grant Program

The IEE seed grant gave us enough funds to do some preliminary testing, vet some ideas, and find a really promising application. We eventually applied for a patent, published a few papers, and leveraged this work to get a multi-year project with the Department of Energy.

Assistant Research Professor, John and Willie Leone Department of Energy & Mineral Engineering
Learn more about this seed grant project

Growing Impact Podcast

Growing Impact is a podcast that explores IEE seed grant-funded projects through short conversations with researchers about their work. Transcripts are also available for each episode. Visit our library of podcasts or listen/subscribe on your favorite platform, including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Spotify.

A Return on Research Investments of 12:1

The IEE Seed Grant Program has resulted in a 12:1 return on its investments, or $12 for every $1 invested. Since 2016, the program has resulted in more than $60 million in external funding from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry.

This is demonstrative of a principal objective of the IEE Seed Grant Program, which is to develop new interdisciplinary research teams and position them for high impact research and substantial external funding success.

Seed Grant History

See the awarded projects, recipients, impacts, RFPs, and committees from each seed grant year.