IEE Seed Grant Program

Current IEE Seed Grant

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) announced its 2020–21 Seed Grant Program. The funding is intended to foster basic and applied interdisciplinary energy and environmental research that leverages faculty expertise across the University. The deadline to submit proposals was 5 p.m. on February 12, 2021.

Important Dates

  • February 12, 2021, 5:00 p.m. - Proposals due 
  • Early April - Funding decisions announced
  • Late April/Early May - Grant funds made available and must be expended by June 30, 2022
2020-21 Seed Grant Program


All Penn State faculty members—tenured, tenure track, and fixed-term—who hold an appointment of half-time or more at any Penn State campus are eligible to submit a seed grant proposal as a principal investigator.


A webinar took place on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 to answer questions that applicants may have about the IEE Seed Grant process or the RFP.


Please direct any questions regarding the IEE Seed Grant Program to


Investing in Innovation

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 more than $2 million to over 100 interdisciplinary projects across multiple Penn State colleges and campuses. 

The Seed Grant Program strives to:

  • Develop new interdisciplinary research teams and position them for substantial external funding success
  • Pursue novel science related to IEE’s research themes
  • Promote research development and mentorship between junior and senior faculty

Seed Grant Impacts


Growing Impact: Climate Change on the Hudson

Kirk French talks about his newest seed grant-funded project, "Climate Change on the Hudson: A Century After Nanook." In the discussion, Kirk talks about the importance of documenting climate change through film and how revisiting "Nanook of the North" empowered the Inuit to tell their story, even in the face of COVID.

Listen to the podcast

Return on Investment


return on IEE seed grants, or $2.50 for every $1 invested


students supported with IEE seed grants


scholarly publications or presentations related to IEE seed grants

Seed Grant History

See the RFPs, the committees, the recipients, and the return on investment from each seed grant year.