Seed grants focused on human health and the environment are available to Penn State faculty members and researchers. Pilot projects that exhibit innovative approaches to significant problems related to human health and the environment are encouraged to be submitted.

RFP Updated

The Human Health and the Environment Seed Grant RFP was reissued on February 10, 2017 to clarify the Eligibility requirements and Submission Instructions.
Download the Revised RFP here


On Monday, February 6, there will be a pre-proposal webinar to help answer questions about the process.

The presentation delivered at the webinar is available here.

Recording of the webinar is available here


The request for proposals is being sponsored by:

With such a wide variety of sponsoring Penn State units, proposals may range in topic, including:

  • Environmental impacts on human health
  • Environment-cancer linkages
  • The use of sensors or other devices to capture environmental influences on human health
  • Population variations in environmental exposures and their impacts on human health
  • The role of human behavior in health-relevant environmental exposures


At least $400,000 of funding is available, with an average range from $25,000 to $50,000 for each project. However, for certain high-risk, high-reward proposals that are related to the mission of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, additional funds may be available.

Successful proposals should aim to build collaborations involving new interdisciplinary research teams whose research is aimed at attracting external funding. Priority will be given to cross-college, cross-campus (including all Penn State campuses) and cross-institute teams.

All Penn State faculty members who hold appointments of half-time or more at any Penn State campus are eligible to submit a seed grant proposal as principal investigator.

The deadline for pre-proposals is 5 p.m. on March, 1, 2017.

Full Request for Proposals

For more details, read the full Request for Proposals


Submissions to this Request for Proposals are made through InfoReady.


  • Sheri A. Berenbaum ­­­— College of the Liberal Arts, "Cognitive Changes Associated with Hormonal Treatment for Breast Cancer"
  • Nita Bharti — Eberly College of Science, "Environmentally Linked Viruses and Dynamic Transmission Networks"
  • Ali Borhan — College of Engineering, "Patient-Specific Prediction of Susceptibility to Acute Lung Injury Resulting from Exposure to Environmental Pollutants and Toxic Industrial Chemicals"
  • Keith C. Cheng — College of Medicine, "Digital environmental monitoring of human water supply watersheds by high-throughput phenotyping of plankton and meiofauna"
  • Guangquing Chi — College of Agricultural Sciences, "From Environmental Change to Left-behind Children’s Well-being in Rural Highlands"
  • Andris Freivalds — College of Engineering, "UPRITE (Universal Personal Rebalance Information Technology Enhancement) A Device for Anticipating and Preventing Elderly Falls"
  • Adam Glick — College of Agricultural Sciences, "Therapeutic Modulation of the Tumor Immune Microenvironment in Skin Cancer with Localized Activation of Nanoparticle Delivered siRNA"
  • Vasant Gajanan Honavar — College of Information Sciences and Technology, "Predictive Modeling of Health Risks and Outcomes from Clinical, Environmental, Contextual, Behavioral Data: A Proof-of-Concept Study Focused on Breast Cancer in Central Pennsylvania"
  • Scott H. Medina — College of Engineering, "Drug-Loaded Antimicrobial Nanogels for Combinatorial Therapy of Antibiotic-Resistant Tuberculosis"
  • Shedra Amy Snipes — College of Health and Human Development, "Using an Environmental Justice Lens: An Integrated Pest Management and mHealth Program Aimed to Reduce Pesticides Exposures for Vulnerable Hispanic Mushroom Farmers in Pennsylvania"
  • Randy Lee Vander Wal — College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, "Identification of Toxicity Parameters Associated with Combustion Produced PM2.5 Surface Chemistry and Particle Structure by in Vitro Assays"

More Information

For those seeking more information on Info ready, IEE has provided a Quick-Start Guide.

Please direct any questions regarding the proposal process to the relevant institute director:

General questions can be sent to