Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) has five strategic research themes of focus (listed alphabetically):

  1. Climate and Ecosystem Change
  2. Future Energy Supply
  3. Smart Energy Systems
  4. Water and Biogeochemical Cycles
  5. Health and the Environment

IEE established a Seed Grant Program since 2013 to foster basic and applied research focused on these strategic research themes. Over the previous rounds, IEE has awarded over $1.5 million to seventy interdisciplinary projects with investigators from fifteen Penn State colleges and campuses.

For 2017–18, approximately $300,000 of funding is available for proposals related to the first four research themes.

DEADLINE: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Preferred activities for funding under the Seed Grant Program

  • Development of new interdisciplinary research teams to position them for substantial external funding success;
  • Novel research in theme areas, especially high-risk proof of concept projects; and
  • Collaboration between junior and senior faculty to promote research development, mentorship.

To increase the impact of the Seed Grant program and align with expanding federal and foundation opportunities, we will give extra consideration to proposals addressing transitions to sustainability associated with any facet of the first four themes (Climate and Ecosystem Change; Future Energy Supply; Smart Energy Systems; Water and Biogeochemical Cycles). Through this focus on transitions to sustainability, we hope to see proposals that examine processes of transformation of coupled human and biophysical systems, including metrics, incentives and behaviors, policies and governance strategies that limit or facilitate innovation and change.

Funding Available

$300,000 of funding is available through this seed grant solicitation for 2017–2018. To encourage establishment of new collaborations and enhancement of networks, larger grants will require innovative partnerships of investigators from multiple colleges and/or campus locations. Funds up to $5,000 can be awarded for a single investigator project; up to $10,000 for two or more faculty from the same college (University Park) or Commonwealth Campus; and up to $25,000 for multi-college (across University Park) and multi campus (between campuses) collaborative grants.

Download the Request for Pre-Proposals with complete instructions: http://www.iee.psu.edu/document/iee-seed-grant-rfp-2017-2018

Health and the Environment Seed Grant

As with last year, a separate multi-Institute request for proposals on the theme of Health and the Environment will be issued later this fall or winter.

Webinar

Webinar Sept. 5, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. EDT by connecting through the URL https://psu.zoom.us/j/901169566

Application/FAQ/Questions

​Read the Application site quick start and apply: http://www.iee.psu.edu/infoready-quick-start-guide

Click here to download a FAQ list: http://www.iee.psu.edu/document/iee-seed-grant-faq

Please direct any questions regarding the proposal process to iee@psu.edu.

Recipients

“Location, Location, Location: Changing the Real Estate of Plant Cell Walls for Sustainable Energy and Novel Materials via Lignin Nanolocalization”

Charles Anderson, Eberly College of Science; Yimin Zhu, Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Penn State Altoona; and Nicole Brown, College of Agricultural Sciences

“Climate and Ecosystem Change: Probing the Mechanisms of Coral Phenotypic Plasticity”

Iliana Baums, Eberly College of Science; Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, Eberly College of Science; and Sally Mackenzie, Eberly College of Science

“Coring of Pre-Holocene Sediments at Bear Meadows: A Coupled Record of Paleoclimate, Paleoecology, and Hillslope Erosion?”

Roman Dibiase, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Sarah Ivory, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

“Can Fertilization of Crops Alter Bedrock Weathering?”

Jonathan Duncan, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Susan Brantley, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

“Maximization of Permanent Trapping of CO2 in Geological Formations”

Hamid Emami-Meybodi, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Aleksandra Radlinska, College of Engineering; Li Li, College of Engineering; and Zuleima Karpyn, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

“Utilizing Hydrotropes to Increase Redox Flow Battery Storage Densities”

Christopher Gorski, College of Engineering; Robert Hickey, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Bruce Logan, College of Engineering

“Decentralized Control of Modular Multi-Level Converters in Photovoltaic Systems”

Javad Khazaei, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, Penn State Harrisburg; and Gregory Pavlak, College of Engineering

“Experiment and Modeling of Multi-Physics Gas Flow Dynamics through MultiScale Shale Pores”

Shimin Liu, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Zi-Kui Liu, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Shun-Li Shang, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Ming Xiao, College of Engineering

“Assessing Wetland Characteristics of 0-order Contributing Areas Above Montane Headwater Wetland-Stream Complexes in the Appalachian Mountains – A Pennsylvania Assessment”

Douglas Miller, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Jonathan Duncan, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Andy Cole, College of Arts and Architecture

“Heavy Metal Removal from Industrial Runoff Using Manganese Modified Diatomite”

Faegheh Khazaei Moazeni, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, Penn State Harrisburg; and Shirley Clark, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, Penn State Harrisburg

“Energy Efficient Buildings: Using Data Analytics to Incorporate Occupancy in Scheduling and Load Profiling”

Ashkan Negahban, Engineering Division, Penn State Great Valley; Robin Qiu, Engineering Division, Penn State Great Valley; Walter Scott Wagner, College of Engineering; and Mark Stutman, College of Engineering

“Design and Development of an Innovative Re-Roofing Solution that Demonstrates the Feasibility of Retrofitting a Leaky Vacant Building to a Watertight and Energy Producing System”

Esther Obonyo, College of Engineering; Clive Randall, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Kevin Snider, Chancellor, Penn State New Kensington; and Ali Memari, College of Engineering

“What Would the Susquehanna River Basin (SRB) Look Like in a European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive?”

Cibin Raj, College of Agricultural Sciences; Robert Chiles, College of Agricultural Sciences; Patrick Drohan, College of Agricultural Sciences; Caitlin Grady, College of Engineering; and Heather Gall, College of Agricultural Sciences

“Novel Inocula for Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal: Bridging Stream and Engineered Ecosystems”

John Regan, College of Engineering; and Jonathan Duncan, College of Agricultural Sciences

“Projecting Flood Risk from Extreme Precipitation: Interaction Between Climate Change and Urbanization”

Benjamin Shaby, Eberly College of Science; Alfonso Mejia, College of Engineering; and Chris Forest, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

“Multi-Scale Estimates of Solar Power Water Stress by Integrating Process-Based Descriptions with Deep-Learning-Based Mapping of Solar Farms”

Chaopeng Shen, College of Engineering; Jeffrey Brownson, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Guido Cervone, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences