Skip to main content

Research and Innovation Seed Funding Program (RISF)

The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) and the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science (KIETS) established the Strategic Research Initiative in 2010 — now known as the Research and Innovation Seed Funding (RISF) Program. The primary goal of RISF is to assist NC State researchers in developing innovative interdisciplinary programs that have strong potential for significant future external support from government agencies, corporations, industrial consortia or foundations.

Program Highlights

The Fall 2022 (FY23) cycle of the RISF program is now open.

The current cycle represents the final year of a time-limited (two-year) expansion of the traditional RISF program. As with the previous RISF cycle, this cycle of the program will focus on special topic areas. Specifically, ORI and KIETS invite proposals in three broad program areas: Traditional, Global Health, and Climate Change.

  • The Traditional program area is intended to preserve a subset of RISF funding for those who wish to apply for seed-funding under program guidelines utilized in previous years.
  • The Global Health and Climate Change program areas have been added as special interest topics due to their societal significance, and the immense opportunities each provides for innovation.

Regardless of program area, proposed projects must be new interdisciplinary initiatives that have a high potential for future external support.

Program Timeline

  • Fall 2022 proposal deadline:  October 13, 2022 by 11:59 p.m., via InfoReady
  • Fall 2022 funding decisions announced: December 2022
  • Fall 2022 cycle award period: January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023
  • Fall 2022 cycle report deadlines: January 31, 2024; January 31, 2025

RISF Documents

RISF FAQs

Proposals under the Global Health program area should focus on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of diseases presenting specific health challenges of global importance, and that provide opportunities for reducing health inequalities and enhancing worldwide access to these life-saving technologies. You will be required to demonstrate how the proposed project aligns with this area.

The following example would be prioritized for funding under this area:

  • Development of an effective, low-cost therapy for a human disease or syndrome for which pathogenesis is disproportionately higher in low- and middle-income countries.

A similar example that would align better with the Traditional program area might include:

  • Development of an effective, low-cost therapy for a human disease or syndrome with the potential to increase life expectancy overall.

Other general examples of projects that would be prioritized for funding under the Global Health program area include:

  • Development of modelling techniques to predict the spread of an infectious agent for which there is no current treatment that impacts global food production.
  • Development of low-cost technologies to combat deficiencies in sanitation or sanitation education in poorer nations.

Other general examples of projects that would not be prioritized for funding under the Global Health program area but would align better with the RISF Traditional program area include:

  • Development of strategies to define and mitigate signal transduction or developmental defects with the potential to impact animal or plant health.
  • Development or testing of materials with the potential to serve as low-cost substitutes for fibers.

Proposals under the Climate Change program area should focus on mitigation strategies and adaptation to evolving climate issues. Projects should clearly demonstrate how the proposed effort will play a significant role in tackling the causes or impacts of climate change. You will be required to demonstrate how the proposed project aligns with this area.

The following example would be prioritized for funding under this area:

  • Production of a new sensor or modelling tool that will predict volcanic eruptions, facilitating designed emissions efforts aimed at reducing the impacts of eruption on climate.

A similar example that would align better with the Traditional program area might include:

  • Production of a new sensor or modelling tool that will detect the emission and distribution of greenhouse gases from volcanic eruptions.

Other general examples of projects that would be prioritized for funding under the Climate Change program area include:

  • Development of a novel process for the production of animal feed that dramatically reduces a source of greenhouse gases.
  • Development of a low-cost, low-technology method for the production of clean drinking water in remote locales impacted by droughts due to climate change.

Another general example of a project that would not be prioritized for funding under the Climate Change program area but would align better with the RISF Traditional program area might include:

  • Development of a novel cell phone app that will show the map location of urban heat islands.

Yes, the RISF program utilizes a two-part submission process: (1) NC State PINS routing system and (2) electronic submission to the RISF program administrator via InfoReady Review.

PINS routing does not have to be complete at time of submission via InfoReady; however, PINS must have been initiated and the number must appear on the proposal cover page to be accepted for review.

Yes, resubmissions are allowed under the RISF program.

Note that resubmissions must include a description detailing how previous reviewer comments and concerns have been addressed. See the RFP for further instructions.

Investigators applying to the Traditional, Global Health, and Climate Change areas may request up to $25,000 in RISF funds, and a minimum 25% cost match will be required from internal or external sources.

For example, if $25,000 of RISF funds are requested, a match of at least $6,250 is required, resulting in a total project budget of $31,250.

Past Awards

The abstracts of previously awarded RISF projects are posted for the NC State community to review. A Unity ID is required to view these synopses.

  • Projects awarded under the Fall 2021 cycle will soon be posted!

Reporting Schedule

All RISF awardees are required to report the results of their research. Failure to complete a report in a timely manner makes you ineligible to apply for any internal seed funding from the Office of Research and Innovation. A detailed reporting schedule is posted for reference. A Unity ID is required to view the reporting schedule.

RISF Reviewer Dashboard

RISF reviews are conducted by the University Research Committee (URC). These members may access key review information by logging in to the reviewer dashboard. Members from the NC State community can view the reviewer dashboard; however, only URC members have access to proposal information.