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Internal Funding

There are a number of competitive funding opportunities offered by the University of Maryland. Many of these are seed grant mechanisms that allow faculty to conduct preliminary research or scholarship that will lead to larger external grant applications. Faculty in the College of Arts and Humanities have been strongly encouraged to apply for each of these, and we encourage you to consider how your work may be eligible for one or more of the following:

1. Center for Synergy DRIF Competition: We offer three different funding categories that are in keeping with the Center for Synergy’s interdisciplinary and engaged research goals and a limited amount of subvention funds. In addition, we offer funding in support of applications to the Division of Research Faculty Incentive Program and UMD-Smithsonian Institution Seed Grant Program.  Funded initiatives will be those that promise to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship and/or enhance links to and engagement in the community beyond the campus.

2. Division of Research Faculty Incentive Program

  • Tier 1 – Proof of Concept/Enabling Seed Grants – Applications are accepted twice per year: June 1 and December 1.

    Awards are for up to $50,000, to support and encourage individual faculty members and multidisciplinary teams of faculty to secure proof of concept, with a goal of pursuing sponsored research or to support scholarship leading to a significant publication or monograph. Tier I grants are funded through a match between the VPR office and the department/college. Faculty interested in pursuing Tier I grant opportunities must secure a commitment for 50% of the proposed budget from their department and/or college. Deadlines June 1 and December 1 of each year.

    • Proof of Concept seed grants - typically for individual faculty or multidisciplinary teams of faculty pursuing new research directions;

    • Enabling seed grants which support scholarship in fields where external funding is scarce; the expectation is that this funding will lead to a seminal publication or monograph.

  • Tier 2 – Proposal Development – incentive support is available to faculty who are actively pursuing the development of externally‐funded research programs which will contribute to the university’s overall impact and reputation. These programs are typically large, multidisciplinary, highly visible and highly impactful. Awards are for up to $75,000, 1/3 from VPR, 1/3 from Provost, 1/3 from College/Unit, awarded as cost reimbursement. 

  • Tier 3* - University Wide Initiatives Support – incentive support is available for the development of broad, multidisciplinary research initiatives, institutes, centers or themes that will position the university to become a national leader in an emerging or sustained area of research. These areas typically respond to a national or societal need. Meeting with the VPR Research Development Office is mandatory for Tier 3 requests. Awards are for up to $150,000, 1/3 from VPR, 1/3 from Provost, 1/3 from College/Unit, awarded as cost reimbursement. 

  • Tier 4* -  Operating Support (formerly Tier 2 Annual Operating) - support is provided to faculty who have successfully pursued the development of externally‐funded large research centers/programs whose establishment improves the university’s overall impact and reputation. These centers/programs are typically large, multidisciplinary, highly visible, multi-year, and highly impactful.

*Please note that the Division of Research is currently reviewing its tier 3 and tier 4 faculty incentive programs.   If you are interested in applying for a tier 3 or tier 4 award, please first contact Eric Chapman at echapman@umd.edu or 5-7136.(link sends e-mail)

3. Graduate School Awards

4. Seed Grant Programs:

  • UMD & UMB Seed Grant: The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campuses co-host the joint Research and Innovation Seed Grant Program. The intent of this initiative is to promote structured collaboration between UMD and UMB and to advance the institutions’ joint goals in research and innovation.
  • Future of Information Alliance Innovation Spark Grant Competition: This program is designed to encourage teams of students to engage in projectts that research and devise innovative solutions for real-world issues using cutting-edge tools. Interdisciplinary teams are composed of up to 4 undergraduate/graduate students who come from at least two different colleges, a faculty member, and FIA partners or other outside collaborators.