Seed Grants Call for Proposals

Seeds growing

Call for Proposals

Partnering with UC Davis colleges and schools, Global Affairs provides Seed Grants for International Activities to faculty taking on innovative research, service, and engagement projects around the world.

Seed Grant Projects, which are often interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial in nature, have spurred new partnerships for UC Davis and have created long-term collaborations—ones that empower communities, build new opportunities, and advance the condition of health for people, animals, and the planet. 

The 2018-19 Call for Proposals is Now Closed. The 2019-20 Call for Proposals Will Open in Fall 2019.


As a tier-one global research institution, we hope to support innovative new programs that advance knowledge, enrich student learning and help solve society’s most pressing problems with a global focus. We encourage faculty from all schools and colleges to submit proposals.

The Seed Grants for International Activities program began in 2001 to give life to bold new ideas in international research. To date, the program has funded more than 220 projects totaling over $1.4 million dollars; in turn, they have generated over $40 million in external funding. The program has launched innovative educational and research programs in every college and school across the university. It has also helped faculty forge important external relationships with leading universities around the world, government agencies, industry, and other community and non-governmental organizations.

Global Affairs encourages applications for proposals that:

  • Foster international research collaborations
  • Create innovations in internationalizing the curriculum
  • Build new interdisciplinary, international partnerships

Application and Submission


UC Davis Academic Senate faculty members and Academic Federation faculty with PI status are eligible to apply. All UC Davis locations are eligible. Note: PIs are allowed to submit one seed grant proposal per cycle.

Matching Funds

1:1 matching funding from the college or school dean's office is required. Investigators should reach out to their dean for matching funds in advance of submitting the proposal. The dean's signature is required on the proposal cover sheet. 


The 2018-19 Call for Proposals is Now Closed. The 2019-20 Call for Proposals Will Open in Fall 2019.

Note: for applicants in the College of Engineering, School of Nursing, and School of Veterinary Medicine, please submit your applications to your dean's office for an internal review in advance of submitting your proposal to Global Affairs by the final deadline.

Requesting Funds

Funding from Global Affairs ranges from $5,000-$15,000 per proposal. Depending on matching funds, the total budget could be $30,000. Funding provided is for up to two years. The timeline of funding will be from around March 2019 - March 2021.


The budget (see Excel budget worksheet) should include the following categories and must be accompanied by a budget narrative:

  • Personnel (salaries)
  • Travel and Entertainment
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Misc. Services (conference fees, honoraria, computer services, etc.)

Proposal Submittal Requirements

Proposals should include these elements:

  1. Proposal cover sheet (.pdf) including a one paragraph abstract of the proposed project (150 word maximum), which will be placed on the Global Affairs website for selected projects. The cover sheet includes indication of matching funding. (1 page)
  2. A description of the proposed project, including proposed activities, project timetable, expected tangible outcomes, etc. (3 pages)
  3. Detailed budget and budget narrative. Please see the Excel budget worksheet for details regarding expenditures. (2 pages)

Evaluation Criteria

A review committee composed of faculty and administrators will evaluate all proposals. In selecting proposals to be awarded, preference will be given to proposals that:

  • Have high research value;
  • Create innovative relationships with a new international institutions or strengthen an institutional partnerships between UC Davis and a current partner institution;
  • Propose innovative ways to integrate an international dimension into the curriculum;
  • Have an interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary component;
  • Includes participation of graduate and undergraduate students;
  • Offer promise for additional external funding or lead to long-term impact for the university.

Final Report

Recipients are expected to submit Seed Grant Final Report Form at the end of the award period. The report includes information about the project’s accomplishments and future plans (e.g. received external funding, developed new courses or manuscripts, held conferences with international partners, etc.). It also requests information about how the funds were expended.

Samples of Successful Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Matching Funds

  • Are matching funds required?
  • Yes, 1:1 matching funding from the dean if required. You will need to include the dean's electronic signature on the seed grant cover sheet to confirm matching funding. 

Additional Funding or Support

  • Can you provide examples of how to show promise for additional support or funding?
  • Evidence of the Principal Investigator’s previous success in obtaining external funding as well as a clear plan outlined in the proposal for obtaining additional support are two indicators of whether the project is likely to be funded in the future.

New Interdisciplinary, International Partnerships

  • Is there a clear definition of interdisciplinary?
  • In order to foster projects with a broad impact, we define “interdisciplinary” as involving multiple departments on campus.


  • Who is eligible to apply for the seed grant program?
  • UC Davis Academic Senate faculty members and Academic Federation faculty with PI status are eligible to apply. All UC Davis locations are eligible. 

Application and Submission

  • Can a Global Affairs staff member provide feedback on my proposal before final submission?
  • Unfortunately, it is not feasible for Global Affairs staff to provide feedback on proposals prior to submission.

  • Who reviews the proposals?
  • Seed Grant proposals will be reviewed by an internal review committee with representation from the Global Affairs Office and the Office of Research, as well as other units on campus. 

  • Are there examples of previously successful proposals?
  • A few examples of successful proposals are listed on the Seed Grant call for proposals webpage. 

    You may also review the list of successful seed grant projects. You can contact the Principal Investigator directly for permission to view his/her seed grant proposal.

  • If a project is funded, when will the actual funds be received?
  • Principal Investigators who are successfully awarded seed grant funds will obtain funding in February or March. Within one year of receiving the funds, the project activities should be completed and the funds expended. Any unexpended funds must be returned to the Global Affairs Office to support other worthwhile projects.

Contact Information