Faculty Research Seed Grants

Text logos for Leonardo, the Humanities Lab, and the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University

Note: The Seize the Moment pilot program has ended, please stay tuned for future updates.

Funding up to $10,000

Open to ASU faculty plus collaborators

Supporting transdisciplinary 

Applications close
August 29th

Shaping tomorrow, today, requires path-breaking, creative solutions

That challenge has never been more critical than it is today, as an alarming “syndemic” of intersecting crises—the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and accompanying civil unrest, and cascading environmental hazards—destabilize social systems and threaten human survival across the planet. This is a pivotal time for educational institutions to re-envision their roles and priorities.

Seize the Moment

The Seize the Moment project is designed to address the challenges of the current moment through transdisciplinary arts, science, technological, and humanities collaborations in pedagogy, research, and public engagement.

Together, we believe these fields are uniquely well-positioned to engage with the compelling questions of our time and to forge thoughtful, creative pathways toward deeper understanding of and novel frameworks for addressing them.  

Seed Grants

Seed grants provide ASU faculty with the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 to support collaborative, transdisciplinary research projects and activities that address the intersecting social, environmental, and health crises of the syndemic. 

Funding can be used to purchase supplies and materials, book travel, organize projects or programs, compensate research staff or collaborators, and more. Seize the Moment seed grants are open to ASU term, tenured, or tenure-track faculty of any rank, campus, or discipline. Applications take place in two rounds: a 500 word pitch followed by a 2,000 word proposal. Funding is limited and drawn from a $20k annual pool. The initial deadline is August 29

To learn more, you can keep reading to view past and current seed grants. If you're a faculty member interested in apply, you can learn more about the application process and grant guidelines.

Learn more about applyingView past seed grants

View all seed grants


Team: Rachel Bowditch, Steven Beschloss, Karen Jean Martinson
Type: Performance

Year: 2021

Arizona Cares

Team: Michelle Stuckey, Stephanie Lechuga-Peña
Type: Campaign, Website

Year: 2021

Community Visions of the Salt River: Collaborative Meaning-Making through Game Play

Team: Zoe Gentry, Savage Hess, Beckett Sterner, Jennifer Keahey, Nancy Grimm, Michele Clark
Type: Print Media

Year: 2022

Haikeus - Transmuting Ecological Grieving into Action

Team: Mary Fitzgerald, Scott Cloutier, Galina Mihaleva, Barry Moon, Doug Nottingham, Coley Curry, Jenny Gerena, Liliana Gomez, Zarina Mendoza, Halley Willcox
Type: Performance

Year: 2022

Taste of State 48

Team: Joan McGregor, Amber Sampson, Sara El-Sayed, Juliann Vitullo, Eduardo Morales
Type: Video

Year: 2022

Turn It Around

Team: Adriene Jenik, Andrew Freiband, Ann Nielsen, Iveta Silova
Type: Campaign, Print Media

Year: 2021

Read the full guidelines

A quick overview

Essential Details

  • Eligibility: 2 ASU tenured, tenure-track, or term faculty of any rank, campus or discipline (with priority for Humanities Lab faculty)
  • Funding: Up to $10,000 to support research projects or activities with public outcomes and impact
    • Please note: funding is limited and drawn from a $20,000 annual pool.
  • Focus: Must address an intersecting social, environmental, or health crisis of the syndemic
  • Collaborative: Must include at least one collaborator within the University
  • Transdisciplinary: Must use an arts, humanities, or creative-based approach in conjunction with science, technology, or another field
  • Leverage: Must use the seed grant to apply for or seek external sources of funding
  • Application: A 500 word pitch in the first round and a 2,000 word full proposal in the second
  • Deadlines: Oct 15 and Feb 15
  • Submit: https://bit.ly/STMSeedGrantPitch

General guidelines

ASU term, tenured, or tenure-track faculty can propose a transdisciplinary collaboration anchored in the arts or humanities to address a complex social, environmental, or health issue of the syndemic with tangible, concrete impacts in the community. The project team must have two eligible faculty. Research projects should also leverage the seed grant for more funding and create a public impact in the community. 


Applicants can request up to $10,000 for supplies and materials, travel, projects and products, professional development, or honoraria or stipends for collaborators and support. We recommed between $5,000 and $7,500. Please note: funding is limited and drawn from a $20,000 annual pool. Funds cannot be used to compensate ASU faculty or secure a course release. Make sure to check any travel restrictions. Don't forget to include fees. 

Applying to the grant

Applications take place in two stages—a 500 word pitch or letter of intent and a 2,000 word full proposal—with supplemental materials throughout. You can expect to spend one to four hours preparing your pitch and, if selected, another four to eight hours for the full proposal. Applicants will have up to four weeks to submit their full proposal upon notification. The initial deadlines are October 15 and February 15.

Applications closed



Today’s crises require engagement with critical questions that underlie the distressing symptoms currently overwhelming us. Science and technology need the arts and humanities in order to address the fundamental questions that must be answered as humanity imagines ways to forge ahead through and beyond current crises.  


We are looking for research projects that lead to tangible outcomes and can qualify for external support beyond the period of the seed grant. (Applications for such support—from agencies, foundations, or other sources—are required for all seed grant recipients.) Such outcomes might include, among others: art experiences, immersions, or works; policy proposals aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); experimental publishing; new media; digital innovation; creative academic practices; social actions; etc. 

Guiding questions

In considering such outcomes, applicants should explain how their projects explicitly address compelling cultural and social questions, such as:

  • How do the crises of the current syndemic interconnect? 
  • What better choices can societies make to counteract the flawed choices that have led to the syndemic? 
  • How have existing institutions and social and scientific practices failed to prevent the crises we currently face? 

Beneath these urgent questions lie even more basic ones: 

  • What does it mean to be human? To be humane? 
  • How can individual liberty in a democracy be balanced with collective responsibility?
  • How can cultural differences in values be accommodated in considering what might lie ahead?

Seize the Moment

Shaping tomorrow, today, requires path-breaking, creative solutions. In an alarming syndemic of intersecting crises—the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice and accompanying civil unrest, and cascading environmental hazards—Seize the Moment addresses the challenges of the day through transdisciplinary arts, science, technological, and humanities collaborations in research, pedagogy, and public engagement. Seize the Moment is an initiative of Leonardo, the Humanities Lab and the Global Futures Laboratory. To learn more, visit our website at http://bit.ly/SeizetheMomentASU.

Applications closed


2 eligible ASU faculty members

Seize the Moment Seed Grants are open to ASU term, tenured, or tenure-track faculty of any rank, discipline, or campus, including clinical professors, professors of practice, research professors, and instructors or lecturers with multiple year contracts. Emeritus professors, faculty associates, visiting professors, postdoctoral researchers, and instructors or lecturers without multiple year contracts are ineligible to apply.

Your proposal must include two eligible faculty members, one of whom may or may not be yourself. Two of your project team members must come from distinct academic fields or disciplines.

Please note: while your project must include arts and/or humanities contents or methodologies, you do not need to be affiliated with an arts or humanities unit in The College, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, or other colleges and schools. 

Other collaborators

You are welcome to include other scholars, scientists, artists, humanists, or other professionals within or beyond Arizona State University, as well as non-profits, schools, libraries, or other organizations in the community. There is no limit to the number of collaborators or community partners you may have. There is no limit to the number of proposals or projects you may be involved in, though we would ask that you submit no more than three proposals yourself. 

Priority for Humanities Lab faculty

Priority will be given to ASU faculty who have taught with the Humanities Lab, which we envision as an incubator for the kinds of collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects seed grants will support. To learn more about the Humanities Lab, visit their website at http://humanities.lab.asu.edu.  

Bonus points for Leonardo affiliates

Bonus points will be awarded to any proposal with a collaborator who is affiliated with Leonardo, an enterprising think tank at the nexus of art, science, and technology. If you're interested in collaborating with Leonardo, a directory of Leonardo artists, scholars, and other affiliates can be found at https://www.leonardo.info/network.

Applications closed


Up to $10,000 in funding

Seize the Moment seed grants provide up to $10,000 to support transdisciplinary, collaborative research projects and activities with strong public outcomes and impacts in the community. While we're open to interpretation about what this means, examples include:

  • Supplies and Materials: Books, accesses, software, or other supplies and materials necessary for research (excluding transactions prohibited by ASU)
  • Travel: Flights, mileage, lodging, per diems, or other costs associated with travel
  • Projects or Products: Podcasts, videos, publications, or other costs associated with organizing and executing various projects or productions
  • Collaboration and Support: Stipends, honoraria, or other forms of financial compensation for research assistants, collaborators, or other individuals and organizations providing services

Submit the budget that works best for you

Seed grants are drawn from an annual funding pool of $20,000 from which we expect to award between two and four grants a year. The maximum request for any individual grant is $10,000. Generally speaking, we recommend between $5,000 and $7,500. That being said, grants of any amount up to the maximum are welcome and encouraged. You do not need to request the maximum amount. Feel free to prepare the budget in your own spreadsheet or use our budget template. Submit the budget that works best for you. 

A note about traveling

Any funds requested for lodging, mileage, and per diems must be in accordance with the official rates. Per diem rates for domestic travel can be found in the State of Arizona Accounting Manual; per diem rates for international travel can be found at the Department of Defense.  

Additionally, please make sure you have the latest information about any domestic or international travel restrictions due to COVID-19. International travel must be pre-approved before submitting the grant. A pre-approval typically consists of a simple email confirmation from your Dean or Provost, which can be uploaded as .pdf or screenshot with your application. (At this point in the application process, you should not be creating a trip request in Concur.) Please work with your unit's Business Operations specialist or manager to review your budget and obtain the required pre-approvals as appropriate and necessary. The latest information about travel restrictions and approvals can be found at ASU Travel Guidance. 

A note about compensation

While Seed grants may be used to provide financial compensation to students, collaborators, or other individuals or organizations supporting the research projects or activities, seed grants cannot be used to provide stipends, honoraria, or other financial compensation for any ASU faculty, nor are they intended to provide a course release. 

If you are planning on having someone help you with research within the University, we recommend hiring a student worker, as this is generally the easiest option. While seed grants do not provide enough funding to create a research assistant line, you may be able to issue additional stipends to current teaching or research assistants depending on their appointment. If you are interested in issuing a stipend to a specific person (rather than conducting an open search), please connect with your Business Operations specialist or manager to make sure individuals are eligible to receive additional compensation. 

Whatever the case, please make sure that you are including any employee-related expenses (ERE) and other fees for paid positions within the University. (Our budget template automatically calculates and includes all fees.) Information about hiring student workers can be found at ASU Student Employment. Current ERE rates can be found at ASU Business and Finance.

Applications closed

Preparing your application

Pitch your project

To streamline applications and reduce the total amount of work, applications will take place in two stages. In the first stage, all you'll need to do is tell us a little bit about yourself, request your funding, and submit a pitch. In 500 words or less, your pitch should:

  • Identify the problem: Identify a problem at the intersection of health, social, and environmental issues in the community
  • Address the problem: Propose a transdisciplinary collaboration that is anchored in the arts or humanities
  • Articulate your impact: Describe the goals, outcomes, and impacts you hope the project or activity will achieve
  • Leverage the grant: Identify and describe how the seed grant will enable the project to continue into the future and/or be leveraged for other opportunities
    • Examples include but are not limited to: applying for larger grants; securing donations from individuals, academic units, corporations, private foundations, or other sources of funding; and engaging in entrepreneurial activities

You'll also need to submit a proposal statement of 50 words or less, professional biographies for you and your collaborators, and your academic resume and CV. Multiple pitches are also welcome; please submit no more than three pitches.

Submit a proposal

Individuals will be notified if they have advanced to the second round within two weeks of each deadline. Then, they'll have up to four weeks to expand their pitch into a full proposal. In 2,000 words or less, the full proposal should:

  • Contextualize the project: Identify how the project or activity relates to and advances your research interests or previous work
  • Expand on collaboration: Describe any past experiences working in transdisciplinary collaborations, your history or relationship with your particular collaborators, and why the collaboration is an integral and necessary part of the project's success
  • Discuss engagement: Discuss any particular strategies, deliverables, outputs, or other plans for engaging the public through your work
  • Discuss evaluation: Identify any specific measures, methods, or other metrics by which the project can be evaluated and judged a success
  • Create a timeline: Create a realistic timeline for the project that includes significant milestones and steps
  • Justify the funding: Prepare a brief narrative that describes how the funding will be used to support the project

The full proposal is submitted in addition to the pitch. Applicants must also include an itemized budget, any necessary pre-approvals for international travel, and a simple confirmation email or letter of support from collaborators. 

Pitch your project

Applications closed

Submitting your application

Submit through Qualtrics

Applications are accepted online through Qualtrics, a cloud-based form and survey platform. Generally speaking, we recommend that you prepare your application in a separate word document. Then, copy and paste your responses into the form once you're ready to submit. You can also save your progress in the Qualtrics form. 

Word documents, fillable .pdfs, or printed forms are available upon request. Applications will not be accepted through other digital or physical channels barring accessibility.

Applications close Oct 15 and Feb 15

Applications for Seed Grants are accepted twice a year during the Fall and Spring semesters. 

  • Fall: The deadline for Fall is October 15. 
  • Spring: The deadline for Spring is February 15.

Applicants will receive a confirmation message immediately following their submission, with an additional email once the application period has closed. Any applications received after the deadline will be rolled over into the next evaluation period. Applicants who are selected to move on to the second stage of the process for a full proposal will be notified within ten days of each deadline. Selected applicants will then have two to three weeks to submit a full proposal. All applicants will be notified of final decisions by early December in Fall and early April in Spring.  Please check your inbox accordingly.

Judged by committee

Applications will be evaluated by committee on the basis of their fit within the grant guidelines, the strength of their response to each question, and their representation in regard to the larger scholarly and creative field. Committee members will consist of scholars, artists, scientists, and other peers drawn from within and beyond Arizona State University. 

Applications closed

Receiving the award

Transferred to the faculty

Seed grants are administered as a single transfer to a special non-appropriated local tuition account (NLT) held by the faculty member. In the event that you are selected to receive the Seed Grant, the Humanities Lab will work with your unit to set up an account and coordinate the transfer. Once the funds have been transferred, you will work with directly with your Business Operations specialist or manager in your unit to make purchases and process transactions.

Spent within six months

Once the transfer is complete, all funding is intended to be spent within six months. That being said, activities may take place after the spending period. So if you received the grant in December and wanted to travel in August, you would need to purchase your flight, lodging, and other expenses by June. The same would go for professional development activities (e.g. registering for conferences or trainings). If you were providing compensation or paying service providers, however, this can get a little tricky (as service providers are typically paid after services have been rendered). Generally speaking, activities are expected to take place within six to eighteen months. If you require an extension, please contact the Humanities Lab and the Business Operations specialist or manager within your unit as soon as possible.

Other forms of potential support

In order to increase capacity and enhance the outcomes and impacts of the research project or activities, Seize the Moment may be able to offer additional administrative, marketing, and development support throughout the course of the grant. More information about other forms of potential support will be discussed upon receiving the grant.

Reporting and celebrating activities

Once the research activities have been completed, faculty will be required to complete a written narrative or participate in an interview reflecting on their experience (parts of which may be used for marketing, promotional, and development purposes). The Lab will contact the Business Operations specialist within the faculty's unit to receive a financial report. The faculty member may also be asked to participate in interviews with media, public events, or other engagements celebrating and showcasing their research. 

Applications closed


Contact Public Engagement Coordinator Bri Noonan

If you have any questions about seed grants or would like to talk more about your project before applying, contact Public Engagement Coordinator Bri Noonan at 480.965.4262 or blnoonan@asurite.asu.edu.

Applications closed

Resources and links

Additional resources and links

Applications closed

View the presentation

Request the recording

If you'd like to request a copy of the recording from our info session, email Seize the Moment Initiative Coordinator Bri Noonan at blnoonan@asu.edu.