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Seed Grants

The Data Science Academy's data science seed grant program develops new collaborations between NC State data science methods and applications researchers.

This program has been developed in collaboration with the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI). The goal of the DSA seed grant program is to increase interdisciplinary data science research at NC State through activities such as: 

  • Building and strengthening interdisciplinary networks among NC State researchers with common interests that have a data science component; 
  • Funding researchers to organize workshops and other events that spark new interdisciplinary collaborations and proposal submissions; 
  • Advancing accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion in data science; and
  • Supporting proposal submission by connecting seed grant recipients with ORI/PDU resources and providing grant ideation support from DSA.

2023 Award Cycle

NC State’s Data Science Academy (DSA) began accepting seed grant proposals February 13, 2023, from NC State faculty. Proposals were due by March 13, 2023. 

Award Details: 

Total number of awards: 5 – 10

Award amount: $20,000 – $50,000 per project

Award totals will be based on recommendations from DSA’s seed grants reviewers, who will evaluate each budget to ensure that all requests are eligible expenses and that the budget is appropriate for the scope of the project.

Allowable Activities: 

The DSA invites applicants to submit proposals for a variety of activities that support interdisciplinary data science research efforts, including but not limited to: 

  • Hiring a common graduate or undergraduate student
  • Research-focused workshops or seminar series
  • Proposal ideation workshops
  • Travel in support of research or proposal writing
  • Speaker honoraria and travel expenses 

If you would like to propose another activity, please contact the Data Science Academy at to discuss your project and determine eligibility. 

Period of Performance:

Funding will support projects initiated in either Summer or Fall 2023. All awarded funds must be expended by June 1, 2024 . 


Successful proposals will demonstrate how the project aims to advance data science research, builds interdisciplinarity in data science research, and promotes accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion. Successful applicants will receive a notice of award in April 2023. 

Submission Requirements and Instructions:

A complete application includes the following materials: 

  • Proposal cover page (see template), which includes a synopsis (200 words max)
  • Proposal (up to 3 pages; see grant application form for details)
  • References
  • Biosketches for each co-PI (up to 1 page each)

In the 3-page proposal, applicants must: (1) explain the significance of the work, including connection to data science, goals, outcomes, and metrics for success; (2) provide a brief statement on accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion; (3) explain each team member’s role and provide a brief description of any previous or planned collaborations; (4) explain how the work will be conducted in an interdisciplinary way; (5) describe previous or planned proposal writing; (6) explain how the project has strong potential for future funding; and (7) complete the budget template and provide a  brief justification for how funds will be used. 

In addition to the application package, please create a PINS record for your application and coordinate with your College Research Office as needed to secure appropriate approvals for your application. Please include your project’s PINS number on the proposal cover page. 

Please submit all application materials as one PDF via To create an InfoReady profile, click “log in.” The grant name for submission is Data Science (DSA) Seed Grant 2023.

Please send any questions to  

Application Deadline

Application portal has been closed. Deadline was March 13, 2023.

Seed Grant Frequently Asked Questions

At the DSA, we believe that data science is for everyone. We believe that forming new research collaborations is essential for developing innovative approaches to and applications of data science, and we encourage faculty to build relationships with researchers outside their departments and colleges through the seed grants program. 

While we are particularly interested in fostering research collaborations that include team members from more than one college, we also invite applications that include multiple departments within a college. If you would like to submit a proposal that only includes team members from one department, please clearly demonstrate how the team demonstrates interdisciplinarity and the applications of new knowledge.

The purpose of the Seed Grants program is to support internal collaborations among NC State faculty and help build new connections on campus. If your project includes researchers from other institutions or organizations, please explain why this specific expertise is needed and why it is not currently available at NC State. 

All seed grant applications must, at minimum, include all required components. The review committee will consider the following when evaluating applications: 

  • Degree of interdisciplinarity of the project team
  • Whether the project utilizes data science in an especially innovative or impactful way  
  • Whether the project authentically advances diversity, equity, inclusion and/or accessibility
  • The project’s capacity to spark future research collaborations
  • The project’s likelihood to secure additional funding 

The DSA will also strive to ensure representation of a wide range of research 

interests and support an array of activities among awardees.

Please refer to the Office of Research and Innovation’s guidance on Principal Investigator Eligibility for more information. 

Yes, we now require that all applicants create a PINS record for their applications. Please include your PINS number in the designated space on your proposal cover page.

F&A may not be included in your request. 

Yes, you may request salary and tuition reimbursement for a graduate research assistant. Please include these as line items within your budget.  

  • Minimum award: $20,000
  • Maximum award: $50,000

Award totals will be determined by the DSA’s seed grants review committee, 

which will evaluate each project’s budget as part of the review process. The DSA may award recipients their full budget request or may make a partial award, depending on the merits of the proposal and available funds.

While we expect this statement to be brief (approximately half a page), we encourage all researchers to think creatively about how their project advances diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; in addition to scores for interdisciplinarity and technical components of the proposal, applications will also be evaluated based on their proposed DEI efforts. 
Some examples of DEI strategies include: actively recruiting and mentoring a diverse team, developing a workshop that welcomes researchers from a variety of demographic and professional backgrounds, focusing your research on an area related to DEI, or increasing the accessibility of your research methodologies or products. You may also want to connect with OIED for more ideas and support developing a DEI statement.

We typically do not fund course development through the Seed Grants program. However, we are interested in collaborating with faculty across campus to develop new data science courses that meet students’ unique data science needs. 

For more information on developing a new DSA course, please contact David Stokes, DSA Teaching Coordinator at

Graphics may be included. Please be mindful of page limits and ensure that all questions are addressed completely in the narrative. 

Yes, the DSA can assist with promotion. Please send an email with your event details to to request assistance.

Yes, the DSA can assist with proposal ideation. Please contact to schedule a proposal ideation session.

2021 and 2022 DSA Seed Grant recipients are not eligible for this funding cycle.