Notre Dame-Durham University Seed Grant Program

Proposal Submission Deadline: March 22, 2024

Submit a Proposal


Through this jointly funded, jointly advertised program both institutions are inviting proposals for joint research projects with the potential to both achieve international recognition and to generate continued external research funds for both partners. Project selection for the Seed Grant Program will be competitive and made jointly by ND and DU.

At the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Global and Notre Dame Research are partnering to support this joint initiative with Durham University. 

Grant Awardees

Funding and Awards

  • Awards up to $25,000 (₤20,000) will be made for each joint research project
  • It is anticipated that there will be up to 6 awards
  • The funding will be available for joint research projects of between 12 months to 24 months duration
  • The ND-DU Seed Grant projects can run anytime during the period from August 1, 2024 to July 31, 2026


  • Applicants must hold an academic position at either Durham or Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, applicants must be regular full-time faculty. 
  • Projects incorporating graduate research students are welcomed.
Priority Research Themes

This call is open to applications in all disciplines. However, applications aligned with the following pillars will be prioritized. These pillars may be interpreted broadly, with the indicative sub-themes representing areas of ND-DU synergies and/or bilateral US-UK research priorities:

1. Health and Well-Being

a. Health beyond the clinic, including the social determinants of health, health disparities and inequities, and everyday experiences of health and illness.
b. Global and planetary health: the interface between human health, environmental sustainability and social justice.
c. Bioengineering and life sciences

2. Environmental Sustainability

a. Clean energy transition
b. Impacts of climate change and extreme weather
c. Environmental sustainability and resilience

3. Social Justice

a. Causes/origins of poverty and inequality
b. Policy solutions to address inequities
c. Religion and social justice

4. Security

a. Food security, including agri-tech.
b. International security, including defense, development and diplomacy.
c. Cybersecurity
d. Health security

Criteria and Outcomes

It is expected that the Seed Grant funding will lead to an application for external funding and the proposal should therefore address the following:

  • The anticipated external funding body
  • The anticipated value of the current grant application and anticipated research output to that external funding application
  • Timeframe for submission to that external funding body

Plans for international dissemination of the research output should be outlined in the proposal.

Proposals should be in keeping with the strategic plans of both institutions:

University of Notre Dame Strategic Framework    Durham University Strategic Plan


Full details of all anticipated costs/activities must be clearly itemized. The budget plan should indicate spending over the full duration of the proposed project. Budget justification will be required. Application review will include a review of eligibility, scale and appropriateness of requested expenses.

Eligible Expenses

Expenses for the ND Seed Grant Program can be used for the following:

  • Consumable costs for a proof-of-principle study
  • Travel expenses* for faculty and students to meet, plan research and review research results
  • Costs associated with organizing meetings and workshops (e.g., rooms, catering, etc.)
  • Assistance from a research assistant **
Exceptional Eligible Expense
  • External Consultancy Fee (the applicants must provide a very strong argument/justification for the inclusion of these costs)
Ineligible Expenses
  • Computers, Software, Equipment***
  • Faculty Salary
  • Teaching buy-out
  • Business start-up costs
  • Tuition fees or stipends

*For budgeting purposes, the average cost of accommodation (per room per night) is $140 at Notre Dame and £95 in Durham. Flights between Indiana (ND) and Newcastle airports (DU) vary in cost throughout the year but are on average around $1150 per person (return)when booked in advance

**Where short-term assistance from a research assistant is requested on a taxable fee basis, the name of the research assistant must be provided, the scope of their engagement detailed, and the proposed dates of engagement provided. Employment contracts must be in line with the host university’s recruitment procedures and policies. It is expected that the research assistant will be fully directed by the lead applicant. The engagement of an RA must be fully justified in the proposal.

***By exception only requests for items of equipment are considered though not encouraged. For any such requests the applicant must be able to demonstrate that the items are both absolutely necessary and not available from other sources.

How to Apply

Proposals are to be prepared jointly and submitted by the Lead Applicant (Lead Principal Investigator). To initiate the proposal development effort for the Seed Grant Program, Notre Dame faculty and Durham faculty must take the lead in reaching out to each other in their area of expertise.

Applications are to be submitted through the joint Application Form and will need to include the following information:

  • Title
  • Project Dates (Start and End Date)
  • Lead PI Information (Name, email, position held and college/school affiliation)
  • Lead PI Institution (ND or DU)
  • Co-Lead PI Information ( (Name, email, position held and college/school affiliation)
  • Co-Lead PI Institution (ND or DU)
  • Abstract (100 words maximum)
  • Project Description:
    • Overview of the project activities, including its goals, purpose and core (research) area into which this project fits (max 200 words)
    • How and when will project take place (max 100 words)
    • Briefly outline the expertise of the faculty participants for the project. (maximum 200 words)
    • Description of how this project will lead to future grant success including time scales for future external grant applications and approximate value of any identified call (max 200 words)
    • Description of how joint working between Durham and Notre Dame Universities adds value to this particular project and how it aligns to the research strategies and enhances our Universities’ collaboration overall.
  • Budget and Budget Justification (Budget Sheet within application)
  • ND and DU CVs (maximum 2 pages each)
  • Communication of support from Chair of department of both Lead PI and Co-PI
Application Timeline
  • Launch: 8 January 2023
  • Deadline: 22 March 2024
  • Selection Panel: April 2024
  • Notifications expected: May 2024

SAMPLE Application

Selection Process

Proposals will be jointly evaluated by a senior faculty panel from both ND and DU. Where possible, it is hoped to select an equal number of ND-led and DU-led projects.

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Academic quality of the proposed joint research including scope, significance and originality
  • Importance of funding for the anticipated future success of external funding grant applications
  • Clarity of goals, including the potential external funding source(s) and timeframe for submission
  • Alignment with the strategic goals of both universities

External Joint Funding Opportuities

List of potential UK, US, and bilateral UK-US funding opportunities

Reporting Requirements

A Project Completion Report must be completed by award holders upon completion of the work defined in the funding application. Submissions to external funding agencies are to be reported and provided to the contacts at the respective institutions.

For 2-year projects:
  • A progress report is due at the end of the first year; and,
  • A progress report is expected and a project completion report must be completed by the project leaders at the end of the funding period.


For more information, please contact:

University of Notre Dame

Geraldine Meehan
Director of Faculty Engagement

Notre Dame Global
Email: gmeehan@nd.edu
Phone:  (574) 631-7742

Heather Boyd
Research Development Program Director
Notre Dame Research
Email: hboyd@nd.edu

Durham University

Joe Mulhern
International Partnerships Manager
International Office