University Seeks Applicants for Two Research Seed-Funding Programs

View of the side of the Rotunda through trees

The University of Virginia announced this week a second round of funding for two institutional research programs: The President & Provost’s Fund for Institutionally Related Research, and 3Cavaliers. Together these funds will offer critical seed funding to University researchers.

“These programs collectively offer faculty the support they need to take a chance on a new idea and generate research to advance the common good,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “The 3Cavaliers program will help even more faculty work across disciplines, and the President & Provost’s Fund will support research that has the potential to benefit the University community. I’m excited to be initiating the next round of this funding and look forward to following the research projects that it supports.”

President & Provost’s Fund for Institutionally Related Research

The President and Provost’s Fund supports faculty-led research projects related to the University’s strategic plan, with an emphasis on improving the experiences of students, faculty and staff – anything that could improve life and learning at UVA.

As examples, this spring the fund supported eGlobal UVA, a partnership with Rwandan scholars at the University of Global Health Equity led by Marcel Durieux in UVA School of Medicine; and “Hoos Connected,” an initiative to build community among small groups of students led by psychology professor Joseph Allen.

“The funding we received from the President & Provost’s Fund allowed us to expand the scope of Hoos Connected during a time when it was needed more than ever,” Allen said. “We will be able to offer this experience of support and connection to almost 500 first-year and transfer students this academic year, reflecting program growth of more than 400% from levels in the prior year.”  

Funded projects can either be completed with one-time funding, or, if they will require a larger investment, have the potential to attract longer-term funding from federal agencies, private foundations and other sources. The fund has a total pool of $700,000, with a cap of $200,000 per award. This year’s proposals are due Jan. 4 and must be submitted by a dean’s office. Collaborative proposals are strongly encouraged. Visit the fund’s web page for the request for proposals and more details.


The 3Cavaliers program unites three faculty members from disparate disciplines working on new early stage interdisciplinary research ideas. In 2018, the program awarded seed grants ranging from $15,000 to $60,000 toward 77 projects, involving 231 researchers from across Grounds, as well as 270 graduate and undergraduate students and 25 postdocs.

These projects ranged from energy storage to antibiotic resistance to compassionate schools, and were featured in a 3Cavaliers Symposium in December. Since then, 3Cavaliers participants have received approximately $5.7 million in outside funding, and produced more than 70 journal articles, nearly 100 conference papers and three new invention disclosures.

The target date for opening the 3Cavaliers 2.0 website to allow for teaming activities is Jan. 18. Visit the 3Cavaliers website for more details.

3Cavaliers is supported by a University-wide faculty expertise database that helps researchers from across all disciplines find each other in order to put together proposals and pursue innovative ideas. Funded projects align with strategic priorities; when divided thematically by UVA’s strategic research areas, in 2018, 24 projects were aligned with digital technology and society, 16 in the area of brain and neuroscience, 13 on environmental resilience and sustainability, 12 on democracy, and 12 on precision medicine.

“The 3Cavaliers funding serves as the building block for enabling cutting-edge interdisciplinary research quickly and broadening our research portfolio. Enthusiastic participation in the first round of 3Cavaliers resulted in projects that represented topics from all our strategic research areas,” Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian, vice president for research, said. “I look forward to seeing similar participation in the second round.”

With direct sponsorship from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, 3Cavaliers is funded primarily through a Strategic Investment Fund award to the Office of the Vice President for Research, with additional funding from most schools, the research institutes and the UVA Library. At least half of the funding to a given project supports the training of graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and the rest for lab expenses, support staff and necessary travel.

“I am so pleased we are able to offer both these programs again this year,” University Provost Liz Magill said. “Internal funding is just one way the University can encourage our faculty to maximize their creativity and develop results-oriented interdisciplinary collaborations. Even small grants can garner big results, and I encourage all of our faculty to consider applying.”

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