The Energy Research Seed Fund provide funds for new interdisciplinary, collaborative research teams (working groups) with the larger goal of enabling Duke University investigators to obtain critical preliminary results that have a high likelihood of obtaining external funding.

Proposals are due Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Submission details are below. Download a copy of the submission details.

Preference will be given to energy research topics aligned with the goals of the Initiative (, that is, solutions to the major energy challenges of:

  • meeting growing energy demand
  • reducing the environmental impact of energy, and
  • addressing energy security concerns.

Areas of particular interest include energy data analytics and computation, energy decision making (by individuals, firms, and government), energy consumption and efficiency, grid security, advanced alternative fuels and renewables, and the nexus of energy with other strategic resources (water, food). Research oriented toward solutions, rather than solely problem identification, is especially encouraged.

*Co-funding is available for this RFP from the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD) for research at the intersection of energy and computation, from the Pratt School of Engineering for energy research involving its faculty, and from the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) and the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Science (D-CIDES) for research focused on energy decision making and behavior.

Funding of individual awards will be up to $40,000, although awards will typically be smaller than this amount. Project duration should be no more than 12 months. We expect to fund several proposals.

Projects must engage at least two faculty representing multiple fields or levels of analysis and preference will be given to bringing together investigators whose individual programs of research are not already connected from across the University. Proposed projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University are encouraged.

Proposals will be reviewed based on the quality of the proposed research and potential to leverage seed grant efforts to secure extramural funding. New, interdisciplinary collaborations are strongly encouraged as are research working groups that will connect faculty in new ways over an extended period.