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COVID-19-Related Rapid Response Research Seed Grant

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COVID-19-Related Rapid Response Research Seed Grant

Deadline is Monday, April 6, 2020 at 5 p.m. CDT

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) at the OU Norman Campus, in close partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research at OUHSC, is accepting applications for an unprecedented Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The OVPRP is offering fast-tracked seed grants for short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to the COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, diagnosis, treatment, social factors and disparities, risk assessment and decision making, and societal impacts. Principal Investigators (PIs) must be OU Norman campus faculty (all categories and including Norman Campus programs faculty in Tulsa). We strongly encourage teaming with colleagues at OUHSC, as appropriate. The requested funds can be used to support OUHSC colleagues. Collaborations and teaming with colleagues outside the OU community (universities, companies, national labs, etc.) are also encouraged, but OVPRP resources cannot be used to support work of collaborators external to OU.  

We seek teams with PIs and co-PIs to provide compelling ideas, approaches, and solutions to address current issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals can run the gamut from biology of the virus, development of novel epidemiological models, risk assessment and decision making tool application and development, environmental and societal impacts, the use of art, music, and other creative activities to mitigate social impacts, community responses, testing protocols, vaccine development, advanced manufacturing of needed materials and supplies, and so forth. Each proposal must be designed to turn around results within four to six months, and engaging students (both undergraduate and graduate) is highly encouraged. The main objective is to position OU researchers to generate new proposals for significant external funding.  

We anticipate being able to fund proposals for $5K-$50K each for a four- to six-month period, with the goal of incentivizing researchers and positioning OU teams to be more competitive for near-term external funding opportunities. The total number of awards will be subject to available funding; the current estimate is four to six awards. 

Due to this critical need, the application (specific instructions below), review, and award processes for these seed grants will be expedited with applications due by Monday, April 6th. Awardees will be notified no later than April 14th and projects are expected to be begin mid-April to early May. Highly impactful, multidisciplinary, collaborative short-term research projects that can be completed within 4-6 months and position OU researchers for submission of new external** grant applications will take precedence. If you have any additional questions about this opportunity or would like regular updates on this opportunity, please email  

OU Libraries have created a webpage of COVID-19 research resources that publishers have agreed to place in open access. They can be accessed here:

Application instructions:

  1. Cover page with project title, lead PI, co-PI(s)* or other collaborators listed with institutional affiliations and contact information
  2. Research plan (1-1.5 pages concept paper)
    • Problem: What is the problem or need?
    • Significance: What is the gap between what's been done and what you propose can be done to improve the situation?
    • Approach: What will you do to solve the problem?
    • Expected outcomes:
      • How will your research impact human health and society?
      • How will your work on this internal seed grant position you and your team to succeed at obtaining external funding to continue this work?
  3. Literature citations, if applicable. Half a page limit
  4. Proposed targeted external funding opportunities. Half a page limit
    • (CFE** and our colleagues at Lewis-Burke and Associates in Washington, DC stand ready to help identify federal and other targets of opportunity)
  5. Bio sketches for PI and co-PIs only (NSF or NIH formats are fine)
  6. Budget proposal (half a page; direct costs only) with budget justification

Process: rapid submission, rapid internal review 
Submission date: 5:00 pm CDT, Monday, April 6, 2020 
Award notifications: no later than April 14, 2020 

Submit application as a single PDF to Dr. Ann West, Associate VPRP in the Norman Campus ( 

ยง If seed funds are awarded, all institutional compliance protocols (IRB, IACUC, IBC) must be approved prior to the start of the project.

*For help in identifying potential OUHSC collaborators, contact Dr. Jimmy Ballard (, Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology or Dr. Mary Beth Humphrey (, Associate Dean, School of Medicine.

**This rapid response seed grant opportunity is a joint partnership between the OVPRP and Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE). The CFE stands ready to help interested applicants identify relevant federal funding opportunities related to COVID-19. Please contact Dr. Clara Smith, Associate Director, CFE ( for more information.