CISE and ENG Seed Awards for Innovative New Collaborations

Fall 2020 Call for Proposals

Submission deadline: The submission window has closed.

Focus Area: Intelligent, Autonomous, and Secure Systems

The Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE) and the College of Engineering (ENG) are soliciting proposals for funding research aimed at enabling new innovative collaborations involving CISE and ENG faculty. The goals of this seed award program are to help broaden the research of CISE and ENG faculty and to support the development of new research directions by CISE and ENG faculty, such that these new projects become mature enough to obtain external funding.


  • The proposal must be a multi-PI effort.
  • At least one PI must be a CISE-affiliated faculty.
  • At least one PI must be a faculty with a primary appointment in ENG.


  • CISE funds will support a BU Ph.D. student for up to 8 months. No PI/Co-PI salaries or other costs can be supported through the CISE portion of the award.
  • Proposals will be considered for an ENG Dean Catalyst Award (DCA) matching fund of up to $25,000 per proposal, which can support limited PI/Co-PI summer salaries, limited other costs, and/or additional Ph.D. student support for up to 8 months.

Evaluation criteria:

We will prioritize projects that:

  • Propose a new research direction, potentially opening up a new research area for the PIs.
  • Are consistent with the College of Engineering Convergent Theme of “Intelligent, Autonomous, and Secure Systems,” broadly defined.
  • Have the potential to lead to a successful proposal for external funding.
  • Broaden the CISE and ENG research portfolios, consistent with the aforementioned convergent theme.
  • Plan to support a new graduate student who joined either in the Fall of 2019 or 2020.

Proposal requirements:

  • The proposal should be up to 3 pages, excluding references, the budget, and Current and Pending support.
  • Proposal sections should include:
    • Significance: Motivate the work and briefly explain its significance. The first paragraph of this section should serve as a standalone project summary in lay terms (avoid abbreviations and technical terms).
    • Project Overview: Outline the proposed tasks (or specific aims). Explain why the project is not yet mature to seek external funding.
    • Project Description: For each task describe what is known, what is proposed, and briefly outline the proposed approach. Provide evidence that the team is qualified to pursue the work.
    • Plans for grant submissions: Explain how the proposed work will lead to future external grant submissions and include potential funding programs and a likely timeframe.
    • Budget: Include an NSF-style budget showing months of student support requested, level of student monthly stipend, student benefits, and total amount requested. If the PIs are applying for DCA matching, include a separate budget for the DCA portion.
    • Current & Pending support: Include a C&P document that lists all current and pending support, including grant titles, source of support, all PIs/Co-PIs, period of support, award amount, and person months of support for any PIs included in the proposed CISE & ENG effort

Submission deadline: November 30, 2020
Announcement of awards: By December 23, 2020
Project start date: January 1, 2021