Brown COVID-19 Research Seed Fund Guidelines



4/21/2020 Update: Applications are no longer being accepted at this time.
Deadline: Applications reviewed starting on Tuesday, April 7 on a continual basis until funds are expended.
Award: $20,000 - $50-000 with most awards made in the $20,000 - $30,000 range.
Apply: Proposals for funding should be submitted to [email protected] with 'COVID-19 Seed Fund' included in the subject line. 



The Brown COVID-19 Research Seed Fund is a one-time funding mechanism intended to fast track innovative research proposals that directly address the urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards will support research with the potential for significant and rapid impact on human health with respect to the disease (COVID-19) or the causal virus (SARS-CoV-2), and research that involves the use of Brown’s facilities to produce products of immediate need for the health care system in Rhode Island and the nation.

Any award made as part of this fund that requires in-person laboratory work in Brown facilities will be subject to review by Brown’s Vice President for Research in accordance with the University’s current laboratory operation policies.  


Any Brown faculty member whose salary is paid by Brown or whose research is administered through Brown is eligible to be a Principal Investigator. Brown faculty employed by affiliated institutions, or Brown faculty whose research is administered through affiliated institutions, may be included as co-PIs on the research team.


Proposals will be considered and evaluated by a committee of faculty reviewers who will make its award recommendations to the Vice President for Research. 


The fund will support 10 to 15 projects in the range $20,000-$50,000, with most awards made in the $20,000-$30,000 range. Expenditures for faculty salaries (either summer or academic year) or for graduate student tuition are not permitted.


Proposals for funding should be submitted to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted beginning immediately. Applications will be reviewed starting on Tuesday, April 7, on a continual basis until funds are expended. Award notification will occur as soon as possible following application receipt.


Applications should be prepared as a single pdf with the following specifications:

Proposal (2-page limit, not including biosketches)

  1. Applicant Information. Identify the Lead PI, Co-PIs, and key personnel. Include contact information for Lead PI (including email and phone number for follow-up communications), along with titles and departments or units represented for all team members. Identify the location where the work will be performed. Identify the financial grant manager for the Lead PI.

  2. Project Title and Abstract. Include two to three sentences that describe the impact in lay terms. Please note that this abstract should contain non-confidential information, as abstracts of funded proposals will be posted on the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) website.

  3.  Proposal. The applicant should clearly describe the goals of the research, the activities to be carried out to achieve those goals, and a timetable for completing these activities.

  4. Budget. This should include itemization of general categories of expenses for which award funds will be used and a brief justification for these expenses, including the role of all personnel. Note that, as these are internal funds, overhead costs are not allowed.

  5. Biosketch(es). Include a brief biosketch (preferably limited to 2 pages; NSF or NIH format acceptable) for PI and each collaborator. A hyperlink to a biosketch or CV is acceptable.  

Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line 'COVID-19 Seed Fund.'

Award Conditions

  • Approved award periods will be up to 12 months. Funds not expended within the approved project period will be returned to OVPR. 

  • Investigators selected for an award will be required to obtain IRB, IACUC, and CIS data approval, as applicable, before funding can be expended. Investigators are encouraged to consider CIS Risk Levels for data and start the classification process of their data and intended plans for data storage as early as possible. See IRB FAQ for more information.  

  • Within 30 days of the end of the approved award period, the recipient must provide to the Vice President for Research a final report. The report should outline the work that was accomplished. The report should also describe any significant deviations from or extensions to the project described in the original proposal.

  • Approved awards are subject to the Brown University Patent and Invention Policy and Copyright Policy, as applicable.​

Email [email protected] with questions.