Seed Grant Program Guidelines


The goal of the CPRC seed grant program is to help faculty lay the groundwork for intellectually innovative population research to the point where they can attract external funding. Projects supported through this program can be used for various activities that will promote an externally funded grant application, such as pilot data collection and support for a research assistant to conduct data analysis for a publication and/or proposal development tasks.

The program is made possible by funds from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), the Columbia University Office of the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP).

Priority is given to:

  • Proposals with a strong plan to apply for external funding. 
  • Proposals from junior faculty. These should include mentorship by a senior faculty CPRC member.
  • Proposals that will lead to an application for funding from the Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) of NICHD.
  • Priority is also given to applicants who are active participants in CPRC’s intellectual community (participating in seminars, mini-conferences, etc.)

We highly encourage members from groups that are historically underrepresented in academic research to apply.

Review Criteria

The most competitive applications fit the priority areas above and meet the following criteria:

Respond to CPRC’s substantive areas of interest.
  • CPRC Primary Research Areas: Children, Youth, and Families, Reproductive Health & HIV/AIDS, Immigration/Migration, and Urbanism and Neighborhoods
  • Cross-Cutting Theme on Inequalities: Research on inequalities and policies to mitigate those inequalities. This includes, but is not limited to racism, stigma, gender, sexuality, migrants’ social exclusion, and poverty.
  • Anti-Racist Research: Research that moves beyond documenting racial inequalities, and instead focuses on understanding the causes of or solutions to inequalities. We are particularly interested in proposals that align with the research objectives of NIH’s FOA: Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 - Clinical Trial Optional)
  • CPRC will continue to support research related to the COVID-19 pandemic
Represent a collaboration between two or more CPRC members.
Include a detailed plan for applying for external funding

Award Amount and Budget Period

Up to $20,000 may be awarded, but many grants request amounts considerably below that level. Seed grant funding is limited to funding direct costs of research. 

Seed grant funding may not be used for faculty release time, faculty summer salary, or computer purchases. Food purchases that adhere to the NIH Grants Policy Statement guidelines are allowable. CPRC seed grants are awarded for a period of one-year. In some cases, we will grant no-cost extensions, if justified, and if allowed by funding source.


Please submit your application to [email protected]. Applicants will typically be notified within one month of submission.

Submit your application

Please use the template below to submit your application.

What projects has CPRC sponsored in the past?

Are postdoctoral scholars eligible to apply?

  • Only full-time faculty and research scholars or scientists at Columbia University are eligible to apply.

Who is considered junior faculty?

  • Faculty with a tenure-track appointment, who have not received tenure, and early career research scientists are considered junior faculty.

Can CPRC facilitate a connection to a senior mentor?

  • Yes. If you have a research proposal and would like to identify a senior mentor, please reach out to [email protected] within two weeks of the deadline and we will do our best to facilitate a connection. 

Do I need IRB approval prior to submitting the application?

  • Research projects involving human subjects must maintain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. If your project does not involve interaction with human subjects or identifiable data, you must still apply for exemption from the relevant IRB. While proposals that have not yet undergone IRB review will be considered for funding, no funds will be disbursed until CPRC has received a copy of your project's IRB approval letter, IRB letter of exemption, or demonstration of a Not Human Subjects Research designation. Due to the conditions of CPRC's own IRB approval, there are no exceptions to this requirement.