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Research Seed Fund

2023 Call for Proposals

Global Food Systems Institute (GFSI) Helps You Get There! We support faculty, staff, students, and Extension professionals to engage in international work, including teaching, research, and outreach to strengthen human capacity for effective food systems, primarily in the Global South. We assist with project development, identification of funding opportunities, and developing multidisciplinary teams. 

The purpose of the Research Seed Fund is to assist faculty teams in forming new research programs related to global food systems. 

Eligibility and Composition of Research Team

  • All IFAS faculty. The lead principal investigator (PI) must meet the UF Policy on PI eligibility to submit a proposal for external funding:
  • Faculty with adjunct appointments may be listed as Co-PIs.
  • We are not able to award funding for travel to, or research in, countries of concern specified in the 2023 Florida bill SB846, including China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela.

 Awards and Funding Guidelines

  • The award ceiling is $30,000 per proposal.
  • The start date of the project is after August 1, 2023 with a maximum duration of 12 months.
  • GFSI may require changes to proposals as a requirement for funding. We may also award less money than originally requested.

 Project Requirements

All proposals must meet the following requirements for consideration:

  1. The project should be a) focused on research, b) includes an international partner, preferably in the Global South, and c) include an interdisciplinary team, consisting of at least one senior and one junior faculty member.
  2. The proposed work should address at least one of the GFSI thematic areas: 1) Global food and nutrition security; 2) Food production and distribution systems; 3) Health, economics, livelihoods, and society; and 4) Food production and the environment. The proposal should also address at least one of GFSI’s five cross-cutting themes, 1) Metrics and tools; 2) Inclusion and equity; 3) Capacity building; 4) Adapting to emerging issues; and 5) Enabling environment. .
  3. Include a letter of support from the international partner.
  4. Include plans for future funding, including details regarding potential external funding agencies and programs within those agencies the team intends to target.
  5. The team should be prepared to submit a funding proposal to an external agency as a result of work conducted on this project within one year of completion of the award.
  6. Successful awardees should submit a progress report of funding that includes the external funding agencies, proposal titles, budgets, and follow-up with the status of all proposals that resulted from the research seed fund.

Proposal Review

  • All proposals received will be reviewed by a GFSI subcommittee.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Importance, creativity, feasibility, and potential impact of the research.
  • Capacity, expertise, and experience of the interdisciplinary project team.
  • Plans for external future funding of the project.

Guidelines for Submission

  • Proposals should be written in 11-point font, with 1.0 in margins, maximum 3 single spaced pages.
  • Figure legends and tables can be in 10-point font.
  • Cover page, references, CVs, budget, and budget justification are not included in the 3-page limit.

Proposals should consist of the following materials in this sequence:

  1. Cover page:
    1. Project title
    2. PI, Co-PI(s), and collaborator(s) names, titles, departments, email addresses, and phone numbers
    3. Duration: (maximum duration up to 12 months)
    4. Total requested amount
  2. Project Plan and Approach: This section should lay out the goals and objectives of the project and the research plan. The plan should include the hypotheses being tested and the experimental design used to test them, including the data collection and analysis methods. PIs must demonstrate why the proposed research methods are the most appropriate relative to alternative approaches to test their hypotheses. The role of international partners and the history of engagement between the PI and the international partner should be stated.
    1. If secondary data analysis is needed, the proposal should identify the data sets to be used, their sources and how they will be obtained.
    2. If the project proposes to develop a new tool or modify an existing one, PIs should articulate the rationale and clearly state the methods, with supporting references, for developing these tools.
    3. The project description should be written such that it can be understood by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. The proposal will not be evaluated by a discipline-specific committee.
  3. Future funding potential: The proposal should discuss how the experience gained from the project will be leveraged for future external funding and list potential funding sources and programs. It should also articulate compelling aspects that will make the project likely to be funded among several competitive applications. 
  4. Timeline and Milestones: Include the major milestone targets and a proposed timeline.

Additional Documents

  1. References
  2. PI and Team: Provide a brief description of team members roles and how the team plans to involve students and postdocs (for example, explain what professional development will be provided to participating students and or postdocs).
  3. CVs: Provide 2-page CVs for all senior project team members.
  4. Budget: Start on a new page and provide a detailed budget table. All items in the budget should directly support this project and be related to the proposed research.
  5. Budget Justification: A brief budget justification (not more than one page long) should be included. All items in the budget should directly support this project and be related to the proposed research.

Include the following breakdown:

  • Personnel – List support staff and percent effort of each, and associated fringe. No more than 50% of the budget should go towards personnel & tuition costs. Funding cannot be allotted to cover faculty time or permanent staff salaries (Teams employees).
  • Equipment – Identify equipment to be purchased under this award.
  • Materials and supplies – List materials and supplies that will be purchased under this award.
  • Travel – List locations, approximate dates and justification for travel. Note that UF/State/Federal travel restrictions apply.
  • Student Tuition (Graduate) – No more than 50% of the budget should go towards personnel & tuition costs
  • Facilities & Administrative costs – No F&A is allowed for these projects.
  • Cost Share – No cost share is required for this effort.
  1. Letter of Support: A letter of support from the international partner stating the role of the partner and general level of support for the proposed work should be included.


  • The deadline for submission of full proposals is 5:00 PM (EST), July 1, 2023. Late submissions will not be considered.
  • Submit the requested materials to attention Research Seed Fund Submission in the subject line.


  • Two reports are due, 1) at the end of the project, and 2) one year following the termination of the project.
  • Focus of reporting should be on the ROI of the project in terms of building new collaborative projects globally and include how this project resulted in external funding opportunities.