Seed Funding for Research In Evolutionary Medicine

We are looking to support innovative approaches to outstanding questions in evolutionary medicine, broadly interpreted to involve research that uses evolutionary and ecological perspectives to understand and treat disease in humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  evolution of infectious or zoonotic disease; psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease; antimicrobial resistance; evolutionary issues in global health; evolution of aging; autoimmune disease and allergy; origins and ecological drivers of disease emergence; evolution and cancer; comparative medicine; and the genetic basis of disease. 

Seed Grants provide funding to initiate new research among interdisciplinary groups of faculty. Funds can be used for lab expenses, staff, field research, and other direct research expenses that would position the teams for external funding or publications (up to $20,000). PIs must be faculty from Duke, any UNC-System university*, or the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Proposals should have a clear interdisciplinary focus and include multiple PIs or participants from different schools and/or universities, potentially including at least one person from a school focused on human or animal health (i.e., medical, dentistry, nursing, veterinary, or public health).

Before You Apply

All applicants are encouraged to contact Melissa Manus (, Assistant Director of TRICEM, for feedback on project ideas.  Proposals will be evaluated in terms of both the scientific value of the project and the qualifications of the applicant. Note that TriCEM funds do not cover indirect costs or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals for seed funds are short, not to exceed 3 single-spaced (12-pt type) pages (including references).  Please also include a current CV for all PIs.

Proposals should be organized as follows:

  1. Program Track (please see our key research areas)
  2. Title (80 characters max)
  3. Short Title (25 characters max)
  4. Name and contact information for Project Leader, and any Co-Leaders
  5. Project Summary (250 words max)
  6. Public Summary (250 words max) – written for the public and visible on the TRICEM web site
  7. Introduction and Goals – A statement of the outstanding question in evolutionary medicine being addressed and a concise review of the concept and the literature to place the project in context.
  8. Proposed Activities – This should include a clear statement of specific data (include citations or urls), methods, analytical tools that will be required for the project.  
  9. Participating Fields and List of Proposed Participants-TRICEM encourages groups that go beyond existing collaborations and that include multiple disciplines, emerging scientists including graduate students.  Named individuals should be committed to participating in the project if funded. For each participant please include explicit information about career stage, discipline, institution, and institutional location. 
  10. Rationale for TRICEM support – Why can this activity be most effectively conducted through TRICEM? Please also include a brief budget justification.
  11. Proposed Timetable – include Start and End Date month and year for the project
  12. Outcomes – Proposals should include a clear statement about the expected outcomes of the project and how this will provide preliminary data/results for securing additional funding.

Proposal Submission

Proposals will be accepted in digital format only as a single pdf file, including CVs. Graphics should be embedded directly into the proposal document. Email proposals to Melissa Manus (, Assistant Director.

*Note: NC State funds are unavailable for the current RFP, but NCSU student and faculty are encouraged to apply as part of inter-Triangle university collaborations. Please contact for more information about NCSU-based participation in the Spring 2018 round of funding.