Seed Funding

The Ken Kennedy Institute AI, Data, and Computing Seed Funding Initiative

Call for Proposals: Due Dec. 8th

The Ken Kennedy Institute envisions a world where research in AI, Data, and Computing empowers all people and enhances all human experiences. To advance this vision, promote research endeavors, and increase external funding for such endeavors, the Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University is pleased to offer a distinctive opportunity for innovative research groups to initiate groundbreaking projects.

Funding Details
  • Seed funding is available up to $25,000.
  • Exceptional projects closely aligned with our vision may be eligible for additional funding under specific conditions.
  • Proposals must address either fundamental research in AI, Data, and Computing OR should reflect an interdisciplinary effort spanning more than one department.
  • All awarded funds must be utilized within one year of receipt.
  • Allocated funds can be used for research salaries, teaching release, grant writers, meetings, and other relevant costs. Out-of-the-box ideas that will foster research at Rice will also be considered.
Incentives & Support
  • Group-led proposals are favored. Collaborations, especially those extending beyond Rice University that mirror our vision, are keenly encouraged.
  • We champion interdisciplinary initiatives, seamlessly blending AI, data, computing, and other disciplines. A primary goal for applicants should be the drafting and submission of a substantial proposal, with aspirations to amass funds upwards of $1 million (if in engineering and sciences) or $300K (outside engineering and sciences but not for grants to NSF, DOD, DARPA, or NIH. For such proposals, the $1 million rule applies).
  • Every proposal must encapsulate a clear and impactful research theme.
  • Additional benefits may encompass support in setting up working group sessions and other collaborative ventures, spurring innovation and group ideation.
Eligibility
  • Rice University full-time research faculty.
  • Both individual and team submissions are acceptable.
  • The potential for external partnerships, especially those reinforcing the interdisciplinary nature and echoing the Institute's vision, will be viewed in a favorable light.
Review & Selection Process

Proposals undergo evaluation based on:

  • Their innovation capacity.
  • Practical feasibility.
  • Potential to lead to external funding.
  • Resonance with the Ken Kennedy Institute's vision.
  • Potential influence in the spheres of AI, Data, and Computing.

How to Apply:

Potential candidates should channel their seed funding proposals through the designated webform.

Requirements

Each proposal must include the following:

#1

A 2-3 page project summary (11pt) following the Heilmeier Catechism questions and aligning with the Ken Kennedy Institute's philosophy. For 1-year projects, address the following:

  • Your objectives, devoid of jargon.
  • Present methods and their limitations.
  • Novelty in your approach and its potential success.
  • The significance of your success.
  • Possible risks.
  • Budget allocation.
  • Success metrics.
#2

A 2-page biosketch and current funding information for every contributing member. NSF or NIH Biosketches and Current & Pending support documents are ideal (but other formats containing similar information will be accepted).

#3

A concise, 1-page strategy outlining the path to larger funding, pinpointing essential milestones and actions.

Deadline

Submissions are due Friday, December 8, 2023 at 11:59 pm. Awards will be announced by December 31, 2023. Apply here.


Social Sciences Projects

The goal is to fund projects in social sciences, up to $5,000 for one year, that demonstrate a clear institutional benefit and can demonstrate a clear potential for external funding. We looked for proposals that promote the mission of the Ken Kennedy Institute and support community building efforts with a potential high return on investment. Proposals that demonstrated potential for long‐term impact and position researchers for being competitive for obtaining external funding were strongly encouraged.

Digital Humanities Projects

The goal is to fund digital humanities projects, up to $10,000 for one year, that demonstrate a clear institutional benefit and can demonstrate a clear potential for external funding. We looked for proposals that promote the mission of the Ken Kennedy Institute and support community building efforts with a potential high return on investment. Proposals that demonstrated potential for long‐term impact and position researchers for being competitive for obtaining external funding were strongly encouraged.

Advancing Computational Health with Houston Methodist (Robotics and Imaging)

The Ken Kennedy Institute has continued its partnership with Houston Methodist Academic Institute and Rice ENRICH to jointly support robotics and imaging projects. Our seed funding commitment of $140,000 grew into a seed grant program to foster innovative research between Rice University and the Houston Methodist Academic Institute faculty, collaborating researchers, and clinician scientists. Through funding from The Ken Kennedy Institute and ENRICH, 11 Rice faculty were awarded a total of $260,000 for robotics and imaging projects. View more details here.

  • $260,000 awarded across 11 projects in 2022 (in collaboration with ENRICH)

Enriching Rice Through Information Technology (ERIT)

The key mission is to fund projects, up to $50,000 for 1-2 years, that demonstrate a clear institutional benefit AND/OR can demonstrate a clear potential for external funding, that involve ideas and faculty crossing school boundaries, and that explore the impact of the pervasiveness of information technology on society. We are looking for proposals that promote the mission of the Ken Kennedy Institute, support community building efforts with a potential high return on investment, and give rise to new collaborations that bridge across campus. Proposals that demonstrate potential for short‐ and long‐term impact and position researchers for being competitive for obtaining external funding are strongly encouraged.

  • $724,000 awarded across 31 projects with $51 million ROI between 2003-2016

Collaborative Advances in Biomedical Computing (CABC)

The key mission is to fund projects, up to $100,000 for 1-2 years, that demonstrate a clear institutional benefit AND/OR can demonstrate a clear potential for external funding, that involve ideas and faculty from at least one TMC institution outside Rice, that explore opportunities at the interface of information and computing technology and biomedicine. We are looking for proposals that promote the mission of the Ken Kennedy Institute and support community building efforts with a potential high return on investment. Proposals that demonstrate potential for lasting impact, give rise to new collaborations, and have a high probability for attracting external long‐term funding are strongly encouraged.

  • $1.7 million awarded across 16 projects with $5.2 million ROI between 2005-2015

VISIT


The Rice Ken Kennedy Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside Duncan Hall. Click the map below for directions.


Rice Map

CONTACT


Rice University
Ken Kennedy Institute
6100 Main Street, MS-39
Houston, Texas 77005

CONNECT


Phone: 713-348-5823
Email: kenkennedy@rice.edu


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