Research and Innovation Seed (RISe) Funding Program


The School of Engineering is launching a new program to support mid-career faculty.  

These faculty members are the cornerstone of KU Engineering, forming a bridge between faculty generations by mentoring early-stage faculty and assuming leadership duties. Mid-career faculty are key players as the School adapts in a time of continuous change. The overarching goal of the RISe program is to assist mid-career faculty in developing innovative research programs to pursue external funding.

  • Proposals should be of high risk/high reward to advance emerging areas of research or enhance existing strength areas that are aligned with an agency’s interest.
  • Proposals must develop research initiatives to pursue external funding.
  • Proposals are expected to target a specific external application with a specific program and planned submission date.
  • Interdisciplinary research across multiple departments and schools is encouraged.

The solicitation will open on Monday, August 30. KU Engineering faculty will receive information via email with the online site information.

RISe Accordion

Eligible: All KU School of Engineering faculty are eligible to submit one proposal as the principle investigator (PI). There is no limit on the number of proposals in which a faculty member may participate as an investigator and/or collaborator.

New Faculty: Individuals can apply only after completing their 48 months as a tenure-track faculty on the Lawrence campus from the date of hire.

  • Applications should be written minimum in Arial 11-point font, single-spaced, with 1” margins all the way around.
  • The proposal should include 1) project summary/specific aim page (maximum one page); 2) research strategy (maximum 4 pages); 3) External funding plan (maximum 1 page); References cited as well as a support letter written by the collaborators do not count against page limits.
  • Proposals must include a cover page with the title of the proposals, team members with their affiliations, and two abstracts. One abstract should be similar to the technical abstract specific for the targeted agency. The second abstract should be written to provide details of the RISe funding, i.e., which problem/s and/or preliminary data are being investigated and the potential outcomes of the research.
  • Standard NSF or NIH Biosketches should be included for team members.
  • The external proposal application details are expected to be provided as specific as possible including agency program, planned submission dates and targeted funding amount.
  • Budget and budget justifications must be included in the application. Applications are expected to cover GRAs and hourly student workers and/or research personal, consumable materials and service fees for the core research labs. Faculty salaries, travel and associated costs to attend conferences are not permitted. The cost of fringe benefits associated with the payments of salary must be included in the budget.
  • Investigators and/or collaborators are expected to provide a short support letter demonstrating their commitment to the proposal.
  • Applications are due Monday, November 1. They should be submitted as a single pdf to the online site provided below.

Submission Link

Review of the proposals will be conducted by a review panel, which will evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, fit to the mission of the program and the strength of the planned subsequent external competitive peer-reviewed funding.

Awards are expected to range between $5,000 and $15,000, with an anticipated 5-15 awards. Extensions to the award period are not permitted.

  • Application deadline is Monday, November 1.
  • Awardees will be informed by early December.
  • Awards will be effective January 1, 2022.
  • Awards will be released in two segments. The second segment will be released after the submission of the mid-progress report, which is due June 30, 2022. In case of no progress, second segment funding may not be released. 
  • A final report will be due March 1, 2023, including the external proposal. The School of Engineering will cover the expenses to send the proposal for external review prior to submission.

The award will be in the form of KU Endowment funds, and all expense transactions will be administered by the finance manager in each department. However, the funds will not be transferred to a departmental Endowment account and instead will remain in the School of Engineering account.