Major SEAD Grants Call for Proposals

Major SEAD Grants Call for Proposals 

Request for Proposals: Major SEAD Grants (Science, Engineering, Art, and Design)

Submission Due Date: March 12, 2018 (5:00pm EST)


The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) invites applications for projects that are creative, innovative, and show a strong potential for contribution toward the goals of ICAT and partnering units. These funds can be used to pursue a range of transdisciplinary activities including creative projects, pilot studies, feasibility studies, or preliminary research. It is expected that the projects funded by the SEAD grants will help catalyze larger projects (with possibilities for future funding), long term initiatives, or one-time events, performances, and exhibitions that are visible at the national level.

Space and Support:

In some instances, ICAT can provide workspace in support of SEAD projects for the duration of the project award year.  This will be somewhere within the Creativity and Innovation District on an as needed basis and when available.

As part of your proposal please indicate if you are requesting:

  • Assistance from ICAT staff: A team of ICAT specialists are available to become project team members for approved projects. ICAT specialists are available to support projects using various facets of the Cube including spatialized sound, immersive environment, visualization, and motion capture.
  • ICAT Studios: ICAT is also home to a number of unique spaces and studios on campus that may be utilized for ICAT SEAD grant projects. For information about ICAT studios please visit Please include requests for these spaces as part of your proposal document.

Eligible Investigators:

All faculty members at Virginia Tech are invited to submit an application and lead a project team.

In keeping with Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community (, ICAT recognizes the critical importance of diverse teams of scholars. ICAT seeks to diversify its research teams along multiple dimensions. ICAT is dedicated to InclusiveVT — serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members.

Funding Information:

  • Awarded funds will be available July 15, 2018.  All project expenses must be posted to Banner within 30 days of the project’s end date.
  • Unspent funds must be transferred back to ICAT within 45 days of the project’s end date.
  • Funds will not be awarded for conference travel or food.
  • Funds can be used to buy out faculty time during the academic year or summer pending home department approval.

Research Areas:

Proposals should involve two or more of the following areas represented by the Institute:

  • Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Life sciences/Agriculture
  • Earth sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Industrial design
  • Performing arts
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Human sciences
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Technology
  • Computer science

Grants Available:


Open Call for SEAD Projects – $25,000

ICAT will fund several transdisciplinary projects, pilot studies, feasibility studies, or preliminary research. Project teams must involve one or more of the research areas listed in this document. Project duration should be set for one year beginning July 1, 2018.

Research Initiation Grant – $10,000

ICAT will fund a research initiation grant to support an interdisciplinary research mentorship project.  The project should include faculty who have not previously worked together, with a pre-tenure faculty member leading the project. The ideal project will  involve faculty members who are new to ICAT. The project should involve summer release time to support team development (including an end of summer report). Successful projects could lead to a major grant submission (internal or external) in the domain of ICAT the following year.

Distinguished Fellow Summer Residency – $10,000

ICAT is accepting proposals for visiting fellows for a summer residency. A successful proposal will include a plan for summer and future collaborative work between a Virginia Tech PI and the visiting fellow with the intention of building a sustained relationship. Visiting fellows may be from another university or company. The funds will be transferred to the PI’s home department to administer for the visiting fellow’s travel, lodging, and honoraria. Please detail ICAT staff or space requests as part of the proposal.

Special Projects:

Creativity + Innovation Integrated Research and Education – $25,000

Proposals for this project should be in support of learning experiences that contribute to, or enhance, the Creativity + Innovation Strategic Growth Area (C+I SGA). Proposals should be situated in the realm of the mission of C+I and engage both faculty and students in quality teaching and learning as well as scholarship in teaching and learning. This grant is co-sponsored by ICAT (the administrative home of C&I) and the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER). In addition to funding, awardees will be assisted with constructing research-based teaching, learning and evaluation activities.

C+I exists at the technology-mediated intersection of the arts, design, science, and engineering. Participants are uniquely empowered to focus on and to holistically explore opportunities while developing an integrative approach to thinking and problem solving. This integration is afforded by re-imagining the traditional disciplinary model and by bringing together faculty from across the entire campus.

Catalyst Program – $25,000

This solicitation seeks proposals for projects that are creative and innovative and show strong potential for contributing to the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Blacksburg-Roanoke region. The Catalyst program is a collaboration between ICAT, the Office of Economic Development, Apex Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation with a goal of promoting transdisciplinary collaboration, developing innovative practices and, fostering entrepreneurial endeavors of Virginia Tech students and faculty. These funds can be used to pursue a range of transdisciplinary activities including creative projects, pilot studies, feasibility studies, customer discovery, market validation, or preliminary research that will lead to larger, longer-term projects that will boost regional economic development. This call is open to all investigational areas with preference to projects that operate at the nexus of business, design, arts, science, and engineering. Connections with companies and non-profit organizations with the potential for regional economic impact are highly encouraged, as are experiential learning opportunities for students. 

The Home Initiative – $25,000

This solicitation seeks proposals concerned with the anthropological, ethnographical, design, engineering, user experience, human development, and social science aspects of smart spaces: a holistic approach to designing, building, and evaluating environments that respond intelligently and empathetically to meet their occupants’ needs. This project is a collaboration between ICAT and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Immersive Environment/Cube Project – $25,000

ICAT is seeking proposals for transdisciplinary projects of any sort that will use the immersive visual and/or aural environment facilities in the Cube.  Projects may include, but are not limited to, simulation, data visualization/sonification, architectural visualization/sonification, visual and performing arts, user studies, etc.  The Cube facilities include:

  • Motion capture
  • Immersive 360° projection
  • Tetherless, multi-user virtual and augmented reality with head mounted displays
  • Spatial audio

Project development support in the creation of immersive environments and the use of the facilities, including technological support, is available through ICAT staff.  Significant development support may be built into the grant, substituting some portion of the grant for staff support.

Big Agriculture Data – Finding, Visualizing, and Translating the Outputs – $25,000

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in partnership with ICAT, is seeking proposals that evaluate, visualize and interpret large data sets for advancing the use of new technologies in agriculture; novel analysis through visualization technologies, finding ‘signals’, and translating the outputs in a scientifically valuable way should be considered as part of the scope. New technologies applied in agriculture provide high volumes of data points but often the interpretation of the data is challenged because there are no standard protocols for managing, integrating, visualizing or translating the information into meaningful outcomes. Standard statistical approaches may not allow exploration or discovery of the wealth of information in large data sets. Preference will be given to proposals that: focus on new technologies, with large data sets, of relevance to agriculture and life sciences; include CALS faculty as part of an interdisciplinary team; and advance data analysis and visualization of data in a meaningful way for research outcomes and translation into potential application.

Submission Process:

After you have entered your team data in the Google form, email a PDF copy of your submission including cover page with all necessary signatures to Holly Williams at by 5:00pm on March 12, 2018.

Please address each section in your proposal using Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Proposal should be limited to 5 pages including images. Proposals received without cover sheet signatures will not be considered.

Submission Guidelines:

Step 1: Google Form:

Complete team information

  • PI Name, Email, Home Department
  • Team Member Names, Emails, Home Departments
  • Bios and expertise of team members unique to the project
  • Current and pending funding of the PI(s)
  • Space requests (if needed)
  • ICAT specialist request (if needed)
  • Budget and Budget Justification
    • Total budget request
    • Budget justification and amounts requested for
      1. Student time
      2. Faculty salary time
      3. Equipment
      4. Materials and supplies 

Step 2: Proposal Document (PDF submission to Holly Williams at Please address each section in your proposal using Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Proposal should be limited to 5 pages including images.

Statement of Need/Project Description

  • Listing of research areas involved (see first page)
  • Statement of innovation
  • Linkage to ICAT mission and goals
  • Vision of how this will impact ICAT
  • Where project work will happen and if technical resources from ICAT are needed

Methods and Strategies

  • Describe the activities that will be conducted as part of your project

Goals and Objectives

  • Describe the overall outcome your project aims to achieve
  • Describe project outputs
  • Describe plans for future funding, exhibition, etc.

Plan for Evaluating Project Success

  • Describe how you will determine if your project has been successful
  • Describe anticipated outcomes and deliverables


  • Timeline should begin after July 1, 2018 and end by June 1, 2019.

Expectations of Funded Projects:

Funds: ICAT will transfer funds to the principal investigator’s home department E&G fund upon acceptance of project. Any unspent funds should be returned to ICAT by May 15, 2019. Please have your departmental fiscal representative contact Lisa Jansen, Senior Grants and Contracts Manager, at or 231-1563.

Equipment: ICAT will have first option on the disposition of ownership of all material, supplies, and equipment. Equipment not owned or maintained by ICAT will be returned to the project PI with the understanding that ICAT will have access to said equipment pending request and availability.

Reporting: Project updates should be submitted to ICAT once a month during the project’s duration. A final 2-3 page report will be submitted to ICAT no more than 30 days after project completion that describes project outcomes and how the funds were expended. A final report template will be provided by ICAT for completion and will be submitted to Lisa Jansen at

ICAT Engagement: Representatives from each project are expected to participate in outreach and engagement, including giving an ICAT Playdate presentation to showcase the project as well as participation in the upcoming ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day in the year the project is funded. Projects may also be considered for display during ICAT’s Open (at the) Source exhibition each spring, Virginia Tech Science Festival, Science Museum of Western Virginia, school tours, and kindergarten-to-college, as feasible and appropriate.

Resources: It is expected that the investigators have all resources necessary (space, equipment, etc.) to complete their project with the exception of the items and personnel requested in the proposal.

University policy: All university policies and procedures must be observed.

Logo: The official Virginia Tech/ICAT logo can be provided upon request.

Sample Credit Lines: The {title of project} has been made possible in part by a grant from Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

Publications: Please include the following language on any publications or publicity/marketing materials (VT news releases, etc.) stemming from ICAT funded research: “This work has been partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Art, and Technology.”

Printed Materials: Printed acknowledgments and publicity materials are expected to carry the Virginia Tech/ICAT logo. The name of the institute in the logo must be legible and no smaller than 5 points. If the logo is not appropriate for the design, the credit line may be substituted in an appropriate type size. For large posters, etc., the point size should be correspondingly larger.

Films and Videos: An acknowledgment of support must be included at the beginning and end of each funded program and in all non-broadcast materials related to the project, including any elements of production re-purposed for distribution as digital media. The ICAT credit for film and television programs must be at least ten seconds long. ICAT is to be acknowledged in videos funded as part of an exhibition or other public programs, as well as in films broadcast on television. If the filmmaker intends to vary the design of the credits, ICAT must approve the new format that is created.

Audio and Radio Materials: An acknowledgment of support must be contained at the beginning and end of each program and in all non-broadcast materials related to the project. ICAT should be credited for radio programs, and for recorded audio tours of exhibitions.

Exhibitions/Workshops: The acknowledgment of support, the Virginia Tech/ICAT logo and the disclaimer language should appear on signage at the entrance to the exhibition or workshop, on brochures and catalogs, and on exhibition or workshop video materials and websites. These requirements apply to the host site for the exhibition or workshop and to all participating venues. It is the grantee’s responsibility to convey this requirement to all venues as part of the contract.

Digital Projects: When possible, hyperlinks must be made between the project and the ICAT website ( All digital projects (including games and apps) released via a third party are also expected to include an acknowledgment of ICAT support in the promotional description of the project (for example: in the ‘Description’ section of the Google Play or iTunes stores). Additionally, all digital projects must incorporate the following ICAT-specific keywords: Virginia Tech; Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; ICAT

Websites: Hyperlinks must connect the project’s website and that of the ICAT website (

Public Events: At programs or public gatherings related to the project, ICAT must be  acknowledged orally as a sponsor. Signage at the event must acknowledge ICAT support.

Promotion and Advertising: The design for all print, promotion, and advertising related to the project must be submitted to the director of marketing and communication for approval prior to implementation. All promotion must include the acknowledgment of ICAT support and the ICAT logo; the credit line should be used whenever possible. This includes publicity campaign materials, publications, advertisements, press kits, press releases, wall panels, educational programs, special events, and receptions. Unless there is an agreement with the ICAT Director to the contrary, all press releases and media pitching will be carried out by ICAT’s marketing office. The official spokesperson for ICAT is Director Ben Knapp.

Print and Electronic Use: Summaries, along with images, clips, screen shots, or the like of all ICAT-funded projects must be made available to ICAT for use in its publications and on its website.

Review Criteria:

The proposals will be reviewed by the Institute Director, Associate Director, and ICAT Senior Fellows, and then evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Intellectual merit and innovation;
  2. Interdisciplinary nature of the team
  3. Correlation to the mission of ICAT and its studios;
  4. Broader impact of the project;
  5. Potential channels to advance the proposed research
  6. Timeline
  7. Clear outcome and deliverables
  8. Alignment with project categories and/or themes

After the proposals are reviewed, a member of the proposal team may be asked to make a brief presentation to the review committee.

Awards will be announced by April 13, 2018.