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Mini SEAD Grant

Submission Due Date

January 26, 2024 (5:00pm EST)

Submissions open


icat mini sead grants cover sheet fall 2023.pdf Mini SEAD Grant Cover Sheet


ICAT invites faculty member applications for projects that leverage the combined strengths of science, engineering, art, and design to tackle real-world challenges. These funds can be used to pursue a range of transdisciplinary activities that are creativity-fueled and human-centric.

Proposals should involve two or more departments, preferably in different colleges, and address at least one of the following areas represented by the institute:

Amplifying the Arts

Art and technology continually define and redefine our world. The collision of art, technology, and experimentation drive innovation in all directions. These projects demonstrate how technology can advance artistic practice and how art and design can elevate and improve scientific discovery and output.

Making Big Discoveries with Immersive Technologies

Immersive technologies are changing the research landscape. These projects use visual design, 3D modeling, animation, programming, motion capture integration, and true 360-degree sound to open up entire new worlds of exploration and discovery.

Empowering Data

Pioneering new possibilities with data. Projects explore and present data in some unexpected and surprising ways, introducing new perspectives that can pave the way for life-changing discoveries.

Bridging Physical Distance

With the propagation of the COVID-19 pandemic, what was once a matter of convenience is now a requirement. These projects go far beyond videoconferencing software and include the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies to bring people from around the world together in shared immersive digital spaces to connect, learn, and experience.

Engaging Community

Science should be available to everyone. Research shouldn’t be hidden in labs and buried on computer hard drives. Interactive technology brings data to life and tells the stories of researchers and their work, while sculptures and other works of art show data and computational processes in unexpected, captivating, and often very accessible ways.

Reimagining Education

These projects create educational environments that prepare students to confidently enter a world requiring creativity, adaptability, and collaboration. This work is changing where students learn, what students learn, and how students learn.

Designing a More Sustainable World

Creativity that spurs change. This work supports our ecological and cultural resilience.

Creating the Future of Work

Advances in technology are changing the ways we work. From the aesthetics, functionality, and even physical locations of our workplaces to the ways we collaborate with our co-workers and communicate with our clients, these projects focus on efficiency, productivity, and value.

In some instances, ICAT can provide the space and team members in support of SEAD projects for the duration of the project award year.

As part of your proposal, please highlight if you are requesting:

Assistance from ICAT staff

ICAT specialists can become project team members for approved projects. ICAT specialists can support projects using various facets of the Cube, including spatialized sound, immersive environments, 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. This will be somewhere within the Creativity and Innovation District as needed and when available. For information about ICAT studios, please visit Please include requests for these spaces as part of your proposal document.

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

We’re looking for teams comprised of faculty from at least two different fields, with preference given to projects that include PIs from two or more colleges.

ICAT celebrates the critical importance of diverse teams of scholars. We want to encourage the diversity of our research teams as much as we can. 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. See Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community ( for more information.

  • Awarded funds will be available August 1, 2023 and transferred to the PI’s home department.  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 depart- ment approval.


Cover sheet to include (A) Signature of all team members, and (B)  Signature of faculty advisor.


Proposal Document (PDF submission to Melissa Wyers at

Please address each section in your proposal using Times New Roman 12 point font. Proposal should be limited to five pages, including images. Coversheet is separate.

Statement of Need/ Project Description

  • Listing of research areas involved
  • Description of the challenge the team is looking to explore
  • Linkage to ICAT mission and goals
  • Vision of project impact
  • Where project work will happen and whether 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


  • Typically one year in duration
  • Budget and Budget Justification
    • Total budget request
    • Detailed budget justification

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 September 29, 2023 and February 2, 2024.