2020 IMPACT Seed Grant Program

2020 IMPACT Seed Grant Program
Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology

Contact: Wendy Oakes (woakes@psu.edu


The Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology (CoEIB) is pleased to offer a new round of IMPACT Seed Grants to support interdisciplinary research, curricular development or educational activities in the broad area of industrial biotechnology, including biopharmaceutical manufacturing, food biotechnology, and production of bio-based chemicals.  

Proposals that:

  • Leverage the capabilities in the CSL Behring Fermentation Facility
  • Provide matching funds to support new industry-funded collaborations 
  • Support graduate / undergraduate students in industrial biotechnology research or educational activities

will receive additional favorable consideration.


CoEIB grant proposals may be submitted by any full-time Penn State faculty member (as defined in Penn State Academic Policy AC21 or staff as the Principal Investigator (PI). New investigators will be given preference over those who have previously received a CoEIB Seed grant. 

Students may also apply; however, students must partner with a faculty or staff member as their Principal Investigator. A student may reach out to their faculty advisor or to a lab director where they are working or volunteering. Also, Dr. Andrew Zydney (CoEIB Director) or Mark Signs and Ashik Sathish (Fermentation Facility Directors) have offered to help or provide direction as appropriate.


Funding of up to $25,000 per project is available. In this cycle, total available funding is up to $100,000. 


All proposals must be submitted electronically through InfoReady no later than 5 pm on Friday, February 7, 2020.  

Each proposal should contain the following information:

  • Cover page: 
    • Project title and the name of PI / collaborators (including college and department affiliation)
  • Two-page project description: 
    • Stating clearly defined objectives
    • Highlighting the project’s impact on industrial biotechnology, student training opportunities, and overall alignment the CoEIB’s Mission
    • Covering how the seed grant will lead to additional external funding / future work, including the names of the additional funding or work sources
    • Defining anticipated expenditures
    • NOTE: If CoEIB funds were previously received, provide a status update if work is ongoing or evidence of positive outcomes for a completed project

• Proposed high-level budget covering the use of the CoEIB funds

• Two-page CV for the PI (NSF or NIH style recommended)


Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Intellectual merit of the proposal
  2. Alignment with the mission and objectives of CoEIB, especially the number and intensity of student involvement
  3. Credible strategy for leveraging the seed funding (e.g., publication of high impact scholarship, support of students, student career enhancement opportunities, use of Fermentation Facility, development of external funding)

PIs will be required to submit a final report at the end of project period (Dec. 31, 2020) that summarizes the progress on these objectives.


Please contact Wendy Oakes (woakes@psu.edu).