Internal Funding Opportunities  R&I and AL Logos

There are multiple internal funding opportunities to support and encourage research, scholarship, and creative works at UNCW. The below funding sources from Reseach and Innovation and Applied Learning serve distinct purposes and have different eligibility requirements. 

AY23 R&I Internal Seed Funding Awardees


  • Open - December 1, 2022
  • Close - March 1, 2023


Find the internal funding opportunity that best suits your current research needs!

  • Charles L. Cahill Grants

    InfoReady Application Link

    Charles L. Cahill Grants for Faculty Scholarship are awarded to full-time faculty to promote scholarship broadly across the university. Faculty members from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply for funds to support their scholarship efforts.

    Funding is awarded to:

    • Provide seed money for the initiation of projects that subsequently may attract funding from other sources
    • Encourage the pursuit of new areas of research, scholarship, or artistic endeavors
    • Fund travel in support of research
    • Encourage the development of specific professional skills within one's discipline     

    Interdisciplinary Collaborations

    Individual proposals may be awarded up to $5,000. Teams of two or more faculty (limit 4) can apply for a joint project. Each PI is eligible for $5,000; joint projects would be eligible for funding of $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the number of PI's. All joint collaborators must be from different departments. When submitting proposals please read the descriptive applicant note for each section to ensure all requirements are met.


    Faculty Senate Research Committee


    Charles Johnson, Grant Specialist

    Cahill FAQs

  • Research Momentum Funds

    InfoReady Application Link

    The primary emphasis of the Research Momentum Funds (RMF) is to increase sponsored research at UNCW by providing targeted proposal development support. RMF recipients must submit a proposal for external funding within a year of being funded.

    An excellent opportunity for individuals or teams who have a well-developed project idea and expect to submit a proposal for external funding with the results from the Research Momentum Funds. RMF is specifically structured to let the faculty buy their time but can also be used for seed money to conduct preliminary research or related activities that will lead to a proposal for external funding.  Specifically, RMF will support work on activities that will lead to a proposal for external funding, including, but not limited to:

    • Replacement salary for course buyouts (requires Chair/Dean permission)
    • Limited summer effort
    • Student effort (hire undergraduate or graduate research assistants)
    • Initial planning meetings
    • Activities necessary for proposal development (e.g., data collection, literature review, or pilot studies)
    • Travel to meet other collaborators not at UNCW
    • Final drafting of a written proposal

    Funding for this program should not exceed $5,000 per proposal. While these funds can be used in a variety of ways the replacement salary for course buy-out is strongly recommended use of the funds as it will free the additional time needed to develop and write a competitive grant proposal. Generally, this program does not provide funding for conference travel, computer equipment, and general office expenses.

    A mentor supplement of $500 was created to recognize and reward research leadership, as a stipend for an experienced faculty member who agrees to support the proposal development activities. Mentoring activities may vary, but should include assistance with budget development, and one or more reviews of proposal drafts prior to submission.

    The project duration is limited to the funded fiscal year and PI’s may only receive one Research Momentum Funds award every 2 years. RMF are supported with state appropriated funding and must follow state appropriated spending deadlines and requirements. 


    Charles Johnson, Grant Specialist

    Momentum FAQs

  • Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series

    InfoReady Application Link

    The Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) program is designed to build interdisciplinary capacity in areas of growing research strength by (1) fostering communication and promoting collaborations among UNCW investigators and (2) connecting our local community with the national knowledge network and creating an intellectual community of peers. IRSS focuses on a theme, problem, or broad question where UNCW has existing research capacity and a clear opportunity to grow its research contributions and overall success.

    Proposal Guidelines

    • Award maximum is $10,000. No F&A is allowed.
    • All UNCW faculty are eligible to serve as PIs.
    • The topic must cross two or more disciplines (operationalized as departments or schools at UNCW).
    • The primary deliverable for this project is the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series, with the goal of building internal and external research collaborations.
    • The proposal topic must be of potential interest to multiple investigators at UNCW with a strong potential for research growth and cross two or more disciplines.

    Evaluation Criteria

    • Intellectual merit of the proposed seminar and theme
      • Potential of the research theme to advance knowledge
      • Degree to which the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts
    • Building a collaborative knowledge network
      • Extent to which the proposed activities are likely to build new and interdisciplinary research collaborations among UNCW faculty
      • Extent to which the proposed activities are likely to build new faculty connections and collaborations with external leaders in the selected research theme
    • Opportunity for UNCW to grow research success in the selected theme area
      • Quality of the seminar series proposal. Is it well-reasoned, well- organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does it clearly explain the growth potential of the research theme at UNCW? Is the budget well considered and justified? Does the plan incorporate mechanisms to assess success?
      • Qualifications of the organizing team to develop the research theme into a strong area of research at UNCW
      • Alignment of research theme with external funding opportunities and priorities for research


    Ad Hoc Committee assembled by the Associate Provost for Research and Innovation


    Kirsten Wisneski, Research Development Specialist

  • Translational Research Grants

    InfoReady Application Link

    The Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s “Translational Research Grants” are specifically aimed to stimulate commercially-focused research and creative activity that result in societal impact and practical application. OIC hopes that projects will result in invention disclosures, innovations, technology, scholarship, or other outcomes that have practical application off-campus through licensing, external partnership, or another pathway.

    New Invention Grant

    • Awarded to support faculty projects focused on transforming fundamental research or early-stage innovations into commercially viable products and services or even a new business.
    • Also includes an OIC Customer Discovery Training Session, SPARC Grant Strategy Consultation, regular one-on-one meetings, optional CIE Mentorship, and more.

    Blue Economy Grant

    • Awarded to support faculty projects bridging the gap between marine science and innovation resulting in societal impact and practical application.
    • Must be tied to the Blue Economy - Sustainable Marine Energy, Sustainable Aquaculture, Tourism, Maritime Transport, Coastal Resiliency, Marine Biotechnology, Marine Engineering, or other area tied to the Blue Economy.
    • Also includes an OIC Customer Discovery Training Session, SPARC Grant Strategy Consultation, regular one-on-one meetings, optional CIE Mentorship, and more.

    Funding Amount

    • 3-4 Awards
    • $5,000 to $15,000

    Evaluation Criteria

    • Feasibility
    • IP Status/Strength
    • Market Opportunity
    • Impact of Award on Licensability or Commercial Potential
    • Meets Eligibility Requirements


    • All full-time EHRA Faculty are eligible to serve as Lead Principal Investigators (PIs) on externally sponsored projects.
    • Must have an Innovation Disclosure on file with OIC tied to the proposal.
    • Innovation outlined in disclosure cannot already be licensed.
    • Must be a qualified use of fund criteria.

    Use of Funds

    • Equipment & Supplies – Lab equipment, prototype materials, tools, software, subscriptions
    • Tradeshows – Industry tradeshows, industry conferences, (no academic conferences)
    • Time & Course Buyout
    • Graduate Assistantship & Postdoc – Hourly pay, stipend, or similar
    • Outsourced Services – Software development, prototyping, 3D Printing, Engineering or other outsourced service
    • Travel – To visit potential customers or partners, tradeshow


    • Advance research reducing to practice or developing technology with commercial potential
    • Activities to further the technology readiness level of an existing innovation
    • Projects developing a proof of concept that could result intellectual property such as patents, copyrights or tangible property
    • Expanding existing UNCW resources to new markets, customer segments, or partners


    Justin Streuli, OIC Director

  • Strategic Initiatives

    InfoReady Application Link

    Strategic Initiatives provide up to $10,000 of support per year for 3 years for a total of $30,000. These initiatives are awarded to projects that develop an interdisciplinary and/or interprofessional approach to applied learning that integrates multiple courses and/or experiences. Funds can be used to support faculty, staff or student stipends, or to support supplies or travel needed to complete the experience. The goal of this award is to support larger scale innovative projects that enhance student access to High Impact Practices and Applied Learning opportunities.

    Strategic Initiatives are awarded in the spring semester only for work to begin in the next semester (summer or fall). Strategic Initiatives are intended to support collaborative teams of faculty and/or staff members who are seeking to scale applied learning initiatives beyond a singular course or experience. For more information about current and past Strategic Initiatives, visit


    Runa Winters, Social Research Specialist

  • Pedagogy Initiatives

    InfoReady Application 

    Each semester, the Office of Applied Learning offers Pedagogy initiatives provide up to $2,500 of support for the development of a new and/or innovative applied learning experience. These initiatives are typically awarded to projects occurring within a course or initiative that take place within a single semester. Funds can be used to support faculty, staff or student stipends, or to support supplies or travel needed to complete the experience. Examples of past projects include developing an augmented reality sandbox, student consultations with local businesses, new High Impact, applied learning classroom strategies, and more.

    Pedagogy Initiatives are awarded each fall and spring and can support initiatives taking place during any semester (fall, spring, or summer). Pedagogy Initiatives are intended to fund new and/or innovative programs that can be sustained beyond the initial period of funding. Applications from faculty and staff members who have not been previously funded are given priority consideration for funding, and new faculty and staff are encouraged to apply! Visit for examples of current and past projects!


    Runa Winters, Social Research Specialist

  • Support for Undergraduate Research & Creativity Awards (SURCA)

    InfoReady Application Link

    SURCA provides funding to enhance scholarly activity opportunities for faculty-mentored undergraduate research or creative scholarship. Faculty members and undergraduate students are encouraged to develop and submit applications collaboratively for projects focused on in research and creative scholarship. These awards are administered jointly by the Office of Applied Learning and Center for Student Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CSURF).  

    SURCA are awarded twice annually to support projects implemented in the spring and summer, respectively. Faculty members can receive funding for only 1 SURCA award during a calendar year. Up to $5,000 is available per award to support faculty and graduate student mentoring stipends, undergraduate pay, supplies, and other expenses. The current round of funding is open for Summer 2022 projects, and students and faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to apply!


    Runa Winters, Social Research Specialist


  • Community Engagement Awards

    InfoReady Application Link

    Community Engagement provides funding in direct support of teaching, scholarship, and other projects that strengthen and advance the cooperative relationships between UNCW and community partners. Faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students with projects that include a community partner are eligible to apply. Maximum funding is $3,000 for individual faculty projects and $5,000 for faculty teams. There are two different awards available:

    • Community Engagement Development Grants (CEGs) support semester or year-long scholarly projects that represent collaborative partnerships among community partners, students, faculty, and staff teams. Projects should advance the development of community partner capacity, engage students in service-learning and/or research, and facilitate the evolution of faculty scholarly identity as it relates to community-identified needs. The goal of this community engagement grant is to expand and deepen the mutually beneficial relationships among faculty, staff, students, and community partners.
    • CE Dissemination Grants support dissemination on the value of community-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship, and best practices in community-engaged research, teaching, and learning. Typically, dissemination grants provide short-term support to share lessons learned with higher education stakeholders based on significant change efforts or research studies. 


    Runa Winters, Social Research Specialist