Rice announces new faculty funding opportunities

Grants will support ‘high-risk’ research, TMC collaborations, entrepreneurship

Creative Ventures Fund

Rice University’s Office of Research is launching three Creative Ventures Funds to seed new faculty initiatives and help guide them towards commercialization of their discoveries.

The university will also open applications for two legacy grant programs to kickstart conferences and creativity.

Creative Ventures Fund

The programs, launching immediately, are the ARPA-H Strategic Initiative Seed Fund, the Technology Development Fund and the Patent Cost Relief Fund for Junior Faculty.

The vice provost’s office is also seeking proposals for two existing funds, the Conference and Workshop Development Fund, which fosters the development of events that enhance Rice’s reputation and scholarship, and the Scholarly and Creative Works Subvention Fund, which encourages creative works in the schools of Architecture, Humanities and Music. Proposals for both are due Oct. 15.

The Conference and Workshop Fund is a revival, of sorts, because no grants were issued during the pandemic, according to administrators.

“At Rice, we seek to translate our research insights into social benefits for the community, the nation and the world,” said Vice Provost for Research Yousif Shamoo. “These funds will provide faculty with additional opportunities to do that in areas where we seek to achieve significant impact and excellence.”

The ARPA-H Strategic Initiative Fund will support one-year collaborations with Texas Medical Center (TMC) partners to advance biomedical and health sciences. The program positions Rice to participate in a Biden administration 2022 budget proposal for a federal life sciences initiative, ARPA-H, to speed research that can improve the health of all Americans.

Full-time and research faculty members may apply. Proposals are due Oct. 15 and must include at least one TMC partner.

The Technology Development Fund will offer seed grants of $25,000 to faculty to help commercialize their research. The funds can be used for prototypes, scale-up efforts or to develop technology that could lead to a patent filing or licensing opportunity.

Proposals from full-time faculty and research staff are due by Oct. 30.

The Patent Cost Relief Fund will help with the cost of filing and maintaining U.S. patents on behalf of startup companies founded (or soon-to-be founded) during the current academic year by full-time junior faculty members who are new to entrepreneurship.

Applications are due Oct. 30.

“I’m excited about these new opportunities for our faculty and look forward to seeing what they produce,” said Rice Provost Reginald DesRoches. “As one of the nation’s leading wide-spectrum research universities, I have no doubt great things are in our future.”

Awards in each fund will be announced in November. Applications for all of the funds are available through their respective websites.