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Seed and Catalyst Awards

The Scholarship Catalyst and Seed Awards are meant to foster research and scholarship in all fields across the College and are open to full-time CHS faculty. The program includes Catalyst Awards (up to $20K) and Seed Awards (up to $5K). Seed and Catalyst awards proposals are due no later than January 15. The program is established specifically to foster the development of successful grant proposals and/or nationally or internationally peer-reviewed scholarly and/or creative works.

The College is the intellectual heart of VCU. Our educational and research environment addresses an array of technological, health-related and societal problems, as well as providing profound insights and reflections on what it means to be human and humane. Research and scholarly activity is an integral part of the education of our students and a key part of our mission. This program provides funding to support all forms of research and scholarship, with an emphasis on pilot studies that form the basis of an extramural funding application, new research/scholarship directions for established faculty scholars and funds to bring nearly completed projects to fruition.

Full details including the application process and eligibility requirements are provided in the RFP (see link below) and RAMS-SPOT.

Seed and Catalyst Award recipients from the 2019-20 competition are not eligible to apply this year. Faculty may not simultaneously hold more than one form of College-supported research/scholarly activity funding: PeRQ, Catalyst Awards, Seed Awards or start-up funds.

Applications are due January 15, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.

The proposals are brief and will be submitted to RAMS-SPOT. Click on internal opportunities (top left-hand corner) and search for OP00000237 (Catalyst Award) and/or OP00000238 (Seed Award).

If you have questions about submitting through RAMS-SPOT, please email

Andrea Simonelli, Political Science
Saving Paradise? An analysis of how Governance Affects Climate Resilience through Human Security in the Pacific

Cristina Stanciu, English
A Place of Horror, A Place of Refuge: Archives of Survival in Four Settler States’ Boarding School Literature and Film

Gregory Smithers, History
The Riverkeepers: The Cherokees, Their Neighbors, and the Rivers that Made America

Heather Jones, Psychology
Evaluating Patient Outcomes Following Integrated Primary Care for Underserved Youth

James Turbeville, Biology
A Test for Hidden Diversity in the Cosmopolitan Hoplonemertean Emplectonema gracile (Nemertea) and Inference of the Source for a recently discovered Population on the Atlantic Coast of North America

Jason Arnold, Political Science
Uncovering the KGB’s Secrets with the Mitrokhin Archive

Matthew Scott, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
The Causes and Consequences of Poor Sleep Quality: The Impact of Physical (In)Activity

Murugeswaran Duraisamy, Physics
New Physics Effects on the Semi-Lepontic Beauty Meson Decays

Richard Fine, English
Covering D-Day: The Media and the Military in World War II

Scott Neubauer, Biology
Impacts of Saltwater Intrusion on Tidal Freshwater Marsh Metabolism and Carbon Storage

Ryan Garten, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Age and Sex Limitations to Vascular Plasticity: Insight from Single Leg Exercise Training

Melis Hafez, History
Moral Entrepreneurs, Cultural Politics and Moral Citizenship in Late Ottoman Society

Matthew Hartman, Chemistry
Creation and Use of Structured Alpha-Helical Peptide Libraries for the Development of Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions

Tal Simmons, Forensic Science
Cross-Validation of ICP-MS and LA-ICP-MS Analysis of Trace Isotope Ratios from Dental Enamel for the Geographic Attribution of Human Remains in Virginia

David Chan, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
Weak Ties, Strong Ties & Absent Ties: Developing Mathematical Models of College Students’ Social Networks to Improve Mental Health and Educational Outcomes

R. Lee Franco, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Exercise-Induced Alteration of Postprandial Inflammatory Responses in Overweight/Obese Black Female Breast Cancer Survivors

Visit our archives to view award winners from years past.