2024 CDE Seed Grant Competition

The Center for Demography and Ecology is pleased to announce a seed grant competition to support pilot research for future grant applications to NIH.

Request for Proposals: Deadline May 24, 2024

Research Focus

Proposals on a wide range of topics related to the population sciences are invited. Of particular interest is research that addresses one of CDE’s core research areas:

Families & Family Change
Health and Biodemography
Inequality, Poverty, Wealth & Mobility
Spatial and Environmental Demography
Gender & Reproductive Health

If the research also aligns with NICHD research priorities, please note this in your application: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/der/branches/pdb


All CDE faculty affiliates, scientist affiliates, and research affiliates are invited to apply. Grants can be single- or multi-investigator.


Grants will range in value from $5,000 to $20,000. We anticipate that the average grant will be $5,000-10,000 and can support Summer research assistance, one-semester research assistance, data purchases, or a Summer salary month.

For early career investigators, the grant will be awarded with an additional stipend ($1,500) for a senior faculty mentor to provide advice on drafts of the grant application that builds on the seed grant research.

Number of Awards

The number of awards CDE makes will vary to year to year based on the number and size of the requests. We expect to fund on average 2-4 projects per year.

Application Process

By May 24th, please submit a 2-3 page application to cde@ssc.wisc.edu that contains:

Specific Aims
Timeline, including specific plans for grant writing and submission
Statement about IRB / or plans for submission

A template for the application is here, though this format is not required.

The CDE Development Core Director, Marcy Carlson, will solicit reviews from two to three tenured CDE faculty who did not submit proposals for each submission. Reviewers will be selected from at least two colleges represented by CDE and will include faculty members from across CDE’s research areas.

We expect to notify awarded projects by June 24, 2024. Awarded projects must demonstrate IRB approval before funding can be released.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated for

  1. connection to CDE’s key research areas;
  2. potential impact of research on the field of population sciences;
  3. probability that the research will result in grant submission to NIH within 12 months of award. It is critical that seed grant awards lead to external grant applications for the CDE seed grant program to be funded by NIH in the future; and
  4. credentials of investigators.

Early career (assistant- or associate-level) investigators are particularly encouraged to apply. Interdisciplinary multi-investigator teams are also encouraged to apply.

If you have any questions, and/or if you would like to discuss ideas in advance, please feel free to email Jenna Nobles (jnobles@ssc.wisc.edu). We have examples of past successful seed grant applications that we can share; please write if interested.