Seed Grant Program

The Seed Grant submission period has now closed. Please check back in late 2022.

Solicitation

How to apply: Learn about the MMLI Seed Grant application timeline, how to prepare your proposal, and what to expect once you submit.


Anytime

1. See what we fund

Here’s what we look for when determining which proposals to fund:

  • Impact / Significance: Your proposal could make a difference to people worldwide or revolutionize chemistry and/or artificial intelligence. 
  • Innovation / Intellectual Merit: You need research and development funding to create solutions based on fundamental science. 
  • Alignment with the MMLI mission and vision
  • Feasibility: Your project is scoped and resourced for one calendar year.  
  • Investigator / Environment: We highly encourage proposals from minority-serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities, including early investigators from underrepresented groups. 

Proposal types:

  • Projects that broadly align with the MMLI mission and vision.
  • Projects that fill a specific need or gap in the MMLI portfolio.
    • Chemistry-specific solutions for AI 
    • Search and summarization 
    • Foundational AI advances 
    • Late-stage functionalization of complex molecules/catalysts 
    • Autonomous optimization 
    • Self-driving laboratories 
    • Heterogenous catalysis 
    • Synthesis planning tool development 
    • Use of AI in process optimization 
    • AI-guided synthesis and design of polymers

2. Determine eligibility

Make sure you meet these eligibility requirements:

  • All funded work needs to take place in the United States.
  • The project’s principal investigator must be legally employed at least 20 hours a week by their place of employment seeking funding. 

3. Read the call for proposals

Check out the MMLI Seed Grant Solicitation to prepare your proposal.


February 1 – April 30

4. Submit your proposal

Email your proposal as a single PDF file to moleculemaker@illinois.edu. Check the solicitation for proposal preparation instructions and budgetary information.


1-2 months after submission window closes

Proposals undergo merit review


2-3 months after submission window closes

We’ll notify you whether your proposal is accepted or declined


4-5 months after submission window closes

If your proposal is accepted, you’ll receive funding and join the MMLI!


Questions about the MMLI Seed Grant Program? Email moleculemaker@illinois.edu

The MMLI appreciates the support from our industry partners, which allows this program to be possible!