A seed grant is for funding risky and innovative projects where relatively small amounts of funding are required. Funding for seed projects is limited to grants that require US$40,000 or less and take 12 months or less to complete. 


Approach for funding

The approach for funding a new seed grant project:

  • Is relatively quick using an electronic submission proposal reviewed at the next scheduled NIC meeting, and NIC response to the proposers after the meeting
  • Allows projects to be initiated with minimal delay—target time from submission to approval of funds is no more than 45 days
  • Allows small-scale or high-risk projects to be carried out on a pilot basis

Projects may be self-contained or, if successful, may serve as a demonstration of feasibility for a subsequent proposal for a higher level of funding through the New Initiative Process

Criteria for seed grant proposals

The following criteria will be used for approval of a seed grant.

  • Completion of the proposed project will further the strategic goals of IEEE.
  • The project is innovative and/or risky, and has the potential to benefit IEEE and/or its members, the public, the technical community, or customers, or which could have lasting impact on IEEE or its business processes.
  • A capable team of volunteers has been identified, an initiative leader has been named and an IEEE staff member has been identified as the project manager.
  • A realistic plan and schedule for completion of the project has been provided, including key milestones and objectives. In general, it is not expected that the project will run for more than one year.
  • An explanation of how funds will be used is provided including cost of materials and services needed. Funds cannot be used to pay salaries or to purchase capital equipment.
  • The probability of success and sustainability of the project, the appropriateness of the budget, and the appropriateness of approach (i.e., is this the right way to go about achieving the stated goal).
  • Measureable outcomes (i.e., does the plan have effective measures of success)


Procedure for submitting a proposal

  1. The originator of a project (normally the initiative leader) fills out the IEEE Seed Grant Proposal Form (DOC, 32 KB) and submits it to the New Initiatives Committee (NIC) using the email alias newinitiatives@ieee.org.
  2. The NIC will complete a review of the proposal, requesting further information from the initiative leader and/or team, if necessary.
  3. The initiative leader is notified that the project is approved or not within the targeted time of 45 days after the submission date. If approved by NIC, funding for the project is available immediately.
  4. The project team, including an IEEE staff project manager, will carry out the project, making progress and spending reports at least quarterly. Project progress reports should comment on all key milestones and spending as documented in the project proposal.
  5. Upon completion, a final report is due within 30 days to share results of the projects with other IEEE volunteers. Initiative leaders are also encouraged to propose possible refinement and expansion of the work based on lessons learned in carrying out the pilot project.