Seeding Inspiration with ProSEED Grants

Seeding Inspiration with ProSEED Grants

Carnegie Mellon University's faculty, students and staff are full of new and good ideas — ideas to enhance teaching and learning with technology, to enrich quality of life through novel connections/collaborations and more. Two new ProSEED grant programs aim to support a lively collection of these ideas in and outside the university.

In the first cycle of these seed grant programs, 12 grants (of 42 submitted) will go to faculty for technology-enhanced learning projects awarded as part of the university's Simon Initiative.

ProSEED Crosswalk grants are for projects that sit at the intersection of disciplines or communities, demonstrate creativity and entrepreneurship, and enhance quality of life; 18 (out of 29 applications) were funded. The ProSEED/Crosswalk program also provided five supplemental grants to the Small Undergraduate Research Grants and GradUate Small Project Help programs aimed at supporting cross-disciplinary student research teams.

"These seed funds are designed to stimulate creative collaborative thinking across campus through a variety of approaches and linking various disciplines," said CMU President Subra Suresh, architect of the seed grant programs. "Many new and worthwhile ideas have been generated by applicants from every college for both Crosswalk and Simon, and I look forward to seeing the impact they will have."

Grants were selected by committees representing a range of university communities and academic interests. Funding for the ProSEED programs will begin this summer.

Examples of the ProSEED/Simon Initiative seed grants include:

  • Development of web-based argument-diagramming tools to be used in "Interpretation and Argument" and many other courses. Investigators: Bruce McLaren (Computer Science) and Mara Harrell (Philosophy)
  • Creation of computer-based resources for a peer-to-peer support program for first-year students in Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Investigators: David Yaron (Chemistry), Jonathan Minden (Biological Sciences) and Gordon Rule (Biological Sciences)

Among the ProSEED/Crosswalk projects receiving funds in this cycle:

  • "Symphony App" — Music and computer science are teaming up to develop an app to enhance the classical music concert experience. Collaborators: Norman Sadeh, Denis Colwell and Salem Hilal
  • "Mellon Fitness Intensity Training (F.I.T.)" — Exercise programs for students, faculty and staff at the Mellon Institute. Collaborators: Olivia Molinar, Jon Willcox, Nathanuel Frezzell and Pawel Krys
  • "Moneythink CMU" — Outreach initiatives to improve financial literacy, particularly among K-12 students. Collaborators: Anusha Kukreja, Jillian Ward, Satvika Neti and Kathleen Conway

For additional details on funded projects and more information on these seed grant programs, visit

Related Links: Award Recipients | ProSEED | Small Undergraduate Research Grants | GradUate Small Project Help | The Simon Initiative

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