Seed grants are paused

As we fundraise for the seed grant program, we must pause accepting applications until further notice. Please check back in for an update about the next cycle.

DIBS supports two seed-grant funding programs. These high-risk/high-return funding mechanisms provide funding for research that is exploratory and therefore not yet ready for external funding.

Award Types

Incubator Awards

DIBS Research Incubator Awards provide up to $100,000 for one year (non-renewable) to support research projects involving interdisciplinary, collaborative brain science research within Duke. The projects must represent exceptional innovation and broad significance to the field. These awards are open to Duke faculty.

Projects must engage at least two faculty representing multiple fields or levels of analysis and bring together investigators from across the University whose individual programs of research are not already connected. Projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University (e.g., School of Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, etc.) are encouraged.

  • Read about past Incubator Award projects here

Germinator Awards

DIBS Research Germinator Awards are designed to support smaller, targeted requests for training, pilot data, non-faculty salary, and/or equipment that would facilitate new research and lead to new external funding. Projects are awarded up to a maximum of $25,000 (non-renewable). These awards are open to Duke graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Unlike the DIBS Incubator Awards, Germinator Awards may go to single investigators

  • Read about past Germinator Award projects here

Important Dates

Due dates for both award mechanisms are typically:

Letters of Intent:  due by mid-June.

Full Application:  due by mid-August.

Award notifications are typically sent out in November of an application year, and funding start date of the following January.


"For me, DIBS has been a source of both financial support and scientific inspiration as I and colleagues from different areas of campus seek a better understanding of the brain mechanisms of depression, an incredibly destructive and costly illness."

— Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences & recipient of one of six 2018-19 Research Incubator Awards

7:1 Return on Investment

For every dollar spent on the Incubator Research Awards, seven dollars are returned to Duke through external funding and grants.

Seed grant success stories

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