Research projects that explore advancements in energy storage, grid reliability, and sustainable development will receive funding in 2017-2018 from the Duke University Energy Initiative’s Energy Research Seed Fund, the Durham, North Carolina-based academic institution announced on April 28.
Seven projects involving 14 faculty members have been selected to receive a total of $240,000 from the fund. The seed funding is intended to provide a financial head start for new multi-disciplinary, collaborative research teams – enabling them to produce preliminary results that may help them obtain future external funding.
This represents the fourth round of funding in the initiative, which started in 2014 – at that time, supporting six projects that touched on energy materials, solar energy, water and shale development, and industrial energy efficiency.
The first three rounds of funding from the Energy Research Seed Fund have awarded $700,000 to 19 research teams, including 45 faculty members, six post-doctoral students, 20 graduate students, and other professionals and undergraduate students. The school says that, to date, the grants have generated nearly three times their original value in follow-on awards for Duke research.
“This program, even in its fledgling years, has delivered a remarkable return on investment for Duke University,” commented Energy Initiative Interim Director Brian Murray. “And faculty tell us that it is helping them to experiment with new ideas and tap into their colleagues’ expertise across disciplines, advancing the quality of projects significantly.”
The 2017 round of awards is co-funded by the Energy Initiative, the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), and Bass Connections through an RFP process.
Projects selected for funding must engage at least two Duke faculty members representing different disciplines, schools, or departments, and preference will be given to new interdisciplinary collaborations of investigators across Duke. Proposed projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University are especially encouraged. Proposals will be reviewed based on the quality of proposed research and potential to leverage seed grants to secure external funding.
For a summary of the 2017-2018 projects, as well as more information on the program, consult the Duke Energy Initiative website