SMI Seed Grants

The 2018 SMI Seed Grant recipients have been chosen and are:

  • Title: "The mechanics of death: Using soft matter physics and microbiology to craft a materials science of microbes." by PI: Peter Yunker (Physics, Assistant Professor); Co-PI: Brian Hammer (Biology, Associate Professor); Co-PI: William Ratcliff (Biology, Assistant Professor); Co-PI: Eric Vigoda (Computer Science, Professor); and Co- PI: Paul Russo (Materials Science & Engineering, Professor)
  • Title: "Single-molecule studies of topological interactions between DNA loops." by PI: Harold Kim (Physics, Associate Professor) and Co-PI: David Rocklin (Physics, Assistant Professor)
  • Title: "Activity versus Softness: Dense Suspensions Comprised of Active and Soft Colloidal Particles."  PI: Younan Xia (Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry) and Co-PI: Peter Yunker (Physics, Assistant Professor)

The Soft Matter Incubator (SMI, seed grant program seeks proposals on fundamental soft matter that will enable obtaining preliminary data for submitting multi-investigator proposals. As a result, only proposals with a strong scientific potential and significance, which clearly articulate a path forward towards assembling a strong team and a cohesive theme, will be considered. Since multi-investigator proposals will require teams with investigators at different career stages, the submitting team must consist of at least two GT investigators, one of which must be associated with SMI, and that have different academic rank (Assistant, Associate or Full Professor).

Proposals should include a Project Summary of no more than 250 words and a Project Description that should not exceed two pages. Emphasis will be placed on proposals that clearly articulate why the research is new and important and how it can lead to the assembly of a larger team and the eventual development of a multi-investigator proposal. We anticipate a total of two seed grants. A separate one-page budget, not to exceed $15,000, should also be provided. Seed grant funds may be used to support student salaries, and materials and supplies.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Sharon Lawrence ( by November 15, 2017.

SMI seed grants will be announced by December 1, 2017. Funds must be spent by June 30, 2018.

Required deliverables include a final written report on progress made and a presentation of the major findings/results and the path for continuing the work and/or submitting proposals seeking external funds.

Faculty can sign up for membership to SMI at Announcement of the Seed Grant calls will be emailed to SMI members.