Seed Funding

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This page provides information about the LNF Seed Funding program, funded by the College of Engineering for internal (University of Michigan) users. Due to the current pandemic and its impact on the LNF, the seed program is on hold at this time.
Updated 12/17/2020

Overview (updated for 2019)

This program is intended to enable new research activities in the LNF or to support the development of new processes benefiting the LNF community. Awards are $5k for one year, renewable once. Funds are available to the Project Director for any LNF charges (“Lurie Facility Expense”) during the year. Proposals can be submitted anytime throughout the year, and there will be two review cycles annually. We expect to award about 3 projects per cycle.
There are two distinct tracks.

  • Track 1: new research project
  • Track 2: new LNF process
  • Special for Spring 2020 cycle: dedicated track for new project or process from a PI outside of the College of Engineering

Note that, for new users of the LNF, the Seed Funding awards can be further leveraged thanks to the CoE new user subsidy, which reduces usage charges by 80% the first $2,000 of LNF fees during the first year of usage.

Proposal requirements and modalities

Due to the current pandemic and its impact on the LNF, the seed program is on hold at this time.

The required proposal package is brief:

  1. one-page description of the proposed project/process,
  2. one-page description of needed LNF capabilities and equipment.

Collaborative projects are welcome in track 1.
In track 2, applicants are required to discuss their proposed process with LNF staff prior to submitting their proposal. Proposers for track 2 should also specify in their proposal any costs that will be required for tool/facilities modifications or supplies (apart from LNF store consumables). Proposals should specify how these costs will be funded - through other funds available to the PI, or by LNF.
In all cases, if you have any question about LNF capabilities or compatibility with your materials of interest, please email Please also remember that these funds cannot be used for personnel costs, nor for materials and supplies expenses (except for items from the LNF store, which are allowable.)

Selection and funding criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a sub-committee from the LNF council, based on the following criteria

  • Track 1: innovative ideas with emphasis on projects and PIs not traditionally supported by the LNF
  • Track 2: enhancement of LNF capabilities and benefit to the community

Proposal cycles

Cycle Proposal submission deadline PI notification Period of performance
Spring (extended dates for 2020 due to COVID-19) April 15 May 26 June 1 - May 31
Fall September 15 October 19 November 1 - October 30

Deliverables (updated for 2020)

The following material will be provided by the PI at the end of the award period (within one month of the end of award period):

  • Track 1
    • a final report
    • one powerpoint slide suitable for public posting
    • a poster to be presented at the annual LNF Users Symposium (usually late November / early December)
  • Track 2
    • a final report
    • developed recipes and characterization knowledge, in a format appropriate for the LNF wiki, where it will be made available to the LNF community
    • one powerpoint slide suitable for public posting
    • a poster to be presented at the annual LNF Users Symposium (usually late November / early December)

Awards from past cycles, for reference

For projects that have been completed, a powerpoint slide presenting the results is included below.

2018 cycles

2019 cycles

  • Dr. Evon Ereifej, Neurology, Nano-Architecture on Polymer Neural Electrodes
  • Prof. Andrej Lenert, Chemical Engineering, Fabrication of VdW Thermal Metamaterials
  • Prof. Ashwin Shahani, Material Science and Engineering, Growing Nature's "Forbidden" Crystals in Metal Alloys
  • Dr. Paul Davidson. Aerospace Engineering, Spatiotemporal characterization of epoxy composite in-situ curing using ATR/FTIR microscope
  • Dr Ethem Erkan Aktakka, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Micro Patterning of Piezoelectric Materials via Ion Milling
  • Prof. John Heron, Materials Science & Engineering, Ionmilling of thin film multilayers
  • Prof. Ashley Bucsek, Mechanical Engineering, Using critical features to influence macroscopic behavior in shape memory alloys

2020 cycle

  • Prof. David Kwabi, Mechanical Engineering, Electrochemical CO2 Capture from Air Using Redox-Active Textile Electrodes
  • Prof. Peicheng Ku, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Pushing Beyond the Limit of E-Beam Lithography to Enable Next-Generation Quantum Light Sources
  • Prof. Jason Spence, Internal Medicine, Engineering a plate-based long-term monitoring system for continuous, real-time TEER

Additional questions?

If you have any question, please contact Dr Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director at or 734-277-2365.