UW Research Excellence Fund

The UW Research Excellence Fund is designed to provide current faculty with financial support to conduct research and scholarly activities in line with areas of strategic importance to UW, as determined by multiple factors including input by UW faculty, the UW Board of Trustees, and emerging topics of national importance. 


An official Request for Applications will be sent by the Office of Research & Economic Development in early 2023. Below is an abbreviated description of the opportunities and application process. 


All UW faculty members and research scientists who are eligible to submit applications to external funding agencies. 

Available Funds and Funding Mechanism 

Depending on the yield from the endowment, approximately $160-200,000 is expected to be available every year. The funds will be able to support at least 4 seed grants of up to $40,000 each.  

Areas of strategic importance 

Applications for funding will center around areas of strategic importance based on faculty input, advice from the Board of Trustees, emerging topics of national importance, relevance to UW’s goal to become R1 institution, and synergy with the UW investments in research infrastructure.  

For the fiscal year 2023 cycle, the areas of strategic importance are identified as follows  

  • Research at the UW AMK research station- All types of research projects including biodiversity, geosciences, forest ecology, humanities and social sciences are included. This topic is synergistic with the investments in the infrastructure at the UW-AMK ranch research station and UW’s vision for the UW Research Institute at the AMK Ranch. These grants will be awarded through the UW Research Institute at the AMK Ranch. 
  • Research and related activities on controlled environment agriculture. To leverage infrastructure investments in SI building, instrumentation purchased through the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP), and Wyoming connections to Plenty, research on controlled environment agriculture provides a unique opportunity for fostering industrial relations, for enhancing student experiences, and for catalyzing interdisciplinary research frontiers. This topic will help UW enhance the research outputs from Science Initiative investments. 
  • Research and related activities in collaboration with Cardiff University. Targets research & activities particularly in the areas of agriculture and sustainability, energy innovation, computing and engineering applications to the economic sectors relevant to Wyoming and Wales, and humanities as they relate to the quality of life in rural communities and mining towns. This topic will help UW enhance its research outputs and international reputation. 


UW Research Excellence Fund applications will be evaluated by a peer review panel using the following criteria. 

  1. Relevance to the areas of strategic importance as described in the RFA. Fiscal year 2023 areas of strategic importance are listed above. 
  2. Interdisciplinary and data-driven approaches, as needed by the problems being addressed. 
  3. Relevance to Wyoming- its economic development or several unique research opportunities in Wyoming. 
  4. Extramural funding record or potential of the investigator: Demonstrated excellence in research or creative activities with a track record of funding from Federal agencies or private organizations. For new investigators, their potential for obtaining extramural funding will be considered.  
  5. Extramural funding potential of the project based on the results from the seed grant. The application must contain plans to apply for extramural funding within one year from the start date of the grant.
  1. In the beginning of Fall semester, the Research and Economic Development Division will solicit input from faculty and colleges for the topics for that year. This step will be included from FY2024. 
  2. The Research and Economic Development Division will publish the RFA each December. 
  3. Applicants will submit applications through InfoReady Review. More information on this process will be provided in the official call for applications. 
  4. A peer review panel will evaluate applications and submit written constructive reviews along with ratings. It is anticipated that the award list is finalized by March 1 of each year. 
  5. Research and Economic Development will provide the list of selected applications to the President and the Research and Economic Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.   
  6. The funds will be made available for one year for the applicant. Any unused funds at the end of the year will be returned to the pool for supporting additional applications. 
  7. A final report, including evidence of efforts to obtain extramural funds for the project will be required. 


For more information, please contact the Research & Economic Development Division at (307) 766-5353 or research@uwyo.edu.