seed grants

The NYU Tandon Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is pleased to announce its inaugural call for seed award applications.

CUSP’s mission includes developing novel data- and technology-driven solutions to advance our understanding of cities and help address the complex challenges they face. CUSP will fund five proposals between $10,000 and $15,000 each in research support to seed new projects in urban science addressing one of the following areas:

We encourage interdisciplinary research combining methodologies in complexity, informatics, and sensing. Both basic/fundamental and applied research proposals in these areas will be considered. Projects involving Ph.D. students participating in the new CUSP Doctoral Track in Urban Science can request supplemental funding to cover a 3-month summer research fellowship.


  • Proposed research teams must be led by an NYU Tandon faculty member with PI status. Projects led by early career faculty/investigators are especially encouraged.
  • Collaborative proposals are encouraged, and there are no eligibility requirements for collaborators within NYU – however note that awarded funds will be managed within CUSP.


  • Proposals will be evaluated based on quality, feasibility, and fit with priorities of CUSP and, if applicable, the Sustainable Engineering Initiative.
  • High priority will be given to investigators with a well-articulated plan for submitting grant applications for external funding (including 2-3 potential funders with submission timelines identified). CUSP will provide administrative support and mentorship opportunities to recipients of seed awards during the preparation of a full proposal to secure external funding.

Grantee Responsibilities

  • Participate in CUSP-sponsored activities whenever possible. 
    • Attend center-sponsored seminars and CUSP thematic area meetings on topics related to the project.
    • Give at least one presentation about the seed funded project at a CUSP event.
  • Meet with CUSP staff to discuss external funding possibilities and plan for future proposals. 
    • In principle, awardees should see this program as a means to engage with the CUSP community and pursue a formal affiliation with the center.
    • Should such an affiliation materialize, awardees will be expected to submit proposals for external support for the project through CUSP.
  • Alert CUSP staff of any external publications or media coverage resulting from the funded project.
  • Submit a final report.

Awardees of projects in urban sustainability are expected to further engage with the activities within the Sustainable Engineering Initiative and take an active role in creating synergies with CUSP.


  • Applications are due by 5 p.m. on December 4th, 2022. 

For further details, please read the rest of the application form linked below. If you have questions about the CUSP seed program, including questions about the application package or budget development, please contact