Announcing ASCEND: a new research seed grant initiative


Sent on behalf of Dr. Jack G. Baldauf, Vice President for Research

To all Texas A&M University faculty and researchers:

As announced in September 2022 at the State of the University, the Office of the President is launching a collaborative research seed grant initiative, ASCEND, which comprises two new programs.

This internal research-investment initiative will accelerate research preeminence at Texas A&M by growing new interdisciplinary research team collaborations and expanding existing ones; increasing the competitiveness and success of externally funded research programs; developing next-generation research leaders; and creating new knowledge and technology to solve global challenges.

  • Research Leadership Fellowships (RLF) will develop junior faculty into research leaders. RLF is open to all tenured or tenure-track Texas A&M University faculty at the advanced (four years in position at time of submission) assistant or early (within two years of promotion at time of submission) associate levels. Candidates must receive a nomination from their dean or their dean’s delegate. In addition, they must be eligible to apply as principal investigators for external funding. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. A total of $1,000,000 is annually available in this fund. Fellows will receive an award of $75,000 for one year.
  • Targeted Proposal Teams (TPT) will build and facilitate diverse teams that will submit interdisciplinary proposals to specific federal funding agencies, private foundations, the commercial sector, or state agencies, among others. Such proposals require significant team engagement often over multiple years to develop a successful proposal. TPT is open to all tenured associate and full professors who are eligible to apply as principal investigators for external funding. A total of $5,000,000 is annually available in this fund. The specific funding level will be proposal dependent. Awards will be for a maximum 24-month period and will typically not exceed $250,000 annually.

To learn more about these programs and proposal requirements, as well as their submission deadlines, please visit the program’s website:

Dr. Banks also announced a second research initiative at the State of the University, Advancing Discovery to Market, or the ADM fund. Supported by a $5,000,000 investment, ADM will provide researchers, faculty, staff and students of Texas A&M University, and its Texas A&M University System partner research state agencies: TEES, TTI and AgriLife Research with the resources to advance the commercial development or demonstrate the market potential of their discoveries or innovations. Additional information on ADM will be released by early February.

I encourage you to submit proposals for ASCEND and ADM in support of your research efforts.