Seed Funding for Innovative, Interdisciplinary Research
The Academic Venture Fund (AVF) is our incubator for the next generation of sustainable solutions. The AVF seeds original, interdisciplinary research that is not likely to find funding elsewhere because the projects are novel, risky, need early data to establish traction or involve new teams working together.
Projects span the entire range of sustainability topics, prioritizing resilient rural-urban systems across our primary research themes—Food, Climate, Energy, Health, Water, and Conservation Finance. Cornell Atkinson has granted 135 awards since 2008, for projects from every college on the Cornell campus.
AVF projects often draw in external partners from industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as local leaders and community members. External organizations or individuals interested in partnering for AVF research should contact the senior director of strategic partnerships, Patrick Beary.
AVF at a Glance
- Proposals due in the spring (now closed)
- 7-12 awards granted annually ranging from $150,000-$175,000 per project (roughly $1-1.5M total per year)
- Eligibility: Tenured and tenure track university faculty and similar academic research positions may be PIs
- Cornell Atkinson is partnering with the Office of Engagement Initiatives to provide additional support for AVF projects that incorporate undergraduate research opportunities and community engagement
- Awardees may apply for supplemental funding of up to $25,000, enabling the participation and engagement of external organizations or communities in the research project to incorporate diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise