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Internal Funding

The Office of Research, Innovation & Economic Development manages a portfolio of internal investment funds to support research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University of Tennessee.  

Cost Share for Proposals

Cost share requests for proposals submitted by the Knoxville campus are reviewed by the Division of Research Administration. Requests should be sent to David Smelser, Director of Pre-Award Operations ( The guidance below does not apply to proposals submitted by the UT Institute of Agriculture; please contact the UTIA Office of Sponsored Programs for campus-specific information.

For any cost share required by the sponsor, ORIED proposes 50% cost share from ORIED, and 50% from any other internal contributors (any combination of college, department, and/or faculty). Any cost share provided by external contributors reduces the mandatory cost share provided by all UT contributors.

Exception: When mandatory cost share is required on proposals that do not generate full indirect costs, or when the principal investigator is in a non-STEM department that may have resource constraints, additional negotiation is possible when needed to facilitate proposal submission.

For proposals with a budget of $10 million or more, UT’s goal is to provide up to 60% of indirect costs generated by the sponsor budget back to the project as voluntary cost share (committed or uncommitted, as allowed by the sponsor). 40% will be provided by the participating college(s) out of indirect cost returns, and 20% will be provided by ORIED from other sources; the college(s) keep 60% of indirect costs generated by the project.

Exception: Soft money-funded units are exempt from requests to commit their indirect cost returns for voluntary cost share.

Voluntary cost share should demonstrate institutional support for the team and the idea; resource core center operations when the project exceeds the sponsor budget, as large efforts often should; and/or pay for critical project needs that are either not allowed in the sponsor budget or not advisable to include for strategic reasons. Requests must be accompanied by a line-item budget for the cost share request (equivalent to up to 60% of indirect costs) that clearly supports the goals above and the competitiveness of the entire effort. Voluntary cost share requests must meet the same fiscal standards as sponsor budgets.

Opportunities for Faculty

The following internal funding opportunities should be submitted via the InfoReady portal, which also provides detailed instructions on how to apply for each fund. Some funds accept applications at any time, while others have an annual deadline. Funds that are not visible in InfoReady are not currently accepting applications. Please contact with any questions about the application or review process.

Umbrella Eligibility Criteria: Although each fund’s eligibility criteria may vary, internal funding opportunities are generally open to support tenured or tenure-track researchers with a primary appointment at UT Knoxville, the UT Institute of Agriculture, or the UT Space Institute.

Award Management: Financial oversight of internal awards is provided in collaboration with Research Finance and Administration ( Programmatic oversight is provided by the ORIED associate vice chancellor of each fund’s awarding division.

Since 2010, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has provided an annual affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. For four or eight weeks in May or June, the UT affiliated fellow becomes a full member of the scholarly and artistic community at the American Academy, with all of the opportunities and privileges of Rome Prize fellows and affiliated fellows from other institutions.

The UT affiliated fellowship is available to all tenured and tenure-track UT faculty members in fields eligible for a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Lecturers in eligible fields may also apply if they have served as full-time members of their department for at least five consecutive academic years prior to the academic year of application. Graduate students are not eligible.

Click here to apply.

Provides short-term, limited financial support to sustain an existing research program due to a temporary external funding gap. Bridge funding is a loan and requires a repayment plan.


Click here to apply.

Provides funds for domestic travel expenses associated with performing, exhibiting, or disseminating creative activities. Open to faculty in the College of Architecture and Design, School of Art, School of Music, English (creative writing), and Theatre.


Click here to apply.

Enhances the portfolio of research, scholarship, and creative work at UT by providing support for the acquisition, repair, replacement, or upgrade of equipment or other research infrastructure. Multidisciplinary proposals that engage and support faculty from more than one department, and proposals for equipment or infrastructure that will be part of a core facility, are strongly encouraged. This fund has an annual deadline.

Provides funds to defray expenses related to disseminating the results of scholarly activity through exhibition, performance, or publication. This fund is for works that have been accepted; it does not fund the preparation of submissions. Costs related to reprint charges or typing manuscripts for publication are not allowed. Requests fall into three categories:

Book Subvention: Defrays expenses related to publication of books and monographs, including publishing costs and related costs that need funding beyond the publisher’s support, such as indices, diagrams, artwork, estate permissions, etc. Subvention requests are managed by the UT Humanities Center.

Art: Covers expenses including (but not limited to) matting, mounting, framing, packing, and shipping artworks or rental of exhibit space.

Other: Covers other costs associated with preparation of programs or other page charges, subscription fees, articles published in a journal, and other materials needed for exhibit.

Provides funds to defray foreign travel expenses for faculty to present the results of their research or scholarship at international conferences or meetings.


Click here to apply.

Supports workshops, colloquia and conferences, visiting artist performances and exhibitions, or similar activities held at UT.


Click here to apply.

Provides seed funding to generate external proposal submissions linked to a variety of strategic initiatives. Seed fund topics may change over time and calls for funding may be issued by different ORIED divisions. Seed awards have deliverables; for example, an awardee might be required to submit at least one external proposal within six months of the end of the seed award period. Seed funds have variable deadlines, which will be provided in InfoReady.

Funds for this program are provided by the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to enhance collaboration between SEC universities. Defrays the cost of travel to another SEC campus to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research, consult with faculty and/or students, offer lectures or symposia, present at a recital, or other activities as determined by the visitor and host institution. The deadline to apply for 2023-24 was July 24, 2023. 

Provides supplemental funding for faculty who receive competitive fellowship awards that require residence at another university, library, or other academic research center. May be used to defray expenses related to housing adjacent to the fellowship institution and limited travel costs to and from Knoxville. Click here to apply.

Additional UT Funding Opportunities

The funding opportunities below are funded and managed by other units, and ORIED advertises them as a service to the campus community. If your unit offers an internal funding opportunity that you would like to list here, please contact Jennifer Webster (