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Internal Funding

The Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development manages a portfolio of internal investment funds to support research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University of Tennessee. With the exception of cost share requests, all requests for internal funding 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. Please contact avcrd@utk.edu 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.

Opportunities for Faculty

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.

Provides release time for research, writing, or creative activities, enabling grantees to accomplish specific additional work that will significantly strengthen grant or fellowship proposals for external funding. Grantees are required to submit at least one fellowship or grant proposal to an external funding source within two semesters of the conclusion of their release time. Open to all disciplines, excluding those in engineering and the natural sciences. This fund has an annual deadline.

Provides matching funds for external proposals. If cost sharing is required by the sponsor or considered strategically important, ORIED may provide up to 60% of the cost share if any combination of other units provides 40%. Requests should be sent to Jean Mercer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (jmerce10@utk.edu).

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.

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 for faculty travel to meet with federal, corporate, or foundation program officers to discuss or develop future funding opportunities. May also be used for expenses related to hosting a program officer during a visit to UT for the same purpose.

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

Jointly managed with the UT Libraries, this fund covers open access journal publication fees.


Provides a vehicle for institutional investment in large or strategically significant opportunities. Reserved for activities with the potential for broad impact across UT and beyond, such as those related to the development of transdisciplinary research centers.

Provides seed funding to enable scholarship that leads to further opportunities, such as external research funding, collaborations, book contracts, juried competitions, fellowships and other faculty awards, or journal papers. Open to non-STEM faculty for projects that cannot incorporate a graduate student as a collaborative researcher (projects that can include graduate students are eligible for the Student/Faculty Research Awards from the Graduate School). This fund has an annual deadline.

Provides seed funding to generate external proposal submissions linked to a variety of strategic initiatives. Awardees are required to submit at least one external proposal within six months of the end of the seed award period. This fund has an annual deadline.

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

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 a recital, or other activities as determined by the visitor and host institution. This fund has an annual deadline.

Provides additional opportunities for graduate students to participate in research by funding a faculty member and a graduate student working together on a defined research project during the summer months. This fund has an annual deadline.

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.

Jointly managed with the UT Libraries, this fund covers open access publication expenses for long-form manuscripts. This fund has an annual deadline.

Opportunities for Students

Summer Graduate Research Assistantship Fund

Provides additional opportunities for graduate students to participate in research by funding a faculty member and a graduate student working together on a defined research project during the summer months. This fund has an annual deadline.

Opportunities for Departments and Colleges

Strengthening a Culture of Research within Academic Units

Provides funds to allow departments and colleges to establish and institutionalize internal review panels to improve the quality of proposal submissions and increase the number of faculty receiving external awards.

Award Management

Programmatic and financial oversight of internal awards is provided by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (avcrd@utk.edu), in collaboration with Research Finance and Administration (orefinance@utk.edu).

Additional UT Funding Opportunities

The funding opportunities below are funded and managed by other campus 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 the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (avcrd@utk.edu).

Opportunities for Faculty
Opportunities for Students