Microbiome Venture Fund seeking proposals

Microbiome Venture Fund

Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students can now apply for the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative Venture Fund, which supports microbiome scholarship spanning research, education, outreach, art, ethics, law and policy development, among others.

The Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative Venture Fund is an opportunity for all Vanderbilt faculty, staff, trainees and students to apply for pilot funding of a project that connects microbiome scholarship with diverse topics and investigators.

Proposals are welcome that:

  • stimulate new microbiome scholarship for the applicants;
  • support the development of team collaborations at various career stages across disciplines or institutes; and
  • subsequently seed a larger project.

Collaborations between faculty and undergraduate students across multiple schools are especially encouraged and should be made clear if applicable. The amount of funding is up to $3,000, and it must be used by April 1, 2022. See the criteria for evaluation and reporting responsibilities below.

How to apply for microbiome venture funding

By Aug. 9, 2021, send a single PDF including CV/Biosketch, a brief proposal limited to one page, and references to that includes:

  1. specific goals and hypotheses
  2. team membership across schools and career levels
  3. project plan
  4. anticipated results
  5. a very brief budget

All proposals will be evaluated by a trans-institutional programs committee based on the criteria described below. Informal inquiries are welcome.

Criteria for evaluation

  • What is the goal or hypothesis? Is it a new or existing area of scholarship for the applicants?
  • Is there a team that connects different career stages (e.g., undergraduates and faculty) and/or groups beyond the life sciences (e.g., philosophy, law, art, engineering, chemistry, etc.)?
  • Have funding agencies been identified that will subsequently lead to a larger project?
  • Are undergraduate, graduate or postdoctoral students involved?
  • Applicants should note inclusivity and diversity, inviting participation from underrepresented groups.


Awardees must regularly attend and present once at the Microbiome Seminar Series on their plans or results; submit a one-page final report by March 30, 2022, noting project outcomes, presentations, personnel, manuscripts, awards and related grants; and acknowledge the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative in presentations and publications stemming from the funded activities.