SIF129  3Cavaliers Research Seed Fund

Project Manager: Melur "Ram" Ramasubramanian

The purpose of this project is to increase early stage funding for interdisciplinary teams in order to expand research portfolio and attract external sponsors.

BoV Approved: December 2017

Project Dates: 4/24/2018 – 4/23/2020

Funding Awarded: $3,340,000

Executive Summary

The 3Cavaliers (3C) research seed-funding program fosters a collaborative research culture through early stage funding of multidisciplinary teams. The 3Cavaliers initiative aligned with the current University of Virginia strategic priority to advance research, and complemented other research growth plans.  The 3C program provided support for groups of three collaborative interdisciplinary faculty members spread across at least two disparate disciplines, located in different units or schools, to self-assemble, formulate and explore creative, high-risk, high-payoff research ideas that might not be ready for more traditional funding. These innovative projects addressed global societal challenges that are too complex to be handled by a single discipline with consequential outcomes. The goals of this project were to empower faculty creativity and significantly advance our interdisciplinary research culture.  By engaging nearly 300 faculty members, the research capacity of the University was to be increased, and faculty teams to be positioned to be highly competitive for extramural support from federal agencies and philanthropic organizations. The program can be expanded in future Phases to incorporate additional opportunities for forming groups across 2-3 collaborating R1 universities and become part of a "national cubing network.”

Current Status: Completed.


This award was formally reviewed at the project mid-point, and the PAC was pleased with significant project progress. A final review will take place in July 2021. Seventy-seven research trios were established through this award and a rich research investigator database was established through which faculty may find other researchers who share common interests and with whom they might collaborate on future projects. The project team hosted a research symposium and produced a professional video showcasing the research that resulted from this SIF award. The project team is in the process of assembling the data gleaned from these numerous seed investments and will share it in the final progress report.