RIO Funding & Awards

The Research and Innovation Office (RIO) provides approximately $5 million in funding and awards annually to support and nurture the University’s systemwide research enterprise.

The following grants and awards are open to all campuses and are supported by funds from a variety of sources, including technology commercialization revenue. Grant proposals are reviewed by a committee of UMN peers.

Grant Programs Eligibility Application Timing
Artist-in-Residence UMN faculty and staff in art-related fields Aug-Sept 2024
Biotechnology & Biomanufacturing Seed Grants UMN faculty TBD
Grant-in-Aid UMN faculty Spring: Jan-Feb
Summer Bridge Funding: May-June
Fall: Aug-Sept
NC A&T & UMN Research Partnership UMN faculty September/October 2024
Research Infrastructure UMN faculty and staff Mar-April 2024
Social Justice Impact Grants UMN faculty Feb-Mar 2024
Sustainable GeoCommunities UMN faculty and staff Aug-Sept 2024


Award Programs Eligibility Application Timing
Innovation Impact Case Award UMN faculty P&A employees Other staff April-May 2024
Research Technical Staff Award Research technical staff
Not eligible:
tenured, tenure track, clinical track, and research track faculty; administrators; postdocs; students; RIO unit employees
May-June 2024


See this quick guide to RIO Funding & Awards for 2024.



The Artist-in-Residence program lies at the intersection of art and science, allowing artists to collaborate with scientists to benefit both science and art, spurring creative thinking and innovation.

Biotechnology & Biomanufacturing Seed Grants

The Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Seed Grants aim to stimulate research in biotechnological solutions to and/or biomanufacturing of: biofuels; decarbonization and carbon storage/capture solutions; and recycling/upcycling of waste products.


The Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty and supports academic excellence throughout the University.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) & University of Minnesota (UMN) Research Partnership

The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) & University of Minnesota (UMN) Research Partnership or NC A&T & UMN Research Partnership is an interdisciplinary seed grant program aimed at developing a strategic collaboration and research partnership between the University of Minnesota and the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Research Infrastructure

The Research Infrastructure Investment Program provides funding that supports research infrastructure.

Social Justice Impact Grants

The Social Justice Impact Grants (SJIG) aim to catalyze rigorous, solution-oriented research on social justice topics, including criminal justice reform, housing segregation/gentrification, systemic racism, achievement gaps, health disparities, environmental justice, and related topics.

Sustainable GeoCommunities Seed Grants

The Sustainable GeoCommunities Seed Grants leverage the power of research to help local communities around the world to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Innovation Impact Case Award

The Innovation Impact Case Award recognizes research that has led to significant impact outside of academia and has made a meaningful difference in our communities.

Research Technical Staff Award

The Research Technical Staff Award recognizes staff for their distinguished service to the research community and celebrates exemplary leadership that positively impacted their colleagues and advanced the University's mission.

Other RIO Funding

Matching Funds

RIO provides Matching Funds for certain grant proposals to external sponsors on an ongoing basis.

Affiliated Centers, Institutes & Initiatives

The following groups offer funding opportunities for UMN faculty, staff, and students.


The MnDRIVE program offers a range of funding opportunities for UMN researchers. See the research areas pages (Robotics, Global Food, Environment, Brain Conditions, Cancer Clinical Trials) for available funding.

Research Computing

Research Computing offers funding opportunities for faculty, researchers, and graduate students to advance their informatics research by supporting research proposals that are innovative, align with new or existing initiatives, seek to develop new multidisciplinary collaborations, and identify means to sustain University of Minnesota-based research.

Inactive Grant Programs

The following RIO grant programs are currently on hiatus or are no longer actively seeking applicants.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants

The COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants were offered to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the risk associated with the coronavirus pandemic, including cascading impacts in communities. Currently inactive.

International Institute for Biosensing

The International Institute for Biosensing (IIB) promotes the convergence of research in biological disciplines and physical domains including the materials, components and systems. Currently inactive.

Minnesota Futures

The Minnesota Futures program advances new, collaborative research by fostering opportunities for researchers to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries and respond to emerging interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Currently on hiatus. Currently on hiatus.