Provost's Fund: big Idea research grants

The Big Idea Research Grants program is designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research with the potential to secure significant external funding, foster collaborations across units at LSU and with external partners (e.g. other universities, national labs). The objective is to align a research idea with the university's strategic areas, particularly the Research Pentagon. The Big Idea program provides LSU faculty with resources and guidance to develop innovative, fundable research efforts that align with both university and external funding agency priorities.

Faculty may participate as Principal Investigator in only one (1) seed grant proposal per funding year.


2022-23 Awardees

2023-24 Awardees

Big Idea Research Grants

Big Idea Research Grants are designed to foster the development of multi-investigator, interdisciplinary research teams for the purpose of securing center-scale, multi-year funding from federal, industrial, or philanthropic sponsors in emerging research areas aligned with university priorities. Proposals for Big Idea grants should be focused on one of the Research Pentagon topic areas. While proposals whose research domain fall outside of the above areas will be accepted for review, funding priorities will be given to the Pentagon areas and proposals involving at least two colleges or schools.

Program Goals: 

  • Seed innovative research projects in areas prioritized by federal, industrial or philanthropic sources.
  • Secure long-term, center-scale research funding
  • Encourage collaborative research and team scholarship among LSU faculty.
  • Connect LSU research teams with nationally recognized external partners.

The Big Idea Research Grants are established in three phases, each requiring an increased commitment from faculty researchers towards the ultimate goal of center-scale funding and research. .

  • Phase 1: up to $25,000 for one (1) year for the formation and organization of research teams, networking within academic communities, identification of funding avenues, and laying down a basic groundwork.
  • Phase 2: up to $75,000 for one (1) year for gathering preliminary data, formulating a long-term research plan, preparing for external grant applications, and expanding the team's presence in the larger academic world.
  • Phase 3: up to $125,000 per year up to two (2) years for the purpose of creating and submitting large-scale grant proposals, disseminating research findings, and establishing a lasting research program.  Phase 3 applicants should have previously held a Phase 2 Big Ideas award, or should already have a well-established research team/community.


All members of the faculty who hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor (tenured, tenure-track or research) are eligible to apply for a Faculty Research Grant. Faculty members may only hold the PI role on one proposal per year.

Eligibility exceptions are as follows:

  • Faculty in their final employment year. 
  • Faculty who hold only adjunct titles are not eligible, but may be listed as team members.
  • Faculty on leave without pay or on sabbatical are not eligible unless approved as an exception by the Vice President for Research & Economic Development. A letter requesting an exception must be included in the application.
  • Faculty who currently hold an unexpired Faculty Research Grant award are not eligible to apply.


The Faculty Research Grant Program applications should be submitted through the LSU Internal Grants & Competition Portal.