Seed Funding


The 2019 CITRIS Seed Funding cycle closed on Jan. 31.

The 2020 call for proposals will be announced in fall 2019.


The 2019 CITRIS Seed Funding opportunity invites Principal Investigators at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz to apply for seed funding that advances CITRIS and the Banatao Institute research initiatives, strengthens UC campus connections, and drives novel technology applications.


$600,000 in awards available

$40,000 to $60,000 per project


Funded projects have attracted more than $60 million in follow-on support from federal, state, industrial, and private sources including the NSF, NIH, DOE, Intel, Microsoft, Mellon Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Areas of interest include:





The Policy Lab seeks research proposals that addresses topical issues such as inclusive artificial intelligence, personal data privacy, digital access equity, and the influence of social media on democracy. Proposals solicited under the CITRIS Policy Lab include (but are not limited to):


A. Computational Propaganda: Algorithms, automation, and digital harassment campaigns are increasingly utilized to manipulate public opinion and attack vulnerable communities on social media. Proposals may seek to identify computational propaganda and digital harassment campaigns on social media and formulate innovative counter-approaches to mitigate these tactics.

B. Inclusive AI: While artificial intelligence holds great promise to address society’s most pressing challenges, ill-considered deployments can perpetuate inequality and discrimination. We seek to support interdisciplinary research into the development and deployment of AI-enabled technologies that are fair, accountable, and trustworthy.

C. Digital Inclusion: In 2019, nearly half of the world’s population will still not be connected to the internet. Proposals may support identification of innovative strategies for equitable deployment and adoption of broadband and ICTs in the United States and abroad.

D. Democratic Innovations: Effective digital tools support more inclusive democratic discourse, enable new models for participatory resource allocation and budgeting, and provide elected leaders with timely updates on the changing needs and priorities of their constituents. Proposals may seek to design and pilot interactive digital tools that foster greater inclusion in democratic processes.

E. Disaster Risk Reduction: New information and communication technologies (ICTs) can lead to more informed disaster risk reduction priorities and strategies, such as the use of crowdsourcing platforms that enable greater understanding of local disaster risk reduction strategies and use of high-performance computing and visualizations to better communicate disaster risks. We invite proposals that utilize new ICTs to inform disaster risk reduction strategies and policies in California and abroad.

F. Digital ID Systems: Nearly one-fifth of the world’s population — an estimated 1.5 billion people — lack formal identification. Strategies from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to develop digital ID systems are increasing worldwide. We seek to support research into the human rights implications of digital ID systems and formation of priority strategies to better ensure ethical design and deployment of digital IDs.

The 2019 CITRIS Policy Lab Seed Funding Awardees

Bots and Misinformation on Facebook: Prevalence, Activity, and Effects
This project will offer a foundational overview of the prevalence and activities of bots on Facebook, model the role of bots in the spread of misinformation on public Facebook pages over time, and identify bot influence on the hostility of user discussions.

Principal Investigators: Magdalena Wojcieszak (UC Davis), Gireeja Ranade (UC Berkeley), & Felix Wu (UC Davis)

Cognition to Action in Extreme Events: Policy Interventions for Disaster Risk Reduction
Researchers will use rapid prototyping to explore how to make city-scale transportation models, visualizations, and communication strategies effective and responsive to community needs when constituents must make life-altering decisions.

Principal Investigators: Thomas Maiorana (UC Davis), Kenichi Soga (UC Berkeley), & Louise Comfort (UC Berkeley)


Contact Dr. Brandie Nonnecke (nonnecke at berkeley dot edu), Director, CITRIS Policy Lab