Research Initiatives in Science and Engineering (RISE)

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research annually sponsors the Research Initiatives in Science & Engineering (RISE) funding competition, which awards seed monies to initiate very early-stage, potentially high-impact, interdisciplinary, and high-risk research collaborations that may trigger novel scientific paradigms. Emerging out of each competition year, five or six awarded teams will receive up to $80,000 in seed funds for one year's time, with the possibility of receiving a second year's funding of $80,000. To date, RISE projects have received back 600% more extramural funding than was initially provided to them by institutional funds, and have resulted in 130+ peer-reviewed publications and training opportunities for 130+ postdocs and students.

All Columbia faculty-level researchers within the scientific, engineering, and biomedical disciplines are eligible to apply for this prestigious opportunity. All Columbia faculty-level researchers in other disciplinary fields are eligible to submit proposals for projects collaborating with researchers from science, engineering, and/or biomedicine.

Since RISE's inception in 2004, it has distributed $9.22 million across 61 awarded teams (not including the six teams that received funding through the most recent 2017 competition). The following "outcomes" represent a significant return on the initial investment:

  • $55.4 million in follow-on extramural grant funding, representing a 600% return;
  • 135 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Partial or full support for the training of:
    • 32 postdoctoral scholars;
    • 73 graduate students;
    • 29 undergraduate students;
    • 2 high school students

These numbers are updated every August, with RISE staff endeavoring to accurately capture all outcomes data. If you are an awardee wishing to report an outcome to your RISE-funded research, and/or if you wish to find out more specific information regarding the above calculations, please email

Publications emerging out of RISE-funded research projects must recognize the support that has made the discovery possible. We ask that all related publications include the following acknowledgement text:

We acknowledge seed funding support from Columbia University's Research Initiatives in Science & Engineering competition, started in 2004 to trigger high-risk, high-reward, and innovative collaborations in the basic sciences, engineering, and medicine.

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