President's Research Excellence Program

The program provides up to $2.5 million annually in seed support for cross- and interdisciplinary research 

Ohio State aims to grow its research and innovation enterprise and increase its research eminence among the nation’s and the world’s research universities by attracting more externally sponsored research funding, enabling curiosity-driven research and discoveries, and addressing large, complex societal challenges. 

President Johnson looks at a research image.

Towards these goals, the President’s Research Excellence (PRE) program provides seed support for cross- and interdisciplinary research that have the potential to attract external funding. The program was established in 2021 with an annual budget of $2.5 million. 

Specifically, the PRE program supports:

  • Accelerator proposals for small teams formed to pursue curiosity-driven, novel, high-risk and high-reward research. The grants may be up to $50,000. 
  • Catalyst proposals for large cross- and interdisciplinary teams to pursue large-scale, high-impact research that addresses emerging or existing challenges of national and international societal importance, generates long-term, sustained, and significant impact, and positions Ohio State as THE leader in this area. These grants may be up to $200,000. 


A lead PI for this program must be a faculty member, either tenure/tenure track or research, or a clinical-track faculty member who is engaged in research. PI status at Ohio State is required for all lead PIs. Co-PIs can be faculty, research staff or post-docs from intellectually distinct disciplines. 

Please see the 2022 program RFPs below for full eligibility requirements, restrictions and deadlines.

2021 PRE Awards

During 2021, more than $2.3 million was invested in research projects through the President's Research Excellence program. Learn more about the awardees and projects for both grant cycles.

View the 2022 Accelerator Grants    View the 2021 Catalyst Grants    View the 2021 Accelerator Grants 

Have questions or want to know more? 

On January 7, Interim Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska held a briefing on the 2022 President’s Research Excellence (PRE) program, highlighting: the goals and requirements of the program; examples of the type of projects and teams the program intends to support; and information about modifications made for the 2022 competition. We're also answering frequently asked questions below. 

View the recorded briefing View the PRE FAQs


Accelerator Timeline

The Accelerator proposal timeline includes one round of proposal submission that includes a 2-page narrative. 

  • December 17, 2021 – Call for Accelerator proposals open
  • February 4, 2022 – Accelerator proposals due at 5 p.m. EST
  • March 18, 2022 – Accelerator awards announced

The project period for all Accelerator awards is from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. A final report is required to be submitted on August 1, 2023.

Review the Accelerator grant RFP

Catalyst Timeline

The Catalyst timeline includes submission of concept papers, followed by invited full proposals.

  • December 17, 2021 – Call for Catalyst proposals open
  • June 24, 2022 – Catalyst concept papers due at 5 p.m. EST
  • August 5, 2022 – Catalyst concept paper decisions announced, invitations for full proposals issued
  • September 9, 2022 – Catalyst invited full proposals due at 5 p.m. EST
  • October 28, 2022 – Catalyst awards announced

The project period for awarded Catalyst projects is from January 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 if the project period is 18 months, or January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024 if the project period is 24 months. A final report is required to be submitted on July 31, 2024 (18 month projects) and January 31, 2025 (24 month projects).

Review the Catalyst grant RFP

Submit your Catalyst concept paper by 6/24