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 note: researchers may only be named as PI or Co-PI on a single PRE project proposal per Accelerator or Catalyst competition. If any researcher is named as PI or Co-PI on more than one proposal in the same competition, only the first proposal submitted, as indicated by the time and date stamp from the submission site, will be reviewed and any proposal submitted with a duplicate investigator named after that will be disqualified. Any PI or Co-PI named on an active, awarded PRE project (Accelerator or Catalyst) cannot be named as such on another PRE proposal (Accelerator or Catalyst) until the awarded proposal period ends. 

See the 2023 program RFPs below for full eligibility requirements, restrictions and deadlines.

Previous PRE Award Cycles

Since the program began, 43 teams of Ohio State researchers have been awarded $3.3 million through the President's Research Excellence program. Learn more about the awardees and projects for both grant cycles.

View the 2022 Catalyst Grants    View the 2022 Accelerator Grants    

View the 2021 Catalyst Grants    View the 2021 Accelerator Grants 

Have questions or want to know more? 

Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska held an informational briefing via Zoom on Monday, Nov. 7 on the 2023 PRE program, highlighting: the 2023 competition calendar; 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 2023 competition. 

Watch the briefing     View the PRE FAQs


Catalyst Timeline

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

  • October 15, 2022 – Call for Catalyst concept papers open
  • January 6, 2023 – Catalyst concept papers due at 5 p.m. EST
  • March 3, 2023 – Catalyst invited full proposals due at 5 p.m. EST
  • March 24, 2023 – Catalyst awards announced

The project period for awarded Catalyst projects is from April 1, 2023 - March 30, 2025.

Catalyst Grant RFP 

Catalyst Grant Application Portal

Accelerator Timeline

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

  • October 15, 2022 – Call for Accelerator proposals open
  • May 5, 2023 – Accelerator proposals due at 5 p.m. EST
  • June 9, 2023 – Accelerator awards announced

The project period for all Accelerator awards is from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. 

Accelerator Grant RFP 

Accelerator Grant Application Portal