Funded Projects

Round One
Round Two
Round Three


USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program – Round One

The USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program, administered through USF Research & Innovation, is offering at least two rounds of proposal submission for funding consideration. The first round — with submissions due April 13, and awards announced one week later, on April 20, 2020 — offered tenured/tenure-track and full-time research faculty members the opportunity to apply for up to $25,000 in funds to focus specifically on research that can be immediately initiated, completed within a short time frame (i.e., 3-6 months) and lead to the rapid submission of proposals for external funding. The Florida High Tech Corridor Council also provided matching funds to six of the projects that are based on intellectual property that may be patented and commercialized through licensing, startups and corporate partnerships.

Of the 128 proposals submitted by more than 400 faculty for the first round, 14 projects were funded — a conversion rate of 10.9 percent. An aggregate of nearly $3 Million in funds was requested by these proposals.

Read about the first 14 funded projects: USF Creates Pandemic Response Research Network™, Invests in Projects Addressing Coronavirus Outbreak


USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program – Round Two

For round two, the University of South Florida’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants program has invested in 14 faculty research projects to advance new medical interventions to detect and stop infections, develop innovations in personal protective equipment, and address fear and confusion in communities particularly vulnerable to the virus.

A total of $344,855 has been invested in support this new round of research projects. USF is partnering with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council which has contributed $100,000 in support of five of the proposals with the potential for technology commercialization.

Faculty from nine colleges spanning USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee are part of this funding round designed to kick-start projects that would last six months to a year.

This round of funding brings the total investment from the USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant program to nearly $685,000.

Read about the 14 funded projects in round two: USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Effort Delivers Funding in Second Round of Pandemic Projects.


USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program – Round Three

The University of South Florida is providing seed funding to 14 new research projects designed to address the medical, technological and societal issues of COVID-19. This brings the total of institutional resources invested into pandemic research to more than $1 million.

This third round of funding is unique because researchers were challenged to forge partnerships with community organizations and corporations, so that their projects could more rapidly be put to real-world use. USF Research & Innovation is investing nearly $320,000 in the projects, with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council contributing $100,000 in support of five projects.

“Each of these projects tackles a specific shortcoming in the world’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and works to find a creative, innovative or inventive solution that can move from lab to market quickly,” said Dr. Paul Sanberg, USF’s senior vice president for research, innovation & knowledge enterprise.

Since April, USF researchers have embarked on 42 separate COVID-19 projects supported through the Rapid Response Research Grant Program. More than 450 USF scientists, engineers, inventors and innovators from multiple disciplines and across all three campuses are working through the USF Pandemic Response Research Network to create a cohesive, transdisciplinary approach to addressing the pandemic from medical, social, environmental and economic angles.

In all, the effort has represented an extraordinary joining of institutional, community and private sector resources to combat the COVID-19 outbreak and future pandemics. In addition to the more than $1 million invested, university researchers and 26 separate external partners have contributed another $436,000 in both in-kind support and research dollars.

Read about the 14 funded projects in round three: USF supports COVID-19 research partnerships with new seed grants.


You can read more about our research, including projects receiving external funding, on our PRRN news page. For example:

USF psychology professor wins NSF grant to study remote work in response to COVID-19

April 29, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded a USF psychology professor grant funding to study the rapid transition to remote work, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Distinguished University Professor Tammy Allen is gathering data to examine adjustment to remote work with the intention of developing guidelines for future telecommuting in normal and in emergency situations. READ MORE


USF Engineers Awarded NSF Grant to Fight COVID-19 using big data

May 20, 2020

A team of researchers from the University of South Florida College of Engineering is developing a digital tool to give government agencies, researchers and health professionals unparalleled insight into COVID-19. READ MORE


USF College of Public Health receives grant to study hurricane shelter operations during COVID-19 pandemic

May 22, 2020

How do we safeguard against the spread of COVID-19 if people are forced to evacuate to community shelters during a hurricane? That’s one of the questions a research team led by Dr. Jennifer Marshall, a USF College of Public Health (COPH) associate professor, and her co-principal investigator Elizabeth Dunn, an instructor in the COPH, will address as the hurricane season comes barreling toward us. The team has been awarded a $25,000 USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grant. READ MORE


Developing a wearable device to detect COVID-19 progression in at-risk patients

June 12, 2020

A new study from researchers at the University of South Florida is shedding light on the human body’s physiological response to COVID-19, insight scientists say could help them develop an early warning system for those most at risk of severe infection. The wearable device, which is being provided by Shimmer Research, Inc., a private company partnering with USF for the study, will track a variety of markers, including skin temperature, thoracic bioimpedance, oxygen saturation (SpO2) and more. The study, funded through a USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, brings together a transdisciplinary team of researchers from across the university. READ MORE

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