This fund aims to provide postdocs with funds to work on preliminary data for a fellowship application.

We will fund up to £5,000 per project.

This is a great opportunity to use your 10 development days. We strongly encourage you to discuss participation in this call with your PI/line manager.

Key dates

The call for 2025 projects will open in September 2024.

All the funds allocated in the 2024/25 academic year must be spent by 31 July 2025.


To apply, you must be a postdoc at the time of submission and your contract needs to run at least until 30 September 2025. You can’t apply if you are an independently funded fellow or have a permanent academic role.

Examples from last year's fund guidance and application template are available below. Note that you will have to log in with your Imperial account to access these, and you will have to download the template before editing it. 

If you have any further questions, please contact Ines Perpetuo.

Seeds fund guidance accordion


All applicants must fill in the Seeds for Success Template_Sep 2023.docx and submit it via the Seeds for Success form on Microsoft Forms. The research proposal should be written in Arial pt 11 using the template provided. Applications in another font or not submitted using the template will not be considered.

• Applications should not exceed three pages. Any application longer than three pages will not be considered.
• The aim of the fund is to promote the advancement of your career; therefore you need to clearly indicate how your proposed project is different from what is currently being undertaken by your PI.‌
• You need to clearly indicate your career intentions (what fellowship you will apply to) and how this fund will support your application.
• This is a great opportunity to use your 10 development days. We strongly encourage you to discuss participation in this call with your PI/line manager.
• A list of collaborators can be included in the application.
• All proposals should be pitched at a level to be understood by a non-specialist.
• You can only submit one application. You cannot apply to both Seeds for Success and Wings for Ideas Funds.
• When you submit your application, it needs to be saved as a PDF entitled by your last name. E.g. John Smith’s application PDF is submitted as Smith.pdf.
• No project is to exceed £5,000. Equipment can be requested but will remain the property of the host department at the end of the project. Publication fees and conference attendance will not be covered. The fund cannot be used for salary. Please note all the fund needs to be spent by 31 July 2024.

Guidance on completing your application

Career history and track record

Summarise your career to date, your research interests, your national/international reputation and any awards and achievements.

Please add up to five publications where you are an author that relate to this application.

Title and Proposal

The title should be clear and not exceed ten words.

In the Proposal section, you should justify the work you want to do, highlighting the problem you wish to solve. It should be pitched at a non-specialist.

Please dedicate a paragraph showing how your proposal is novel and different from what is currently being done in your group.

Collaborators and contributions

In this section please detail how each collaborator is going to contribute to the project and why your collaboration is best placed to solve the problem you have outlined in your proposal. If you don’t have any collaborators, please add N/A in this section.

Expected outcomes/impact

Please indicate what you expect the impact/outcomes of your project, both academic and social/economic, will be and how you will ensure that this information is disseminated.

Career impact

In this section please outline the impact this fund will have on the development of your career and how it will make you more competitive for independent fellowship funding for your next career step (indicate what fellowship you will apply if awarded this fund).

Justification of costs (not to exceed £5,000)

Please give an overview of the costs of the project, including a full cost breakdown (consumables, equipment, facility use) and justification of resources. The fund cannot be used to cover any salary, conference fees/attendance or publication fees. Please note all the fund needs to be spent by 31 July 2024.

The deadline for submitting your application is 09.00 on Tuesday 31 October 2023. If you miss the deadline, your application will not be considered.

Post-award reports

Applicants will not receive detailed individual feedback should their application be unsuccessful. General feedback will be given according to the selection criteria outlined below.

By accepting the award, successful applicants agree to submit:
• A half-page summary of work completed so far by 31 May 2024.
• A one-page report describing the key achievements of the project no later than 1 November 2024, which may be included in the PFDC newsletter and website.
• Present at an event later in 2024.

Seeds for Success form

The deadline for submitting your application is 09.00 on Monday 31 October 2023. If you miss the deadline, your application will not be considered.

If you have any further questions, please contact Ines Perpetuo.

Selection Criteria

The Assessment Panel will be composed of Dr Liz Elvidge, Chair, (Head of Postdoc and Fellows Development), Dr Ines Perpetuo (PFDC Consultant), a previous Seeds for Success awardee, an independent fellow, and a PFDC champion.

Each application will be scored according to the criteria below:

  • The justification for the project (0-10). Is it viable? Written for a non-specialist? Is the idea and strategy clear? Are the collaborators appropriate?
  • Independence and career impact (0-10). Have you shown that the work is different from the work that is carried out by your current PI? Have you made clear the career impact this fund will have? Have you named the fellowship that you will apply to after?
  • The expected outcomes (0-10). Are they achievable and appropriate for the project?
  • The cost breakdown (0-10). (no project to exceed £5,000) Are the costings realistic and offer value for money?
  • Should this project be funded? (Yes/No)

Previous years' winners

2024 winners




Maria Valdivia Garcia

Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Fluorescence interface for single-cell analysis

Stefania Maneta Stavrakaki

Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Deciphering metabolic adaptations driving ovarian cancer drug resistance

Vishwas Mishra

Life Sciences

Investigating the long-term effects of diarrhoeagenic infections on IBD susceptibility

Cheng Ouyang

Institute of Clinical Sciences

Uncertainty quantification for trustworthiness in machine learning-driven MRI reconstruction

Davia Prischich

Department of Chemistry

Synthetic photomorphogenesis: using light-regulated molecules in developmental biology

2023 winners




Biancastella Cereser

Department of Surgery & Cancer

Oestrogen regulation of clonality in the human mammary gland

Joel Luke


Probing the Stability of Organic Photoelectrodes using in situ electrochemical Raman Spectroscopy

Marcus Yio

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Transforming London Clay into low carbon cements

Nina Moderau

Department of Surgery & Cancer

Bioink development for macrophages to mimic breast cancer microenvironment

2022 winners




Beth Pennycook

Institute of Clinical Sciences

Characterising the regulation of meiosis by CDKs through single cell in vivo imaging

Carol Sheppard

Infectious Disease

The influenza RNA polymerase host protein interactome

Eszter Csibra​


Engineering specialised protein nano-factories for biotherapeutics

Jackie van Dael

Surgery & Cancer

Novel analysis methodologies for safe communication in remote consultations

Lucia Lombardi

Chemical Engineering

Artificial synapses for studying neurodegenerative diseases

Maria Paraskevaidi​

Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Blood-based spectroscopy for the screening and diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Marieke Hoekstra​

Brain Sciences

Imaging temperature in brain models

Matyas Daboczi​

Chemical Engineering

High efficiency solar hydrogen generation by integrated perovskite-organic photoelectrodes

Nathan Gemmell


Single Photon Level Quantum Imaging with a Commercial CMOS Camera

Ruth Reid​

Infectious Disease​

A rapid diagnostic to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections

Wenzhuo Cao​

Earth Science and Engineering​

Rate-and-state friction – Capping the maximum induced earthquake in geothermal systems

2021 winners




Ali Mohammed​

Dyson School of Design Engineering

Hassle-free degassing – an enzymatic approach to oxygen free environments​

Amy Switzer​

Infectious Disease​

A novel regulator of bacterial population structure​

Claudia Contini​

Chemical Engineering​

Developing a minimal model system of motile artificial cell​

Flurin Eisner​


Low cost solar-to-fuel energy conversion using organic heterojunctions​

Giulia Tarantino​

Chemical Engineering

Drug Delivery – elucidating API-carrier interactions and release mechanisms​

Maria Weinert

Brain Sciences​

Mini Brains for the Science of Ageing​

Pavani Cherukupally​

Chemical Engineering​

Antimicrobial sponges for wastewater disinfection

Roya Haghighat-Khah

Life Sciences

Human gene expression from swabs implicated in COVID-19 disease severity​

Valerie Soo​

Institute of Clinical Sciences​

The biological fitness of penicillin-binding protein mutants​