Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (SEM) Initiative


Multidisciplinary collaboration is critical to effectively explore research frontiers at intersections of the sciences, engineering and medicine (SEM). The diverse talents and mutual research interests of faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) provide an excellent opportunity for collaboration in these frontiers.

Initiative goals

The overall goal of this program is to initiate and enhance the competitiveness of inter-institutional research collaborations in SEM for Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health or other federal funding sources. More specifically, we seek to create diverse teams that can solve complex challenges to prevent, improve detection, diagnosis, remote monitoring and/or treatment of disease. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • biomedical sensing technologies/new diagnostics and therapeutics
    • wearable technologies for early indication of health changes
    • non-invasive intracranial pressure measurement
  • human/biological physical interfaces
    • wearable technology to improve human performance (stamina, strength)
    • amputee-specific technologies to optimize function
    • vision and hearing restoration devices
    • implantable medical devices
  • regenerative medicine
    • scaffolds for tissue engineering, including 3-D bioprinting
    • cell-based treatments to restore damaged tissue: skin, nerve, etc.
  • nanomaterials/biocompatible materials
    • theranostics for drug delivery and diagnostics
    • new surface technology to prevent infection
    • joint replacement materials
    • for wound healing
    • for hemostasis
    • for extra corporeal oxygenation
  • bioimaging innovations
    • diagnostic and therapeutic applications
    • novel imaging agents and devices
  • early detection of, or protection against, chemical, biological and/or radiological agents detrimental to health
    • rapid multi-pathogen/multi-phenotype detection
    • ultra-rapid, low power multiplexed molecular diagnostic point-of-care devices
    • personal chemical hazard detector
  • remote health technologies
    • phone or web-based diagnostics
    • patient transport data sharing
    • technologies for behavior analysis and intervention


To meet the initiative’s goals, a series of large-group retreats and smaller workshops are planned, with seed and planning grants available. The first stage of this multi-year initiative is a kickoff retreat to bring together researchers in the aforementioned topic areas to find collaborators. Following the retreat, an RFA will be issued for interdisciplinary seed grants. Seed grants will provide up to $100,000 over a two-year period, with the goal of generating preliminary results to increase competitiveness for federal funding.

Application Materials

Click here to download the RFA 

Click here to down load the program application


Faculty Research Retreat, March 8, 2016

Point of contact for more Information

UNL: Steve Goddard,