SHyNE Resource (an NSF, NNCI node) is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the University of Chicago that offers open access to state-of-the-art nanotechnology facilities, instrumentation, and research expertise. In support of SHyNE’s mission to serve as a regional hub of cutting-edge nanotechnology, innovation, and education, we have established the SHyNE External Experiment Development (SEED) program to allow members of the nanotechnology and greater scientific communities, who would otherwise not have the financial resources, to use SHyNE facilities to facilitate or obtain preliminary data, proof of concept, and/or prototyping. For a summary of SHyNE’s capabilities and equipment, please email Dr. Ben Myers at ben.myers@northwestern.edu.



  • Competitive proposals for this program should be: (1) limited in scope and (2) involve either cutting-edge research or high-risk, high-reward R&D activity with the potential to facilitate disruptive technologies
  • The customer cannot be internal to Northwestern University
  • The customer must be new to the facility where the funds will be used (but can already be an existing customer in a different SHyNE facility)
  • The project must require the unique and specialized capabilities of SHyNE Resource – projects requiring only routine capabilities will not be funded.

SHyNE encourages applications from non-profit organizations, small-medium enterprises (SME), start-up companies, academic users who are at a non-Research-1 university and may have limited access to facilities and/or research funding, and industrial users who for some reason do not have funds or have start-up projects with highly innovative potential.

Examples of relevant research and development activities include:

  • Preliminary data collection, prototyping, or proof-of-principle studies with prospects of leading to future outside funding or investment.
  • Activity that expands the scope of the applicant’s existing research programs.
  • Specialized characterization or fabrication not currently funded within the scope of the applicant’s existing programs.


Facility Use:

Equipment or training use valued at up to $2,500 can be included in each proposal. Funds should be used within 1 year of the proposal selection date. The free-use of facilities is not renewable or transferable. Proposals should be targeted at covering SHyNE facility access fees, though a limited amount of materials and supplies can be included. Current user fee rates can be provided.



Projects will be selected based upon the quality of the proposal, the impact that SHyNE will have on the project, and the extent to which the project aligns with SHyNE’s mission.

For proposal submission or for more information on the SEED program, please contact Dr. Ben Myers at ben.myers@northwestern.edu.



To apply, please complete this form and email it to ben.myers@northwestern.edu.