Thursday, December 4, 2014

Call for Funding Proposals for Interdisciplinary Graduate Groups

Friday, April 3, 2015: Proposal Deadline

The Graduate School is pleased to announce a competitive call for funding proposals for new and established interdisciplinary graduate groups.

Interdisciplinary graduate groups allow faculty and graduate students to explore emerging areas of intellectual inquiry in collaborative communities that may receive funding for group activities and are recognized on the Graduate School’s website. Funding allocated to graduate groups is intended to seed the development of research, educational and training activities that benefit graduate students, and that expand and enhance interdisciplinary graduate and professional education at the University of Minnesota. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of proposals for new academic, research and training opportunities that support graduate students. 

Funding proposals must be submitted online by the April 3 deadline.

Proposing a new interdisciplinary graduate group and requesting funds for group activities

Proposals for forming new interdisciplinary graduate groups and requesting funds to support group activities must be submitted online and include the following elements:

  • the proposed name of the group and a description of the group’s area of intellectual focus
  • a description of proposed initiatives and activities, and how these will both engage and benefit graduate students
  • the names and contact information for the group’s initial members, including their department or program affiliation and e-mail address (please use the template provided for this purpose)
  • an abbreviated (no more than 2 pages) curriculum vitae for each member of the proposed leadership team
  • the amount of funding sought for group activities and a budget indicating how the funds will be spent (proposals may also be submitted to form a new interdisciplinary graduate group, but without funding)
  • a timeline for the proposed activities
  • a statement describing how the group will sustain itself and its activities

Requesting funds to support the activities of existing graduate groups

Requests for funding to support new activities of existing graduate groups must also be submitted online and must include the following elements:

  • the name of the group
  • a current description of the group and its activities
  • a description of the activities for which funds are requested, and how the activities will both engage and benefit graduate students
  • a description of how graduate students have been engaged in initiatives of the group in the past
  • the amount of funding requested for group activities and a budget indicating how the funds will be spent
  • a timeline for the proposed activities
  • a statement describing how the group will sustain itself and its activities
  • if the group received funds last year (2014), a description of how those funds were (or are being) expended

Proposals to fund existing groups will need to make a compelling case for continued funding, as the primary purpose of these funds is to seed new interdisciplinary research, educational and training activities that benefit graduate students interested in emerging areas of inquiry.

Particular emphasis in this year’s competition will be on proposals to form new groups focused on “grand challenges,” as defined by the proposers.  New and existing groups that do not align with a “grand challenges” approach are nevertheless invited to apply.

We anticipate making three or four awards ranging from $3000 – $5000, and a smaller number of awards of up to $12,000, contingent on the strength of the proposals submitted and the activities for which funding is requested. 

View proposal requirements and selection criteria.

A list of current graduate groups, with a description of their intellectual focus and current membership, is also available online.

Funding requests are due in the Graduate School no later than Friday, April 3, 2015, for funding to be transferred by June 30, 2015. Awards will be announced in early May.

“Coffee and donuts” funding to encourage proposal development

Small awards will be available to facilitate faculty and graduate student conversations that result in new collaborations and proposals to form new Interdisciplinary Graduate Groups, especially those that align with “grand challenges.” Awards will be offered on a competitive and rolling basis through February 3. Awards are expected to range from $300 - $1,500 until the available funds are expended. For application instructions and criteria, see the website.

Please direct questions about this Graduate School initiative to Vicki Field, director, Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives, field001@umn.edu or 612-625-6532, and/or visit the interdisciplinary graduate groups website for more information.