Call for Proposals

October 9, 2012


TO: Faculty with Graduate Education Responsibilities; Twin Cities, Duluth, and Rochester Campuses

FROM: Henning Schroeder, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education

SUBJECT: Call for Funding Proposals for New and Existing Interdisciplinary Graduate Groups


I am pleased to issue a call for proposals for funding new and existing interdisciplinary graduate groups to seed and support the development of research, educational, and training activities. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of proposals for formal programs of graduate study at the University of Minnesota.  Both new and existing interdisciplinary graduate groups are invited to apply for funding via this call. 


Interdisciplinary graduate group membership reflects an individual’s scholarly interest and expertise in an area of cross-disciplinary specialization deemed “emergent” at the University of Minnesota in terms of research, education, and/or training.  Graduate groups are established by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education following submission of a proposal and review and recommendation by a faculty review committee designated for this purpose.  Each graduate group has a three-member faculty leadership team that recommends additional members, consistent with procedures of the individual graduate group; coordinates the activities of the group; and is responsible for preparing an annual report of activities to the Graduate School.  Interdisciplinary graduate groups are subject to annual renewal based on their continued activity and involvement of both faculty and graduate student members.

University of Minnesota faculty, as well as experts from outside the University of Minnesota community, may be appointed to membership in interdisciplinary graduate groups.  Faculty who are interested in joining an existing group should inform the group’s primary contact of their interest and request information about applying for group membership.  Existing interdisciplinary graduate groups, with a description of their intellectual focus and current membership, are listed on the Graduate School website. Group memberships are routinely updated as new members are added. 


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

  • the proposed name of the group and a description of the group’s area of intellectual interest
  • a description of proposed initiatives and activities that will benefit graduate students
  • the names and contact information for the group’s initial members, including department or program affiliation and email address (please use the template provided for this purpose)
  • the curriculum vitae of the proposed leadership team members
  • if funding is requested, the amount of funding sought for group activities and a budget indicating how the funds will be spent
  • a timeline for the proposed activities 


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

  • a current description of the group and its activities
  • a description of the activities for which funding is requested and how the activities support graduate students
  • a description of how graduate students have been engaged in initiatives of the group
  • the amount of funding requested for group activities and a budget indicating how the funds will be spent
  • a timeline for the proposed activities

Funding for graduate groups is intended to support the development of interdisciplinary research, educational and training activities that benefit graduate students interested in emerging areas of knowledge. Awards are contingent on the availability of funds and the extent to which graduate students will participate in the proposed activities of the graduate group.  Support is limited and a modest number of awards will be made through a competitive process. Average awards are expected to range from $1,000 to $5,000 for funding obligated by June 2013. 

Funding requests are due in the Graduate School NO LATER THAN MONDAY, MARCH 4,2013, for funding to be transferred by June 30, 2013.

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

Please also share this information with other interested parties. 

 cc: Deans and Associate Deans