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Guidance for the Graduate School Fall Research Competition

Message from Martin Cadwallader-Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

Dear Colleagues:

We are in the early days of summer, but I wanted to provide you with some information about the Fall Research Competition and the Interdisciplinary Research Competition.
The proposals submitted to the Fall Research Competition will be due by 4:30 pm on Friday, September 19, 2014. All PIs on campus may submit one application as part of this competition. This proposal can be from an individual PI or can be collaborative. A collaborative project, unlike a proposal for an interdisciplinary award (see below), can involve co-PIs in the same division. Such a project need not reflect a new direction of investigation for the co-PIs. In addition, while to be eligible for receipt of an interdisciplinary award, the proposal must reflect the integration of the fields of the co-PIs, a collaborative project may draw on each of the co-PIs’ fields without thoroughly assimilating them.

In addition to any proposal a PI or co-PI collaborators might submit to the Fall Research Competition, researchers may also submit an application as part of the Interdisciplinary Research Competition. Last year, proposals as part of this competition were due on the same date as those submitted to the Fall Research Competition. This academic year that will not be the case. Interdisciplinary Research Competition applications will be due early in the spring semester of 2015. Decisions will be announced by the end of the semester.

To remind you, the Interdisciplinary Research Competition is an effort to foster innovative interdisciplinary scholarship that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge. Proposals must reflect more than mere collaboration among colleagues and is unlikely to be funded if the plan of research suggests that collaborators are merely individually undertaking aspects of their project in their own specialty areas. We are looking for proposals which:

  • bridge or blend different fields of investigation in novel ways;
  • push the research of the co-PIs in new directions;
  • bring together techniques and insights from different fields in ways that a single investigator typically could not successfully carry out;
  • ask questions that could not be answered within the framework of a single discipline;
  • integrate the skills and understandings of the co-PIs in ways that promise to produce innovative scholarship;
  • have the possibility that each participating investigator will leave the project with a greater understanding of fields beyond hers/his than s/he had before initiating this project.

To be eligible in this competition, co-PIs from at least two different divisions (i.e. Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Studies) must apply together. A PI’s division for the purpose of this competition is the same as her/his tenure home division. Proposal reviews will be undertaken by a committee including the divisional associate deans in the Graduate School and faculty representatives from each of the divisions. Only semi-final applicants will be interviewed.

If you have questions about either research competition feel free to contact the Vince Borleske at 890-3180.

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