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Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG)

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Indiana University is pleased to announce the 2015-16 Collaborative Research Grants program (IUCRG). This opportunity is open to faculty on all Indiana University campuses. The goals of this competition are to facilitate and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not previously worked together extensively in the project’s subject matter. Teams should include experts from different campuses, schools, departments, or disciplines. The maximum funding per project will be $75,000; the deadline for proposal submission is 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 15, 2016.

The intent of this initiative is to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the United States, and the world. The program as a whole is designed to help facilitate new collaborations and to increase Indiana University’s competitiveness for external funding involving innovative and transformative research; proposals must, therefore, include explicit plans for securing external funding for projects extending from the findings of the IUCRG. IUCRG recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the date that IUCRG funds are available. Applicants should make explicit their plans for targeting external funding, including the funding agency, specific RFAs, and institute/program.

IUCRG will fund projects in emerging fields of study, innovative or multidisciplinary research with the potential to significantly increase Indiana University’s research competitiveness, reputation and funding. Proposals should fit at least one of the following subject areas:

  1. Biological/Life Sciences: innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in non-medical biological sciences;
  2. Physical Sciences: innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology/Earth Science;
  3. Engineering, Computer Science, and Informatics: innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in applied sciences including material sciences, engineering research, or approaches to other areas of research that rely upon innovative uses of technology, engineering, or computer and applied sciences;
  4. Health Sciences: innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in biomedical sciences;
  5. Social and Behavioral sciences: innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues of local, state, national or international significance; educational research, including but not limited to research into effective novel approaches to K-12 STEM education (not curricular development).

All proposals should indicate which category or mix of categories from this list of areas best describes the proposed research. Arts and Humanities proposals that do not fit into these categories should be submitted to Indiana University’s New Frontiers funding program.

Eligibility: All faculty and staff whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals are allowed to apply. A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses, schools, or departments, or different disciplines from the same campus must collaborate as co-principal investigators on the proposed project. Projects must be for new areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of previous or current research activities. Faculty previously submitting together for external funding (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.) are not eligible unless the IUCRG proposal represents a new area of research, or a new collaborator(s) is added who demonstrably enhances the breadth of the proposed research.

Submission Deadlines: Grant proposals must be submitted electronically by the close of business day (5 pm) on February 15.

Terms of Awards: Applicants can request up to $75,000 for one year. Budgets must be justified and consistent with the scope of the proposed project. Applicants must commit to submitting an external funding proposal within 18 months from the start of the award; failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding programs. Recipients of funding in 2015-16 will participate in an open Workshop in the spring of 2017 where awardees will present project results and detailed plans to secure external funding. Final reports are required at study completion, detailing the project’s progress including proposals submitted and funding received. IUCRG support should be acknowledged in all related publications and reports. Award notices are expected to go out no later than April 1, 2016 with funds available beginning May 1, 2016.

Budget Restrictions: Funds may not be used for faculty/administrative salaries or graduate student tuition. Funds may not be paid to fund collaborators at other institutions, nor to support work in their labs. Course buyout, not to exceed $13,000 per PI, may be allowed. Salaries for technical personnel and graduate student stipends may be allowed; total funding for graduate student stipends is $16,000 for Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, and $19,000 for students in STEM fields. Please see on-line FAQs at

Application Requirements:

Proposals must be submitted in .pdf or .doc format and must include:

Cover Page:

  • Title and Area (I, II, III, IV, V) of proposal
  • ALL PIs including full name, department, school, campus, and email address
  • Other project personnel (collaborators, technicians, graduate students, postdocs)
  • Potential sources of external funding (including agency, program, specific Parent Announcement, Broad Agency Announcement, or Program Announcement)

Project abstract (250 word maximum) describing the project and its potential impact in terms accessible to a general audience.

Project description (use 12 point font with 1” margins; single spaced, 6 page limit excluding references) comprising the following:

  • Background and Significance of the larger project, including discussion of the scientific or scholarly opportunities made possible through this new collaboration
  • Potential impact and transformative effects of the project on the field
  • Goals of the IUCRG-funded phase of the project including timing of research and project milestones
  • Overview of the Research Plan to accomplish goals
  • Explicit statement of each team member’s specific role on the project
  • Specification of plans for grant submission within 18 months from the date IUCRG funds are available; 1-2 paragraphs providing evidence that a funding agency is currently interested in research proposals which may result from the findings of the IUCRG. This includes not only naming interested agencies and programs, but also specific PAs or RFAs with submission dates beyond the completion of the IUCRG proposal, reports of a discussion with a program director of a funding agency, agency website information specifically noting such interest, etc. Please see FAQs for further information on this requirement.

Budget and budget justification: (Use Budget Builder, which is accessible in the online application form). For your budget justification (1 page maximum), explain why IUCRG funding is essential for securing external funding of the project, and what each budgeted item will contribute to the research plan. Please be specific about line items within the budget. For instance, if “salaries” or “personnel” is a line item, please indicate who will be paid at what level of effort and what salary consistent with HR rules; if “supplies” is a line item, please indicate categories of supplies and cost (e.g., “transgenic mice, $X,” “computer software, $Q,” etc.). General office supplies, computer equipment normally provided as a function of faculty appointment, and travel to professional conferences are not allowable expenses. Please note that the appropriateness of the budget is an important component of the review.

Biosketch or brief CV (4 pgs. max) for each investigator, showing current and pending funding support (whether related to the IUCRG project or not), and any publications or presentations related to the IUCRG project. Proposed IUCRG projects must not overlap with current funding.

Statement of support from all investigator’s Department Chairs and Deans must be uploaded by applicant or emailed by referee to Please note that these letters can have an important impact on the review.

If a related proposal involving the co-primary investigators has been reviewed and declined by any external funding agency, the reviews must be included, along with additional information in the appendix noting how the IUCRG proposal differs from the one submitted for external funding.

No appendices other than funding agency reviews are allowed.

Review Criteria: Funding decisions will result from peer review of proposals in response to this call. The Vice President for Research will make the final funding decisions. Awards will be based on:

  • The intrinsic intellectual merit, innovation, and potential impact of the project on the research field(s) involved, including the degree to which it expands the knowledge base or raises new scientific questions across disciplines, as well as its correlation to the VPRO’s strategic plan.
  • The strength of the research team and the collaborative nature of the work;
  • The feasibility and innovation of the project, appropriateness of the research plan and the reasonableness of the budget;
  • The probability of the project leading to external funding.