Research and Sponsored Programs

Interdisciplinary Research Initiation Award Program

 
 

This program supports the goals of UToledo's strategic plan to encourage and develop interdisciplinary research. Proposals can request up to $50,000; awardees are expected to submit an interdisciplinary proposal to a nationally competitive sponsor.

Funds may support summer salary and fringe benefits (maximum summer support is for six weeks’ salary and fringe benefits), other support personnel, travel, equipment, and materials and supplies as necessary to organize, prepare and submit a proposal to an external agency. Awards begin mid April, with all expenditures to be completed 18 months after start date of mid April. Awardees will be expected to provide the Research Council with a presentation on the progress and results of their project.

Proposals that pass internal administrative and Research Council review will be sent to expert external reviewers for comment and evaluation. The primary consideration is whether the investment in the proposed activity will produce a coherent research group likely to emerge as nationally competitive and able to win competitive funding. Proposals must make it clear that the interdisciplinary nature of the project adds value, that each investigator is making important contributions, and that there are specific external sources of potential support for the activity.

Deadlines

Letter of Intent: 3rd Tuesday in October
Full Application: 3rd Thursday in January (by invitation only)

Eligibility

This program is available to collaborative groups to develop an external proposal that will help support an interdisciplinary program of excellence.  The team must consist of at least four faculty members with a minimum of two (2) full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty (FTTT) from different departments, and the PI must be FTTT. Eligibility of the non-FTTT faculty is limited to those with the following academic titles:

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Assistant Research Professor
  • Associate Research Professor
  • Clinical Faculty
  • Full Time Lecturers

Not eligible are those with the following titles or affiliations:

  • UTP-only employees
  • Visiting Professors
  • Post-Doctoral Researchers
  • Faculty may not receive more than two of any major URFO awards as Principal Invetigator over any seven-year period, and faculty may not receive any major URFO awards as Principal Investigator in two consecutive years.

See General Guidelines and FAQ for more guidance on eligibility.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

See General Guidelines. Letters of Intent and Full Proposals must be submitted through InfoEd, see InfoEd Help Page for step-by-step instructions. We encourage you to start early and request help if needed from infoed@utoledo.edu

Letter of Intent (Required)

Applicants will create a proposal in InfoEd and upload a Letter of Intent (LOI) not to exceed four double-spaced pages in the format described below. You must include abbreviated versions of:

    1. A statement of the significance of the problem and its impact on the field of study
    2. A statement describing the interdisciplinary aspects of the proposed studies
    3. A section outlining the specific goals of the project and how they will be accompanied
    4. A description of the studies to be completed, including preliminary results if any
    5. Expected outcomes
    6. Plans for seeking additional funding

Upload this LOI as required in the InfoEd proposal created and submit the completed proposal no later than 11:59 PM on the deadline date. The Research Council will review the LOIs received and some will result in invitations to submit full proposals.  In selecting which Letters of Intent will result in an invitation to submit a full proposal, preference will be given to projects combining more than one discipline —academic, artistic, or scientific.

Full Proposals (By Invitation Only)

The following forms must be included:

  • An abstract, written for a general audience that summarizes the project and its expected outcomes. The abstract must not exceed 250 words.
  • A project description, written to technical reviewers who are versed in the topic of the project, must explain the objective(s) or specific aims of the project, the significance of the project, the methodology or approach to be used, the expected outcomes or products, and the contribution that a successful project will make to the research stature of The University of Toledo. The project description must not exceed 15 (fifteen) pages double-spaced, inclusive of charts, diagrams, photographs or other information. It should contain the same sections as the LOI:

    1. A statement of the significance of the problem and its impact on the field of study
    2. A statement describing the interdisciplinary aspects of the proposed studies
    3. A section outlining the specific goals of the project and how they will be accompanied
    4. A description of the studies to be completed, including preliminary results if any
    5. Expected outcomes
    6. Plans for seeking additional funding
  • A list of cited literature references
  • A one-page summary of plans to move the project toward sustained, external funding. This should list potential sources of support, such as programs within agencies.
  • A two-page management plan that outlines the roles of each investigator in the project.
    (NOTE: Weaknesses in this section are often identified by reviewers who question why the project needs to be supported to advance interdisciplinary research).
  • A detailed budget justification. Requests for travel funds should include the location and purpose of the travel as it relates to the project. Equipment must be separately listed. 
  • A two-page biosketch for each investigator, including the individual’s current professional position, degrees (with institutions and dates), professional positions held, recent relevant publications, artistic performances or other original products.
  • No appendix material will be accepted

EVALUATION

Proposals that do not follow the above guidelines or do not meet eligibility criteria will not be accepted.   Those invited to submit full proposals will be asked to provide names of potential external reviewers as well as names of those who should not be asked to review. 

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significance of proposed research and likelihood that the topic is of interest to an external agency
  • Investigators
  • Interdisciplinary aspects
  • Approach and methodology
  • Research environment
  • Clarity of writing and organization of proposal

 

AWARD NOTIFICATION

See General Guidelines 

Reporting Requirements

Report Deadline: 3 months after project end date | Submission Document: Final Report Form

Submit a written report to urfo@utoledo.edu summarizing the results of the project and including a list of presentations, publications, proposals and funding directly resulting from this project. For further information, please see the URFO Final Report webpage.

In addition, Interdisciplinary Initiation awardees may be asked to give a brief presentation on their work to the Research Council.

Last Updated: 6/20/24