CAS Interdisciplinary Research Team Grants

The College of Arts and Sciences has identified interdisciplinary research and creative activity as a key element of its strategic plan. The aim of this program is to develop or enhance collaborative research teams across two or more disciplines, cognate areas (humanities, social sciences, and physical and natural sciences), or colleges.

The college has the following two overarching priorities in this program:

  1. Advancing research in areas no single discipline will undertake on its own.
  2. Supporting teams of researchers that combine modes of disciplinary thinking to advance knowledge and address complex problems to improve lives.

Eligibility

Any team of grant-eligible faculty members from two or more disciplines (e.g. tenured, tenure-track, research, prof. of practice) in the College of Arts and Sciences may apply. Teams with faculty from all three cognate areas (sciences, social sciences, and humanities) are encouraged. Teams may include faculty collaborators from other institutions in the U.S. and international partners.

Faculty Lead PIs and Co-PI teams may not apply to both the CAS Strategic Priorities program and this program (Interdisciplinary Research Teams) in the same cycle.

* Other employees of the university (e.g., Lecturer) will be eligible to apply for internal funding only if they can document all of the following:

  • Their university appointment includes research responsibilities
  • They are eligible to be a Principal Investigator on a federally funded project in their role as a university employee
  • They have a multi-year appointment with the university such that they will have an appointment during the period when the proposed project will be conducted with the reasonable expectation of having an appointment should they apply for and receive a federal project
  • There is evidence that they have a long-term commitment to the university
  • Their supervising administrator writes a letter supporting their eligibility for internal funding that is uploaded with the application

Award Size

Amount requested per application should not exceed $10,000.

Program Funding

Funding is limited and awarded on a competitive basis. The number of awards given will depend on the size of awards and the quality of the proposals. There will be two rounds of awards considered each year with the deadline dates of October 30 and March 30. Funding is valid upon notification of the award and will be available for one year from the notification date. Awardees should work with their department business manager to set up a cost object to fund expenses.

Definitions

Each Interdisciplinary Research Team must have a lead PI from CAS. An individual faculty member may submit one application per review cycle and may not receive more than one award per year. Applicants may propose the same project for other internal funding opportunities but may accept only one of the awards if both are funded. Funding is valid upon notification of the award and available for one year from the notification date.

Examples of allowable expenses include travel to research sites, summer salary, undergraduate and graduate student research, postdoc support, specialized equipment, software, and database access. The program would not typically pay for activities such as travel to professional meetings or standard operating expenses. These would be expected to be covered through existing resources.

Application

The CAS Interdisciplinary Research Team Grant application will open approximately one month before the deadline date and should be completed in NuRamp by the Lead PI, endorsed/approved by the Lead PI’s department chair and routed to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education of the College of Arts and Sciences.

To route a new application:

  1. Access NuRamp
  2. Select "Internal Competitions" from the upper left menu
  3. Select "Applications" and “Add a New Application”
  4. Search for "CAS Interdisciplinary Research Team Grant"

Applicants should be aware that if their proposed research involves the use of animals, human subjects, radioactive materials, or activities covered by federal regulations on recombinant DNA technology, appropriate UNL clearance must be obtained before an approved proposal will be funded. Applicable policies and clearance procedures are available from the following offices: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee and Institutional Review Board.

Each application should include:

  1. PI Name, co-PI name(s) key personnel if appropriate, department/center/institute affiliation, phone, email, and proposal title
  2. Abstract of the proposed project (one paragraph)
  3. Description of the proposed project (3 page maximum) a. The objective, nature, and scope of the proposed interdisciplinary research, addressing how the project advances research in areas no single discipline will undertake on its own, combines modes of disciplinary thinking to advance knowledge, and addresses complex problems to improve lives. b. Background, previous work and/or motivation for the team as appropriate. c. The anticipated interdisciplinary outcomes, short-term and long-term. d. The plan for external funding and sustainability of the research beyond the CAS award.
  4. Curriculum Vitae (2 page maximum, current) for each faculty member listed on the cover sheet as an investigator. If postdocs, graduate students and/or undergraduates are included in the project as collaborators, describe their qualifications.
  5. Letters of Commitment from All Participating Faculty indicating willingness and ability to participate in the collaborative initiative.

Please upload one PDF to NuRamp for items 3 through 5 from above.

The NURamp application will ask for a detailed budget identifying and explaining all anticipated expenditures, including a proposed budget for travel and proposed dates of trip if applicable, and a budget justification. Please provide estimates that are as accurate and reasonable as possible for all individual items in the proposed budget, as the accuracy of this information can impact the evaluation committee’s recommendations.

Write your proposal in clear, non-technical language. The review committee may or may not have specialized expertise in your area of research or creative activity, so it is essential to craft your proposal for a general audience while including enough detail to judge the merits within your field.

Evaluation

CAS Interdisciplinary Research Team Grants will be made upon recommendation of the College of Arts and Sciences Research Advisory Committee (CASRAC). Recognizing the differences that exist among the various departments of the College of Arts and Sciences, latitude is given to the department in setting additional criteria for application and award of CAS Interdisciplinary Research Team awards within their individual unit. In the case of multiple applications from a department, the chair may provide a rank order of the applications based on highest to lowest impact in terms of the activity to the faculty member, the department or research group, and the research field. Proposals will be ranked first by intellectual merit, by potential impact across disciplines, and by likelihood for external funding. Broad evaluation criteria by the CASRAC would include:

  • Overall clarity and soundness
  • The broader impact of the expected results and the need for the collaborative approach
  • Potential importance of the collaboration to the visibility and reputation of the College/University
  • Importance of the collaborative activities to obtaining future funding for the project

Travel Requirements

We follow regular university rules for travel. A pre-trip authorization is required prior to all travel. International travel without an electronic pre-trip authorization will not be reimbursed. Additionally, all international airline reservations must be made through Fox World Travel to be reimbursed. Please refer to the International Travel Registry – Professional (ITRP) process for more information.

Final Report

Funding is valid upon notification of the grant and available for one year from the notification date.

A one-to-three-page final written report is due within four weeks of the program funding end date and must summarize the activities and accomplishments, including as appropriate:

  • specific research activities, accomplishments, findings, and products
  • specific extramural grant/fellowship applications by the college's faculty and team members
  • reporting on the development, accomplishments, and activities of any postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students

This report is also required for the reimbursement of expenses.

The report should be emailed to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education William Thomas (wthomas4@unl.edu) and the college's Sr. Budget/Financial Analyst Alycia Harden (aharden@unl.edu).

Specifics for Business Staff

Once the report has been submitted by the awardee and approved by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, funds will be transferred from the college to the department. Please contact Alycia Harden with any questions pertaining to the business aspects of this award.

On This Page

  • Eligibility
  • Award Size
  • Program Funding
  • Definitions
  • Application
  • Evaluation
  • Travel Requirements
  • Final Report
  • Specifics for Business Staff