Interdisciplinary Research Grants Call for Proposals

Feb 17, 2017

The DeLTA Center is inviting student and post-doctoral members to submit proposals for funding small research projects during the 2017-2018 academic year. The DeLTA Center is specifically looking for interdisciplinary research projects that span two or more approaches to learning and development. Our goal is to seed new and exciting student-led research that creates or enhances collaboration across the DeLTA Center, and highlights the unique contributions of a multi-disciplinary center.

This call for proposals targets new or existing projects that span multiple disciplinary approaches to important problems in learning and development. Participating labs do not need to be in different departments, but should be approaching different problems or taking different methodological approaches. Work with animals, typical or atypically developing humans (including adults), or computational models are all encouraged. We especially encourage new or emerging work, though we will also consider ongoing collaborative projects.

Priority will be given to applications bridging two or more labs, however interdisciplinary projects from a single lab may also be considered. The applicant’s home lab (or the collaborating lab) must be affiliated with the DeLTA Center. Applications originating from multiple students/post-docs are encouraged, though there must be faculty mentorship for the project.

Up to $1000 is available for each funded research project and multiple projects may be funded. Funds can be used for supplies, participant compensation, or equipment. Conference travel is not permitted, though travel for collaborative purposes may be. Other expenses may be allowed at the discretion of the DeLTA Center Director or Associate Director. All awardees will be expected to present their research findings at a DeLTA Center meeting.

Proposals are due March 10. A single PDF should be emailed to the DeLTA Center Associate Director, Bob McMurray ( Projects will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made by a panel of student and post-doc reviewers. Awards will be announced by late in the spring semester, and funding will be available immediately.

Preprosal: if you intend on submitting a proposal, please send a short 200 word summary of the topic you will be studying to Bob as soon as possible. This will not be sent out for review (so it doesn’t need to be perfect), but will be used to identify potential reviewers before the final proposals are submitted.

Proposal instructions

The first page should include:

  • Proposal title
  • Applicant name, status (graduate student, post-doc, etc.), primary faculty mentor and department.
  • Collaborating lab and faculty member.
  • Amount of funding requested.
  • Eligibility for College of Education competition (explain who is a member of that college)
  • Status of proposal: new or revised.
  • Abstract: Up to 200 words, suitable for a general (DeLTA Center) audience.

This cover page does not count against any page limits pages.

The project description should not exceed three pages, excluding the cover page, references and CV. Please use a font no smaller than 11 pt. Arial, with margins no smaller than .5”. Single spaced text is fine (and typical). Shorter proposals are acceptable. The project proposal should address the following topics (these can be done in separate sections or as part of the narrative):

  • Research aims and approach: A short synopsis of your question, why it is important, and how you intend to answer it. Make sure you include some details about how the project will be executed – who will do what, how both labs are involved, and a rough timeline of activities.
  • Interdisciplinarity and Innovation: A description of how your project is innovative, how it will build on multiple approaches, and how it will leverage the strengths of multiple labs.
  • Fit of the project: How does this project fit into the research programs of the sponsoring lab(s) and the research program of the applicant? Will this project lead to longer-term collaborations between the labs?
  • Projected outcomes: What will this project lead to? Will the project provide pilot data for a grant or dissertation? Is this the beginning of a longer-term line of research? Will it lead to a conference presentation or journal publication? Will this project catalyze a longer-term collaboration between labs?
  • Contributions: What are the contributions of each lab/mentor and what specifically will the student be doing? Will there be other people involved and what will they do.
  • Budget: How will the money be used (give estimates).

After the project proposal, applicants should append their complete CVs (which does not count against the page limit). There is no need to include CVs of faculty mentors.

This funding mechanism is open to both new proposals and revisions of proposals that were submitted during previous review cycles. For revisions, we will make every attempt to use at least one of the reviewers from the prior cycle. Revised applications may include one additional page summarizing changes that were made in response to the prior round of reviews, or addressing and rebutting the concerns. Bear in mind when writing your proposals, that the best proposals tell a clear, persuasive story, and emphasis the importance of the work, not necessarily the details. Proposals should be written for a broad audience with some background in learning and/or development.