These are exciting times for research at Indiana University.
By now, you likely know something about IU’s Grand Challenges program.
Grand Challenges review committees will soon be considering final proposals from five large multidisciplinary teams at IU. But the Grand Challenges program is just one piece of a collection of strategic initiatives that IU is advancing, based on the Bicentennial Strategic Plan. These initiatives include furthering the arts and humanities through IU’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program, the new Arts and Humanities Council (headed by Ed Comentale in my office), and the Emerging Areas of Research funding program.
Emerging Areas of Research
The Emerging Areas of Research program is especially good news for IU Bloomington faculty because it is specific to our campus. The program will be an annual competition over the next five years. For each project, the Bloomington campus anticipates investing $3 million in cash plus financing one to three faculty lines — a truly significant investment of campus-level resources in research.
What exactly is an emerging area of research? Emerging areas of research might test a hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm, address a critical barrier to progress in a field, or develop new technology.
In general, emerging areas are significant inquiries that build upon and leverage existing strengths and resources on our campus, much the way IU Bloomington’s new program in Intelligent Systems Engineering is built on the expertise of faculty from the School of Informatics and Computing, STEM departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and elsewhere, the Kelley School of Business, and many others.
Research that is “emerging” should also hold the promise of filling an existing gap in campus personnel that is critical to important research. IU Bloomington’s investments in the Emerging Areas of Research program are intended to significantly enhance the volume, quality, impact, and reputation of research across our campus. We’ll accomplish this by investing in areas that expand collaboration among existing faculty and provide opportunities for the addition of key faculty. The eventual goal is for faculty involved in Emerging Areas of Research projects to serve as world leaders among their peers in a specific area of research and/or be recognized for identifying and executing a novel approach.
How will emerging areas of research be chosen?
Request for Proposals, Town Hall
Briefly, here’s how it works:
A request for proposals will be issued on Friday, April 8, 2016. Faculty may submit one-page abstracts of a proposed Emerging Areas of Research idea, which are due to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. These abstracts won’t be used in the selection process; they are intended to give my office a rough count of the number of proposals expected. Full proposals will be due on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.
The submitted proposals will be reviewed in two stages: first, a panel of faculty from IU Bloomington will assess the proposals and come up with a short list of finalist proposals. The respective academic deans of the proposal’s originating school or unit will also review the proposals and provide input. Ultimately, the provost and I will review the proposals and make the final funding decision.
On Friday, April 15, 2016, OVPR is hosting a Town Hall meeting for all IU Bloomington faculty to discuss the details of the Emerging Areas of Research request for proposals to be distributed on April 8. The meeting takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium.
I encourage everyone to attend this Town Hall meeting to hear more about the momentous ways that support for research on the Bloomington campus is changing. In the meantime, please feel free to visit the OVPR website for more information or contact me at email@example.com with any questions you may have.
I look forward to seeing you on April 15!