Biosciences Initiative releases first Request for Applications


President Mark Schlissel’s Biosciences Initiative on Monday issued its first Request for Applications to U-M faculty, calling for high-impact research initiatives focused on solving critical problems in the biosciences.

A key element of the initiative will be the hiring of 30 tenure-track faculty members over the next four years and a one-time investment of $150 million.

Applications in three funding categories — Scientific Research Initiatives, Science Synergy Initiatives and Exploratory Funding — will be considered annually from fiscal years 2019-22.

Scientific Research Initiatives are large-scale efforts designed to advance major new directions in interdisciplinary discovery. These initiatives will be led by department chairs and institute directors, and applicants may request funds for up to five faculty positions, including one full professor position, and additional expenses.

Science Synergy Initiatives are designed to build on Michigan’s strengths by advancing existing biosciences efforts. Faculty members may request funds for two to three faculty positions, including one full professor position, and additional expenses.

Proposals in the Exploratory Funding category will focus on early-stage activities — such as workshops, sabbaticals and partnerships between U-M and other organizations — leading to potential Scientific Research or Science Synergy initiatives.

Proposals will be reviewed by U-M’s Biosciences Initiative Coordinating Committee and by external content experts. The 16-member coordinating committee is chaired by Roger Cone, vice provost and director of the Biosciences Initiative, and director of the Life Sciences Institute.

“The Biosciences Initiative is galvanizing our talented faculty to address many of the life sciences’ most important emerging questions and challenges,” Schlissel said. “Dr. Cone and I invite all interested faculty to tap into the breadth of expertise available across our campus, identify outstanding collaborators and apply for funds.”

All Ann Arbor campus faculty are eligible to participate. A Letter of Intent (not required for Exploratory Funding) is due April 30. Invitations for full proposals will be sent June 1, with proposals due Aug. 31. The first awards will be announced in October.


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