Biosciences Initiative releases RFA to address critical challenges


The University of Michigan’s Presidential Biosciences Initiative has issued its second-round Request for Applications to U-M faculty, seeking high-impact scientific research initiatives aimed at solving critical problems in the biosciences.

This funding opportunity leverages the breadth of the biosciences and convergent disciplines across U-M. The Biosciences Initiative strengthens research and education in the biosciences from fundamental discovery to practical application across the campus.

In 2018, the initiative launched its first-round RFA, granting nine projects a total of over $40 million.

“Our Biosciences Initiative is stimulating new levels of excellence and impact by tapping into the remarkable breadth of one of the University of Michigan’s greatest areas of strength,” said President Mark Schlissel. “I look forward to more projects that bring researchers together and tap into the synergies that really only a place like Michigan can develop.”

U-M Ann Arbor faculty may submit proposals for two categories: Scientific Research Initiatives and Exploratory Funding. Applications in each category will be considered annually, for up to two additional cycles — fiscal year 2021 and FY ’22.

Scientific Research Initiatives are efforts designed to advance major new directions in transdisciplinary discovery. These efforts will be led by faculty with appropriate expertise, in coordination with department chairs and institute directors. Applicants may request funds for up to three faculty positions and additional expenses.

Exploratory Funding supports early stage research activities. These activities may include workshops, sabbaticals and fostering partnerships between U-M and other organizations.

U-M’s Biosciences Initiative Coordinating Committee will review each application. Additional external content experts will review the Scientific Research Initiatives as well.

“President Schlissel and I invite all interested faculty to apply. We are excited to invest in the innovative and cutting-edge research proposals our talented faculty want to pursue,” said Roger Cone, director and vice provost of the Biosciences Initiative, chair of the 14-member group, and director of the Life Sciences Institute.

All Ann Arbor campus faculty are eligible to participate. Check the Biosciences Initiative website for updates regarding RFA workshops to address questions applicants may have.

Letters of Intent (not required for Exploratory Funding) are due April 30. Invitations for full proposals will be sent May 31, with proposals due Aug. 30. The awards will be announced in December.


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