Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives I3 Awards

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The Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives (I 3) award program fosters new interdisciplinary research projects and collaborative partnerships across departments and colleges at UO.  Funding under this program is to be used to successfully develop a novel transdisciplinary line of research that leads to the submission of one or more applications to external support for a longer-term project. Recipients are expected to submit a proposal within 24 to 36 months of receipt of an I3 Award.

AY 2020-21 application deadline: January 11, 2021 by 5 pm. (See instructions below for how to apply. If you did not submit a Letter of Intent by the December 18th deadline, you are not eligible to submit a full application.)

Award Announcement: Late March 2021

Funding Term: Up to two years. Final reports are due 30 days after the end date of the project period.

Eligibility: Faculty members who are tenured or tenure track and career non-tenure track faculty in the research associate and research professor classification with full time (1.0 FTE) appointments who will hold a UO appointment during the academic year(s) of the research award are eligible. Emeritus, retired, courtesy, Visiting, instructor, postdoc, librarian, and pro-term faculty are ineligible. Faculty members may submit only ONE application as principal investigator but may serve as a team member on other proposals. Faculty members funded through the I 3 program are not eligible to compete in future grant cycles for three years from the activation date of the successful proposal. Funding preference is given to investigators without active VPRI seed funding from other internal awards programs.

(While the PIs named on the project must meet the eligibility requirements stipulated above, other personnel who do not meet those requirements can be involved as other key personnel, such as co-investigators.)

AY 20-21 I3 Request for Proposals PDF (updated 8-10-20)

AY 20-21 I3 Budget Template

Scope of the Award / Use of Funds

I3 Awards provide up to $50,000 in support. The award supports expenses over a project period that may not exceed 24 months.

The expected outcome is the submission of a proposal for extramural funding for a center, program, or large-scale research grant that involves multiple faculty investigators for an award period of three or more years. External partnerships and collaborations are encouraged.

Funds may be used for allowable costs necessary to plan the research project (consistent with university and state rules) for travel, equipment, supplies, contractual services, and core/shared user facility use. Funds also may be used for salary to support the project efforts of graduate and undergraduate students and/or technical personnel under the supervision of project investigators, where data collection is required as a part of the effort to enhance competitiveness.

Applicants are encouraged to engage experts who can contribute to your project and strengthen your eventual application for external funding. Budgets may include funds to support a planning workshop, faculty retreat, to host a distinguished speaker who will help you initiate your project, or to travel to visit a program officer to discuss your project.

I 3 funds may NOT be used to replace current funding from another source; for renovation, remodeling, or alteration of research laboratories or core/shared facilities; to fund or replace PI faculty salary or stipend, or for instructional release/course buyout.

Application Process

Download full Request for Proposals. Download I3 Budget Template

Submit a Full Application via the online form below by January 11, 2021 by 5 pm. Please combine elements 1 - 8 below into one PDF, using the I3 Budget Template for your budget preparation. Upload the combined PDF to the form linked below. If you did not submit a Letter of Intent by the December 18th deadline, you are not eligible to submit a full application.

Please note the page limitations for each section. Formatting requirements: Times New Roman font in 11 point or larger and 1” margins.

  1. Abstract: A short summary (250 words or less) of the project goals and activities.
  2. Proposal Narrative: 3-page total. Include all sections, A-C.
    1. Introduction:  Provide a background or rationale for the project, including significance. Describe how the proposed work represents a novel research direction among an interdisciplinary team. Identify the current status of the research at UO, including programmatic strengths and expertise of team members
    2. Proposed Plan: Describe overall project aims or goals. Identify specific research, scholarly, and/or proposal development activities to which funds will be applied, how you will complete these activities, the roles and responsibilities of each collaborator, and how these activities will enhance the competitiveness of the project for external funding.
    3. External Funding Strategy: Identify external funding agency and program and submission deadlines, and provide strategy and timeline to prepare and submit to these opportunities. Describe the fit between the proposed project and external funding priorities/opportunities
  3. References/ Citations: limited to 1 page
  4. Biographical sketch or CV: 2-page maximum for all faculty involved in the project
  5. Current and pending support: List current and pending funding (funding source, project period, total costs); include any awards you have received from the University of Oregon.
  6. Budget: Use the I3 Budget Template.
  7. Budget justification: justification limited to 1 page
  8. Letter of support:  Letter from Department Head/Center or Institute Director and/or Dean(s) describing how the application supports the unit/college mission/goals and detailing/authorizing the commitment (if any) for matching support designated for the project.

On-line Application Form

Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by a faculty review panel that makes recommendations to the Vice President for Research & Innovation. Review criteria are described below. While panelists will consider and rate on all of the criteria, the new and promising interdisciplinary direction and high potential for external funding are of particular importance. Final determination of funding will be made by the Vice President for Research & Innovation.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Research Project:
    • How clearly does the applicant describe the research problems or questions? Does the applicant specify a gap in the research to be addressed?
    • Is the project’s significance well-articulated? Does the project have intellectual merit?
    • Does the project represent a new and promising direction for the research team?
    • Is the proposed research interdisciplinary? Are the intellectual contributions of the identified disciplines clearly articulated?
  2. Research Approach:
    • How clearly does the project describe the overall project aim and/or goals?
    • Is the methodology clearly articulated and appropriate to the proposed project?
    • Are the roles and responsibilities of the team members clearly described and well-justified?
    • Do the research activities proposed enhance the competitiveness of the project for external funding?
  3. Research Team:
    • Do the research team members possess the appropriate qualifications and experience to accomplish the proposed research objectives?
    • Do the team members provide evidence of past success in obtaining external research funding?
    • How does the proposed research align with the team members long-term research agendas?
  4. External Funding Strategy:
    • Does the research team clearly identify an external funding mechanism or program to which they intend to apply?
    • Does the proposed research align with the funding mechanism and the funding priorities of the external sponsor(s)?
    • Does the application describe a feasible and appropriate strategy for preparing and submitting a proposal for external funding?
  5. Timeline and Budget:
    • Does the applicant describe a realistic timeline to accomplish research goals and proposal development activities?
    • Is the budget well-justified? Will the budget support the development and implementation of the project?


A final report is required and due to Research Development Services no later than one month (30 days) after the conclusion of funding. Complete the Final Report Form.

Questions about the I3 program, application, or submission process may be directed to Research Development Services,

More information: I3 information Session Powerpoint

Previous Award Recipients

2019 Awards:

  • "Interdisciplinary Science for Environmental and Social Security"
    • Lucas Silva (geography/ environmental studies)
    • Krista McGuire (biology)
    • Heidi Huber-Sterns (Institute for a Sustainable Environment)
  • "Rebellions in the African Diaspora Project"
    • Heidi Kaufman (English)
    • Leslie Alexander (history)
    • Faith Barter (English)
    • Thanh Nguyen (CIS)
    • Thien Nguyen (CIS)
  • "Physiological Responses to Natural Indoor Animation"
    • Christina Karns (psychology)
    • Kevin Nute (architecture)
    • Nicole Swann (human physiology)
  • "Smoke, Sediment, and Science Communication: redefining scope and scale of wildfire hazard and risk management"
    • Heidi Humber-Stearns (Institute for a Sustainable Environment)
    • Hollie Smith (Media Center for Science and Technology)
    • Michael Coughlan (Institute for a Sustainable Environment)
    • Branden Johnson, Decision Science (external)

2018 Awards:

  •  “Neural Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Learning"
    • Santiago Jaramillo (biology)
    • Melissa Baese-Berk (linguistics)
  • “Automated Segmentation of Complex Biological Imaging Datasets"
    • Raghuveer Parthasarathy (physics)
    • Yashar Ahmadian (biology)
  • “Prenatal Nutrition, Adiposity and Stress: Modifiable Targets for the Biobehavioral Development of the Infant"
    • Elinor Sullivan (human physiology)
    • Jennifer Ablow (psychology)
  • “Gendered Justice: Addressing Violence Against Women in Guatemala and the U.S.”
    • Lynn Stephen (anthropology)
    • Erin Beck (political science)

2017 Awards:

  • "Lessons Learned from the Oakridge Buying Club: Strategies for Food Access Programs in Rural Communities"
    • Tasia Smith, Counseling Psychology

2016 Awards:

  • "Personalized Thermal Comfort in the Built Environment"
    • Christopher Minson, Human Physiology
  • "Live Imaging of the Gut-Brain Axis: Examining the Intersection between Neurons and Inflammation"
    • Annie Powell, Biology
  • "Neuroimaging Approaches to Studying the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Malnutrition in SE Asia"
    • Jeffrey Measelle, Psychology
  • "Neural Circuit Mechanisms Underlying Speech Processing"
    • Michael Wehr, Psychology, Institute of Neuroscience

2015 Awards:

  • "A Novel Tool for Perceptual and Cognitive Assessment"
    • Dare Baldwin, Psychology
    • Terry Takahashi, Biology
  • "Bridging Architecture and Neuroscience: Quantifying Impacts of Spatial Daylight Type and Quality on Task Performance, Stress and Stress-recovery - An Experimental Investigation"
    • Ihab Elzeyadi, Architecture
  • "A Virtual Laboratory in 'In Silico' Discovery of Polymeric Materials (Project POLIS)"
    • Marina Guenza, Chemistry and Biochemistry

2014 Awards:

  • "TrackTown USA Learning and Healthy Outcomes Curriculum"
    • Hank Fien, Center on Teaching and Learning
    • Edward Kame'enui, Center on Teaching and Learning
    • Ben Clarke, Center on Teaching and Learning
    • Nancy Nelson Walker, Center on Teaching and Learning
    • Sarah Crabtree, Center on Teaching and Learning
    • Chris Minson, Human Physiology
    • Paul Swangard, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center
    • Mike Hahn, Bowerman Sports Science Clinic
  • "Measurement and Interventions to Improve Self-Regulation Following Traumatic Brain Injury"
    • Deborah Ettel, Center on Brain Injury Research & Training
    • Pranjal Mehta, Psychology, Psychoneuroendocrinology Lab
    • Ann Glang, Center on Brain Injury Research & Training
    • Laurie Powell, Center on Brain Injury Research & Training
  • "Tackling Internet Privacy from Technical, Social, Economical, and Legal Perspectives"
    • Jun Li, Computer and Information Science
    • Kevin Butler, Computer and Information Science
    • Dejing Dou, Computer and Information Science
    • Xintao Wu, Software and Information Systems, UNC Charlotte
    • Colin Koopman, Philosophy
    • Ben Yang, Lundquist College of Business
    • Eric Priest, School of Law
  • “John Templeton Interdisciplinary Research Network for Study of Quantum Coherence in Biologically Inspired Engineered Molecular Systems”
    • Michael Raymer, Physics
    • Andrew H. Marcus, Chemistry and Biochemistry

2013 Awards:

  • “Fractal Interconnects as a Generic Interface to Neurons"
    • Richard Taylor, Physics, Materials Science Institute
    • Darren Johnson, Chemistry, Materials Science Institute
    • Miriam Deutsch, Physics, Oregon Center for Optics
    • Cris Niell, Biology, Institute of Neuroscience
  • "Drivers of the Beetle Empire: Understanding the Coupling of Climate Change and Forest Management in Bark Beetle Outbreaks"
    • Christopher Bone, Geography
    • Patrick Bartlein,  Geography
    • Daniel Gavin, Geography
    • Allen Malony, Computer and Information Science
    • Cassandra Moseley, Institute for a Sustainable Environment
  • "The Roles of Arts Programs in Fostering an Organizational Culture of Patient-Centered Care and an Environment of Healing in Hospitals and Hospices"
    • Patrick Dewey, Arts and Administration
    • Pranjal Mehta, Psychology
    • Josh Snodgrass, Anthropology
    • Kristin Yarris, International Studies
    • Laura Zaerr, School of Music and Dance
  • "Positive and Restorative Investment in Discipline Reform in Education: Integrating Restorative Discipline (RD) and School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) to Reduce Inequitable Discipline and Improve School and Life Outcomes for Students from Non-White Backgrounds” 
    • Jeffrey R. Sprague, Special Education and Clinical Services, Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior
    • John A. Inglish, College of Education
    • Erik Girvan, School of Law
    • Claudia G. Vincent, Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior, College of Education