Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives I3 Awards

Overview and Program Goals

The Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives (I3) award program fosters new research projects that will successfully develop a novel, transdisciplinary line of research and execute a plan for securing external funding based on the pilot work. I3 partnerships should emerge from shared research interests and needs across disciplines and represent new research directions for the team members. 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.

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


March 27, 2023 Mandatory Notice of Intent to Submit
May 1, 2023 Full Proposal
Late May Faculty Review Panel
Early June Award Notifications
July 1, 2023 Start Date for Projects

Download Request for Proposals

Download Budget Template and Sample Budget


Principal Investigators: At a minimum, proposals are expected to have at least two Principal Investigators with complementary research approaches or from different disciplines. For the purposes of the application, one faculty member will need to be identified as the Contact PI.

Eligible PIs are tenured or tenure track faculty and career research faculty in the research associate and research professor, research scientist, research engineer, principal research scientist, or librarian classification with 0.75+ FTE appointments during the academic year(s) of the research award. Emeritus, retired, courtesy, Visiting, instructor, postdoctoral scholars, and pro-tem faculty are ineligible to apply as a principal investigator. They may be part of the team as Other Key Personnel as described below.

  • Faculty members may only serve as PI on ONE application but may serve as key personnel on other proposals.
  • Faculty members funded as a PI through the I3 program are not eligible to compete as PIs in future I3 grant cycles for three years from the activation date of a successful proposal.

Other Key Personnel: The remaining interdisciplinary team may include personnel who would be ineligible to serve as a PI, such as emeritus faculty, postdocs, research assistants, graduate student employees, etc.

Budget and Use of Funds

Amount: I3 Awards provide up to $50,000 in support.

Length of Project: The project period begins July 1, and may not exceed 24 months.

Allowable costs: Funds may be used for costs necessary to plan the research project (consistent with university and state rules) including:

  • Travel: 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
  • Equipment
  • Materials and supplies
  • Contractual services
  • Salary for non-tenure track faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and/or technical personnel under the supervision of project investigators
  • Other direct costs: e.g. core/shared user facility use, speaker stipend

Unallowable Costs:

  • Replacing current funding from another internal or external source
  • Renovation, remodeling, or alteration of research laboratories or core/shared facilities
  • Funding or replacing tenure track faculty salary or stipend, or for instructional release/course buyout

Application Components

Notice of Intent: The notice of intent form is mandatory but non-binding—the purpose of the NOI is solely to help identify appropriate faculty reviewers.  All individuals who submit an NOI are invited to submit a full application.

Application: The I3 applications must be submitted using the online submission form. Please download the RFP for templates for many of the application elements.

  1. Online Application Form: Basic Information: Please complete the form’s text boxes. (Note: the form cannot be saved part way through).
  2. Proposal Documents: (single-spaced text, Times New Roman font in 11 point or larger, and 1” margins).  
        1. Abstract (250 words or less): a summary of the project goals and activities.
        2. Proposal Narrative (3-page limit): Use the template in the RFP to complete this component of the application.
        3. References Cited (1-page limit)
        4. Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research Statement (1-page limit): Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a key value for OVP. Wewe now ask faculty to articulate how their OVPRI-funded work advances these principles. Use the template in the RFP to complete this component of the application.
        5. Biographical sketch or CV (2-page limit per person): Each PI should submit a Biographical Sketch or CV.
        6. Current and pending support (no page limit): For each PI, Use the template in the RFP to complete this component of the application.
        7. Budget: Use I3 Excel Budget Template
        8. Budget justification (1-page limit): Use the template in the RFP to complete this component of the application.
        9. Letters of support:  Please provide a letter from Department Head/Center or Institute Director and/or Dean(s) for each PI, describing how the application supports the unit/college mission/goals and detailing/authorizing the commitment (if any) for matching support designated for the project.
  3. Optional demographic survey: The OVPRI is committed to creating an environment that fosters sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and racial and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. The application form includes a section to disclose demographic information aimed at assessing the success of our activities towards this goal. Response to these questions is entirely optional and is not considered in award decisions. This information will not be seen by the review committee but used by OVPRI leadership to ensure our internal granting programs are inclusive and equitable and serve diverse populations at UO. Each PI who feels comfortable doing so should fill out the survey form.

Review Process and Criteria

RDS will conduct an initial review to ensure that proposals comply with all guidelines. Proposals deemed non-compliant will not be reviewed further. A faculty review panel, convened by RDS, will conduct a peer review to evaluate the grant proposals and recommend proposals for funding to the Vice President for Research and Innovation, who makes the final funding decisions. Applicants are informed of whether they are selected or not for the award. Upon request, feedback can be provided to interested applicants whose proposals are not funded.

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 proposed research activities 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. RDS will supply awardees with a link to the final report form in the last quarter of their project.

Previous Award Recipients

2022 Awards:

  • "New frontiers in geochemistry and human origins research: Did aridity make us human?"
    • Ilya Bindeman (Earth Science)
    • Scott Blumenthal (Anthropology)
  • "Social Networks and Language Revitalization: A Transdisciplinary Collaboration with the Puyallup Tribal Language Program"
    • Spike Gildea (Linguistics)
    • Ryan Light (Sociology)
    • Gabriela Pérez Báez (Linguistics)
    • Julie Sykes (Linguistics)

2021 Awards:

  • "Indigenous-led framework for collaboration across knowledge and value systems for the conservation of bio-cultural diversity – the Totem Pole Journey as communication method"
    • Kirby Brown (English)
    • Barbara Muraca (Philosophy)
    • Kari Norgaard (Sociology)
    • Marsha Weisiger (History)
  • "Recycling greywater using volcanic rocks from the Pacific Northwest"
    • Jun Hak Lee (School of Architecture and Environment)
    • Thomas Giachettie (Earth Sciences)
    • Krista McGuire (Biology)
    • Matthew L Polizzotto (Earth Sciences)
    • Kory C Russel (School of Architecture and Environment)
  • "Understanding Collegiate Esports: Economic, Institutional and Cultural Integration"
    • Amanda Cote (School of Journalism and Communication)
    • John Clithero (Department of Marketing, Lundquist College of Business)
    • Tara Fickle (Department of English)
    • Maxwell Foxman (School of Journalism and Communication)
    • Henry Wear (School of Journalism and Communication)
  • "Understanding the effects of maternal high-fat diet on egg quality and offspring health using an outbred fish model"
    • Emily Beck (Data Science)
    • William Cresko (Biology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution)
    • Carrie McCurdy (Human Physiology)

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