Dean for Research Innovation Funds

The Office of Dean for Research offers a series of competitive "innovation funds." These competitions encourage bold new ideas in the natural sciences, collaboration between artists and scientists or engineers, and new partnerships with industry.

Proposals are evaluated by a faculty committee. Each committee will make funding recommendations.

    Innovation Fund for New Ideas in the Natural Sciences

    This fund is designed to support the exploration of new concepts and ideas that are at an early stage and therefore not ready to form the basis of a competitive proposal submitted to a funding agency. Assistant, associate and full professors in division III (natural sciences, including mathematics and psychology) are invited to submit proposals.

    PI Eligibility

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in Division III (Natural Sciences, including Mathematics and Psychology) are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: April 5, 2021
    Funding could start as early as July 1, 2021

    Funding

    Proposers may request up to $100,000 per year for projects lasting up to two years. Expenditures may include undergraduate student stipend, graduate student stipend and tuition, postdoctoral researchers’ salary and benefits, and equipment. Faculty summer salary is not allowed.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification).

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals by email to Pablo Debenedetti, Dean for Research (pdebene@princeton.edu).

    Review Criteria

    Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality and originality, and must include a brief statement of plans to submit a regular proposal to a funding agency after two years. Special attention will be paid to the articulation of a compelling case for the exploratory nature of the research. A group of faculty will review and grade the proposals, and funding decisions will be made on the basis of ranked scores.

    Contact

    Contact Pablo Debenedetti, Dean for Research (pdebene@princeton.edu) with questions.

    Innovation Fund for New Ideas in the Social Sciences

    This fund is designed to encourage innovation, as well as scholarship on new and enduring questions. Faculty members are invited to propose projects that will result in the advancement of a discipline (through the development of new ideas, working groups, conferences, technologies, software, datasets, and/or expanded access to research resources) and/or a major piece of scholarly work.

    Information about this and other innovation funds offered by the Office of the Dean for Research is available online, including brief descriptions of previously funded projects.

    PI Eligibility

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in division II are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: not offered in AY2021
    Funding could start as early as: TBD 

    Funding

    Proposers may request up to $50,000 (total) for projects lasting up to two years. Expenditures may include research assistants, graduate student stipend and tuition (where applicable), postdoctoral researchers’ salary and benefits, consultants, publishing charges, materials and equipment, event organization, travel, and costs related to purchasing, curating, or creating data.

    Faculty summer salary or release time (semester leave), preparation of textbooks and courses will not be supported through this innovation fund.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification). The proposal should specifically describe how the funds will be utilized to accomplish the research objectives. Include a list of other sources of funding received or pending. If relevant to the proposed project, letters of support from collaborators may be included as an appendix to the proposal.

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals online using this SharePoint submission form for the New Ideas in the Social Sciences (log in with NetID required).

    Review Criteria

    Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality (the soundness and persuasiveness of the concept and the elegance of the research design), originality (how the proposal brings new ideas together to suggest surprising outcomes) and potential impact (the ways in which the proposed research will shift thinking in the field toward new methodological or topical directions or the ways it will help address important social problems). A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations.

    Contact

    Contact Associate Dean for Research Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu) with questions.

    Innovation Fund for Industrial Collaborations

    This fund aims to support research collaborations between industry and academia. Industry often plays an essential role in bringing the innovations of Princeton researchers to fruition and making them available to benefit society.

    PI Eligibility

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in Division III (Natural Sciences) and IV (Engineering) are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: Nov 30, 2020
    Funding could start as early as March, 2021

    Funding

    Proposers may request up to $100,000 for year 1, and up to $75,000 in year 2. Funding for year 2 is contingent upon 1:1 matching by industry. Projects can therefore receive up to $250,000 over two years, of which up to $75,000 would come from industry, and $175,000 from the University. Expenditures can include equipment, supplies, graduate student stipend and tuition, post-doctoral salary and benefits, and undergraduate student stipend.

    Funding from a company in which a PI has significant financial interest is not allowed. For the purpose of this initiative, a PI has a significant financial interest in a company if he/she has received $5,000 or more in cumulative salary or payment for services during the previous 12 months, or if the value of any equity interest possessed by a PI in the company plus cumulative salary and payment for services during the past 12 months equals or exceeds $5,000.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Applications should be brief, no more than two pages plus a budget, and must include a letter of intent (LOI) stating a company’s commitment to provide funding in year 2.

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals online using this Submission Form for Innovation Fund for Industrial Collaborations (log in with NetID required).

    Review Criteria

    Proposals will be judged on the bases of quality, originality, and potential impact. A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations.

    Contact

    Contact Coleen Burrus, Director of Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations, at cburrus@princeton.edu with any questions.

    Innovation Fund for Research Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers

    This fund is designed to encourage collaborations between faculty scholars in the arts and those in the natural sciences or engineering to promote synergistic innovations, allowing experts in seemingly unrelated fields to unify and expand their respective knowledge in ways that benefit both disciplines.

    Information about this and other innovation funds offered by the Office of the Dean for Research is available online, including brief descriptions of previously funded projects.

    PI Eligibility

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members and arts program directors in division I (Humanities), and tenured and tenure-track faculty members in divisions III (Natural Sciences) and IV (Engineering) are invited to submit proposals. Proposals should have at least two faculty co-PIs, one from division I and one from division III or IV. Submissions are limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: not offered in AY2021
    Funding could start as early as: TBD 

    Funding

    Proposers may request up to $75,000 per year for projects lasting up to two years, $150,000 in total. Expenditures may include research assistants, graduate student stipend and tuition (where applicable), postdoctoral researchers’ salary and benefits, undergraduate student stipend, consultants, publishing charges, materials and equipment, event organization, and travel.

    Faculty summer salary or release time (semester leave), preparation of textbooks and courses will not be supported through this innovation fund.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification). The proposal should specifically describe how the funds will be utilized to accomplish the research objectives. Include a list of other sources of funding received or pending. If relevant to the proposed project, letters of support from collaborators may be included as an appendix to the proposal.

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals online using this SharePoint submission form for Research Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers (log in with NetID required).

    Review Criteria

    Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality (the soundness and persuasiveness of the concept and the elegance of the research design), originality (how the proposal brings new ideas together to suggest surprising outcomes) and potential impact (the ways in which the proposed research will shift thinking in the field towards new ideas). The proposal should make an intellectually compelling case for the close collaboration between artists and scientists or engineers, and plans for making the activity self-sustaining through competitive funding. A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations.

    Contact

    Contact Associate Dean for Research Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu) with questions.

    Innovation Fund for New Ideas in the Humanities

    This fund is designed to encourage innovation, as well as scholarship on enduring questions. Faculty members are invited to propose projects that will result in the advancement of a discipline (through the development of new ideas, working groups, conferences, technologies, datasets, and/or expanded access to scholarly resources) and/or a major piece of scholarly work.

    PI Eligibility

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in Division I are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. 

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: January 28, 2021
    Funding could start as early as April 15, 2021

    Funding

    Proposers may request up to $50,000 (total) for projects lasting up to two years.  Expenditures may include research assistants, graduate student stipend and tuition (where applicable), postdoctoral researchers’ salary, consultants, publishing charges, materials and equipment, event organization, travel, and costs related to purchasing, curating, or creating data.

    Faculty summer salary or release time (semester leave), preparation of textbooks and courses will not be supported through this innovation fund.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification). The proposal should specifically describe how the funds will be utilized to accomplish the objectives. Include a list of other sources of funding received or pending. If relevant to the proposed project, letters of support from collaborators may be included as an appendix to the proposal.

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals online using this SharePoint submission form for New Ideas in the Humanities (log in with NetID required).

    Review Criteria

    Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality (the soundness and persuasiveness of the concept and the elegance of the design), originality (how the proposal brings new ideas together to suggest surprising outcomes) and potential impact (the ways in which the proposed activity will shift thinking in the field toward new methodological or topical directions or the ways it will help address important questions in the area of scholarship). A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations.

    Contact

    Contact Associate Dean for Research Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu) with any questions.

    Calls for Proposals

    New Ideas in the Natural Sciences

    Deadline: April 5, 2021
    Contact: Pablo Debenedetti (pdebene@princeton.edu)

    New Ideas in the Social Sciences

    Deadline: Not offered in AY2021
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)

    Industrial Collaborations

    Deadline: November 30, 2020
    Contact: Coleen Burrus (cburrus@princeton.edu)

    Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers

    Deadline: Not offered in AY2021
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)

    New Ideas in the Humanities

    Deadline: January 28, 2021
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)