Dean for Research Innovation Funds

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

Proposals are reviewed by a committee of Princeton peers knowledgeable in the discipline being explored. Each committee will make funding recommendations.

    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: December 14, 2018
    Funding could start as early as March 1, 2019

    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 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.

    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 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 14, 2019
    Funding could start as early as April 1, 2019

    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.

    Innovation Fund for New Ideas in the Natural Sciences

    This initiative is designed to support the exploration of new concepts and ideas that are at an early stage and therefore not ready for forming the basis of a competitive proposal submitted to a funding agency. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in Division III (Natural Sciences, including Mathematics and Psychology) can request up to $100,000 per year for up to two years.

    Expenditures can include graduate student stipend and tuition, post-doctoral salary and benefits, undergraduate student stipend, and equipment.

    A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations. 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.  Applications should be brief, no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification.

    Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. Submissions are limited to one proposal per faculty member.

    Submit proposals to the attention of Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti (pdebene@princeton.edu). 

    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: January 14, 2019
    Funding could start as early as April 1, 2019

    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 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 Research Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers

    This fund aims to support collaborations that bring together artists/the arts with scientists/science or engineers/engineering, allowing experts in seemingly unrelated fields to unify and expand their respective knowledge in ways that benefit both disciplines.

    Assistant, associate, and full professors and program directors in Division I (Humanities), and assistant, associate, and full professors in Divisions III (Natural Sciences) and IV (Engineering) are eligible to apply for this fund.

    Proposals should have at least two co-PIs, one from Division I and one from Divisions III or IV. Applicants can request up to $75,000 per year for up to two years. Expenditures can include graduate student stipend and tuition, post-doctoral salary and benefits, undergraduate student stipend, equipment, event organization, and travel.

    A faculty committee will review the proposals and make funding recommendations. Proposals will be judged on the bases of quality, originality, intellectually compelling case for a close collaboration between artists and scientists or engineers, and plans for making the activity self-sustaining through competitive funding.

    Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in the previous round of this competition. Submissions are limited to one proposal per faculty member. Submissions are limited to one proposal per faculty member.  Please contact Karla Ewalt, Associate Dean for Research, at kewalt@princeton.edu for any questions pertaining to this funding opportunity. 

    Innovation Fund for the Campus as a Lab: Faculty Research in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment

    At Princeton, the “Campus as Living Lab” approach is defined as a campus-based intersection of cultural, behavioral or operational activities and research that result in the advancement of sustainability problem-solving or discourse.

    Research proposals can take various, discipline-specific forms.  For instance, research might be quantitative or qualitative, and involve methodologies ranging from ethnography to surveys to artistic performances or narratives to monitoring or design projects (and more).  Our intent is to make funding available for innovative projects that encourage faculty to collaborate with undergraduate and/or graduate students on studies that help promote campus sustainability and environmental responsibility.

    This initiative is made possible by support from the Princeton Environmental Institute, Office of the Dean for Research, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund and Facilities.

    An illustrative list of possible topics for projects across disciplines includes:

    Sciences and Engineering:

    • Full life-cycle assessment for major building materials.
    • Instrumenting and monitoring buildings for energy efficiency and water usage.
    • Monitoring water quality, usage, and circulation patterns in storm water detention ponds, restored creeks, and other components of the campus hydrologic infrastructure.
    • Designing overall improvements in the efficiency of our power generation infrastructure.
    • Surveying and modeling the effects of vegetation on urban environments.
    • Developing systematic approaches to understanding the psychology of sustainability decision-making.

    Social Sciences and Humanities: 

    • Narratives, histories, and inquiries into the political ecology of sustainability at Princeton compared with other communities.
    • Research into the viability of offsets and renewable energy credits as meaningful climate solutions.
    • Studies of the intersection of human behavior with sustainable art and design in the built and natural environment.
    • Quantitative or qualitative studies of the economic and environmental implications of transitioning campus agricultural land from conventional to sustainable farming practices.
    • Developing new historical, cultural, or artistic perspectives on campus conservation and sustainability efforts.

    The above list is intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive.  Bold new ideas that involve the use of the campus as a laboratory for scientific, engineering, humanist, artistic, or social science research on sustainability, energy, and the environment are welcome.  Projects that examine the campus within an expanded network, extending beyond the FitzRandolph gates, will be considered.  For more potential research ideas, please visit the Sustainability website.

    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 from all divisions are invited to submit two types of proposals: projects involving undergraduate students and projects involving graduate students or post-doctoral researchers.

    Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition. Submissions are limited to two proposals per faculty member, one in each of the categories.

    Dates

    Proposal submission deadline: January 14, 2019
    Funding could start as early as April 1, 2019

    Funding

    • One-year projects involving undergraduate students: budget requests of up to $12,000.  Expenditures may include undergraduate student summer stipends, research-related travel by undergraduate students, capital equipment, and laboratory supplies.
    • One-year projects involving graduate students or post-doctoral researchers: budget requests of up to $125,000. Expenditures may include graduate student stipend and tuition, post-doctoral salary and benefits, research-related travel by graduate students or postdocs, capital equipment, and laboratory supplies.
    • Course development, faculty release time (semester leave), and faculty summer salary are not be supported through this innovation fund.

    Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Proposals should be brief - up to three pages long with a separate budget page. 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 collaborating administrative units may be included as an appendix to the proposal.

    Submission Information

    Submit proposals online using this SharePoint submission form for the Campus as a Lab (log in with NetID required).

    Review Criteria

    A faculty committee will evaluate the proposals on the basis of quality, originality, and potential impact (on the campus or in the field of study).

    Contact

    Contact Associate Dean for Research Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu) with questions about proposal preparation and submission.

    Contact Caroline Savage, Campus as Lab Manager with the Office of Sustainability (cs35@princeton.edu, 8-7513), to discuss possible projects.

     

    Open Calls for Proposals

    Campus as a Lab

    Deadline: January 14, 2019
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)

    New Ideas in the Humanities

    Deadline: January 14, 2019
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)

    New Ideas in the Natural Sciences

    Deadline: To be announced
    Contact: Pablo Debenedetti (pdebene@princeton.edu)

    New Ideas in the Social Sciences

    Deadline: January 14, 2019
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)

    Industrial Collaborations

    Deadline: December 14, 2018
    Contact: Coleen Burrus (cburrus@princeton.edu)

    Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers

    Deadline: Will not be held in AY2018-2019
    Contact: Karla Ewalt (kewalt@princeton.edu)