Dean for Research Innovation Funds

DFR Innovation Fund report cover

Download as a PDF or read online.

Fostering discovery

Recognizing that unconventional or untested ideas can be difficult to fund through conventional sources, the University created the Dean for Research Innovation Funds to make such explorations possible.

These competitive innovation funds encourage faculty to explore bold new ideas in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, as well as foster collaboration between artists and scientists or engineers, and new collaborations with industry.

Learn about previously funded projects in our report, Dean for Research Innovation Funds 2014-2020 (PDF or online), issued May 19, 2021, surveying the impact of the first seven years of the program. 

Explore the opportunities below to find fund descriptions, summaries of winning projects, and submission deadlines.

New Ideas in the Natural Sciences
Supports the exploration of early stage, high-potential ideas with the goal of eventually submitting a competitive external proposal.
New Industrial Collaborations
Fosters research collaborations between industry and academia, helping identify challenges and aiding the transformation of discoveries.
Collaborations between Artists and Scientists or Engineers
Brings faculty in seemingly unrelated fields together in ways that expand their respective domains and benefit both disciplines.
New Ideas in the Humanities
Encourages innovative scholarship on original theories as well as enduring questions.
New Ideas in the Social Sciences
Promotes scholarship and explorations of society and human advancement.
Sustainability of Our Planet
Supports research focused on discovering, developing and adopting sustainable solutions.
Exploratory Energy Research

Supports fundamental, open-ended research on energy solutions.