Interdisciplinary Research Grant

The Interdisciplinary Research Grant (IRG) is designed to leverage the faculty talent across the USF research enterprise, supporting collaborative research projects that will lead to external funding. Many complex problems in today’s world benefit from analysis from the perspectives of multiple scholarly disciplines. This internal award is poised to support convergent research, leverage lab facilities and other resources available at partner campuses.

Funding for this program comes from an allocation to the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Office of Research. Faculty receiving awards during this cycle may be asked by the Research Advisory Board to contribute to the awards review process in subsequent internal award application cycles.

Goals of this grant program include:

  • Build research capacity on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus.
  • Support collaboration across the university and strengthen synergy in research teams.
  • Support projects that will generate preliminary findings and/or proof of concept to pave the way for competitive extramural grant support.

Successful proposal teams will include faculty members serving as PIs from different USF departments, programs, or schools. This program is well-suited to support the endeavors of faculty with diverse backgrounds and project interests. PIs who accept an Interdisciplinary Research Grant (IRG) award commit to the pursuit of external funding for the collaborative effort within 18 months of receiving IRG funding. Activities that are not eligible for support through this mechanism include consulting, fundraising, lobbying and curriculum development.

Award Information

Budgets up to $20,000 for 12 months.   

Faculty Research Expertise  

Explore our expertise database to learn more about the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus faculty. The profiles feature faculty CVs and research key words that will help you find an expert to collaborate on research projects or to provide analysis and commentary on social trends and developments. Take this opportunity to learn more about USF research opportunities on the St. Petersburg campus and Tampa campus.

Program Guidelines

The interdisciplinary research funding is meant to catalyze collaborations in high-impact, emerging fields that have potential for external funding. Proposed projects must reflect new ideas, distinct from currently supported projects. Successful proposals will demonstrate:

  • The interdisciplinary team represents the expertise required to address the scope of research.  
  • Compelling evidence that external funding opportunities exist that are relevant for the proposed work.  
  • Preference given to projects that enhance the research enterprise on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus. 

Eligibility Guidelines

All USF faculty in good standing may participate as PI/Co-PI. All PIs/Co-Is must be either tenured/tenure-track, or Center Director. Each project team must include at least one faculty member on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus. Faculty serving as peer reviewers are not eligible to apply concurrently for this grant. Adjunct faculty, instructors, affiliate faculty, visiting faculty, and postdocs are not eligible to serve as either PI or co-PIs but may participate as Key Personnel in the proposed project. Late or incomplete applications will be returned without review.

Required Proposal Materials

Applications should be written for the intelligent non-expert. Format with 1-inch margins, use a readable font (e.g. 11-point Times New Roman). Submit as one combined PDF document. Lead PI name should be used in the file name (e.g. Smith-IRG-2021.pdf).  

  • Project Cover Page. (1-page, single-spaced) Project PI(s) and contact info, Project Title and Abstract.  
  • Project Description. (6-pages, double-spaced) This section should answer the following questions:  
    • What do you intend to do? Include a concise statement of the research question to be addressed.
    • Who will you be working with to achieve your goals? Expertise required to accomplish project.
    • Why is the project important? Include potential significance of the expected results.  
    • What has already been done? Discuss the relation of the concept underlying the proposed project to the present state of knowledge in the field.  
    • How are you going to do the work? Explain the project design and the methods that will be used to achieve the research objectives.
    • How will this project position you/your team for extramural funding?
  • Statement of Impact on Career (for each PI). (1-page) Summarize the possible impact of this project on your career. Discuss any efforts / plans to obtain external funding for your work. If external funding is not available, please explain. If you have previously received funding from an internal grant, please list the grant title, dates and amount and describe the products, milestones or achievements that resulted from the previous funding.  
  • Project Timeline. (1-page) Descriptive outline of anticipated project schedule (e.g., Data collection, data analysis, draft manuscript, draft external grant application).
  • Bibliography. Provide citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal, including but not limited to the most recent, relevant publications on the topic.
  • Letters of Support. Co-funding is encouraged. Letters should reflect the source and planned use of the funds committed during the project period. Letters may represent external partners or internal support from your Dean/Chair/Director.
  • Biographical sketch. Agency specific CV or Biosketch (e.g. NIH or NSF format) recommended. See Research Toolkit for sample. Do not include your full curriculum vitae.
  • Budget and Budget Narrative. (2 pages) Page 1-Detail costs in a budget table with each expenditure category and line item descriptions. Page 2-Narrative justification for all expenditures. If applicable, indicate specific project costs that are supported by outside sources. Unallowable Expenses: Faculty salary, transfer of university funds to external institutions or individuals, administrative or secretarial support, Indirect costs. 

Process and Evaluation Criteria. Peer review will be provided by USF faculty with a range of scientific, technical, and research experience. Previously funded applicants should demonstrate progress toward extramural support.  Evaluation criteria include:

  • Project justification and research objectives (importance and relevance of project and collaboration).
  • Project design and methods (appropriateness and integrity of methods given research objectives).
  • Feasibility of completing the project as specified in the timeline. 
    Project deliverables or outcomes (articles, books, exhibitions, presentations, grant applications, etc.)
  • Readability of proposal by a general audience of educated non-specialists. 
    Potential impact on applicants’ careers and likeliness of the project leading to extramural funding.

Applicants will receive a brief list of strengths and weaknesses with a numerical rank (10=highly meritorious and recommended for funding, 1=low priority for consideration).

Awardee Requirements

Upon award, you must submit the following to the USF Sarasota Manatee campus Office of Research:

  • Within 1 month of award: A one-page description of the project and team that is suitable for presentation on the campus Office of Research website. (Graphic representation or photos welcome.)
  • Within 1 month of project end: A two-page progress report including research outcomes, other outcomes (manuscripts submitted/presented, conferences, etc.), and progress toward securing external funding. If either research progression or plans toward submission of proposals for external funding has been impacted, a clear explanation and a mitigation plan is required.
  • Upon request: Provide a brief presentation at a USF research symposium or other event to highlight the Interdisciplinary Research grant impact. 

Other Terms and Conditions

  • Funds will not be released until all necessary compliance related approvals and/or training are acquired, such as IRB, IACUC, IBC, RCR and COI.
  • Funds expire and must be used within 12 months of award. Any unused funds must be returned to the USF Sarasota Manatee Office of Research.
  • Failure to comply with any of the Awardee Requirements will result in suspension of Interdisciplinary Research Grant funding and faculty becoming ineligible for future internal grant competitions from the USF Sarasota Manatee campus Office of Research.
  • The Interdisciplinary Research Grant award must be acknowledged in any resulting publications, exhibitions, or events, including press releases, using the following language: “This project was funded (or partially funded) by the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Office of Research through the Interdisciplinary Research grant program.”

For additional guidance or clarification, please contact: 
Sandy Justice, CRA 
USF Sarasota Manatee 
(813) 361-7287