Interdisciplinary Team Excellence Enhancement Grant

This purpose of the Interdisciplinary Team Excellence Enhancement Grant is to stimulate the creation of interdisciplinary research and creative scholarship groups around any topic that is likely to be supported by future external funding such as federal, state and private funding. Interdisciplinary work pushes fields forward and accelerates scientific discovery and creative accomplishments. Important ideas often transcend the scope of a single discipline or program and undertakes challenges in innovative ways. While focused on research and creative scholarship, this program complements the interdisciplinarity process occurring in Academic Affairs at WMU which emphasizes replacing single-focus programs with collaborative, multi-disciplinary programs that solve complex, interconnected problems.  Read more at

The award amount for the inaugural program is $100,000 with up to $250,000 in additional funding for equipment. Pre-existing groups may also apply.
Funding is provided by the Office of Research and Innovation, the Office of the President Meader Endowment, and the Office of the Provost.

Looking for members or to join a team?





The application for will be available at Log in at the blue box using a Bronco NetID and password.

Introductory webinar: View February 19, 2021 WebEx recording and presentation
Resource: Thriving in an Era of Team Science

Submission deadline: March 23, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Merit Review: over 2 months

Funding Decision Date: approximately 2 months from submission

Grant award period: one year


Any full-time tenured or tenure track faculty member(s) may apply on behalf of the group. The group should have a minimum of 8 participating faculty and can include research and administrators with PI eligibility. The 8 “core” members must be affiliated with Western Michigan University, but members from outside WMU such as community groups, state agencies, national laboratories, WMed, etc. are also allowed.

Use of Funds
The funds, for a proposal of up to $100,000, must be used to support a series of activities with the goal to enhance interdisciplinary activities at WMU that not only advance the work of the core team members but engage and promote the advancement of the topic across WMU. This can include internal competitive awards that support collaborative interdisciplinary research projects that are designed to generate preliminary data for subsequent applications for substantial federal or private funding. The size of each individual internal competitive award is left to the discretion of the group leadership, but applications from WMU individuals outside the group must be accepted. Up to $250,000 of additional funds can be requested with the proposal for equipment purchase, repair and installation. The process by which funds will be awarded must be outlined in the form below. Funds may NOT be used for administrative support, faculty salary, or tuition. One course buyout per semester (fall and spring) can be requested for an identified faculty leader. The Team must run an Innovation Network within 12 months of award of the grant with assistance from ORI.

Review Process and Criteria
Applications will be reviewed by an administrative team at WMU and by faculty with experience in interdisciplinary research. The review criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Clear demonstration of team function and integration
  • Clear plans for future grant applications derived from these funds
  • Clear demonstration of interdisciplinary team membership
  • Clear plan to recruit additional members to the team.

Application Requirements
Full application and any additionally requested documents (biosketches and chair letter must be in 12pt Arial font) will be submitted via Infoready.

Interested faculty should complete the application in InfoReady ( The application includes a series of questions about the structure, function and significance of the Interdisciplinary Team. The list of questions included in the application are detailed below. Innovative mechanisms for communication and creating multi-PI projects are encouraged.

Complete Requirements:

1. Completed Application in InfoReady and Submitted by Deadline

2. Upload Required Forms (forms are provided in InfoReady; no other forms will be accepted)
a. Table of Interdisciplinary Team Members
b. Budget and Justification Worksheet
c. Current & Pending Support (each member with funding should complete individual form)

3. Letter(s) of Cost-Share Commitment, if appropriate, from Chair/Dean (not required, limited to one page each)

4. NSF or NIH-style CV or Biosketch from each participating faculty member (NSF/NIH page limits apply). Outside members should submit CV or resume (same page limits apply).


1. Proposal Title

2. Name of Lead Principal Investigator

3. Is this a pre-existing group? Yes or No

4. How many WMU members will be in the group?

5. Does your group currently have access to pilot funds within WMU (this includes but not limited to college, department, university, federal, state, corporate funding) specifically for the proposed work? If so, what is the source and amount of funds? (Limit 200 words)

6. How often will your group meet? (Limit 50 words)

7. What will be the format of group meetings? (Limit 100 words)

8. What mechanisms will you use to promote participation in regular meetings? (Limit 200 words)

9. Explain the extent to which your group will be interdisciplinary. (Limit 300 words)

10. Provide a statement of significance and broader impacts – i.e. how this group will advance the general area of research and creative scholarship (e.g. human health, transportation, climate, etc.) (Limit 500 words)

11. Describe how you will promote the acquisition of future external federal, state, local and/or private funding. Provide examples, if possible. (Limit 300 words)

12. Describe any novel ideas, grant formats, activities you plan for your team. (Limit 300 words)

13. Describe the equipment requested and how it will advance the team. (Limit 500 words)

14. Describe how your team will promote and advance a diverse & inclusive environment at WMU not only in terms of ideas and disciplines but also race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc. (Limit 200 words)

15. Provide the email address of the Deans, or in the case of central administrative units Vice Presidents, of all WMU members of the team. These individuals will be asked to comment post submission on their support for the proposal relative to the strategic direction of the college or unit. (Limit 200 words)