Idea Awards

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During the 2011-2012 academic year, over 100 faculty members from across the campus took part in brainstorming sessions to identify broad themes that capture strategic research strengths at the University of Oregon.  These themes were vetted further in an open faculty forum in the fall of 2012.  Below are the themes that resulted from this faculty-centered process (you can find for more detailed descriptions of each theme on the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation website):

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Developing Cells, Minds, and Healthy Communities
  • Identities, Cultures, and Connections
  • Tools & Technologies for Tomorrow
  • Oregon:  A Place, a Laboratory, a Canvas
  • Shaping the Information Society

Available to scholars from all disciplines, Idea awards provide funds to stimulate ideas for new collaborative research projects that reflect these broad themes and enhance research excellence at the University of Oregon.  The Idea competition is held twice per academic year.   

Scope of the Award / Use of Funds
The Idea program is designed to furnish funds that will stimulate discussion and development of collaborative ideas for research projects that will enhance the UO’s research strengths and that will be candidates for future external funding.  Funds may be used to sponsor an external speaker, engage in a planning workshop or retreat, retain a consultant to conduct a seminar or workshop, or in other ways that encourage collaborative research and engage faculty in projects to facilitate research excellence.  

Awards will be made up to $5,000.  Matching funds from departments, Centers or Institutes, or Colleges are encouraged. 


Proposals are due on December 17, 2013 and March 31, 2014.  Notification of awards will take place by February 3 and May 16, 2014.  Proposed projects should be completed within six months of the award.  Brief reports are required and due to the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation upon the completion of the project.



Faculty members with the rank of Assistant Professor or above OR non-tenure-track faculty who hold a full time Research Associate/Senior Research Associate or any rank of the Research Professor appointment (1.0 FTE) and will hold a UO appointment during the academic year of the research award.  Emeritus, Courtesy, Visiting, Instructor and adjunct appointee ranks are ineligible.

Faculty members may submit only ONE application as principal investigator, but may serve as a co-investigator on other proposals. 


Electronic submission of the proposal is required.  Use 11 point Times New Roman font and 1” margins.   Please send a PDF of your application to Please include the cover sheet.

Application components

  • Cover sheet
  • Proposal which describes a potential research project and the research theme which it exemplifies, justifies why it is worthy of exploration, explains proposed activity, and describes expected outcomes (1 page).
  • Budget and budget justification (1 page).
  • Curriculum Vitae, including current and pending grants and publications from the last five (5) years (2 pages).
  • Letter from Head/Director/Dean(s) from unit/college(s) briefly describing how the application supports the unit/college mission/goals and detailing/authorizing the commitment (if any) for matching support designated for the award.