2019 Call for Proposals – Academic Initatives

2019 Call for Proposals – Academic Initatives

Dear colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the fifth call for proposals for Academic Initiatives, a campus program that is designed to provide up to three years of support for teams of engaged faculty from across multiple schools who are committed to developing new areas of interschool excellence. Initiatives are expected to encompass projects that define and cultivate innovative, interdisciplinary research and also make a contribution either to growing or creating Ph.D. programs, or to engaging public and private organizations. Initiatives expected to continue beyond three years with alternative funding should also seek to expand grants and fundraising opportunities.

Successful proposals will receive funding based on the specific needs and desired outcomes of the initiative. Funding may be used to support any legitimate academic purpose, including specialized administrative support, teaching release, research collaborations, workshops or conferences, student participation, collaboration with academic units on new graduate concentrations or emphases, coordination of grant applications, and outreach and community engagement. Proposed budgets should include the cost of general administrative staff support, which will be provided by the Office of Academic Planning, under the leadership of Vice Provost Judy Stepan-Norris. Proposed budgets must not exceed $150,000 per year.

Funded projects will be subject to annual review. At the end of the first year, initiatives will provide a one-page progress report including year-end expense projections, as well as a scope of work and budget request for the second year. If the Initiative is approved for renewal, toward the end of the second academic year, directors will provide a more substantive report outlining the future of the program. Initiative directors should not have any expectation for funding support beyond three years, or the end of the period of the initiative if an earlier end date is determined through the annual review process. Continuing the activity beyond the term of the initiative will require participants to become self-sustaining through a combination of external research funding, philanthropic gifts, self-supporting academic programs, and/or school-level allocations. Therefore, the second-year report must include the initiative director’s plan for transitioning the program out of the Office of the Provost: a three- to five-year plan, whether that be ending the initiative, transitioning to school or campus-supported centers/ORUs, or transitioning to a fully-funded entity through grants and/or philanthropy.

Proposals may be submitted by groups of faculty, departments, centers, institutes, and academic deans. Deans of the relevant schools should comment on the proposals and indicate whether additional school-based resources will be made available to support the initiative. Endorsement by the pertinent chairs and deans is not required, but these academic leaders should be consulted and their comments appended to the proposal when it is submitted.

Application Process:
A full proposal of no more than 11 pages including the budget form:

  • identify the team leader(s) and campus-wide participants;
  • discuss the importance of the research theme and/or educational innovation;
  • explain how UCI is positioned for global leadership in this area;
  • describe potential contributions to research and either to Ph.D. education and/or to community outreach;
  • describe means for securing potential external financial support including research grants and gifts, if relevant;
  • describe a structure of faculty governance and oversight;
  • recommend how the success of the proposed activity should be assessed for purposes of funding years two and three; and
  • include a budget justification to align projected expenses with project goals and deliverables; and
  • in addition to the budget justification, complete the budget request form, which can be found here.

Each team-based full proposal should be submitted to the Office of Academic Planning at acadplan@uci.edu no later than 10:00 a.m., March 18, 2019. Award decisions will be announced in May with funding beginning July 1, 2019.

The Academic Planning Group and the deans will review proposals and provide me with recommendations based on the following criteria: the importance of the activity, possibilities for UCI achieving leadership in the proposed area, extent to which there is diverse faculty participation, inclusive excellence, stated commitment of academic leaders in the units involved, effectiveness of the plan, and, if proposed to continue beyond year one, whether it is likely to evolve into a self-sustaining activity by the end of the third year.

Please contact Judy Stepan-Norris at jstepann@uci.edu with any questions.


Enrique Lavernia, Ph.D.
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Judy Stepan-Norris, Vice Provost for Academic Planning
James Steintrager, Senate Chair Elect
Pramod Khargonekar, Vice Chancellor for Research
Jeff Lefkoff, Associate Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor