VPRI announces new humanities and social sciences awards

A scene from the play “Salmon is Everything,”

UO scholars and researchers are invited to submit applications by Feb. 6 for a new program that awards seed funding for interdisciplinary work in the humanities and social sciences.

Last year, the UO Foundation Board of Trustees announced its support for a program that boosts new research projects that have a strong chance of attracting outside funding. Now the UO Foundation is sponsoring a similar program aimed specifically at scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

“The UO Foundation Board of Trustees views these awards as an opportunity to invest in the success of our faculty,” said board Chair Jim Shephard.  “This program furthers innovative, interdisciplinary projects with strong potential to receive external funding.”

David Conover, the UO’s vice president for research and innovation, announced the award in a recent memo.

“We are seeking innovative projects that investigate the interrelationships between human activity and the environment and that employ humanistic and social scientific modes of investigation,” Conover said.

The program will name up to three recipients, with each awardee receiving up to $25,000 in seed funding. The goal, Conover said, is to fund the preparatory work necessary to develop competitive external funding proposals.

Funds can be used for everything from generating or acquiring pilot data to paying for instructional release or course buyouts. The program emphasizes collaborative partnerships that bridge distinct programs, departments or schools.

“There’s a real need to provide seed funding to promising humanities and social sciences projects,” Conover said. “We are very excited to see what kinds of interdisciplinary proposals our researchers and scholars come up with, and what external funding these projects might attract.”

The deadline for applications for 2017 awards is 5 p.m. Feb. 6. Proposals must involve partnerships involving at least two different entities. Principal investigators must be in the humanities or social sciences at the UO, but collaborators can include faculty from the natural sciences and projects may involve researchers from other institutions provided they bring unique strengths or assets to the project.

For detailed guidelines and an application form, visit the UO’s Research Development Services Internal Awards page. Questions about the program, the application or submission process can be directed to Lynn Stearney, director of Research Development Services, stearney@uoregon.edu, 541-346-8308.