Multi-disciplinary Team Grant 2021

As funding agencies increasingly emphasize large multi-disciplinary programs to address global challenges, WSU seeks to identify programs that will focus on creative solutions. To support this initiative, the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships (ORAP) invites multi-disciplinary faculty teams to submit planning grant applications.


Join us!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 10am

RSVP for the Zoom link!


Multi-disciplinary Presenters:

Saumik Basu – Entomology

Jonah Firestone – Teaching and Learning

Mona Ghandi – Architecture

Manoj Karkee – Biological Systems Engineering


The teams will compete for $50,000 plus a doctorial level research assistantship for the development of their preliminary idea into an extramural center-type grant proposal. The research assistantship, provided by the Graduate School, will be for two semesters.

The competition will be a two-step process with a written application and a public presentation. Applications should focus on a major research question and the multi-disciplinary team convened around it. The goal of the planning grant is to enable the preparation of a competitive proposal for a major ($5M+) multidisciplinary center-type grant through team development and preliminary research. The target agency for this grant may be federal or non-federal.



WSU faculty members in any discipline may serve as principal investigator or team member.



Application DueSeptember 13, 2021, 5:00pm
Research Week PresentationsOctober 13, 2021
Awards AnnouncedOctober 13, 2021
Awards RecognizedOctober 14, 2021, 3:00pm


Award Details

A total of $50,000 plus one research assistantship for two semesters, at step 42* with tuition waiver, will be awarded to a single team. Overhead or facilities/administrative costs do not apply. Proposal budgets will need to include personnel benefit costs if faculty or staff salary is included. 

* If the graduate program typically funds RAs at a higher step, the unit is expected to fund the difference between the higher step and step 42. 


Application and Presentation Guidelines


Written application due date is September 13, 2021 at 5pm.

An interdisciplinary evaluation panel will review the written applications.


The application must include the following. All character counts include spaces:

  • Research Topic/Problem (8,000 character max) – Define the major research focus or problem to be addressed by the team. Describe the significance or impact of the problem, and how it aligns with the targeted funding program.
  • Team and Management Plan (4,000 character max) – Describe the proposed team, disciplinary expertise represented, and any previous collaborations (if applicable). Include a brief management plan and timeline of planning activities.
  • Research Plan (10,000 character max) – Describe the research plan or approach and the team’s integration of expertise into research activities. Include innovation(s) that will heighten proposal competitiveness and any preliminary research that must occur before proposal submission.
  • Future Funding Plan (2,000 character max) – Describe in detail the large, multidisciplinary funding vehicle to which the team will submit its proposal. Describe the program’s fit for the team.
  • Budget – Indicate the budget items required to complete this planning grant and provide a brief description of how each item will support the project.
  • Biographical Sketches – Provide a 2 page biographical sketch for each key person listed above. Use the template provided.


Public Presentation

During Research Week 2021, the lead PI will be required to deliver a 10 minute presentation of the team’s concept to a general WSU audience and the evaluation panel. A short question and answer period will follow each presentation. All team members are encouraged to attend to help field these questions. The evaluators will use both the written application and the presentation to select the most promising and compelling project to receive the planning grant.


The winning team will be announced after the presentations and officially recognized during the Research Week awards ceremony on October 14th.


Evaluation Criteria

A multi-disciplinary faculty review panel will evaluate both the written proposal and public presentation using the criteria below.

Research Topic/Problem.20
Team and Management Plan.30
Research Plan.30
Future Funding Program .20


Award Terms and Conditions

  • Any unencumbered funds remaining after the grant’s approved period of performance are to be returned to the Office of Research.
  • If the planning activities include human subjects, animals, and/or biosafety activities, the protocol letter of approval must be submitted to before funds can be released.


Deliverables and Outcomes

The selected project team will work with the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships (ORAP) in developing and submitting their external grant proposal.



Please submit any questions to using “Multi-disciplinary Grant” in the subject line, or call Emily Brashear at (509) 335-7266.