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OVPR Funding

Minnesota Futures Grant Program

In keeping with the OVPR’s strategic plan to address societal challenges, the MN Futures Grant Program is designed to promote research and scholarship beyond existing initiatives through fostering opportunities for researchers to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries. The program is designed to promote in-depth work to enable faculty members to respond collaboratively and boldly to emerging opportunities in interdisciplinary research and scholarship.

2016-2018 Call for Proposals

Due date for Letter of Intent: Feb. 22, 2016
Due date for application: Mar. 21, 2016
Award notification: Jun. 2016
Project start date: Jul. 1, 2016
Project completion date: Jun. 30, 2018



  • The PI must be from the University of Minnesota
  • The funds must be spent at the U of MN (except in unusual situations)

Research and scholarly proposals will be evaluated by peer review using the following criteria:

  • The newness of group including breadth of disciplines and communities involved;
  • The quality of the research design;
  • The feasibility of the plan of operation; and
  • The potential for future external funding or scholarly impact.

*Definition of a New Group: Because the intent of the MN Futures program is to foster fresh and novel collaborations the group applying for funding must be new. New group means a group that has not worked together before. Although there might be some history of collaboration between different sets of the collaborators, the group itself should not have worked together before or at most no more than a year. For example, two or three members of a larger group of collaborators could have published together but the whole group should not show a history of joint work. The proposal must provide a narrative of how the new group was formed and describe how it is distinct from other interdisciplinary work group members may have conducted in the past.

Submission Process

A letter of intent (see required LOI template) must be submitted to using “MN Futures LOI” in the subject line, on or before Monday, February 22, 2016 and must include the following on the prescribed form:

  1. The title of the proposal
  2. PI name, department and email address
  3. The likely key collaborators names and areas of discipline
  4. A list of five keywords
  5. Total funding request
  6. A brief description of the nature of the proposed project (200 words or less)
  7. The names and email addresses of 2-3 potential UMN faculty reviewers who would NOT be directly involved with the project

Please note, we will NOT be issuing invitations following the submission of the LOI. Everyone who submits an LOI is invited to submit a full proposal unless you hear from us.


Proposal Routing forms should NOT be routed to SPA. This form will be used by the OVPR to ensure appropriate documentation of compliance and project approvals. When filling out the PRF please

  1. Have “UMN VP for Research MN Futures” inserted in Item #1: Sponsor Name on the PRF.
  2. Enter “facgrant” as an approver in addition to the applicable Department Head and College Dean.


Please send your proposal (items 1 – 3 below) as a single PDF document, via e-mail using MN Futures Grant in the Subject line to, on or before Monday, March 21, 2016.

1. The Cover Page (required template provided)
2. The proposal must be prepared in point size of 10 or higher with 1” margins, cannot exceed 15 pages including the budget and budget justification (references should be limited to one additional page), and should include:

    • A narrative

  • Formation of the new group* (see definition above)
  • Interdisciplinary nature of the group
  • Rationale for proposed activity in terms of the societal problem being addressed
  • Research or scholarly design
  • Proposed outcomes
  • Management plan
  • Timeline
  • Potential for future funding and impact

    • A budget and budget justification

  • No indirect costs will be paid
  • Support from other sources, if any, must be disclosed and explained in the budget justification
  • Allowable expenses up to $250,000 over two years for the proposal include personnel costs (senior personnel, post docs, graduate students and others, partial support for faculty salary); travel; materials and supplies; consultants; or computer services. General use equipment or supplies including computers, books, or subscriptions are not allowable.

3. Bio-sketches of key collaborators (no more than 2 pages each, this is not included in the 15 page limit)

NOTE: Letters of support and letters of recommendation are optional, and they will count against the 15 page proposal limit.

More Information

Minnesota Futures News

Grant Recipients

View the past and present recipients of Minnesota Futures Grants.

Learn more


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact or 612-625-2356