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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.

This call seeks interdisciplinary research and scholarship proposals that originate from new interdisciplinary groups. Proposals may be for up to two years for a maximum of $250,000. It is anticipated that two grants will be awarded.

2017-2019 Call for Proposals

Due date for mandatory Letter of Intent: February 20, 2017
Full proposals accepted starting: February 21, 2017

Due date for application to approvers: March 20, 2017
Due date for approvers to submit application to the OVPR: March 23, 2017

Award notification: June 2017
Project start date: July 1, 2017
Project completion date: June 30, 2019



  • The PI/applicant must be from the University of Minnesota
  • The funds must be spent at the U of MN (except in unusual situations)
  • To avoid overlap with the Provost's Grand Challenges competition, applications will not be accepted in these two areas: clean water & sustainable ecosystems; just and equitable communities.

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 20, 2017 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.


NOTE: For 2017 a new online form has been created for full proposal submission. The use of EGMS PRF is no long required.

Please refer to Application Instructions document for information about the new submission process.

Applying for MN Futures
Read about MN Futures application instructions, required attachments, and approver routing.
Click HERE to download a printable version of the instructions

Click HERE to start a new MN Futures Application

**Applications accepted starting February 21, 2017**

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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