UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee: To award grants for joint research partnerships

CONTACT: Vince Sweeney, UW-Madison, 608-265-2822, [email protected]; Tom Luljak, UW-Milwaukee, 414-229-5024, [email protected]

MADISON – Wisconsin’s two public doctoral research universities will join forces in the first campuswide program to promote collaborative research projects involving faculty at both universities.

Chancellors Biddy Martin, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Carlos E. Santiago, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, are launching the Intercampus Research Incentive Grants Program, which will award $300,000 in intercampus grants to support joint research and promote partnerships.

Grants will focus on key areas, including physical sciences, engineering, humanities, the arts and social sciences.

The chancellors say they’re hopeful that successful partnerships will lay the groundwork for future federal or state grant proposals, and proposals will be evaluated in part on their potential for future outside funding.

“I’m eager to see the results from this collaboration as we build on each other’s expertise and share our knowledge across campuses,” Martin says. “The critical problems and questions posed in key areas of research span boundaries and disciplines, and our approach to solving them should, too. Harnessing the special capabilities of faculty at each of our schools and encouraging them to work together strengthens both of our universities and will produce more meaningful, groundbreaking research.”

According to Santiago, “By bringing together the outstanding faculty at both Milwaukee and Madison to work on joint projects, we will create powerful synergies that could lead to important breakthroughs in scientific and other scholarly research. The real winners will be the citizens of Wisconsin who help support our research universities.”

Faculty members will be encouraged to initiate projects that will lead to productive partnerships that leverage the strength of faculty, particularly in areas such as water and energy, health care, advanced manufacturing, biomedical engineering and K-12 education, the chancellors say. This means researchers could focus on solving a problem within a single discipline or collaborate on cross-disciplinary projects, they say. The purpose of seed grants is to help researchers develop proposals that will attract additional federal and foundation funding.

A group of deans, faculty and foundation staff from each institution will be appointed to a committee to select grant recipients. Proposals will be evaluated on the level of interaction between the two campuses, the likelihood work will continue beyond the grant and the potential for the project to secure additional outside funding.

Proposals must also be structured so researchers from both campuses are involved; at least 25 percent of a project’s budget must be for activities at the partner institution.

UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee donors have provided the funding for the collaboration. The first awards will be made in May.

The two schools have worked together in the past in certain research areas, but nothing as broad or as comprehensive as this collaboration.