Just prior to the rise of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis in Michigan, BSI had announced our third and final round of funding for our annual RFA in two categories: Scientific Research Initiative (SRI) and Exploratory Funding opportunities. However, as a result of this pandemic, the BICC has committed to stand up a program in Infectious Disease Threats, in place of the final RFA.
Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic requires the breadth of biosciences and other academic fields at U-M: from engineering, medicine, public health, epidemiology, and biology, to economics, political science, and architectural design. U-M is thus in an important position to do something substantive not only about COVID-19, but also existing infectious disease threats like influenza, and future pandemics. The Biosciences Initiative Coordinating Committee has been meeting over video conferencing with experts across the U-M schools and colleges to create this program. Biosciences funds allocated and faculty positions provided to this final SRI program will be restricted under the budgetary guidelines announced April 20, as long as those guidelines remain in place.