With a focus on funding cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, enabling expert faculty hires, bolstering collaboration, and facilitating postgraduate education across the biological sciences at U-M, the Biosciences Initiative offers a scientific research request for applications (RFA) annually in two categories:
- Scientific Research Initiatives are efforts designed to advance major new directions in transdisciplinary discovery in the biosciences.
- Exploratory Funding Opportunities are focused on early stage experimental activities in biosciences research.
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.
In Feb. 2019, the Biosciences Initiative relaunched this RFA in a second round of funding, opening the opportunity to more exceptional research applications. The Biosciences Initiative Coordinating Committee received exciting proposals from faculty across the university, ultimately choosing four proposals to receive grant awards, totaling more than $20 million. On Oct. 23, 2019, the Biosciences Initiative publicly announced this second round of grantees.
In Feb. 2018, the Biosciences Initiative announced an RFA for Scientific Synergy, Scientific Research and Exploratory Funding opportunities. Biosciences faculty across the U-M Ann Arbor campus applied for this exciting opportunity. All proposals were evaluated through three levels of independent scoring, based on the criteria described in the RFA. On Oct. 29, 2018, the Biosciences Initiative publicly announced nine grant awards, totaling up to $45 million.