Multi-College Interdisciplinary Research Program (MIRP) - Request for Proposals - Guidelines

Up to $75,000 for Successful Multidisciplinary Teams of Eligible Faculty


The Multi-College Interdisciplinary Research Program (MIRP) provides funding for broad and collaborative research activities that are interdisciplinary and involve faculty from multiple colleges across CSU. Successful proposals are typically led by faculty with strong records of previous research accomplishments. The primary goal for this program is to provide support for teams of such faculty who are preparing a proposal for an externally funded interdisciplinary grant with the focus on any area of fundamental importance. This funding opportunity presents one component of CSU’s innovation strategy, which is being developed to stimulate innovations in interdisciplinary research and education across campus through effective faculty collaboration.

In order to be considered for this program, applications must provide a constructive plan for sustained funding or support beyond the end of the award, and must also demonstrate that the award will significantly help in the development of the proposal. Targets for funding must be specific RFP related to the proposed project. Each application must designate a team that includes one Principal Investigator (PI) and at least two co-Principal Investigators. At least three colleges must be represented between the members of the proposing team and the involvement of each member including the PI and Co-PIs should be specifically described.


Applicants should contact Dr. Dan Simon in the Office of Research at or via phone 216-687-5171, prior to submitting a proposal, to receive confirmation that the proposed research is consistent with the goals of the program.

There is no specific due date for proposals. Instead, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the Office of Research will coordinate the continuous review of submitted proposals until commitment of available funds.

Applicants must be full-time tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty. A faculty member may participate in only one proposal as a PI or Co-PI. Applications require the involvement of at least three colleges.

Proposal Preparation

Multidisciplinary teams of eligible faculty are invited to submit an application via e-mail to and Applications must consist of the following:

  • Cover Page (containing the participants’ names, departments, colleges, contact information, and signatures);
  • Project Description (containing the potential impact, background, research plan, a description of the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and the timetable) (5 pages);
  • Copy of the solicitation of the external funding opportunity (e.g., Request for Proposal);
  • Budget Justification (detailed pre-proposal budget specifying three possible $25,000 award periods, as explained below (max. 2 pages);
  • Letters of Support (signed by the deans of the participating colleges stating why the proposed project is important for their college);
  • Curriculum Vita (an abbreviated CV or biosketch for each member in the format used by NIH or NSF).

Applicants must identify a specific external source of funding and specify a detailed plan and timetable for the timely submission of a major grant proposal (with a min. total budget of $400,000) to an external sponsor, that will be pursued as a result of an MIRP award. The project description must clearly explain how the support would help to enhance the competitiveness of the external funding proposal, as well as any potential licensing or commercialization of University intellectual property. Proposals must explain the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the specific contributions of each investigator, and the plans for making the interdisciplinary collaborative research activities self-sustaining through competitive funding.

Successful applications will be awarded an initial $25,000 to facilitate work on the external grant proposal. In addition, following the submission of the proposal for external funding, the MIRP team will receive an additional $25,000 to continue research activities while the external proposal is under review. Finally, based on the quality of the reviews from the external proposal, the team may receive an additional $25,000 in order to facilitate a competitive resubmission of their application for external funding, or, if the external proposal is funded, to support the team’s continued interdisciplinary research activities.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by select members of the University Research Council (URC) or by interdisciplinary CSU faculty panels. When the necessary expertise does not reside on campus, external reviewers may be used.

Evaluation will be conducted in two steps: first by select reviewers considering:

  1. Probability that the research will receive external funding;
  2. Significance and originality of the proposed research;
  3. Interdisciplinary nature of the research;
  4. New and particularly innovative collaboration;
  5. Extent of sustained collaborative activity that is cultivated by the award;
  6. Prior record of PIs and co-PIs of external research funding.

The second evaluation step will consist of an oral presentation to the Office of Research to assess whether the applicants constitute an integrated team and determine whether they have a realistic plan for sustaining the proposed activity. The final funding decision will be made by the Vice President for Research.

Allowable Costs

Allowable expenditures are direct costs normally applied during the conduct of sponsored research, including salaries, consultant fees, cost of grant writers, well-justified domestic travel required to meet with potential research sponsors, or to attract collaborators or visitors to CSU (but not for the conduct of research), supplies, and other direct costs. The following points should be noted:

  • Faculty, post-doc, student, and technician salaries (and associated fringe benefits) may be charged to the program. Up to one month of faculty summer salary may be requested. If release time for the academic year is requested, the budget must identify the part-time faculty replacement cost (including fringe benefits) and a letter from the Chairperson of the Department, co-signed by the Academic Dean must be submitted. If a graduate research assistant stipend is requested, it will be necessary to provide documentation of other source for tuition/fees.
  • The award cannot be used for equipment or computer purchases, international travel or for developing instructional materials or for supporting work leading to any academic degree for the applicant. Tuition grants and fees are not allowable under the MIRP.

Recipients have 12 months from the date funds are received to complete projects. Funds not expended by that time will be returned to the Office of Research.

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