The Minnesota Futures program promotes new research and scholarship that takes a bold, creative, and transdisciplinary approach to addressing our biggest societal challenges. The program is designed to foster research teams that will promote new ideas and cross disciplinary boundaries in unique and innovative ways, and advance the disciplines involved in ways that will enrich the lives of Minnesotans and beyond.
Proposals should originate from new interdisciplinary groups*. The award period is two years for a maximum request of $250,000. It is anticipated that up to two grants will be awarded.
Minnesota Futures is an annual, spring competition.
The cycle opens in mid-February and closes in late March. The award period begins July 1 and lasts 24 months.
Applications will be accepted beginning 2/22/2021 for the 2021 cycle
02/19/21: Letter of Intent due (by 11:59 p.m.)
02/22/21: Application opens
03/16/21: PI submits application to approvers (by 11:59 p.m.)
03/19/21: Approvers submit application to OVPR (by 11:59 p.m.)
June 2021: Award notification
07/01/21: Award period begins
Eligibility requirements for Minnesota Futures include:
- The PI/applicant must be from the University of Minnesota
- The funds must be spent at the UMN (except in unusual situations)
PLEASE NOTE: PIs who currently hold an OACA Faculty Research Development Grant, or who have applied within the past year, are not eligible to apply as a PI for this competition.
Research and scholarly proposals will be evaluated by peer review using the following criteria:
- The newness of a group*, including breadth of disciplines and communities involved
- The quality of the research design
- The feasibility of the plan of operation
- The potential for future external funding or scholarly impact
*Definition of a new group: Because the intent of the Minnesota Futures program is to foster fresh and novel collaborations at the University, the group applying for funding must be a new group made up of UMN researchers. 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.
How to Apply
Mandatory Letter of Intent
Include the following on the prescribed form:
- The title of the proposal
- Principal investigator (PI) name, department, and email address
- The likely key collaborators names and areas of discipline
- A list of five keywords
- Total funding request
- A brief description of the nature of the proposed project (200 words or less)
- The names and email addresses of two or three potential UMN faculty reviewers who would not be directly involved with the project
Note: We do not issue invitations following the submission of the LOI. Everyone who submits an LOI is invited to submit a full proposal unless you hear from us.
Please refer to the Application Instructions for information about our submission process, including required attachments and approver routing.
Start a New Application
Start a new application during an open funding cycle (see Availability/Deadlines). Only applications submitted through this system are accepted; fax, email, and paper copy applications will not be accepted.
If you click on the new application link when a competition is closed you will not be able to apply and will receive a message that says, "This competition type is currently closed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information."
Edit an Existing Application
To edit an existing application, choose "OVPR MN Futures Program" from the Process list (top left corner). Click on “My actions to do”. Click on the link in the "Action" column. On the next screen you will see your application.