University of Mississippi Interdisciplinary Research Development (INSPiRED) Program

University of Mississippi INterdiSciPlinary REsearch Development (INSPiRED) Program
(Cohort 1 - Fall 2020)

Faculty are among the most highly trained individuals in discipline-specific research. They are taught how to think, design, address research challenges, and execute research projects. The very nature of what drives faculty – curiosity, discovery, and the desire to understand and invent – serves them well for building individual research programs. Yet, the global challenges that universities are poised to tackle cannot be approached as a solo sport; they require a diverse team effort to be successful. The most important and game-changing research will be accomplished by a collective of disciplines searching, sparring, and ultimately succeeding in advancing the knowledge, health, and well-being of humanity.

The INterdiSciPlInary REsearch Development (INSPiRED) Program focuses on training and equipping faculty with the skills and resources they will need to effectively work in large, multi-disciplinary research teams, and with centers and research-centric administrative offices. The INSPiRED program concentrates on training faculty in building, coordinating, and directing large research efforts including interdisciplinary programs and centers.

In addition to a two-day training workshop focusing on enabling interdisciplinary and team science, this program will familiarize faculty with university and external resources available to aid with writing successful, large-scale, multi-faceted research proposals and directing major multi-disciplinary, and multi-institutional research efforts and centers.

The INSPiRED Program will introduce UM faculty to resources that will assist with:

  • Interdisciplinary science foundation and team building
  • Research grant proposal development
  • External and internal communications and marketing
  • Sponsored programs and contracts
  • Intellectual property and legal issues
  • Compliance and regulatory affairs
  • Development and charitable giving

The INSPiRED Program will provide:

  • Two-day training workshop: American Institute of Biological Science’s Enabling Interdisciplinary and Team Science.  Download the weblink and course outline in the attachment section below.
  • Access to collaborative proposal development support services through ORSP Research Development, including:
    • Enhanced narrative reviews from experienced research developers and external disciplinary experts
    • Pre-award proposal and submission support from the Flagship Constellation Research Administrator

Participation is open to UM faculty (of any rank) and research staff who can demonstrate:

  • A track record of pursuing or securing external funding for research and scholarship.
  • A track record of participating in collaborative research and scholarship.
    • For example: interdisciplinary grant proposals and/or awards; publications with co-authors from other disciplines and/or institutions; or participation in the Flagship Constellations initiative.
  • A commitment to actively participate in program activities, including training workshops, monthly networking meetings, and grant proposal development.

Program Timeline (estimated)

  1. 2-day training workshop (Aug 18-19, 2020)
  2. Networking sessions (monthly, Sept 2020 – Dec 2021)
  3. Identify interdisciplinary team members (Oct 2020)
  4. Identify potential project (Nov 2020)
  5. Identify potential funding source (Nov 2020)
  6. Develop and conduct any pilot projects, as needed by individual groups (Jan – May 2021)
  7. Develop grant application (June – Oct 2021)
  8. Submit grant application (Oct 2021)
  9. Publish any relevant findings from pilot project (Dec 2021)

Application Requirements

  1. Program Announcement:  March 2, 2020
  2. Application submission window opens in InfoReady Review Portal:  March 30, 2020
  3. Applications due:  May 1, 2020   EXTENDED TO JUNE 15, 2020
  4. Department Chair, Dean, or Immediate Supervisor Acknowledgements due in InfoReady:  May 6, 2020   EXTENDED TO JUNE 16, 2020
  5. Program participant selections announced:  June 1, 2020   EXTENDED TO JULY 15, 2020


  • Select the appropriate application in InfoReady:
    • Individual - applicants interested in developing new collaborations may submit an ‘Individual’ application.  Individuals will tentatively be grouped into teams upon admission into the program, based on their self-reported interests and research programs.
    • Team - groups of applicants that are part of an existing collaboration may submit a single ‘Team’ application. Teams are limited to 5 members. Each team must have representation from at least 3 different UM departments.
  • Statement of interest (500 words)
    • Individual: (1) Define how collaboration will enhance your research? (2) Explain why are you interested in the INSPiRED program? (3) Describe how this program will advance your research portfolio (be specific)?
    • Team: (1) Identify specific problems your team is poised to address (2) Why is your team interested in interdisciplinary training?  (3) How will your team’s participation in the INSPiRED program advance each team member’s research portfolio (be specific)?
  • Research Program (500 words/applicant)
    • Briefly describe each applicant’s current research program highlighting collaborative projects and interests. For Teams: outline how individual training and expertise will contribute to overall team outcomes.
  • Potential Funding
    • Identify specific potential external funding opportunities for your research or proposed collaboration.  Include links where appropriate.
  • Team Members (for ‘Team’ applications ONLY)
    • Include information on all team members:  email, title, department, and specific discipline.
    • Note: Teams must consist of at least 3 members and can have up to 5 members apply for the INSPiRED program. For teams smaller than 5, additional members may be added during the selection/orientation process, so that the team totals 5 members. For teams larger than 5, extra team members can participate in any other activities, aside from the workshop.
  • Acknowledgement from Department Chair, Dean or Direct Supervisor
    • Individual:   InfoReady will route a "request to acknowledge" to the applicant’s supervisor (based on the email address entered by the applicant)
    • Team:  the person applying on behalf of a team must have each team member obtain their supervisor’s signature on the Acknowledgement Form (see Attachments section below) and combine them all into a single PDF for upload to InfoReady.  The following options are allowable:
      • Scanned ink-signed commitments on any form
      • E-signatures on any form
      • E-mail stating that the Chair, Dean or Direct Supervisor acknowledges as described in the attachment below (in place of a signed Acknowledgement Form).
  • Commitment to Participate by individual applicants - or by each member of a Team
    • Individual:   InfoReady will require this 'acknowledgement' be checked before the individual can submit their application (no upload).  
    • Team:  the person applying on behalf of a team must have each team member sign a Commitment to Participate (see Attachments section below) and combine them all into a single PDF for upload to InfoReady.  The following options are allowable:
      • Scanned ink-signed commitments on any form
      • E-signatures on any form
      • E-mail stating that the team member commits to participate as described in the attachment below (in place of a signed Commitment to Participate Form).
  • Curriculum Vitae (NIH or NSF-formatted Biosketch) of the applicant (for ‘Individual’ applications) or for each team member (for ‘Team’ applications) combined and uploaded as a single PDF.
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