Proposal Development Assistance

Resources for developing phase two projects

To assist with preparing for the review process, a Letter of Intent is required, and is due no later than 11:59PM on June 5th, 2018. LoIs must be submitted online at IU’s internal grant application portal,, and must include

  • A brief Executive Summary (<150 words) of the project.
  • A list of all key personnel and external partners, whether confirmed or expected.
  • Identification of the priority focal areas being utilized, and goals being addressed, in the project.

All full project proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on June 25, 2018. Proposals must be submitted online at IU’s internal grant application portal, Infoready.

Proposals may be developed and submitted without formal assistance from the office of the Vice President for Research (VPRO), the Steering Committee (SC), or the Scientific Leadership Team (SLT), but such guidance is available to all interested faculty members. In all cases, interested faculty are advised to confer with the Scientific Leadership Team members associated with the primary focus area(s) of the planned project. It is also important to familiarize oneself with projects that have already been funded through the Grand Challenge to avoid redundancy and to explore possible synergies with these projects as you develop proposals.

The complex factors shaping the addictions crisis suggest the value of innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborative projects. To encourage the development of such projects, the office of the Vice President for Research has arranged for a series of events designed to help faculty members create interdisciplinary teams working on novel, transformational responses to the addictions crisis.

Jumpstart Conversations

Jumpstart conversations will be held on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses and by video conference with faculty from regional campuses. These brown-bag lunches and coffee talks will provide opportunities to learn about the framework and goals of IU’s strategy to address the addictions crisis and to begin exploring ways that different kinds of expertise can contribute to the work the university will undertake. Check this web page for regularly updated information about these conversations.

Previous jumpstart conversations:

  • February 26, 2018: “Responding to the Addictions Crisis,” hosted by Robin Newhouse. 7:30 – 9:00 a.m., Nursing 127 IUPUI. Videobridge/Audiobridge available; contact for information.
  • February 26, 2018: “Analysis and Visualization of Addiction Data,” hosted by Katy Borner and Kosali Simon. 8:30 – 10:00 am, Luddy Hall 4012, IU Bloomington.
  • February 27, 2018: “Responding to the Addictions Crisis,” hosted by Terry Mason and Ellen Vaughan. 12:00 – 1:30 pm, Wright Education Building 2140, IU Bloomington.
  • March 5, 2018: “Responding to the Addictions Crisis,” hosted by David Kareken. 11:30 – 1:00 pm, HITS 1110, IUPUI.

Please contact for more information.

Scoping Sessions

How, with a challenge as large and complex as the addictions crisis, can we identify intriguing questions that might point us toward game-changing solutions? How can people across IU begin to identify potential partners who are interested in similar questions and who bring complementary expertise to joint efforts?

One strategy is through Scoping Sessions, which were held on the Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses on March 1st and 2nd. More than 130 faculty members, researchers, and community partners came together to reframe our understanding of the addictions crisis and begin to imagine new strategies for addressing the problems we face. These conversations will shape the upcoming Ideas Lab in May. In addition, we’ll be working over the next several weeks to connect participants with others at IU working on similar elements of the crisis in order to maximize our impact through coordinated partnerships. For more information, contact

Ideas Lab

Ideas Labs have been used by NSF and NIH to promote the development of novel, interdisciplinary research proposals directed at complex. These intensive, residential workshops bring together participants from diverse disciplines, people who are committed to an open-minded, flexible approach to finding new solutions to seemingly intractable problems – such as the addictions crisis. The goal is not to replace or replicate approaches that would be developed in other settings, but to create a setting and an environment where unique projects can be initiated – first by scoping the problem and its component parts in new ways, then by building unique teams who together develop strategies that can only come from their shared expertise and the interplay of ideas that begins at the Ideas Lab. See The Ideas Lab Concept (an article in PLOS Currents) and Cracking the Olfactory Code for descriptions of NSF-sponsored Ideas Labs.

For Responding to the Addictions Crisis, Knowinnovation will be planning and facilitating (with IU faculty in mentoring roles) a 3-day event for developing phase two project proposals. While most phase two proposals will be developed through more traditional processes, our hope is to spark at least a few intentionally innovative and interdisciplinary projects that would be difficult to imagine outside of such an intensive and focused setting.

Our Ideas Lab will be held in New Harmony, Indiana from Monday, May 14th through Wednesday, May 16th. IU faculty members and researchers from all campuses are eligible to apply to participate; we will bring together a group of 35-40 people (including invited community partners) with different areas of expertise and a shared openness to an intensive and unfamiliar process. Multiple project proposals may come out of the Ideas Lab process; those that are not selected for phase two funding through the IU Grand Challenge will be well-positioned to secure external funding from federal agencies, philanthropic or corporate funders.

Applications are due March 26th. IU faculty and researchers can apply through the link below; community partners interested in participating should contact for more information.

Apply for Ideas Lab