Call for Proposals to Establish Communities of Research Scholars (CoRS)

Program Description: The UofM Division of Research & Innovation is pleased to launch a new Communities of Research Scholars (CoRS) Program designed to cultivate interdisciplinary discourse and nurture the growth of research affinity groups across campus. These groups are created by faculty, for faculty, and are self-governing and self-directed within the framework of the program. Each 'community' will include faculty representing multiple disciplinary perspectives and research approaches with shared interests in exploring a common research theme. Each community is encouraged to involve research partners from area community organizations and other regional academic institutions as appropriate to the target theme.  

Funds Available: We will award up to ten (10) CoRS start-up grants of $2,500 each to seed development of new communities. Funds will be available for 1 year to support activities over that will result in a focused plan to pursue and secure support for ongoing research, scholarship, and/or creative activity and an organizational membership structure to enable ongoing community activities. Eligible expenses may include food for meetings; facilitators or external speakers; modest staff or hourly student support to assist with activities; or up to $500 in faculty summer support for the convener for activities directly related to the CoRS. At the end of the start-up period, results will be evaluated, and selected Communities identified for further development support towards becoming new interdisciplinary research clusters or centers.

Proposal Content: 1-3 page, single spaced document that includes:

The name of the convener: Who will be responsible for organizing and documenting the group's activities? This should be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who will submit the Community's plan and membership structure at the end of the project period.

  1. A description of your proposed topic: What is the thematic area of inquiry your group would like to explore? This could be something broad like water contamination, gender equity, poverty, climate change, alternative energy, or social media. It could also be a bit more focused, like childhood asthma or undergraduate STEM retention.
  2. The Community of Scholars to be involved: This is more than providing a list of names and departments. We are looking for involvement from 5-10 faculty who will bring different disciplinary perspectives or approaches to the conversation. Identify these faculty and the perspective/interests each brings to the table. Everyone identified should be copied when you e-mail the proposal, so we know they are invested.
  3. Description of the novelty of the idea: We are interested in supporting new communities and new conversations, not simply adding a person or two to a group of people who have previously worked together. In this section, help us understand what is new or different about the Community you are proposing and how it will bring together people and perspectives who have not previously interacted. The more interdisciplinary the community is, the better. To the greatest degree possible, we want to see artists, engineers, and educators or philosophers, lawyers, and nurses, etc. talking to each other around an area of shared interest and scholarship.


For more information, contact Teresa Franklin at x4911 or Teresa.Franklin@memphis.edu.