The EarthLab Innovation Grants Program seeks to engage a broad group of UW faculty and employees with PI status in the co-definition of transdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative activity related to our most pressing environmental challenges. We’re looking for risky, cool ideas with impact and the ability to motivate change.
Through this program, we hope to realize the following outcomes: 1) an increase in capacity across the UW for innovations in the application of transdisciplinary scholarship; 2) deepened engagement with diverse community partners (e.g., practitioners, policy makers, community groups outside of UW), and 3) funded research projects that address co-defined problems from multiple perspectives and that are designed to generate knowledge that is both usable and used.
This is a pilot year of the grants for EarthLab. From it, we expect to learn what investments are most effective and then harvest those lessons for future investment in catalyzing problem-focused scholarship. During this first year, we will invest in first-mile challenges—the envisioning, development or piloting of new projects. First-mile funding supports convening and building teams in novel, sometimes high-risk, high-reward directions that may take a variety of forms. This funding gives teams the chance to test a concept, scope out a project, or take the first steps in developing a team poised to tackle a large, collaborative project. We encourage proposals from all disciplines at the UW, even those that are not traditionally connected to sponsored research.