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150 respond to call for innovative research proposals

October 27, 2015

Photo: Researcher looking into microscope

Innovative research is being encouraged by the new UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative program, which has drawn about 150 letters of intent. WARF is providing $5 million in funding for the chosen projects. 


UW–Madison’s latest research initiative — UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative — has received an overwhelming response from researchers eager to jump-start their innovative projects.

About 150 letters of intent have been received by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Applicants will be reminded next week of a Nov. 15 deadline to submit full proposals.

“We are extremely excited at the response we have received and look forward to the day when we can see the fruits of the projects we choose,” says Marsha Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education.

UW2020 is a new research program designed to stimulate and support highly innovative and groundbreaking research. These are high-risk, ambitious and multi-disciplinary projects that might not otherwise receive conventional grants without first generating preliminary data.

The goal for each project will be to realize successful results that will lead to new external funding.

Proposals received have crossed all disciplines on campus. Mailick says the response shows the great level of enthusiasm for the initiative.

WARF, the patent and licensing arm for the university and one of its chief research funding investors, is supplying $5 million this year toward UW2020.

“The UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative would undoubtedly make the founders of WARF very proud,” says Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF.  “When WARF was established 90 years ago, they hoped to encourage innovative ideas, fresh research and scientific advancement. This initiative promises all of that.”

Each project chosen will be funded with an average $300,000 award over one to two years with a maximum award of $500,000.

Another round of proposals will be solicited early next year. The next round has a Feb. 1 deadline for letters of intent and a March 15 deadline for full proposals.

About 15 to 20 projects overall will be chosen for funding.