Fellowships & Grants

The Institute on the Environment’s fellowships and grants provide support for people and projects across the University of Minnesota system. For more information, please contact Lewis Gilbert, IonE chief operating officer.

Renewable Development Fund Grants

The Institute on the Environment was awarded a block grant of $3 million (spread over three years) from Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund to support the following aims:

  1. increase the market penetration within the state of renewable electric energy resources at reasonable costs
  2. promote the start-up, expansion and attraction of renewable electric energy projects and companies within the state
  3. stimulate research and development within the state into renewable electric energy technologies
  4. develop near-commercial and demonstration scale renewable electric projects or near-commercial and demonstration scale electric infrastructure delivery projects if those delivery projects enhance the delivery of renewable electric energy.

The pre-proposal stage concluded November 23, 2015, with the receipt of 23 letters of intent from University faculty and research associates from the Duluth, Morris, and Twin Cities campuses. Pre-proposals included interdisciplinary collaborations involving the College of Science and Engineering; College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; Law School; Humphrey School of Public Affairs; and Carlson School of Management, to name a few. They covered the following technology categories: 1) photovoltaic generation, 2) thermal generation, 3) electric energy storage, 4) alternative biofuel research, 5) hydropower electric generation, 6) wind-based generation, and 7) power electronics, power systems and transmission of electricity research.

Apart from potential proposals involving collaborations across campuses, IonE also welcomed submissions from the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, West and North Central research and outreach centers, Natural Resources Research Institute, among others.

Principal researchers were invited to submit a full proposal by January 11, 2016. An external panel of reviewers will examine these proposals and decisions on the grant allocation will be made by the end of February 2016. The succeeding years (2017 and 2018) of the RDF fourth funding cycle will be limited to the possible renewal of grants for the projects selected in 2016.

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships

IonE hosts Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships (IDF) for graduate students whose dissertation work spans disciplinary boundaries. These fellowships are sponsored by the University of Minnesota Graduate School.

If you are a graduate student interested in applying through IonE for an IDF, please contact Lewis Gilbert and April Snyder. In your email, please advise who your IonE Resident Fellow faculty or affiliate supporter will be. After confirmation of endorsement from your supporter, we will make our determination.

Institute Fellowships

This program provides flexible funds for scholars to engage in innovative research and problem solving and pursue leadership training. Institute fellowships are open to faculty on all University of Minnesota campuses.

Project Grants

IonE Project Grants (formerly known as Discovery Grants) help highly innovative, world-class research activities get off the ground with a one-time investment of venture capital funding. We look for projects that will make a transformative difference in interdisciplinary research and discovery.

Mini Grants

IonE Mini Grants help spur new collaborations by providing small amounts of funding (up to $3,000), administrative and logistical support (including organizing and staffing meetings) and space (for meetings, small conferences, new courses, reading groups, etc.) to interdisciplinary groups of faculty, staff and students from across the University of Minnesota system. The grants are meant to encourage collaboration across disciplines, units and campuses. The application deadline has passed for Fall Academic Year 2016 Mini Grants. Please check back in Summer 2016 for information on future opportunities.