IonE Mini Grants

Spring 2012 Request for Proposals (.pdf)

IonE Mini Grants are intended to spur new collaborative efforts by providing small amounts of funding (from$500 to $3000, with average grants being $1,500), administrative 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 system.
Beyond the necessities of innovation and novelty, there are few constraints on Mini Grant activities.  The overarching goal of the program is to encourage collaboration across disciplines, units or campuses at the University of Minnesota.  Examples that would advance this goal include:

  • Catalyzing interdisciplinary teams around the development of new research proposals and projects;
  • Supporting faculty teams to develop new cross-disciplinary course offerings, curricula, and training programs;
  • Facilitating the development of new partnerships between the University and outside organizations, including NGOs, businesses and government agencies;
  • Encouraging international collaborations and partnerships around environmental work at the University.

Funds can be used to conduct preliminary research, develop a proposal, sponsor a workshop or meeting, bring in outside partners, support travel for visitors, etc. However, funds must not be used for sponsoring departmental seminar speakers, or work that would otherwise occur in traditional departments, research programs, etc.

Connecting to IonE

Mini Grants are an opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs, from any campus of the U of M to engage with IonE. Teams must be led or coordinated by a faculty or research staff member who is eligible to be a principal investigator at the U of M.  Teams are encouraged to work with partners beyond the University, although funds must stay at the University (except for travel expenses).

Proposal Requirements

The proposal process is simple. Please write a 2 page letter, outlining the following:

  • who is involved in the proposal, and what disciplines, units and campuses they represent;
  • what the project would entail and why it fits the goals of the IonE Mini Grants program;
  • what the expected benefits and outcomes of the project will be; and
  • what your budget, administrative and space needs would be, and how these resources will be used.

Proposals are due on March 9, 2012. Decisions on funding will be made by the end of March, and funds will be made available in early April.

Proposals must be sent electronically (as a single PDF file) to Michelle Beaman at with the subject line "Mini Grant Proposal: PILastName" by midnight on March 9, 2012.

For additional information, please contact Jonathan Foley (, Director, Institute on the Environment.