About U-LINK

Interdisciplinary Inquiry, one of the transformative initiatives of the University of Miami’s Roadmap to Our New Century, will support teams of scholars from multiple disciplines in collaborative, problem-based inquiry to address the complex challenges of society through two pillars: geography and problems. U-LINK (University of Miami Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge) addresses the “problems” pillar.

The world’s most compelling and difficult problems are complex. Addressing the challenges of climate change, for example, requires thinking about weather patterns, relationship of disease and environment/diet, coastal architecture, energy use, city planning, human communication, the role of truth in media, international relations, big data and many other fields. (See https://www.globalgoals.org for the types of topics of particular interest for the U-LINK initiative.)

A key purpose of research universities like the University of Miami is to serve as centers of inquiry in which scholars from multiple disciplines can work together to pursue innovation, in areas where the world needs them most. The diversity inherent in UM’s 11 schools and colleges should provide unique advantages in exploring and addressing these types of problems.

U-LINK seeks applications from interdisciplinary teams that may combine researchers from across UM’s three campuses. We encourage proposals that tackle problems aligning with the University’s strategic plan, such as addressing environmental challenges, engineering smart/connected cities, promoting health and wellness, cultivating a culture of belonging, and applying the potential of big data to global issues.

U-LINK Phases

Teams consisting of individuals from a minimum of two disciplines are eligible to compete for funding, which will be awarded in two phases.

Phase I (Developmental) funding is designed to help teams further develop and refine ideas and to become established as a coherent team. This funding will be used to provide the “protected time” needed to develop a strong team with a shared, transdisciplinary language, and to produce some tangible output, such as a clear plan for tackling the problem and/or novel data creation/analysis. Teams will be expected to commit to frequent in-person meetings, preferably in the U-LINK designated space in UM Libraries. Additionally, before Phase II funding is awarded, all Phase I team members will be expected to attend a full-day (or two half-day) Team Science workshop designed to foster sound collaborative practice. Clear articulation of the scholarly/translational output ultimately being pursued is expected.

Phase II (Implementation) funding will be provided to the teams judged to have the greatest potential for success based on the quality of the ideas being pursued as well as the emergence of evidence for strong interdisciplinary team participation and success. Phase II funding is designed to seed the project in terms of prototype development and/or the collection of sufficient preliminary data to move the project forward. Phase II funding must result in the development and submission of a substantial collaborative external grant proposal.