Faculty Innovation Grant Program

In March of 2019, the Science Initiative launched a pilot version of the Faculty Innovation Grant Program, designed to stimulate and bolster submission of competitive interdisciplinary grant proposals to federal agencies.

These seed grants are expected to encourage 30+ competitive grant proposals over the next two years to federal agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and United States Geographical Survey (USGS). Similar programs at other universities have yielded up to a 20 to 1 return on investment.


PI & UW Dept Co-PIs & UW Depts Project Title Total Award
*Mike Brotherton, Physics & Astronomy Daniel Dale, Physics & Astronomy
Ruben Gamboa, Computer Science
Accelerating the computational investigation of supermassive sub-parsec binary black holes candidates $45,000
Carrie Eberle, Plant Sciences Steve Paisley, Animal Science Establishing Crotalaria juncea as a new forage crop for the sustainable intensification of the Wyoming agricultural industry $89,992
Brian Leonard, Chemistry Elliott Hulley, Chemistry
William Rice, Physics & Astronomy
John Ackerman, Chemical Engineering
Understanding intercalation chemistry to design novel 2D materials $90,000
Merav Ben-David, Zoology & Physiology Brian Cherrington, Zoology & Physiology
Vikram Chhatre, Molecular Biology
Genomic analyses of embryonic diapause in the Musteloidea with an eye towards improving assisted reproductive technologies $77,366
Amy Navratil, Zoology & Physiology Jay Gatlin, Molecular Biology Understanding how the tubulin code regulates reproductive function of gonadotrope cells $90,000
John Oakey, Chemical Engineering Daniel Levy, Molecular Biology Nuclear size in 3D cancer cell migration $52,000
Ginger Paige, ESM Melanie Murphy, ESM
Fabian Nippgen, ESM
Brent Ewers, Botany
Tracking eco-hydrologic changes in the hyporheic zone to improve water resource management $88,740
**Daniel Laughlin, Botany Dan Tekiela, Plant Sciences The first experimental test of a new paradigm in ecological restoration $69,232
Catherine Wagner, Botany Bryan Shuman, Geology & Geophysics
Amy Krist, Zoology & Physiology
Annika Walters, WY Game & Fish Cooperative Unit
The tempo of ecological and evolutionary change: response to predator introduction in alpine lakes of the Wind River Range $89,537
Don Jarvis, Molecular Biology Jason Gigle, Molecular Biology
Jonathan Fox, Veterinary Sciences
Assessing the impact of a viral contaminant on the biosafety profile of the baculovirus-insect cell system $89,580
Simone Runyon, Geology & Geophysics Susan Swapp, Geology & Geophysics
Erin Philips, SER
Carol Frost, Geology & Geophysics
Robert Gregory, WY State Geological Survey
REE enrichment in Wyoming Roll-Front uranium deposits $89,996
Te-Yu Chien, Physics & Astronomy Maohang Fan, Petroleum Engineering and SER Synthesizing graphene-related materials and carbon nanotubes from coal through microwave treatments $90,000
Ellen Currano, Botany Laura Viette, Geology & Geophysics
Mark Clementz, Geology & Geophysics
Back to the future: interdisciplinary research on 50 million year old ecosystems will allow WY to better prepare for the year 2140 $82,931

 * Recommended for external (NSF) funding
** Externally funded by USDA-NIFA


As of June 2020, the Science Initiative has received communication that research groups that were awarded seed funds have so far applied for six grants, including proposals sent to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and the American Chemical Society (ACS). These grant proposals have requested a total of $2.4M.

Dr. Mike Brotherton’s grant proposal, “The Wyoming AGN Reverberation Mapping (WARM) Project”, is currently under consideration for NSF funding.

Dr. Daniel Laughlin’s grant proposal, in partnership with researchers from Chapman University, “Applying trait-based models to achieve restoration targets in rangelands”, was funded by USDA-NIFA for $480,000 over four years. The USDA-NIFA grant was secured three months after the SI seed grant was awarded, so SI funding was only used to kick-start research.

Multiple other grant proposals are currently under consideration by national funding agencies, and the SI expects 20+ more grant proposals to be submitted through 2021 as the majority of the proposals enter their second year of the two-year seed grant funding.

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Email: SI@uwyo.edu

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