UC San Diego introduces new Interdisciplinary Team Catalyst Awards to recognize collaborative research

Photo Courtesy of UC San Diego
Photo Courtesy of UC San Diego

UC San Diego announced on Jan. 25 the Interdisciplinary Team Catalyst Awards, a new award to support the creativity and collaborative spirit of research. Funded by the Office of Research and Innovation, the award aims to support researchers for early success by rewarding collaborative partnerships in the field of interdisciplinary research. 

In an email to UCSD faculty and students, Chancellor Pradeep Khosla introduced the award with an anticipated allocation of four to six awards, each ranging from $30,000 to $75,000 for a two-year project period. 

The award will provide early funding for new interdisciplinary teams, as well as existing teams that are expanding to new fields. Prospective applicants will have research that address “big scientific and societal challenges,” whose solutions will require novel, multidisciplinary approaches.

 “An example might be bringing together policy experts, biologists, technologists, and storytellers to develop innovative conservation strategies in the face of climate change,” commented Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Corinne Peek-Asa. “In order to be successful competing for and implementing large interdisciplinary and complex projects, teams need to have developed a collaborative partnership.”

Apart from funding, the award hopes to support individualized “activity plans,” jointly defined with the ORI, Peek-Asa said. In some instances, ORI may provide in-kind support to help with strategic planning and other programs to facilitate research leadership development, which opens up a multitude of opportunities to award recipients. 

The Team Catalyst award joins many other awards celebrating excellence at UCSD. Other notable awards currently in place include the Leadership Awards offered by the Center of Student Involvement, the Interdisciplinary Research Awards from the Graduate Student Association, and the Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal, which awards outstanding graduate students. In line with the new award, the UC system has a President’s Research Catalyst Award, awarding promising projects that involve a minimum of three UC campuses and have the potential to positively impact society. 

With the preliminary application deadline approaching on March 14, Peak-Asa hopes that the award will foster the creative and collaborative research community at UCSD. “By combining our expertise in new ways, UC San Diego can play a role in advancing knowledge and opening up new directions to solve some of today’s most complex challenges,” she commented. “We hope this award helps teams bring in new, diverse perspectives to help us address our world’s most complex challenges.”

For more information regarding the award deadline and eligibility, visit the application portal at ucsd.infoready4.com.

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Eru Ishikawa, Staff Writer
Eru is a third-year Economics student who loves financial markets, Wes Anderson films, and oat-milk cortados.
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