JumpStart Funds

Current Cycle:

As of January, 2019, the JumpStart Funding opportunity is on hold, pending funding decisions.


  • launch new partnerships across disciplines;
  • foster new relationships across scholarship and creative practice; and
  • connect KU Scholars with collaborators outside the University.


JumpStart Funds are intended to support new and budding relationships between KU Researchers across areas of expertise and specialists off-site.


Funds may be applied to a variety of activities, including, but not limited to: KU Researcher travel; hosting a visiting scholar; a single event or series of events that facilitates dialogue between disciplines; developing a physical installation in The Commons that leads research in a new direction; or forging relations with a community that will contribute to the larger research portfolio of KU. All expected costs should be listed in the Budget & Budget Justification section.


Eligibility. The Principal Investigator(s) must be a KU tenure-track faculty or academic equivalent. However, non-KU faculty researchers may be included as collaborators.


Complete the attached form and budget justification. Applications will be reviewed by The Commons Partners on the first Wednesday of the next month.

Evaluation Criteria

                Potential Benefit to KU.

Does the proposed partnership connect to wider university initiatives? Does the proposed research contribute new and/or meaningful activity to the research portfolio of the University? Does the proposed activity engage other universities or entities

(eg: industry, government) outside of KU?

                Plan for Engagement.

How will funds benefit KU Research? How will this connection benefit the KU Community?


JumpStart Funds can be requested up to $2,500.* All expenditures must be coordinated through The Commons. Examples of exploratory activity that may be covered by Starter Grants include workshops, travel, scholarly visits, extramural proposals, etc. Funding is made possible by KU Research.

*In some cases, an exception may be granted if compelling justification is provided.


The Commons will, as possible, make its spaces and services available for all KU-based activities (eg: workshops, meetings. The Commons will work with awardees to observe, document, and publicize funded activities if appropriate. Throughout the term of the project and after funds are expended, awardees should notify The Commons of the effect the funds have had.


All funds must be expended within six months of the date of the award, at which point, a one-page report of activities is due to The Commons.

The report must include:

  • Description of the collaboration, including initial goals
  • Activities funded
  • Next steps for the research