Starter Grants

Current Cycle:
As of January, 2019, the Starter Grants Funding opportunity is on hold, pending funding decisions.

The Commons at the University of Kansas supports research endeavors that bring together the sciences, arts, and humanities to explore the reciprocal relationship between natural and cultural systems. In so doing, the Commons intends to be a catalyst for bold innovation, unconventional thinking and unexpected discoveries.

The Commons Starter Grants are intended to nurture and develop interdisciplinary, collaborative research ideas at the conceptual stage. Starter Grants support the initial stages of the development of research and creative ideas that may be overlooked by more conventional disciplinary funding sources. They provide funds for collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams who seek to find their common language and methodological approach. Starter Grants take into consideration projects with potential to develop into proposals for RIC awards. Awards are supported by KU Research.


From 2009-2011, Interdisciplinary Seed Grants in Nature and Culture were supported by the Center for Research. From 2012-2013, Seed Grants were supported by the Center for Research and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. In 2014, The Commons adapted the format of the competition to complement the larger panoply of programming offered by The Commons and the funding opportunities afforded by KU's Research Investment Council.



Keith Van de Riet. Weaver Courtyard Reimagined: An Interdisciplinary Model for Immersive Student Experience and Collaboration


Abbey Dvorak, Kip Haaheim, Michelle Hayes, Nicole Hodges Persley, and Sherrie Tucker. Improvising Inclusive Communities: From AUMI to the Center for Improvisation Studies

Michelle Johnson-Motoyama and Donna Ginther. Exploring the Causal Impact of Economic Policies on Child Maltreatment in the U.S.

FALL 2015

Joo Ok Kim, Joshua Miner, Chris Perreira, and Magalí Rabasa. Trans/forming Activist Media in the Americas


Mary Anne Jordan and Caroline S. Chaboo. Indigenous natural dyes of the Sacred Valley, Andean Peru

Rachel Krause, Ward Lyles, and Uma Outka. Localized Energy and Climate Adaptation: Advancing Community-Scale Social Justice Goals

Michael Vitevitch and Arienne Dwyer. NetSci-LASH: Network Science in Languages, Arts, Sciences & Humanities

FALL 2014

D. Bryon Darby, Paul Stock, and Tim Hossler. New Farmers

Joe Colistra, Martha Rabbani, Jeremy Shellhorn, Amanda Schwegler, and Andi Witczak. Engaged Design: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Public Impact of Design


Brent Metz, Jodi Gentry, Belinda Sturm, Aida Ramos Viera, et al. Combining Engineering, Public Health, Anthropological, Geographic and Film Knowledge for Sustainable Development Among the Ch'orti' Maya of Guatemala

FALL 2012

Paul Stock, Tim Miller, Kelly Kindscher, Kate Meyer, James Gunn, et al. Food Utopias: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Ideal Food Systems


Jay T. Johnson, Gene Rankey, Johannes Feddema, et al. Learning from the Indigenous Science: Indigenous Perception and Adaptation to Environmental Change in Kiribati

A. Townsend Peterson, Luke Jordan, Stephen Egbert, et al. Land Use Change over the Twentieth-Century in Central Mexico: Modern Photographs and Landscape Paintings from José María Velasco

FALL 2010

Paul Atchley, Chris Depcik, and Gregory Thomas, SmartGrid/SmartHome/SmartCar: The New American Dream

Ford Ballantyne, The Texture of Desert Landscapes: Visualizing Interactions Between Humans and Their Environments


Mary Dusenbury, The Power of Color in Early and Medieval East Asia

FALL 2009

Glenn Adams, The Socio-Ecological Foundations of Intimacy

Chris Brown, Putting Global Commodity Chains in their Place: a KU Mongolia Initiative to Mitigate the Socio-Cultural and Environmental Effects of Mining

Michael Crawford, Why do we migrate? Interdisciplinary Exploration of Human Migration