IU investing $7 million for new complexity institute

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

IU has announced the establishment of the Indiana University Network Science Institute, or IUNI. The $7 million initiative will bring together many of the university’s top minds to explore and embrace the challenge of understanding complex networks that underlie large-scale systems, including the environment, economics, technology and human health.

“Today, more than ever before, exploring the connections and relationships among our most complex networks — from the biological to the economic, political and social — is paramount to solving humankind’s most critical and challenging questions,” IU Vice President for Research Jorge José said. “Through the formation of this new interdisciplinary, university-wide institute, which will reflect all of the major sectors of scientific research and will be supported by the university’s robust technological infrastructure, Indiana University has positioned itself to become the leading global center for understanding the complicated structure and evolving dynamics of the systems that drive our society.”

Complex networks are at the core of an ever more interconnected social, economic and technological planet, and their connectivity and dynamics underpin nearly all aspects of how these systems function. Networks can be associated with topics as diverse as cancer, schizophrenia, even the spreading of rumors, innovations or social unrest.

Echoing the late IU Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, who said, “When the world we are trying to explain and improve … is not well-described by a simple model, we must continue to improve our frameworks and theories so as to be able to understand complexity and not simply reject it,” José said that focusing on the interactions between huge numbers of system components — be it in the brain or the global economy — places the university at the forefront of shaping new paths for research and innovation.

Three faculty members named as founding co-directors helped lead the effort to create the institute: Distinguished Professor Bernice Pescosolido, Department of Sociology; Distinguished Professor Olaf Sporns, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Andrew Saykin, professor of radiology and imaging sciences and director of the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the IU School of Medicine.

The institute will be unique in a number of ways: Affiliated researchers will represent multiple IU campuses and will come from medicine, the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities; in addition to being focused on networks, every project supported by the institute is required to be a collaboration, a reflection of the institute itself. Four research hubs currently form the core of IUNI — Health and Health Care, Network Neuroscience, Science of Science and Social Network Science — each with the capacity to engage and share data and other resources with one another. Outreach activities, workshops and conferences and efforts toward online network science education will add to the scope of IUNI activities.

The three-year initiative — with an opportunity to renew for another three years — will be supported by IU President Michael A. McRobbie’s office, the offices of Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Vice President for Research José, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Informatics and Computing, and the School of Medicine.

“This new institute recognizes that we are all part of networks, and that these networks, ever evolving and changing, are inherently complex systems that present challenges to scientists across all fields,” Robel said. “With a contingent of over 100 scientists spanning all disciplines, the ties among network science researchers that already exist in the IU system are ripe for encouragement, with many new ones inevitable through support of IUNI.”

To date, affiliated faculty from 26 different schools, departments and centers have either participated in development of IUNI or expressed an interest in participating in collaborative research through the institute. Faculty participating in the institute represent one of the broadest and deepest cadres of researchers studying networks, including the College of Arts and Sciences departments of physics, psychological and brain sciences, statistics, sociology and geography; the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington; the School of Medicine; the School of Public Health-Bloomington; the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI; and centers already focused on different aspects of complex networks, such as the Indiana Center for Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine at IUPUI and the Digital Science Center at IU Bloomington.

The three co-directors applauded the announcement.

“IUNI will provide novel concepts, tools and training to address tomorrow’s challenges,” Saykin said. “We appreciate the university’s vision in supporting team science to elucidate the complex networks that comprise the human genome, brain interconnectivity, health care systems and society — creating a truly exciting and unprecedented opportunity.”

Pescosolido described the nature of the institute as a reflection of the very work that will be conducted there, an exercise in synergy.

“We live in a world where society and the problems we face represent a web of interconnections,” Pescosolido said. “When we think we have fixed one part of it, unforeseen complications arise elsewhere as unintended consequences. These are complex, connected interactions that demand a transdisciplinary approach that brings the expertise across the landscape of science to the table.”

Sporns added that the new institute recognizes the natural strengths already present at IU.

“By design, when it comes to our expertise in complex systems, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” he said. “With the new synergies that will be created through IUNI, we have the unique opportunity to break the mold and approach the many challenges we face in science and society from a fresh and broad perspective.”

 

by Steve Chaplin

Internal Funding: Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG)

imagesIndiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Collaborative Research Grants program (IUCRG). This opportunity is open to faculty on all Indiana University campuses. The goals of this competition are to facilitate and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously in the project’s subject matter. Teams should include experts from different campuses, schools, departments, or disciplines. The maximum funding per project will be $75,000.

The intent of this initiative is to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the U.S. and the world. The program as a whole is designed to help increase Indiana University’s competitiveness for external funding involving innovative and transformative research; proposals must therefore include explicit plans for securing external funding for projects extending from the findings of the IUCRG. IUCRG recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the date that IUCRG funds are available. Applicants should make explicit their plans for targeting external funding including but not limited to the funding agency, their RFAs, and institute/program.

IUCRG will fund projects in emerging fields of study, innovative or multidisciplinary research with the potential to significantly increase Indiana University’s research competitiveness, reputation and funding. Proposals should fit at least one of the following subject areas:

Social and Behavioral sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues of local, state, national or international significance; educational research including but not limited to effective approaches to K‐12 STEM education (not curricular development)

Biological and Health Sciences; innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in neuroscience, -omics, biological, biomedical or chemical sciences

Physical, Applied, and Computer Sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in physical and applied sciences including material sciences, engineering research, or approaches to other areas of research that rely upon innovative uses of technology, engineering, or computer and applied sciences

All proposals should indicate which category or mix of categories from this list of areas best describes the proposed research. Arts and Humanities proposals that do not fit into these categories should be submitted to Indiana University’s New Frontiers seed funding program.

Eligibility: All faculty and staff whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals are allowed to apply. A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses schools or departments, or different disciplines from the same campus must collaborate as co-principal investigators on the proposed project. Projects must be for NEW areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of previous or current research activities. Faculty previously submitting together for external funding (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.) are not eligible unless the IUCRG proposal represents a new area of research, or a new collaborator(s) is added to enhance the breadth of the proposed research.

Submission Deadlines: Grant proposals must be submitted electronically by the close of business day (5pm) on December 3rd, 2014 via http://research.iu.edu/funding_collaborative.shtml.

For more information see Request for Proposals (PDF)

ACLS Fellowships including ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships and ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowships

Fellowship Details

  • Maximum award:
    $65,000 for full Professor and equivalent
    $45,000 for Associate Professor and equivalent
    $35,000 for Assistant Professor and equivalent
  • Tenure: six to twelve consecutive months devoted to full-time research, to be initiated between July 1, 2014 and February 1, 2015
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, September 26, 2013.
  • Notifications will be sent by late February 2014.

The ACLS Fellowship program invites research applications in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.

The ACLS Fellowships are intended as salary replacement to help scholars devote six to twelve continuous months to full-time research and writing. ACLS Fellowships are portable and are tenable at the fellow’s home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for research. (1) An ACLS Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and any sabbatical pay, up to an amount equal to the candidate’s current academic year salary. Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2014 and no later than February 1, 2015.

The fellowship stipend is set at three levels based on academic rank: up to $35,000 for Assistant Professor and career equivalent; up to $45,000 for Associate Professor and career equivalent; and up to $65,000 for full Professor and career equivalent. ACLS will determine the level based on the candidate’s rank or career status as of the application deadline date. Approximately 25 fellowships will be available at the Assistant Professor level, approximately 20 at the Associate Professor level, and approximately 20 at the full Professor level.

Institutions and individuals contribute to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council’s college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of the ACLS. ACLS is fortunate to have special funds available to support research in particular areas:  the Oscar Handlin Fund supports archival research in U.S. history; the Frederic Wakeman Fund aids research in modern Chinese history; and the Donald Munro Fund is dedicated to work that exhibits high quality in sinology and in critical analysis of Chinese philosophical traditions and ethical systems.

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status as of the application deadline date.
  • a Ph.D. degree conferred at least two years before the application deadline. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the Ph.D. in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • a lapse of at least two years between the last “supported research leave” and September 1, 2014, including any such leave to be taken or initiated during the 2013-2014 academic year. Therefore, to be eligible, an individual’s most recent supported research leave must have concluded prior to September 1, 2012. (Supported research leave is defined as the equivalent of one semester or more of time free from teaching or other employment to pursue scholarly research or writing supported by sabbatical pay or other institutional funding, fellowships and grants, or a combination of these. This definition applies to independent scholars as well as those with institutional affiliations.)

Application

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than five pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Up to two additional pages of images, musical scores, or other similar supporting non-text materials [optional]
  • Bibliography (no more than two pages)
  • Publications list (no more than two pages)
  • Two reference letters

Criteria Used in Judging ACLS Fellowship Applications

Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following four criteria:

  1. The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge.
  2. The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  3. The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
  4. The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.

ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships

In order to encourage humanistic research in area studies, special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and ACLS has been set aside for ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships to be designated among the successful applicants to the central ACLS Fellowship competition. Scholars pursuing research and writing on the societies and cultures of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union will be eligible for these special fellowships.

Application must be made to the ACLS Fellowship Program and all requirements and provisions of that program must be met, with the addition that an International and Area Studies Fellow must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident who has lived in the United States continuously for at least three years by the application deadline. These fellows also must submit a final report to both NEH and ACLS. Designation of the ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellows will be made by ACLS.

ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowships

ACLS may give up to five residential fellowships per year in conjunction with the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Center for Scholars and Writers provides opportunities for up to 15 Fellows to explore the rich, diverse collections in the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). The Center also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas among Fellows, invited guests, the wider academic and cultural communities, and the interested public. It provides individual office space and common areas in the Library building. Fellows are required to be in residence from September 2, 2014 through May 22, 2015 and to participate in Center activities. These may include lunches, panel discussions, public conversations, symposia, and interviews. More information about The New York Public Library and its collections is available at http://www.nypl.org/research-collections.

The stipend for the NYPL residential fellowships will be $65,000. Application for an ACLS/NYPL residential fellowship has the same eligibility requirements, application form, and schedule as the ACLS Fellowship Program, with the additional proviso that these residential fellowships will be granted to scholars whose projects will benefit from research in the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Please Note: Because this is a joint fellowship, applicants for the ACLS/NYPL residential fellowships must also apply to the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL. The application for the NYPL competition is available at http://www.nypl.org/csw. The deadline for application and letters of recommendation is September 27, 2013.

An application for an ACLS/NYPL residential fellowship may have any one of the following outcomes:

  1. a fellowship awarded solely by the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL,
  2. an ACLS Fellowship awarded solely by ACLS,
  3. or an NYPL/ACLS residential fellowship awarded jointly by the two organizations.

For more information, see http://www.acls.org/grants/Default.aspx?id=380

Russel Sage Foundation Research Support

One of the oldest American foundations, the Russell Sage Foundation was established by Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907 for “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States.” In its early years the Foundation undertook major projects in low-income housing, urban planning, social work, and labor reform. The Foundation now dedicates itself exclusively to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies.

The Russell Sage Foundation is an operating foundation directly involved in the conduct and dissemination of social science research. In its effort to improve the social effectiveness of social research, the Foundation

  • Invites individual scholars and collaborative groups working in areas of Foundation interest to participate in the Foundation’s Visiting Scholar Program to pursue their research and writing projects;
  • Provides support for scholars at other institutions to pursue research projects that advance the Foundation’s research programs;
  • Assures widespread access to the research that the Foundation supports through its own book publishing program;
  • Sponsors special seminars and working groups aimed at developing new topics in social science;
  • Participates in the planning of each study or program as an active partner and reserves the right to publish any resulting manuscripts;
  • Collaborates with other granting agencies and academic institutions in studies of social problems.

How to apply for support from the Foundation

NSF Grant: Law & Social Sciences (LSS)

Law & Social Sciences (LSS)(nsf12507)

The Law & Social Sciences Program considers proposals that address
social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules. The
program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological.
Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific
theory and understanding of the connections between law or legal
processes and human behavior. Social scientific studies of law
often approach law as dynamic, made in multiple arenas, with the
participation of multiple actors. Fields of study include many
disciplines, and often address problems including though not
limited to:

1. Crime, Violence and Punishment
2. Economic Issues
3. Governance
4. Legal Decisionmaking
5. Legal Mobilization and Conceptions of Justice
6. Litigation and the Legal Profession

 

LSS provides the following modes of support

1. Standard Research Grants and Grants for Collaborative Research
2. Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
3. Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships
4. Workshop and Conference Proposals

For details: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf12507