Multidisciplinary Proposal Development

To assist UTSA faculty and expand the number and scope of large, multidisciplinary research proposals, the Office of the Vice President of Research is in the process of creating a Research Support team to help facilitate the development of large, multi-investigator, interdisciplinary proposals.

The Value of Multidisciplinary "Team Science" Proposals

NSF and NIH have embraced collaborative or Team Science approaches to solve the difficult, multifaceted problems that the country faces. These may be defined as team science, multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary projects, but they all engage investigators from many different disciplines to perform complex coordinated investigations. The topics they address are far ranging and include topics such as the challenge of global warming, nanoscience, the creation of renewable energy sources, addressing health disparities, and the development of innovative cancer treatments. The directors of NIH and NSF have demonstrated their enthusiastic support for this approach and a thorough analysis of this trend by the US National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine also validates this method, see Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research.

This deliberate team science strategic direction is also described in NIH's Roadmap Initiative with its focus on Research Teams of the Future. The NIH web site publically states that: "The scale and complexity of today's biomedical research problems demand that scientists move beyond the confines of their individual disciplines and explore new organizational models for team science."

In the physical sciences NSF has a long tradition of funding large Engineering Research Centers (ERC) which carry out thematic investigators with multidisciplinary teams. NSF currently defines 10 NSF-wide Investment Areas all of which are supported with large grant mechanisms. See highlights of this emphasis in their recent Profiles in Team Science publication.

Let Us Know If You Need Help

While the structure of the Research Support team is still under development, the staff at the Research Office is committed to provide our faculty members with any support they need to capture these unique research opportunities to tackle complex problems.

Email us at to let us know your intentions.