A New Way to Light Your Research FIRE

The Fostering Interdisciplinary Research Explorations (FIRE) Grants program is funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities to encourage radically interdisciplinary innovation that transcends the boundaries of conventional partnerships, integrating the strengths of varying perspectives and methodologies, and fostering a collaborative and creative research infrastructure at UNC. In 2016, three $25,000 grants were funded to explore new interdisciplinary research partnerships.

Next Deadline Anticipated February 2017

FIRE recipients are interdisciplinary research collaborations co-led by UNC faculty which must contain at least one tenured/tenure-track faculty member, and must represent significantly different disciplines, departments, divisions, schools, centers, or institutes such as medicine or sciences with social sciences, humanities, or fine arts. While post-docs and graduate students cannot co-lead a team, FIRE grant funds may be used to fund graduate student or post-doctoral research staff but may not be used to fund faculty salary.

Requirements include: 1) New proposal applications must represent new or recently established collaborations and/or areas of research. 2) Proposed projects must engage faculty representing two or more distinct fields. 3) Proposed projects should bring together investigators whose individual programs of research are not already formally connected with publications or funding.

Recipients will be chosen who bridge highly disparate disciplinary areas creating radically interdisciplinary research teams working on innovative projects that are unlikely to find initial funding from other sources. The review team seeks unusual partnerships such as: Music and Nursing; Physics and Public Health; Biology and Social Work; Pediatrics, Social Science, and Art, Philosophy and Chemistry, Mathematics and Journalism.

Past Awards:

  • Researching Effects of Climate Change on Buddhist Holy Lakes in Tibet and India (Religious Studies, Mathematics and Marine Sciences
  • Countering Negative Islamic Stereotype through Performing Arts: Measuring the Impact on Implicit and Explicit Attitudes towards Islam (Carolina Performing Arts, Music, School of Social Work and Religious Studies) 
  • Performing Science to promote shifts in Cultural Perception: Developing a Play to Communicate the Impacts of Climate Change on Barrier Island (Geological Science and Dramatic Art) 
  • Writing Diabetes: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration Examining the Significance of Illness Essays for Patients, Clinicians and Researchers (English & Comparative Literature, Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science, Anthropology and Medicine, and Endocrinology)
  • Children’s Development of Verbal and Perceptual Correlates of Human Emotions (Linguistics and Psychology)

If you have questions about the FIRE grant, please contact Denise Lindley, FIRE grant Administrator, Office of Research Development, Phone: 919-962-7503, E-mail:FIREgrant@unc.edu