Futures grants provide seed funding to Futures Conferences participants who are at U.S.-based institutions, on a competitive basis, to enable further pursuit of important new ideas and connections stimulated by the national conference, bringing people together in a variety of new ways and sparking new interdisciplinary research. The grants provide select applicants an opportunity to explore new research areas, learn new skills, and/or collaborate across disciplines, in cases where this would not otherwise be possible. These grants will help applicants move towards the interfaces between disciplines.
These grants are intended to provide attendees seed money to take larger next steps in developing a line of inquiry by supporting activities such as the involvement of students and post docs to the research effort, the purchase of equipment, the acquisition of preliminary data, the development of prototypes of exhibits, or the creation of new collaborative teams and modes of inquiry. The idea is to position grantees to compete for larger awards from other sources.
These grants emphasize flexibility and freedom; applicants are encouraged to think “outside the box” in determining how they would utilize the award to make a positive contribution to the conference topic, interdisciplinary collaboration and their careers. Creative proposals that focus on the “newest” science or ideas are encouraged. Grant requests can involve interdisciplinary collaboration at one institution or across multiple institutions. All applications must show how they are related to ideas generated at that year's Futures Conference.