Research Clusters

Proposals are not currently being accepted for the Research Clusters fund.


The Provost's Office is launching a new initiative to support faculty engaged in cross-divisional, collaborative research. We are inviting proposals for research clusters, groups of three to seven faculty members from two or more colleges engaged in similar research that crosses disciplines and academic domains. Successful proposals will receive grants of up to $20,000 per year for two to three years. 

The purpose of the clusters is to promote collaboration among faculty members in their scholarly work in known or emerging areas of common interest that may also intersect with and inform the university's strategic direction. The research clusters are intended to bring greater internal and external attention to New School faculty research, deepen its cumulative impact, and help leverage external funding for sustained collaborative efforts.

Research is construed broadly to include basic and applied research as typically understood in the liberal arts and a range of scholarly, creative, and performance practices and knowledge production in the context of design. The nature of the collaborations may vary, but support is predicated upon individual faculty members bringing their own agendas into a group context that will in turn help them reshape and extend their own work.

Award Amounts and Outputs

Selected clusters will typically receive an award of up to $10,000-$15,000 per year and, in exceptional cases, up to $20,000 per year. Awards and multiyear support depend on available funding, satisfactory progress, and the expectation of collaboratively producing the following:

  • A proposal to an external funding organization (foundation, government agency, association, NGO, etc.) for support to continue and deepen the cluster's work at the university by the end of the first year
  • Periodic presentations of the cluster's work to the university community
  • Published or otherwise publicly available work in some form

Priority Considerations

  • Projects that leverage other secured internal sources of support such as the Faculty Research Fund and Mutual Mentoring Grants
  • Projects in which participating faculty members commit some or all of their base research funding ($2,000 in research funds plus up to $4,000 for research assistance) to the activities of the cluster (this type of cost-share should be identified in the budget)

Who Is Eligible?

  • This funding program is open to full-time faculty (tenure, tenure track, extended employment track, and renewable term) and part-time faculty with postprobationary, annual, multiyear, or grandparented status as defined by the ACT-UAW contract.
  • The research cluster must be formed by faculty members working in at least two colleges of The New School.
  • A research cluster can also involve student participation or external partners, although neither is required.

Program Timeline

  • Application deadline: December 14, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. (Applications received after this date will not be accepted or reviewed in this cycle.)
  • Awards announced: late January 2013
  • Initial budget and award period: February 2013-June 2014

Application Process

There is no online application form. A proposal must be submitted by two co-project directors (co-PDs) as designated "leads" affiliated with different colleges of the university. The proposal must list, by name, a core group of faculty members who will actively participate in the cluster. A cluster can range from three to seven individuals.

The proposal should address the following key components. (Note: Applicants can use the following subheadings to organize a proposal, or they can choose another format. However, every application must address all the points below so that the reviewers can properly evaluate the proposal.)

  1. Rationale
    Identify and provide the purpose or rationale for the cluster or the need for the cluster to convene and address a particular research theme, topic, or question.
  2. Scope
    Discuss how the cluster's cross-college collaboration will enhance or amplify the university's overall work in the area. Applicants should also discuss the significance and impact of the proposed work on their fields or disciplines and on other external stakeholders or audiences.
  3. Activities Outline
    List the key activities the cluster proposes to engage in and an expected timeline for implementing the activities that covers at least two years (projects of shorter duration are ineligible).
  4. Anticipated Outcomes, Deliverables, or Products
    Provide a detailed description of the anticipated outcomes or deliverables of the cluster over two to three years.
  5. Budget and Budget Narrative
    Submit a line-item budget and a budget narrative that describes the major costs associated with the work, including travel, materials, equipment, meetings, and consultants or vendors. The budget narrative should convey in detail relevant anticipated costs and a description and calculation of costs for each category. Cost sharing, while not required, is encouraged and should be identified if included in the overall budget. As the program is funded from February 2013 to June 30, 2014, applicants can plan and propose an 18-month budget in their request. Multiyear support beyond this period depends on available funding and satisfactory progress.
  6. External Funding Plan
    Provide a preliminary plan for the cluster to identify and pursue external funding opportunities to develop its research at the university.

Application Formatting Guidelines and Submission

  • The body or narrative of the proposal is limited to eight pages (excluding the cover sheet, budget, budget narrative, and any appendices), single-spaced, using 12-point type and standard one-inch margins.
  • A line-item budget should be included as a separate spreadsheet, or it can be attached to the narrative in another format. A separate budget narrative describing expected costs in detail should also be included.
  • A completed cover form must be attached to the proposal and budget documents.
  • Appendices of up to five additional pages can be included. Graphics, bibliographies, data tables, charts, and images should be included as appendices.

Submit the entire application as a single PDF file to with "Research Clusters: [Applicant Last Name]" in the subject line.


Please direct inquiries about the Research Clusters program to Or you can contact Robert Gutierrez, director of research support, at 212.229.8947 x2768 or

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