RADs Description


The RADS program is specifically aimed at supporting interdisciplinary research projects between faculty in different disciplines, departments, and schools across Boston College.  It is widely recognized that some of the most important problems facing society cannot be solved by researchers in individual disciplines working independently.  Problems in areas such as public health, energy, human disease, and the environment are inherently interdisciplinary; they require the collaborative efforts of faculty/researchers that have different knowledge, perspectives, and expertise.  The primary purpose of this program is to assist faculty in leveraging ideas into possible future external grant proposals, with the objective to promote interdisciplinary collaborations that might not occur otherwise.  The Vice Provost for Research (VPR) will support five projects annually for up to $50,000.

Application Submission Dates and Funding


Submission Deadline: April 5, 2024

TBD (before May 31, 2024) — Award notifications

July 31, 2024 — Funds to be awarded

Funding for the RADS corresponds with the academic calendar.  Award recipients should be aware that funds will not automatically carry forward to the next fiscal year.  

You may contact internalgrants@bc.edu for further inquiries about submission.

Application Process

Format: Minimum 0.5-inch margins, Arial Font, 11-point or larger.  Proposals can be single or double spaced.  Figures and figure legends count towards page limitations.  A separate bibliography section (no page limit) can be used for references cited in the body of the proposal. A RADS proposal must contain both a “Multi-Investigator Plan” as well as a “Leveraging Plan.”  It is essential that all proposals include the following sections, in order:

I. Introduction (Limit: 1 page)

Briefly describe the proposed study in non-technical terms.

II. Multi-Investigator Plan (Limit: 1 page)

The proposal must identify at least two faculty from either different disciplines, departments, and/or schools at Boston College.  Additionally, the Multi-Investigator Plan should address the following administrative processes and Principle Investigator (PI) responsibilities:

  • Roles/areas of responsibility of the PI's
  • Fiscal and management coordination
  • Process for making decisions on scientific direction and allocation of resources
  • Data sharing and communication among faculty/investigators
  • Publication and intellectual property (if needed) polices
  • Procedures for resolving conflicts

III. Research Plan (Limit: 4 pages, including figures)

Describe your research plan which should include a description of the aims and goals of your project.  

IV. Leveraging Plan

In the Leveraging Plan, the PI’s will illustrate how the supported project will lead to future proposal submissions by the team of faculty/investigators.  Examples of a leverage plan could include, but are not limited to:

  • Describe direct relationship of the proposed studies to a specific call for proposals (e.g., RFA or FOA)
  • Summary description of discussion with program officials at specified funding agencies (NIH/NSF) indicating enthusiasm toward the project
  • Summary statements for an unfunded proposal indicating how additional collaborators/expertise will increase the likelihood of funding
  • Letter of support from a funding agency/program officer indicating potential of the project for future funding

V. Be sure to include an itemized budget, CV, and bibliography.


All full-time, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty are eligible, and participation is encouraged at all three levels.  Rank is not a criterion during review of the applications.  Faculty who have a balance in their start-up packages greater than $30,000 are excluded from applying.

Application Review Process

Reviewing RADS proposals will be a function of the University of Research Operations Committee (UROC). UROC will serve as an oversight committee by evaluating the content of each proposal and subsequently forming a review committee based on the type of research received in the applications. If necessary, UROC will engage outside consultants to review any applications that are in need of specific expert knowledge. Thus, applicants must state names of any potential consultants that should be excluded from review of their study, and why. Awarded RADS proposals will be made by the strength of the research and the responsiveness to the above listed criterion.

Additional Instructions

Subsequent to receiving RADS funding, the PI agrees to provide updates on outcomes for up to two years after receiving the RADS; for example, grants received or papers published that used the project data. These data would be used to adjust the RADS annual funding and to justify the overall RADS budget in future years. Failure to provide updates precludes the faculty member from further participations for RADS funding.