Two professors from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance are among the first on campus who will benefit from MCubed, a new two-year seed-funding program developed at U-M to stimulate and support innovative research. The first projects to receive $60,000 MCubed seed grants were chosen by lottery and announced on Nov. 28. The grants empower interdisciplinary teams of U-M faculty to pursue new initiatives with major societal impact.
The first SMTD MCubed grant recipients are Priscilla Lindsay, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Drama, and Stephen Rush, professor of performing arts technology. Lindsay will partner with Nick Tobier, associate professor at the School of Art & Design, and Larry Grant, professor of social work at the School of Social Work, on a project titled "Building a Bigger, Broader Creative Class." Rush will partner with Gregory Tarlé, professor of Physics at the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and Jim Cogswell, professor of art and design at the School of Art & Design, for a project titled "In the Dark," which will produce a multi-media event (dance, video, digital imagery, music, and art) based on the principle of dark energy.
The MCubed program minimizes the time between idea conception and successful research results by providing immediate startup funds for novel, high-risk and transformative research projects. The projects take full advantage of U-M's excellence across breadth and must involve three researchers from at least two different units.
"The program is facilitating cross-disciplinary interactions in a way we could have never imagined," said Mark Burns, professor and chair of chemical engineering and chair of the MCubed executive committee.
"This program leverages the broad excellence of the University of Michigan. It unleashes some of the most brilliant minds in the world to pursue their most innovative ideas. You can think of it as smart crowdsourcing," said U-M Provost Phil Hanlon.