Call for Proposals for Programs and Activities at the IMA

Start date: June 1, 2018
End date: August 31, 2019 (or later if self-sustaining)

Proposal deadline: September 29, 2017
Please upload your proposal online.

Funding announcement: December 15, 2017


The IMA seeks proposals for programs and activities that will take place at the IMA during the academic year 2018-19. Proposals with budgets of up to $200K will be considered.

The IMA offered annual thematic programs from 1982 to 2017, corresponding to the NSF DMS Math Institutes support ending August 31, 2017. For the 2017-18 academic year, the IMA began exploring new models for programming, soliciting proposals from the broader community of IMA stakeholders that resulted in five major programs and additional workshops (see our annual programs webpage for this year’s list of major programs). Funding opportunities for activities in the 2018-19 academic year will be offered based on continuing support of IMA stakeholders, including the University of Minnesota. Accepted programs can start as early as June 1, 2018 and end by August 31, 2019.

We are particularly interested in programs that may serve as a template in our on-going efforts to re-imagine the IMA, as we seek new funding sources and prepare for the NSF institutes competition in 2019. The funding available should thus be viewed as seed money for programs and activities that further engage stakeholders in the IMA and that have the potential to be self-sustaining, either through new grants from funding agencies or industry funding.

Innovative proposals that leverages the assets of the IMA are sought. Factors to consider when crafting a proposal:

  • We are seeking proposals from IMA stakeholder groups for programs that increase their stake at the IMA.
  • The funds made available should be considered as an initial investment for self-sustaining programs.
  • Proposed programs should be aligned with the mission and goals of the IMA.
  • Proposed programs should bring visibility to the IMA and excitement to the interdisciplinary research community it serves.
  • Creative and effective programs that serve the unmet needs of the mathematical sciences community are particularly desirable.
  • Program topics should be timely; program structure should be thoughtful.
  • If the program involves long-term visitors, commitment of these visitors to the program is essential.

Required elements of the 2- to 4-page proposal

  • Principal investigators and their contact information
  • Title of the proposal
  • Start and end dates
  • Description of the program or activity
  • Potential impacts
  • Sustainability plans
  • Funding request; instead of dollar amount, we ask proposers to state resources they will need, such as number of visitors and length of their visits, and, if appropriate, number of postdoc months, students-support semesters

Selection criteria

  • Timeliness and importance of scientific focus
  • Thoughtfulness and novelty of program
  • Commitment of proposers and personnel involved
  • Contribution to advancing the IMA’s mission
  • Potential for creation of new research community 
  • Potential for self-sustainability
  • Engagement of the IMA community, especially the University of Minnesota and IMA’s PIs and PCs
  • Possibility of matching funds from other funding agencies and foundations
  • Diversity effort and engagement of underrepresented minorities
  • Flexibility on timing of the proposed activities


  • September 29, 2017: proposal due
  • October 1-3, 2017: proposal evaluation and decision by the IMA Board of Governors
  • June 1, 2018 (or later): start of proposed programs/activities

Please upload your proposal online.

We encourage PIs to consider submitting a brief letter of intent at least one week before the September 22 deadline. The letter should be no more than two pages, giving a rough outline of the activities to be proposed and the personnel involved. All such letters will receive feedback from the IMA before the final proposal deadline which may be used to strengthen the proposal.