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MCubed: Token-Based Seed Funding Distribution for Formation of Interdisciplinary Teams

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Burns M, Johnson V. MCubed: Token-Based Seed Funding Distribution for Formation of Interdisciplinary Teams. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 14, 2017. Approaches to Foster New Innovative Collaborations. Online at:

Through an efficient and unique peer-to-peer review system, MCubed distributes real-time seed funding to stimulate innovative research and scholarship among multi-unit, faculty-led teams at the University of Michigan. Housed within the University of Michigan Office of Research (UMOR), MCubed is part of the Third Century Initiative established by the offices of the President and Provost. The program has run for six years, distributing approximately $30M to over 400 faculty/student teams in all nineteen schools and colleges at Michigan. The program fosters interdisciplinary research by requiring each team or “cube” to involve faculty from at least two different colleges. And the development of a unconventional peer review system involving an interactive website and token-based funding distribution allows the creativity of the faculty and students to be released. To date, MCubed has been featured in venues such as Science (website), The Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Reuters recognized the University of Michigan system as the seventh most innovative university in the world for 2016, in part due to the MCubed program. In this presentation, we will discuss the core innovations in the program’s design, the strategies for its implementation, and its impact on Michigan.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, funding, interdisciplinary teams

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Establish or maintain effective team science endeavors
  • Provide institutional support for team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 3:11:19 PM.

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