Igniting Research Collaborations

Igniting Research Collaborations (IRC) seeks to increase interdisciplinary scientific engagement and leverage the breadth of expertise across campus to tackle important problems in the Commonwealth.

Goal & Purpose:

  • UK is 1 of 8 US universities with undergrad, graduate, professional, medical, engineering & agricultural programs – distinct opportunity for collaborative research
  • Foster new collaborations across colleges (new collaboration means no publications and no funding history together)
  • Diverse expertise leads to innovative advances
  • Faculty from all UK colleges invited to apply
  • Previous awardees can apply

The IRC Pilot must be a NEW collaboration of faculty from at least 2 different colleges. The maximum budget amount is $50,000. Typical awards are in the $25,000 - $30,000 range. Salary for faculty is not allowed. The budget period is for six months, July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022.

Review will be conducted by ADRs or designated Chairs of participating colleges.

2022 Annual IRC Symposium (via Zoom)

  • Hear presentations from previous awardees on the progress of their IRC-funded projects on January 24-28, 12 - 1 pm
    Join us via Zoom:  https://uky.zoom.us/j/87513133459

List of Presenters:
Monday January, 24, 2022
AI-power augmented reality intubation training for first responders
Daniel Lau (COE), Zaki Hassan (COM), Peng Wang (COE), Siavash Tohidi (CFA)

Growing Health: Fostering rural community health with hospital-based fresh food hubs
Krista Jacobsen (CAFÉ), Jing Li (COM), Lilian Brislen (CAFÉ), Mark A Williams (CAFÉ), Mark V Williams (COM)

Modulation of TAK1 as a therapeutic target in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
Mark Lovell (A&S), Adam Bachstetter (COM)

Simulation-deep learning-experiment pipeline for discovery of novel deep eutectic solvents
Qing Shao (COE), Jian Shi (COE), Jin Chen (COM)

Tuesday January, 25, 2022
Anti-inflammatory and gingival absorption properties of new mPGES-1 inhibitor

Octavio Gonzalez (COD), Chan-Guo Zhan (COP)

Developing an emergency sociotechnical infrastructure with Lexington’s latinx community
Fatima-Espinoza Vasquez (C&I), Gia Mudd-Martin (CON)

Bactericidal and anti-inflammatory nanoparticles for periodontal disease
Stephen Rankin (COE), Barbara Knutson (COE), Octavio Gonzalez (COD)

Optical imaging of radiation-induced metabolic changes in human breast cancer organotypic tumor slices to predict radiotherapy response
Caigang Zhu (COE), Xiaoqin Wang (COM), Teresa Fan (COM)

Wednesday January, 26, 2022
Translational studies examining the effects of synthetic estrogens and progestins in motivation for alcohol and nicotine co-use in rats and humans

Jessica Weafer (A&S), Cassandra Gipson (COM)

Taking your next vacation from home: Motivations and impacts of using live-streaming tourism
Pei Zhang (CAFÉ), Mengtian Jiang (C&I)

A novel social work and music therapy telehealth framework to promote older adult wellbeing: A proof-of-concept pilot
Alaine-Hernandez (CFA), Allison Gibson (CSW)

A partnership between vitamin D & bilirubin to support metabolic health
Terry Hinds (COM), Travis Thomas (CHS)

Thursday January, 27, 2022
Cognitive reserve and driving mobility

Caitlin Pope (CPH), Daniela Moga (COM), Yang Jiang (COM)

Stimulating higher education leadership progression: An institutional framework for BIPOCs
Jaleesa Wells (CFA), Vanessa Jackson (CAFÉ), Cheryl Matias (COEd), DaMaris Hill (A&S)

Developing an artificially intelligent (AI) coach for reducing sedentary habits
Stuart Best (COEd), Hasan Poonawala (COE), Ming-Yuan Chih (CHS), Mary Jo Hidecker (CHS), Shannan Sampson (COEd)

Effect of mechanical strain on myokine secretion and its role in diabetic bone disease
Evangelia Kalaitzoglou (COM), Ramkumar Annamalai (COE), John Fowlkes (COM)

Friday January, 28, 2022
A study of macrophage gene expression in sarcoidosis and the effect of azithromycin derivatives

Parijat Sen (COM), David Feola (COP), Steven Van Lanen (COP), Jamie Sturgill (COM)

Early reduction of Post-opeRative Pain and inflammation to Expedite Return to function after KNEE arthroscopy (PROPER KNEE trial)
Austin Stone (COM), Chang-Guo Zhan (COP), Lauren Whitehurst (A&S), Cale Jacobs (COM), Caitlin Conley (COM), Nicole Cascia (COM)

Developing mPal, a multilevel intervention to integrate palliative care into advanced stage cancer care
Laurie McLouth (COM), Ming-Yuan Chih (CHS), Jessica McFarlin (COM)

Opioid prescribing in dentistry: Building and implementing a framework to nudge provider behavior
Douglas Oyler (COP), Marcia Rojas-Ramirez (COD), Hilary Surratt (COM), Dana Quesinberry (CPH), Philip Bernard (COM), Craig Miller (COD)

2022 IRC Networking Event (via Zoom)

  • February 16, 2 - 5 pm
    • 2 pm - Introduction (Drs. Cassis and Dwoskin)
    • 2:10 pm - Implement team science training (CCTS)
    • 2:40 pm - Brainstorming breakout session #1
    • 3:35 pm - Review potential outcomes
    • 3:50 pm - Brainstorming breakout session #2 (different groups)
    • 4:45 pm - Review potential outcomes
    • 5 pm - Adjourn
  • Faculty should contact their ADR to get an invite for the IRC networking event, during which teams will conceptualize new cross-college collaborations.
  • Projects must be new cross-college collaborations between faculty from at least 2 colleges.

2022 Timeline

  • January 24-28: Symposium
  • February 16: Networking Event (via Zoom)
  • February 28: Workshop "Team science development" (via Zoom)
  • March 4: Workshop "Tips for applying for IRC" (via Zoom)
  • April 7: Applications due by 5 pm

IRC Pilot Application Process: Due April 7, 2022

  • Portal will open after February 16 Networking event.
  • Submit to: https://ris.uky.edu/pdo/fundingportal
  • Proposals will be reviewed by College ADRs. 
  • Previous IRC awardees are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty on previous IRC proposals are eligible to apply again, as long as they have no publications and no funding history together. 
  • Faculty do not have to attend the networking event to be eligible for IRC funding.
  • Faculty can submit more than one application.
  • IRC Symposium progress report will be required.
  • Since the IRC conceptual framework is to generate “new” research ideas, applications to collect preliminary data to respond to a critique are not be eligible.

What to submit:

  • IRC Cover Letter
  • Abstract (30 lines maximum)
  • 2-Page Research Plan 
    • New collaboration means no publications & no funding history.
    • Indicate what led to this new collaboration.
    • Provide statement about prior IRC funding and outcomes.
    • Include rationale for the project, specific aims, methods.
    • Discuss how the preliminary data/evidence will propel the collaborative project forward. 
    • Include a timeline for accomplishments and plan beyond the project.
    • Indicate plan for seeking extramural funding. 
    • Describe any other measures of success. 
  • NIH-style biosketch or five-page maximum abbreviated CV for each collaborator 
    • Faculty from >2 colleges.
    • Include name, email, department affiliation, a brief statement of research expertise/program, educational track record, current funding and relevant publications. 
  • 1-Page budget/justification
    • eIAF not required.
    • Indicate the role of each investigator on the project.
    • Budgets will not be administered by OSPA.
    • Include specific justification for expenses.
    • Only travel costs necessary to acquire experimental data are allowed.
    • Equipment purchase allowed, but must be well justified.
    • Graduate student stipends are allowed.

2020 IRC Funding Results

2019 IRC Funding Results

2018 IRC Funding Results