TIPs Eligibility and Process

Overview, Eligibility and Process

Program Overview

Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) are a centerpiece of the Academic Strategic Plan. The program is designed to support new ideas, cutting-edge research and the development of infrastructure by supporting emerging and existing trans-institutional centers and institutes. The awards are meant to support organizations that facilitate research and teaching collaborations across disciplines, aim to address topics of critical academic and societal interest, embrace discovery and spark learning to position Vanderbilt as a world leader in a given area. This program is open to all VU and VUMC-employed faculty. Read more about funding categories here.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  1. This program is open to all VU and VUMC-employed faculty.
  2. All full-time faculty are eligible. Tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty must obtain approval from their dean.
  3. It is recommended that the lead faculty be a Vanderbilt faculty member 2 to 3 years prior to applying.
  4. The lead organizer must also demonstrate a past commitment to advancing collaborative endeavors.
  5. The other participants must be full-time faculty devoted to both the discovery and learning enterprises.
  6. Proposals must involve faculty from at least two Vanderbilt schools/colleges. Exceptions can be made if an intra-college proposal demonstrates a truly interdisciplinary approach. Participants must disclose current funding from other internal and external sources, so to provide a full account of the support available for the project.
  7. For multi-year awards, continued funding is contingent on annual progress reports and reviews of that progress by the Council. Metrics for the successful completion of the initiative must be provided for use by the TIPs council in evaluating future requests for support.
  8. Proposals should seek to establish or invest in organizations that support addressing topics of critical academic and societal interest and advance Vanderbilt’s commitment to inclusive excellence.
  9. VRA proposals must include a sustainability plan developed in partnership with all relevant deans. In the full proposal phase, deans will be asked to submit letters that include information on the program’s sustainability plan.
  10. For complete funding guidelines, click here. 


  1. Please limit listed collaborators to 10 individuals who are full-time faculty engaged in discovery (i.e. research) and learning (i.e. teaching or mentoring students) and who will be active participants in the proposal.
  2. The strength of the proposal is not dependent on the number of collaborators. Rather, strong proposals demonstrate deep faculty engagement by clearly defining roles and assigning programmatic and budgetary responsibility among the engaged faculty.
  3. You must include VUnetIDs for all participants. Listing VUnetIDs will allow administrators to pull faculty titles, department affiliations and other relevant information.
  4. The proposal itself should discuss other individuals (including students, fellows, and administrators) and centers that will be significantly involved.
  5. A given faculty member’s participation is limited to two proposals and/or active programs. Additionally, a given faculty member may only serve as lead faculty on one open TIPs project.

Application Process


The following information is requested by the TIPs Council. Pre-proposals should be submitted online via InfoReady Review, Vanderbilt’s online submissions portal.

  1. Program Title (up to 9 words, to be used in TIPs promotional materials and webpages).
  2. Program Summary (up to 150 words, to be used in TIPs promotional materials and webpages).
  3. Lead faculty name and VUnetID.
  4. Faculty collaborator names (up to 10) and VUnetID.
  5. Proposed program description (up to 500 words, written for colleagues from a wide range of fields and disciplines).
  6. Program goals (up to 300 words).
  7. Measures of success (up to 300 words).
  8. Identification of university resources to be utilized.
  9. High-level budget overview – include anticipated total funding requested, number of years, approximate funding amount per year.

Invitation to submit full proposals will be delivered in December

Full Proposals

You will be asked to submit the following information into the new, online application platform.

  1. Program Title (up to 9 words, to be used in TIPs promotional materials and webpages).
  2. Program Promotional Summary (up to 150 words, to be used in TIPs promotional materials and webpages).
  3. Lead faculty name and VUnetID.
  4. Faculty collaborator names (up to 10) and VUnetID.
  5. VRA or VIA.
  6. Grand challenge or major topic, issue to be addressed (up to 300 words).
  7. Proposed program description (up to 2,500 words).
  8. Measures of Success – Provide a general overview of how success will be measured or gauged for the program (up to 500 words).
  9. Inclusive Excellence  – If applicable, provide detail on how the proposed program will advance and embrace inclusive excellence (up to 300 words). Advancing Inclusive Excellence includes explicit focus on research related to issues of difference, equity, status, power. Additionally, inclusive excellence involves investigations of voices, histories, experiences or stories of individuals or groups previously untold or limited in exposure. Advancing Inclusive Excellence includes collaborations that leverage diverse experiences and perspectives of individuals or involve a diverse array of students and collaborators.
  10. University Resources   – Are current resources sufficient and how will your program address and enhance current offerings? (up to 150 words)
  11. Administrative Management – Identify the office or entity that will manage the program’s budget and administrative operations.
  12. Disclosure of lead faculty’s current external funding sources.
  13. Disclosure of lead faculty’s current internal funding sources.
  14. Number of years of funding requested.
  15. Total budget request.
  16. Amount per year requested.
  17. Budget breakdown by category by year (i.e. Capital expenses, graduate student funding, supplies and materials, travel, etc.) along with justification/explanation. See budget guidelines.
  18. The option to upload images and graphics is available for items that cannot be included in the program proposal.
  19. Deans will be asked to submit a full letter of support for VRAs at the time of application.

Note: Deans will be asked to offer feedback on VIAs.

Selection Process

The TIPs Council will be responsible for assessing the merits of proposals for funding. This council represents the wide range of academic interests that define our campus. Two review panels comprised of a cross section of faculty from across all the colleges will help the council review proposals. Council recommendations about the proposals will be forwarded to university leadership for final funding consideration.