Interdisciplinary Development Initiatives

Western will invest in a limited number of interdisciplinary development initiatives (IDIs) that have a demonstrated potential to become national and international models for excellence. The IDI program is intended to seed new interdisciplinary collaborations. IDIs will be exceptional programs that advance Western’s research mission, attract scholars and graduate students to our university, and bring prestige to the institution. These IDIs, led by established or emerging scholars, will have clearly articulated research dimensions and objectives.


IDIs are open to researchers in all disciplines and Faculties. Proposals must identify a project leader and at least one co-investigator. The project leader must hold an academic appointment at Western and be eligible to hold research grants. There is no limit to team size. Teams are encouraged to consider equity, diversity and inclusion principles in their team composition. Researchers are permitted to be involved in multiple IDIs, however they may only be identified as the project leader of one IDI. Teams may include researchers or partners from other organizations as co-investigators. Co-investigators who do not hold research-eligible appointments at Western will not have access to grant funds.

Funding Amounts

  • Western will invest up to $4 million over four years (2021-2025) in IDIs, with a notional investment of $1 million/year (subject to applications).
  • IDI projects will be nominally one or two years in duration.
Stream Funding Amount & Duration
Stream 1 $35,000 for one year
Stream 2 $200,000 over a maximum of two years

Guidelines & Application Forms

Changes for the 2022 Round

  • IDI grants can now include support for the direct costs of research; teams must justify how the proposed research and/or other activities will help build interdisciplinary teams and increase the likelihood of success in securing external funding
  • There is no Letter of Intent stage for this round
  • The "Emerging Teams" and "Established Teams" streams have been replaced by two streams both directed at supporting new teams or significantly expanded teams
  • There is no longer a requirement for Steering Advisory Committees or administration of funds by Faculties

Program Timelines & Application Deadlines

  • December 14, 2022: Program launch
  • March 1, 2022: Application and ROLA Proposal Deadline
  • By April 30, 2022: Application results
  • May 1, 2022: Grant start date

Application Process

Send the completed application, including all required attachments, to no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Only electronic submissions will be accepted; no hard copies should be submitted.

A ROLA proposal is required.

The completed signature page may be submitted as a separate, scanned page. Electronic signatures or scanned signatures will be accepted.


Please direct any questions on the IDI program to