June 4, 2009


SUBJECT:    Request for Proposals to Establish New Organized Research
Units (ORUs): Instructions for the 2009-10 Academic Year

The Office of Research Affairs (ORA) invites proposals for the establishment of new Organized Research Units (ORUs) from the UCSD academic community. A letter of intent identifying the research focus of the proposed ORU, along with the key faculty and researcher leadership, is requested by 1 October 2009. A complete proposal will then be due at the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) on 1 November 2009. At this stage detailed budgets are not requested, but potential funding and space needs should be identified. At this writing, the policies and procedures for ORUs are in the final stages of revision; these new guidelines will be completed soon and will be posted to the ORA website and announced to the campus in the coming weeks. New ORU proposals submitted in response to this announcement will be subject to these new guidelines.

At this first stage of the review process, ORU proposals will be examined by the ORA and by Senate committees for their intellectual merit. The proposers of the most meritorious first-stage proposals will then be asked to submit a modified proposal by 1 March 2010 that includes detailed budget information, again to be reviewed by the ORA and Senate committees. ORUs that are successful in this process will be launched with appropriate fiscal support from ORA on 1 July 2010. At this time, we anticipate that the campus may be in a position to launch one new ORU in response to this announcement.

Proposals in any area of interdisciplinary scholarship of interest to the UCSD community are welcomed. The proposal should clearly identify the interdisciplinary research opportunities that would be captured by the creation of the proposed ORU, and should make a compelling case that these opportunities cannot be adequately addressed by existing academic units and organizations. Excellence at the national and international level is expected of ORUs and, as the organization matures, should be recognized by scholars working in the domain of the ORU.

Faculty who are considering responding to this opportunity are encouraged to contact Associate Vice Chancellor for Research George Tynan (, 534-5556).

Arthur B. Ellis
Vice Chancellor for Research