May 19, 2010


Subject:    Request for Proposals to Establish New Organized
Research Units (ORUs): Instructions for the 2010-11 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 2010. A complete proposal will then be due at the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) on 1 November 2010. At this stage detailed budgets are not requested, but potential funding and space needs should be identified. ORU proposals submitted in response to this announcement will be subject to the new guidelines for General Campus ORUs which have been recently adopted and which may be found at

In the first stage of the review process, ORU proposals will be examined by the ORA and the relevant UCSD Academic Senate committees for their intellectual merit. The proposers of the most meritorious first-stage proposals will then be invited to submit a second stage proposal by 1 March 2011 that includes a discussion of detailed budget and space requirements and commitments. These second stage proposals will again be reviewed by the ORA and Senate committees. ORUs that are endorsed by this review process can then be launched with appropriate fiscal support from ORA on 1 July 2011. ORA discussions with Academic Affairs indicate that the campus may be in a position to launch one or two new ORUs 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 a response to this announcement should review the new ORU guidelines and are encouraged to contact Associate Vice Chancellor for Research George Tynan (, 534-5556).

Arthur B. Ellis
Vice Chancellor for Research