The Commons at the University of Kansas supports research endeavors that bring together the sciences, arts, and humanities to explore the reciprocal relationship between natural and cultural systems. In so doing, the Commons intends to be a catalyst for bold innovation, unconventional thinking and unexpected discoveries

The Commons Starter Grants are intended to nurture and develop interdisciplinary, collaborative research ideas at the conceptual stage. Starter Grants support the initial stages of the development of research and creative ideas that may be overlooked by more conventional disciplinary funding sources. They provide funds for collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams who seek to find their common language and methodological approach. Starter Grants take into consideration projects with potential to develop into proposals for RIC awards. Awards are supported by the Office of Research.

Download the 2014 Application for Starter Grants here.



Brent Metz, Jodi Gentry, Belinda Sturm, Aida Ramos Viera, et al. Combining Engineering, Public Health, Anthropological, Geographic and Film Knowledge for Sustainable Development Among the Ch'orti' Maya of Guatemala


Paul Stock, Tim Miller, Kelly Kindscher, Kate Meyer, James Gunn, et al. Food Utopias: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Ideal Food Systems


Jay T. Johnson, Gene Rankey, Johannes Feddema, et al. Learning from the Indigenous Science: Indigenous Perception and Adaptation to Environmental Change in Kiribati

A. Townsend Peterson, Luke Jordan, Stephen Egbert, et al. Land Use Change over the Twentieth-Century in Central Mexico: Modern Photographs and Landscape Paintings from José María Velasco


Paul Atchley, Chris Depcik, and Gregory Thomas, SmartGrid/SmartHome/SmartCar: The New American Dream

Ford Ballantyne, The Texture of Desert Landscapes: Visualizing Interactions Between Humans and Their Environments

Mary Dusenbury, The Power of Color in Early and Medieval East Asia


Glenn Adams, The Socio-Ecological Foundations of Intimacy

Chris Brown, Putting Global Commodity Chains in their Place: a KU Mongolia Initiative to Mitigate the Socio-Cultural and Environmental Effects of Mining

Michael Crawford, Why do we migrate? Interdisciplinary Exploration of Human Migration