About MCubed

What is MCubed?

MCubed stimulates innovative research and scholarship by distributing real-time seed funding to multi-unit, faculty-led teams.  Through this revolutionary research funding program, faculty from at least two different campus units can form a collaborative trio, or “cube,” and request either $60K or $15K to advance their idea right away. 

Cubes empower team members to:

  • Keep pace with the rapid information flow of today’s research environment
  • Explore high-risk approaches that might not attract immediate support from more traditional funding mechanisms
  • Tackle pressing social problems too complex for a single disciplinary approach
  • Expose the next generation of researchers/scholars to the benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration.

Housed in the University of Michigan's Office for Research (UMOR), MCubed is part of the Third Century Initiative, established by the provost and president in anticipation of the university's bicentennial celebration in 2017.  Building upon U-M's excellence and spirit of cooperation across the disciplines, MCubed makes great ideas go!

MCubed 2.0:  2015-2017 cycle 

MCubed is currently in the second cycle of its internally funded cubing program.  As in the first cycle, each school, college, or participating unit will determine the faculty groups who receive MCubed tokens.  Then three faculty from at least two different units across campus can use their MCubed tokens to form teams to engage in innovative research and scholarship. $15,000 or $60,000 will be rapidly awarded to each trio of faculty, or "cube," depending on the level of funding the team requests.  MCubed 2.0 will be funded jointly by the U-M Provost's Office, U-M schools and colleges, and individual faculty collaborators.  

Learn more about MCubed 2.0 and the first 50 cubes that have been distributed!

MCubed 1.0:  2012-2014 cycle (Closed)

In 2012, MCubed launched its inaugural cycle, with generous funding from the U-M Provost’s Office, Rackham Graduate School, all U-M schools/colleges, and faculty collaborators.  A total of 222 “cubes” (teams of 3 faculty partners from at least two units) formed and were each awarded $60,000 to conduct multidisciplinary research and scholarship.  This cycle closed on December 31, 2014.  To view cubes from MCubed 1.0, go to Find Projects and use the "Search Options" box on the right.  Faculty who participated in MCubed 1.0 cubes are urged to showcase their achievements by entering them from the project page.

Read press release, "MCubed Research-funding Experiment Renewed for Two Years," for outcomes from MCubed 1.0 and plans for MCubed 2.0.

MCubed Diamond Program 

The MCubed Diamond Program provides an unprecedented opportunity for donors to invest in research projects that align exactly with their interests, from global health to education, and sustainability to social justice.  Funders set the parameters for each project, interact with the University of Michigan to identify faculty experts to lead their project, and receive compelling updates about the work of the team through the MCubed website.

Learn more about the Diamond Program.