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Focal Point

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About Focal Point

Focal Point is a Graduate College initiative designed to stimulate new interdisciplinary research through collaborations among faculty and graduate students from multiple fields. Projects provide opportunities for graduate students to engage directly in the process of developing new research directions in areas of critical national and human need – including how to identify, define, and frame new research.

Watch for the 2015 RFP, which will be posted in late fall.

Submissions will be due mid-spring semester. Details to come.

Benefits for Graduate Education

  • Support development of new courses and programs, or advancement of ongoing activities
  • Initiate seed activities for development of grant proposals for extramural funding
  • Provide a vehicle to design graduate education elements that complement campus research initiatives
  • Disseminate new knowledge via Graduate College symposia, workshops, exhibits (real or virtual), performances, musical recordings, or other campus events
  • Create opportunities to advance pedagogy and practices in graduate education


  • Give graduate students the opportunity to be actively involved in formulating and shaping the scope of a large research problem
  • Advance knowledge in areas of critical national and human need
  • Promote interdisciplinary inquiry and collaborative problem solving
  • Support interdisciplinary research addressing issues of domestic minorities in graduate education
  • Encourage entrepreneurship activities across campus
  • Build relationships with international institutions or NGOs


If you have questions about Focal Point, please contact Lori Mikos at lmikos@illinois.edu or 333-6715.