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About Focal Point

2016 Focal Point Competition Suspended

In the light of the State budget situation and its impact on the campus, the Graduate College is announcing the suspension of the 2016 Focal Point competition. The Graduate College had originally planned to review proposals following the March 18, 2016 proposal deadline. However, in order to enable us to focus our limited resources on our priority mission of supporting graduate students and graduate programs, we are unable to commit funds to support the 2016 Focal Point competition at this point in time.

In the event that the budget situation in the State is resolved and favorable, it is our hope to reconsider funding of Focal Point at a later date.

We realize that there are groups that are actively working on the development of proposals and we regret any inconvenience that this decision may have caused.

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. 

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

How to Submit a Project Proposal


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