Call for Proposals

Submission deadline: May 23, 2016

Funding from the University of Michigan (UM) and four German Institutions; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Deutsches Zentrum für Altersfragen (DZA), Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung (MPIB), and Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW) will be available for collaborative research projects between co-investigators from the four German institutions and from UM.

The objective of the Seed Phase is to identify topics for joint research projects in the fields of social science in two areas:

1. Technology and health interface across the life span: There have been significant technological advances that have important implications for health. Potential interdisciplinary research in this area could include, but in no way is limited to, the following illustrative examples: mobile apps to encourage and maintain health behaviors for people with multiple chronic conditions; robot – human interface to combat social isolation; the influence of the built environment on health/illness; and economic and/or SES differences in the adoption of new health-related technologies and devices.

2. Mobility / Transportation and health across the lifespan: Mobility and transportation is evolving at a fast and steady pace.  Example research topics include development of procedures that facilitate optimal use of health enhancing devices (e.g., automobile embedded health monitors); psychosocial issues in the use of autonomous/driverless vehicles; wearable devices to enhance secure mobility among people with mobility limitations; harmonizing the use of technologies such as 3D printing to improve mobility through personalized design of casts, braces, harnesses, etc.; and health and wellness of displaced and increasingly mobile populations (e.g., refugees, migrant workers, etc.). Successful Seed Project proposals, therefore, must have a strong potential for significant follow-on external funding.

This announcement represents the first call for proposals during the initial phase of our research collaboration.

Collaborative Research Program:
With this research collaboration both The University of Michigan and the four German Institutions HU, DZA, MPIB, DIW have made a commitment to address challenges and opportunities in the social sciences. Several small research endeavors as well as student exchanges have occurred in the past, as have joint academies and conferences held both in Ann Arbor and Berlin.  We believe these exchanges have set the stage for collaborative research where social scientists (and potential others) gain an international perspective by working together in confronting global challenges we are confronting in the future especially changing demographics and the changing age structure of our society.  The result will be a radically changed society with numerous pressing issues to resolve.  While there are many possible areas on which to focus the two noted above have garnered much interest and have a unique potential to benefit from social science input.  In addition, we believe they are especially likely to benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. We hope to see successful new faculty collaborations leading to new joint research programs.