Contact: Valerie Johnson

Managing Director


Michigan Engineering

(734) 763-2453

G112 Lane Hall

Mark Burns, Thomas Zurbuchen and Alec Gallimore: the three visionaries behind the MCubed initiative. Photo: Laura Rudich, Michigan Engineering Communications and Marketing.

MCubed is U-M’s revolutionary new way of funding research. The program creates a new pathway for U-M faculty to pursue groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research that has a major societal impact. As an alternative to the traditional year-long government grant review process, the program intends to minimize the time between idea conception and successful research results by providing immediate startup funds. A campus-wide research symposium then showcases this groundbreaking research. Six key characteristics define MCubed and the research it supports:

  • Multidisciplinary – Taking advantage of U-M’s excellence across breadth.
  • Collaborative – Three researchers from at least two different colleges/schools form a team.
  • Unreviewed – No formal review; peers approve projects by agreeing to “cube” their tokens.
  • Bold – Drives risk-taking in innovative and interdisciplinary research.
  • Exciting – Research results are communicated in high-profile, campus-wide symposia.
  • Distributed – Principal investigators, units, the Provost, Rackham and OVPR all fund the program.

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