Contact: Valerie Johnson

Managing Director


Michigan Engineering

(734) 763-2453

G112 Lane Hall

Mark Burns, Thomas Zurbuchen and Alec D. 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 provides an expedited pathway for U-M faculty to pursue groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research with the potential for major societal impact. As an alternative to the traditional government grant review process, the program intends to minimize the time between idea conception and successful research results by providing rapid distribution of 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 – The Provost, units and principal investigator all fund the program.

Learn more about MCubed 

The MCubed Diamond program offers individual donors and industry partners the opportunity to invest in research projects that align exactly with their interests. Funders set the parameters for each project and interact with faculty experts through the MCubed website.

Diamond projects are fully funded – no unit or PI contribution required. All faculty collaborators in the MCubed website receive a token to participate in the Diamond Program. Faculty who would like to be added to the system should contact their MCubed Unit Liaison or the MCubed office at .

Learn more about the Diamond program