DRI Innovation Research Program

Supporting DRI's faculty, students, and technical staff to pursue their very best ideas.

The purpose of this Program is to increase the opportunities for DRI’s faculty and technical staff to succeed in their research by financially supporting their very best ideas, thus enhancing DRI’s reputation as the place to be to undertake environmental research on our Earth System.

Postdoctoral Scholar Fund

  • Recruiting the best and brightest scientists to DRI.
  • Impact: Ensures that DRI will have a pipeline of world-class scientific leaders for future succession to the faculty. 
  • Benefits to DRI: Increases the probability of new partnerships with ongoing and innovative research projects that incorporate new ideas and novel approaches. This approach will begin to change the demographics of DRI toward a more junior staff, thus ensuring the future of scientific leadership across the Institute.

Early-Career Faculty Innovation Fund

  • Launches the faculty career of rising researchers.
  • Impact: Provides new faculty with a financial incentive to pursue new ideas, projects and research opportunities, develop new collaborative partnerships (e.g. corporate/public). Allows for professional development through the attendance of workshops, conferences, and seminars. Provides opportunities for teaching/graduate student supervision.
  • Benefits to DRI: Helps in retention of Postdoctoral Scholars and current DRI early-career faculty because it shows that DRI is committed to its faculty thereby increasing morale. Helps leverage future DRI grants and contracts success by providing an opportunity to produce data illustrating that the proposed project is viable.

Mid-Level Faculty Innovation Fund

  • Providing mid-level faculty the time to collaborate on new proposals and programs. 
  • Impact: Affords these faculty opportunities in professional development by pursuing new ideas, projects and research opportunities, and developing new collaborative partnerships (e.g. corporate/public). Offers opportunities for more involvement in teaching and supervising both undergraduate and graduate students from UNR, UNLV, Nevada State College and the community colleges.
  • Benefits to DRI: Helps DRI retain the best faculty at this level in their careers. Enhances their probability of success in competing for federal and state grants and contracts.

Senior Faculty Innovation Fund

  • Providing senior faculty the time to mentor early-career faculty to enhance their opportunity for long-term success.
  • Impact: Affords these faculty members opportunities for developing and leading a major interdisciplinary research program proposal. Affords mentoring opportunities for early-career and mid-level stage faculty. Offers an opportunity to synthesize their breadth of research efforts over their career by writing or editing a book or journal.
  • Benefits to DRI: Offers Senior faculty members time to strategize about long term issues facing the Institute such as how to best use DRI’s intellectual property, DRI’s role in developing partnerships and new programs with UNR, UNLV, Nevada State and the community colleges as well as teaching of undergraduate and graduate students.

Technology Development Fund

  • Offering opportunities for faculty and technical staff to develop the next generation of state-of-the-art instruments and new technology for research
  • Impact: Increases opportunities to develop new corporate/public relationships, which directly support Nevada’s new knowledge-based economy and advances Nevada’s economic development efforts. Provides resources to DRI faculty to develop new intellectual property and/or commercialize existing intellectual property.
  • Benefits to DRI: Helps DRI create an innovative technical environment to recruit the best technical staff for developing unique capabilities in state of the art technology or to expand the capabilities of existing Technical staff. Serves to strengthen DRI’s recruitment and retention of world class scientific leaders of existing technical staff because we have, and so that we can develop the best instrumentation.

New Special Projects Fund

  • Supporting innovative new research and education projects and programs.
  • Impact: Increases opportunities for DRI faculty and staff to develop new ideas and new projects or programs or special events that don’t fit the traditional research funding model.
  • Benefits to DRI: Affords maximum flexibility in DRI’s capability to support innovative research and public engagement ideas from all staff. Offers DRI the opportunity to promote funded special projects externally, thus engaging a wider public audience and external stakeholders.