Buffalo Blue Sky 1.0

UB North campus during the summer - campus buildings in the horizon and lake in foreground

Buffalo Blue Sky 1.0 offers seed funding for innovative team science. By jump-starting these multidisciplinary projects, UB hopes to increase the number of new proposals submitted by university investigators.

How does Blue Sky work?

Buffalo Blue Sky 1.0 provides each eligible investigator a coin, either gold ($20,000) or silver ($5,000). Researchers can redeem a coin by connecting with two other coin holders and creating a new team project.

Blue Sky 1.0 eligibility

To be eligible for a Blue Sky Coin, a UB investigator must have:

  • Gold Coin - $20,000: Submitted 12 or more proposals, for which they were credited with at least 20% proposal credit, through UB Sponsored Projects (SPS)  between July 1, 2016 -- June 30, 2018.
  • Silver Coin - $5,000: Submitted at least 6 but fewer than 12 proposals, for which they were credited with at least 20% proposal credit, through UB Sponsored Projects (SPS) between July 1, 2016 -- June 30, 2018. 

UB began issuing Blue Sky 1.0 coins Sept. 1, 2018. Investigators have two years to redeem them (by Sept. 1, 2020). There will be no peer review of the proposed project. The team must be comprised of eligible coin holders (or one new faculty member) and the collaborative trio (cT) must be pursuing a new research direction. The cT cannot use the money for existing externally funded projects.

Buffalo Blue Sky 1.0 FAQ

What is Buffalo Blue Sky 1.0?

UB’s Research and Economic Development office launched the Buffalo Blue Sky program in September 2018. It provides seed funding for innovative research projects designed by investigators working collaboratively and across disciplines.

Why Buffalo Blue Sky?

Funding agencies are looking for team science and diverse perspectives. UB wants to encourage this collaborative approach and increase the number of submitted proposals. Increased grant funding benefits everyone.

Who qualifies for a team?

In round one, there are two coins: gold worth $20,000 and silver worth $5,000. For the gold coin, investigators must have submitted 12 or more proposals (each with at least a 20% proposal credit) through Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018.

For the silver coin, investigators must have submitted six or more proposals (each with at least a 20% proposal credit) through Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018.

A new faculty member or researcher — defined as some whose appointment date is July 1, 2016 or later — can be the third in a collaborative trio (cT), thus triggering the coin release but not bringing any money.

Additional investigators (those without coins) can be part of a team. Investigators (with and without coins) may be from any institution.

Redeeming a coin — how does it work?

You can redeem your coin beginning Sept, 1, 2018 until Aug. 31, 2020. It takes three coins, from at least two different departments and a new, collaborative research project to redeem the coins. The coins can be of different values.   OR   Two coin holders can partner with a new faculty member (someone who was appointed on or after July1, 2016.) The new investigator brings no money but completes the trio to help release the other two coins. At the time of redemption, each coin holder must have an active external award in which they have at least 20% proposal credit.

How does it work?

Qualified investigators can find potential partners by reviewing the list of coin holders and then developing a new joint proposal. They also can post suggested research on the Buffalo Blue Sky site and ask for collaborators.

Once a trio forms, the team members submit a project description using the Submit Final Proposal Button in the Ideas Workspace. This is a secure section of the site, reserved for coin holders.

There is no peer review, however we will check and make sure it meets the program requirements: three qualified investigators; different departments represented and new ideas.

Why SPS and what's next?

Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) is the primary agency of record for UB’s funded research. It tracks proposal submissions, awards and research expenditures — numbers important to the university’s overall standing as a major public research institution.

Will there be another chance to qualify as a coin holder?

If round one is as successful as expected, we plan to host round two. The gold and silver coin levels would remain the same, however the qualifying time for proposal submission would shift to July 1, 2018, —  June 30, 2020.  The Blue Sky project submission would not count toward the next round’s total, however research proposals generated from that project work could be counted.