Research Scouts


About the Program

Research Scouts is an agile, low-burden funding program which gives money to scientists (the “Scouts”) to invest in other scientists' bold ideas. It’s an investment in the “Bold Science” objective of Michigan Medicine’s research strategic plan, “Great Minds, Greater Discoveries,” and is modeled on the Hypothesis Fund(link is external). The goals of the program are to…

  • Spark new scientific conversations and connections
  • Unleash the creativity of our scientists
  • Test bold ideas that may otherwise go unexplored
  • Have fun while facilitating new lines of investigation

From diverse disciplines across the Medical School, Research Scouts are given $150,000 and empowered and motivated to support their fellow researchers’ bold ideas. Scouts are searching for early-stage ideas that can transform our current understanding of a scientific concept or field, challenge common dogma, or are wildly new and imaginative.

Button to submit an idea for research scouts

Have an idea you’d like a Scout to consider? SUBMIT YOUR IDEA(link is external) with a brief questionnaire that asks for a description, which will then be forwarded to the Research Scouts. You may submit as many ideas as you would like, and all will be considered provided they align with the goals outlined above. We also encourage you to discuss your bold ideas during seminars, conferences, and gatherings, where Research Scouts will be “prospecting.” Scouts will not consider unsolicited requests directly, and anyone who approaches a Scout for funding will be deemed ineligible.
Once a Research Scout has identified a bold idea from the questionnaire they find promising, both parties will cooperate to complete a brief Investment Agreement Form(link is external) outlining the project, milestones, award amount, and other information.