Pre-proposals are now being solicited for a university endowment competition that aims to share knowledge that benefits the community and the state of Wisconsin.

According to Jeff Russell, vice provost for lifelong learning and dean of the Division of Continuing Studies, the annual Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment competition seeks to extend the Wisconsin Idea by implementing significant research and clinical knowledge into local communities.

“A fairly broad group of people contribute in regards to the application area,” Russell said.

Any University of Wisconsin student, faculty or staff member can participate, Russell said, adding the goal of the Baldwin project is to engage the local community as well as off-campus organizations to advance the Wisconsin Idea while fostering public engagement.

According to Russell, pre-proposals should encourage new outreach activities that apply to education, clinical knowledge and research that assist in solving problems.

Russell said around ten projects were funded last year, as the committee does not wish to put all funding into one project. He added a budget of $650,000 is available this year for financing various projects.

As a member of the 2012 selection committee, Russell said a compelling example of a proposal from last year is the “Immigrants Justice Clinic,” a project providing opportunities and learning experiences to non-citizen students.

“Other projects in the past have addressed outreach to those with post-partum depression, outreach to those with PTSD, programs for youth that encourage a positive body image and many other exciting examples to read about on the website,” Russell said.

According to the UW Office of the Provost website, Ira Baldwin and Ivena Reilly Baldwin believed a university’s quality is “determined primarily by the quality of its staff and students.”

According to Eden Inoway-Ronnie from the Office of the Provost, pre-proposals must be submitted to a dean by noon  Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, and to the provost’s office by noon Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. She added finalists will be chosen by Monday, March 18, 2013.

Russell said if a pre-proposal is selected as a finalist, the office will then ask for a full proposal, and final decisions will be made sometime in May.

The website adds the project attempts to “share the university’s knowledge and resources throughout the world, and to return knowledge from throughout the world to the university.”

According to Inoway-Ronnie, proposals must build on past experiences at UW, as well as articulate goals, methods and objectives in a clearly understood language.

“The proposal must contain evidence of an external partner willing to commit to the project,” Inoway-Ronnie said.

The proposal must also concisely identify the issue to be worked on, Russell said, adding evidence must be provided that displays proof the project opportunity exists.

Inoway-Ronnie said she would emphasize it is important not to recreate existing outreach projects. She said projects may last up to three years and the maximum funding for projects will be around $120,000.