The UW2020 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Discovery Initiative has received an overwhelming number of responses to their new grant research program.

The UW2020 program, which began in 2014, has received an array of responses from faculty and academic staff. All staff with permanent principle investigator status are eligible to apply, and some 150 applications have already been received.

The sheer number of applicants left UW2020 overwhelmed, Tim McGlone UW spokesperson said. Though the vastness of responses was unexpected, the program is pleased with the support the staff has demonstrated, McGlone said.

In order to sort through the many research proposals, McGlone said a committee composed of the vice chancellor, each of the four associate vice chancellors and faculty was formed.

The committee, McGlone said, will decide which projects will receive funding based on its innovation, significance and ability to address important problems within its field.

One of the considerations the committee includes when deciding recipients is the project’s potential success. The committee weighs the chances of whether the project may receive additional funding from outside sources, McGlone said.

“[The grant] is designed to facilitate new kinds of research that can’t be funded in any other way,” McGlone said.

UW2020 grant recipients may receive grants with an average of $300,000 and a maximum of $500,000  McGlone said.

While the responses themselves remain confidential until decisions have been made regarding the recipients of the grants, McGlone said the proposals have been from across all divisions on campus, and almost every department on campus has been represented.

One unique aspect of the UW2020 research program is its commitment to providing innovative staff members with funding despite the possibility that the applicant’s research may not yield any results, McGlone said.

This gives researchers the ability to try new research tactics, which could ultimately lead to innovations and technology, McGlone said.