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The NORC "Creativity is a Decision" Prize Competition

June 13, 2011

Every scientist has a wild idea—that one concept that may change the way people think in their field—that could be seen as genius or lunacy.

The Wright brothers, Charles Darwin, Edward Jenner—all had them.

Too often we censor ourselves and only pursue our "safe" or incremental ideas for fear of failure or being labeled a fool or a heretic.

Well, here is a chance to face your fears.

Step 1: Develop a "Wild Idea" research proposal on an obesity-related topic that could be expanded into a major extramural grant proposal.
  • Proposals should be no more than one page.
  • Award opportunity is open to several levels (graduate student, post-doc, faculty, staff).
Step 2:  E-mail a one-page proposal to David Allison at by June 22, 2011.
Step 3:  Within each category, meritorious applicants will be selected to receive a "pre-award voucher."
  • Graduate Students for F31 or other suitable mechanism ($1000)
  • Postdoctoral Fellows for F32 or other suitable mechanism ($2500)
  • Faculty & Staff members at any level ($5000)
  • Senior Faculty are encouraged to apply.
NOTE: The award is a prize for the individual, not a grant to conduct the research.
Step 4: Winners will be notified by July 1, 2011.
Step 5: Winners must submit at least one proposal from those judged as highly creative to an extramural sponsoring authority (e.g., NIH, NSF, etc.) by November 5, 2011.
  • Once a grant is submitted, winners can redeem their pre-award voucher.

For full details, visit