The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (VBC) invites proposals from faculty teams interested in collaborating with each other and a student cohort on a transdisciplinary project.

Time-frame: VBC Fellowships are two years. This cohort will begin work Fall semester 2022; project will be completed during Spring semester 2024.

What does the VBC Fellowship entail?
The two-year VBC Fellowship offers Ball State faculty support and training as they explore how their discipline connects with others and contributes to large-scale ideas and wicked problems. Over two years, VBC Faculty Fellows develop a transdisciplinary class that offers students of any major credit in the University Core Curriculum (UCC), and work together to execute a large-scale project where faculty and students collaborate to explore a transdisciplinary theme or address a wicked problem.

  • Fellowship Year One: Faculty Fellows work with VBC staff to develop a new UCC-style course that explores a theme or topic that transcends disciplines. During this year, Faculty Fellows will get to know each other, interact with a large group of undergraduates, and begin exploring ideas for their culminating project.
  • Fellowship Year Two: Faculty Fellows collaborate on project design, recruit students, and execute a large-scale transdisciplinary project. During this year, faculty are released from their entire spring semester load, and offered a budget of $25,000 to support the project.

Who is eligible to apply?
Any full-time faculty member (tenured, tenure-line, and non-tenure-line) is eligible. The VBC is looking for three-member faculty teams from different departments, with special consideration given to cross-college partnerships.

What if I’m interested, but don’t have collaborators?
Please give the VBC a call at 765-285-0114 to set up a meeting with VBC Director Jennifer Blackmer. While applications specifically call for faculty teams, the VBC staff is eager to assist faculty in identifying potential partners from departments across campus!

I have several possible partners. What makes a good VBC team?
While transdisciplinary work typically involves combining three approaches — research/investigative, historical/theoretical, and practical/applied — the lines dividing these approaches are fluid. A good team is comprised of scholars with one area of expertise who are interested in learning from colleagues in other areas and challenging themselves to try new things. What questions might a physicist, a historian and a dancer explore together? How about a poet, an economist and a biologist?

Do I need to have a fully-realized project idea?
No! In fact, VBC projects typically evolve over time as teams get to know one another and collaborate. Big, innovative ideas, brainstorming, “what if” questions and “dream” scenarios are not only welcome, but encouraged!

What do you mean by transdisciplinary?
Transdisciplinary work seeks to examine large, complex, layered and often difficult questions and concepts (sometimes called “wicked problems”) that involve issues and contributions from multiple fields and perspectives. While interdisciplinarity explores intersections between two fields, transdisciplinarity examines the question first to determine possible contributions from multiple fields, often three or more.

More questions or want to discuss an idea? Give us a call at 765-285-0114 or email VBC Assistant Director Kristin Ramsey ( to set up an appointment with Jennifer Blackmer, Director of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry.

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