5x5 Interdisciplinary Working Group Applications

Next Application Deadline (2023–2024 Groups):
Monday, October 2, 2023

IAS 5x5 Working Groups bring together small groups of people from differing disciplinary backgrounds and positions in the University and off-campus communities for a low-stakes, short-term exploration.

The name, 5x5, informally means “loud and clear”—and also indicates the program’s intent to gather five people together to meet about five times. Learn more about IAS 5x5 Interdisciplinary Working Groups.


  • University of Minnesota faculty and instructors
  • University of Minnesota staff
  • University of Minnesota students
  • Community members based in Minnesota


2023–2024 Themes

Starting in Fall 2023, we will be organizing 5x5 Working Groups around six different themes. You may apply to participate in more than one 5x5 group, but to allow for greater access to IAS opportunities, you will be selected for no more than one group. The themes are:

  • Broader Impacts: Rethinking the intersection between “broader impacts” (as required by NSF and some other funders) and community engagement
  • Just Housing: What is the future of housing? How can we create just housing?
  • Speculative Democracies: Exploring threats, challenges, and possibilities
  • Going Viral: Exploring the connections and parallels among social, technical, and medical phenomena
  • Digital Self-Determination: Questions of open access, data sovereignty, privacy, and who makes the call
  • Global Midwest: Exploring global implications of regional issues and local implications of global issues in areas including agriculture, industry, water, land management, universities, arts, wind farms, landscapes, and climate change


Individuals interested in participating will complete a short application; the IAS will form one or two small groups per topic, aiming for a broad diversity of participants in each group. Each group is expected to meet at least five times. Each group will have the help of an IAS facilitator to get started and a budget of up to $1,000 for materials, field trips, or other expenses. The IAS staff is also willing to consult or facilitate if the group wants to continue, develop a project or event together, make connections outside the University, or other activities. All 5x5 participants are required to submit a final report of their group’s work once it has been completed; this report may be jointly written by participants or individuals may submit their own summaries. All meetings must be completed by the end of spring semester 2024.

Application Instructions

Applications will be submitted through InfoReady Review. You may apply to participate in more than one 5x5 Working Group; please submit a separate application for each group.

The application consists of an information section, three questions, and a CV/personal statement upload. You will select which 5x5 theme you would like to explore, and answer these three questions:

  1. What is your interest, involvement, and/or research in this topic? (300 word max)
  2. What skills, experience, or other assets can you contribute to a group exploring this topic? (250 word max)
  3. What do you hope will come out of this experience? (100 word max)

UNDERGRADUATE APPLICANTS are also required to submit the name and email address of a faculty member who can serve as a reference.

All applicants must upload a CV or personal statement (limit 2 pages).