2022-23 Faculty XR Awards

Students in the Digital Twins Lab Students in the Digital Twins Lab

The Faculty XR Awards is a technology incubator and experiential learning lab for the advancement of immersive media research projects. The 2023-23 XR Award will pair you with a team of XR developers to design and develop or prototype an XR app that will further your teaching, research, or creative scholarship.

What will the future of your field look like? XR applications (virtual, augmented, mixed, and spatial reality) have been continuously evolving, leading to discoveries in several areas.  In order to promote XR scholarship and innovation on campus, the 2022-23 XR Award will pair you with a team of XR developers to design and develop or prototype an XR app that will further your teaching, research, or creative scholarship. We are looking for creative, innovative, and promising ideas across a range of disciplines. This award sponsors work that will lead to new research and will help us maximize XR’s potential across the arts, business, healthcare, humanities, natural sciences & engineering, and social sciences.  

The application to participate in UMXR 2022-23 will require a letter of intent (LOI) that is due on September 23rd, 2022. Funding is available for up to ten applications with a ceiling of 10k per application.   

The award process has two rounds:

  1. The Letter of intent
  2. Product requirements

Round 1: LOI (The deadline is September 23rd, 2022):

A letter of intent (LOI) is required to participate in round 1. There will be funding for 5 to 8 XR applications, and they will be selected from the letters of intent. If your proposal is selected to compete for Round 2, we will pair you with your own team of designers and developers who will help you complete a more detailed proposal and a budget. This documentation will be used to apply for the second and final round.

The LOI should include:

  • your name
  • field of research
  • link to bio (or annexed document)
  • your idea
  • an explanation of how your idea might impact your field, including references to limited/existing research/apps in the field
  • how will you assess the impact of your idea 
  • potential outcomes from this project


  • 2 pages maximum length (including any images)
  • 12 point font 
  • Times New Roman or Arial 
  • Double spaced between all texts 
  • 1-inch margins 
  • Align text to the left 


Submit a letter of intent

Round 2: Product Requirements (due on November 15th): 

For the second round of the RFP you will be required to produce documentation supporting the product requirements. You will be paired up with a student who will help translate the requirements and write the documentation for Round 2. 

The product requirement documentation should include:

  • Executive Summary (Purpose and scope, from both a technical and scholarship perspective)
  • Functional requirements (e.g. what a product should do)
    • usability requirements
    • technical requirements (e.g. security, hardware,...)
    • support requirements
  • Stakeholder identification
  • Wireframes (low or high-fidelity)
  • Assumptions
  • High-level workflow plans, timelines, and milestones (> 1-year)
  • Evaluation criteria and plan
  • Technical requirements
  • Expected outcomes (scholarship)
  • Potential funding opportunities
  • Team (roles & bios)


  • 10 pages maximum length (including images/wireframes may be annexed)
  • 12 point font 
  • Times New Roman or Arial 
  • Double spaced between all texts 
  • 1-inch margins 
  • Align text to the left 

Proposals that are selected in Round 2 will receive funding support to produce your XR application. Round two proposals will be due on November 15th.


Who can apply for this grant?

Full-time faculty. 

What involvement is required from me?

You are the content area expert and will be guiding the development team. It will be your responsibility to provide content and guidance to your development team. 

What do I need to know about app development?

Your team will be responsible for the design and programming of the application. They will listen to you and propose solutions. You do not need to know anything about the design and development process. 

Who will own the app once it’s developed?

The app is yours to do as you want, though it does fall under the University’s Policy on Inventions, Intellectual Property, and Technology Transfer.  

Who is on my app development team?

Your team will be comprised of staff and students. Staff will include software developers and project managers from the University of Miami Institute for Data Science and Computing and the UMIT XR Garage. We will assign you to your team based on your letter of intent. 

I know how to develop apps, can I just hire my own team?

If you already have a team or want to build the application yourself, you may do so, however, the grant can only fund UM faculty, staff, and students. 

What is the budget for the app development?

You do not need to include a budget for the LOI, but the apps will have an approximate development budget of $10,000. Your app development team will work with you to establish an appropriate budget for Round 2. 

Does the budget cover research costs after the app is built?

You will need to seek funds from other sources to fund your research with the app. It is our hope that the app that you develop will help you secure the required funding. 

Does the budget include stipends for faculty?

Investigators may not include a stipend for themselves. 

Can I include hardware in the budget?

Yes, you can include any specialized hardware you might need for the development of your app in your full proposal. Please note that the Creative Studio at the library has VR/AR equipment to loan out. All hardware purchased with this grant should be donated to the library when you are done with it. 

May I submit more than one idea?

Each applicant may only submit once. 


May I submit a grant to extend an existing XR award?


Do you have examples of previous projects that were funded?

Yes! The XR Website, located at http://xr.miami.edu has several examples of faculty projects that were previously funded. We consider a successful project one that produced an app and produced scholarship around it. A few apps are currently negotiating licensing agreements to transition into commercial products. 


Submit a letter of intent