Ideas Lab 2021

An Ideas Lab is an intensive, interactive, and free-thinking environment. A diverse group of participants from various scientific disciplines and backgrounds meets in a (virtual) room to tackle a highly complex problem. Participants are immersed in a collaborative thinking process to construct innovative and interdisciplinary approaches.

UConn's Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) has successfully utilized intramural Ideas Labs to tackle wicked health problems (e.g., opioid-related deaths in CT) and has engaged experts in behavioral, social, biomedical, and environmental sciences; engineering and mathematics; policy and law; business; education; and the arts and humanities.

Key Dates


  • Randomized coffee talks - strongly encouraged - explore summit themes and questions with other Ideas Lab participants. RSVP to
    • May 25th, 11am-12:30pm
    • May 26th, 2pm-3:30pm
    • June 3rd, 2pm-3:30pm
  • State of Health Equity among Boys and Men of Color Summit - required - register here!
    • June 8th-10th
  • Ideas Lab workshop - required
    • June 11th half day in the morning
  • June & July:  Follow-up mini workshops and meetings with your team
  • Extension to September 15th:  Proposals due
  • September:  Funding notifications
  • October:  Pilot projects begin

Ideas Lab Mentors

Stages of Ideas Labs

Stage 1: Questions Emerge (June 11)- Participants begin by independently brainstorming questions and ideas related to the event's theme (in this case, they will work within the subthemes of the event). Participants will post these questions to a shared virtual board with sticky notes. Participants will take these sticky notes and cluster them together (based on how similar or interrelated they are). Participants and organizers will work together to develop topics/questions that summarize these clustered ideas and questions. 

Stage 2: Team Formation (June 11 and beyond)  Organizers will read aloud clustered questions around which groups will form based on their interests. Teams will then work together to build a consensus over 1) what specific question they will address and 2) what solution they are proposing. This process will continue forward after June 11. Teams may work towards research-based projects, policy solutions, or community-based program development. 

Stage 3: Proposal Development  & Funding (Proposals due in August)– Throughout the summer, teams will develop a concise vision for their project and ultimately may submit a proposal for funding through the Ideas Lab. Working with sponsors and content area experts, the Ideas Lab planning committee leadership will make decisions about proposal funding in August 2021.

Please contact Grace Morris at with questions on the Ideas Lab process.