Confluencenter Clusters FAQ

What’s a Cluster?

A cluster is a group of scholars affiliated with the Confluencenter that all study or are interested in topics related to the Cluster theme. The Cluster meets regularly (at least once per semester) and maintains other regular contact (such as email lists, facebook groups, etc.). The Confluencenter will support all Cluster activities, and all Confluencenter funding programs will be disbursed to Cluster members in the form of Working Groups. Cluster members can also be called upon to present their findings and ideas at public Confluencenter events, and share achievements with the Confluencenter and the Cluster. The Confluencenter will officially invite faculty affiliates to join the Clusters in mid-summer 2018- stay tuned!

What are the Cluster Themes?

The Confluencenter Task Force identified four interdisciplinary themes that can provide starting points for future research and scholastic projects. These are meant to be umbrella topics, not prescriptive directions. The key is that anyone from any discipline with an interest in a topic related to the Theme is welcome to get involved in the Clusters and to affiliate with the Confluencenter. Here are the themes and potential examples of sub-topics:

Bridging Borders

Resilience & Sustainability

Health & Well-being

Humans & Technology

  • Transnational
  • Binational (USA/Mexico)
  • University & Community
  • Socio-Economic and Cultural
  • Third Space / Hybrid Space
  • Environment
  • Sacred Landscape
  • Water & Natural Resources
  • Land as Pedagogy
  • Decimation / Reclamation of Public Lands
  • Physical Health
  • Environmental Health
  • Native Cultures / Reclamation
  • Creative Expression
  • Mindfulness & Contemplation
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Robotics
  • Digital Humanities
  • Creative Expression

For instance, if a leader of a dance troupe wants to create a piece based on the borderlands, attending a Bridging Borders Meet & Greet would be a great way to connect with, for instance, an environmental scientist working in the Sonoran desert and a digital humanities expert in Latin American culture. They can then form a working group to apply for Confluencenter seed funding.

What’s a Working Group?

A working group is a group of at least 2 people from different disciplines within the Cluster working together on a common goal. The working group may have formed previous to joining the Cluster and be seeking Confluencenter funding, or it may have formed as a result of membership in the Cluster. Working groups are eligible for Confluencenter funding to seed projects.

The Transfrontera Working Group is a funded Innovation Farm project encouraging cross-border dialogue.

How will Confluencenter fund projects?

Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry will release its calls for proposals to the Clusters in late Fall 2018, due mid-semester Spring 2019. These may include anything ranging from soliciting proposals for specific human challenges the Confluencenter boards want to address to seed funding for longer-term goals such as we’ve done in the past with our Innovation Farm projects. The Graduate Fellowships will continue, and be available to any University of Arizona graduate student, and part of participating in a Graduate Fellowship will be active participation in at least one of the Clusters. The annual funding cycle will continue from there with proposals due and accepted by the end of the spring semesters.

If you would like more information about how to get involved in Confluencenter Clusters, please email us at!