Our Approach

CEDAR offers a unique model for research

Our Approach

It starts with an idea.

CEDAR projects can come from anywhere and anyone. An idea is proposed to prove a hypothesis, test a result, examine a concept...but it all starts with an idea. That's where the CEDAR method and a traditional lab part ways.

Traditional labs:

  1. Write grants.
  2. Write more grants.
  3. Write more grants.
  4. Get funding.
  5. Assemble a team and begin research.
  6. Write more grants.


  • CEDAR will purchase and maintain any equipment needed for a project. Equipment is shared. 
  • CEDAR scientists may be designated as PI on grants, but are not required to get grant funding to maintain their status or support.
At CEDAR, we take a different approach.

How it works:

  1. The idea champions identify collaborators and assemble a team. Ideas can come from anywhere and anyone—there is no hierarchy when it comes to putting a project together.
  2. The team puts together a project proposal. The proposal contains measurable milestones, including a definition of success - and a budget.
  3. Project teams identify a Mentor who can help review the project and ask tough questions.
  4. Projects proposals are assessed for scientific impact and funds justification. Funding decisions are made.
  5. Progress against milestones is measured at pre-determined times. If continued funding has been requested, milestones are met, and the project continues to be a priority, funding continues.

What defines success?


Individuals are required to participate and be active in at least two to three projects. These projects can be in different programs, but researchers should only participate in those projects about which they are passionate. 

Project Success

Every researcher is encouraged to speak his or her mind and promote new ideas and projects. After all, the only projects that will be supported with funding are those that find sufficient support from team members. Project proposals that gets support from team members from different disciplines will actually be favored.


When projects are developed, an important component is the set of milestones built in for measurement. Success is measured by progress against those milestones.