In 2006, TU President Steadman Upham cited the need to develop an interdisciplinary research program to complement and augment graduate teaching and research. Consistent with this objective, The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs established interdisciplinary research awards to provide seed funding to teams of researchers working on promising interdisciplinary issues.
It was the goal of this program to deepen working research collaborations and ultimately lead to the formation of interdisciplinary research institutes involving faculty and students.
As of 2018, there are nine interdisciplinary institutes established at TU:
Tulsa Institute of Alternative Energy (TIAE) – Lead Investigator, Daniel Crunkleton
Institute of Biochemical and Psychological Study of Individual Differences (IBPID) – Lead Investigator, Allan Harkness
Institute of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (IBCB) – Lead Investigator, John Hale
Institute of Nanotechnology (NANO) – Lead Investigator, Dale Teeters
Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice (TITAN) – Lead Investigator, Kathleen Strunk
Oklahoma Center for the Humanities (OCH) – Lead Investigator, Sean Latham
Institute for Bob Dylan Studies – Lead Investigator, Sean Latham
Institute for Health Care Delivery Sciences (CHCDS) – Lead Investigator, Jeff Alderman
Oklahoma Photovoltaic Institute (OKPV) – Lead Investigator, Parameswar Hari