UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  January 15, 2015

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development


Back Issues of Newsletter: http://research.ucr.edu/vcr/newsletters.aspx

Grant Opportunity Search: http://pivot.cos.com  


         Free Lunch

         Free Money

         Free Advice

         Free Bird

Free Lunch


I have been organizing catered lunch time meetings for UCR faculty. The goal is to have an informal discussion on research topics that cross departments and schools and to allow faculty to meet potential collaborators. The lunches will be held in UOB 210 and consist of Thai food from a nearby restaurant. A vegetarian and a gluten-free option will be available.  Lunch will be served promptly at 12 and the meetings will last until 1:15.


The first lunch of the year will be on Collaborations between Engineering and Medicine on Tuesday, January 20. To sign up, click on the link. http://www.jooners.com/guest?l=977c3e9d-228e-4839-b120-ab198f766964

Lunches are scheduled February January 26 and February 9. NO TOPICS HAVE BEEN DETERMINED for these two meetings. CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A TOPIC that you think 8-12 other faculty will be interested in.




Free Money:  Collaborative Seed Grant Program

The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) is pleased to announce the continuation of the Collaborative Seed Grant Program. The grants are internal funds for UCR faculty teams to collaborate and publish in advance of proposing multi-investigator projects and centers to external agencies. Teams with seed funding who generate preliminary results and gain experience working jointly have proven more successful when they later compete for multi-investigator and/or multidisciplinary grants.


Serving as a catalyst for UCR faculty to form new teams, the seed grant program is intended to initiate new intellectual directions for faculty and to make UCR more competitive for multidisciplinary grants. Selection criteria for seed grants reward projects that create new relationships and synergies across schools, departments or centers. Key considerations include whether the project can be leveraged toward new externally-funded research, and whether the project cannot be otherwise initiated using regular department or school resources. An ideal project would apply for external funding within 6-12 months following seed funding.



Proposals are invited from all UCR individuals eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator. (For additional information on PI eligibility see Policy #527-3.) Although external collaborations with universities or companies are encouraged, seed funded projects must involve at least two UCR faculty (a PI and at least one UCR co-PI) and funds may not be used to support outside institutions. A faculty member may participate in multiple seed proposals but should serve as lead PI on no more than one. A faculty PI on an award made through the Large Collaborative Seed Grant Program in 2014 cannot apply as PI in 2015


Funds may be used for any activity directly related to the conduct of the research, e.g. salaries and benefits for students, postdocs, or research scientists, research supplies, equipment/facility recharge, etc. Funds may not be used for faculty summer salaries, administrative staff, course buyouts, seminar speakers, consultants, conferences, or travel, except to federal agencies or proposer workshops. Small project seed grants will receive all funding at the start of the project. Large project seed grants will receive 50% of funds to initiate the project, with the remainder made available upon completion and approval of a brief report on project status. All funds must be expended by the end of the project period. To focus on projects that can make rapid progress, unexpended funds will be returned.


The internal proposal deadline for both Large and Small Seed Grants is March 1, 2015.


Awardees of Large Grants are required to submit both a brief interim report to release the remaining 50% of the funds and a final project report within 60 days of the award period end. Small Grant awardees are required only to submit a final project report within 60 days. The final project report should include the results of the research, a financial statement and plans or efforts underway to obtain external funding. Lack of timely reporting may result in exclusion from future award opportunities.

PIs and Co-PIs will be ineligible for future seed grants until an application based on the seed grant is submitted to a federal agency.


Proposals will be reviewed by UCR faculty with comments returned to explain funding decisions. The alignment of projects with the goals of innovation and high impact, and the feasibility of completing the project and submitting a collaborative grant proposal are evaluation priorities. Proposals that are disruptive, use technology in new ways, or launch entirely novel approaches are specifically encouraged. The assessment will consider the extent of inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental collaboration as well as the potential for subsequent extramural funding. Deans of the PI and co-PIs also will be asked for input on the importance of the project for their school.


Bearing in mind that not all reviewers will have an extensive knowledge of their field of inquiry, faculty should use proposal language accessible to the most faculty. Both types of Seed Grant proposals use the same application format:

  1. Application Form
  2. Research Plan - No more than 3 pages, single-spaced, 12 point font with one-inch margins. Typical proposals should include: a brief introduction and one-year objectives, research plan - specific aims and methodology, anticipated results, and, if relevant, outcomes of previous submissions and needs for preliminary data.
  3. External Funding Target: What specific federal funding opportunity will be targeted for subsequent funding? What is the proposed timeline for applying for external funding? Projects that do not indicate a specific opportunity will be returned without review.
  4. Budget with breakdown of cost categories.
  5. CVs (no more than 2 pages for each investigator).


Applications should be submitted through the "EasyChair" system at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=csgp2015

Questions on the EasyChair application system should be directed to Linda Bejenaru at VCREDadmin@ucr.edu or 951-827-4800


Free Advice

1.       Proposal Writing

         A 15 page proposal for $500,000 can be worth more than $30,000 a page. Take it seriously.

         Many proposals are funded on the second attempt, after getting peer feedback from the agency.   Finishing the proposal a month early, getting feedback from peers at UCR and other universities, and reviews from grant writers increases your chances of being funded. 

         UCR subscribes to Research and Grant Writing News that has many helpful hints on grant writing and research programs. http://research.ucr.edu/OrApps/SP/Info/GrantWriting/GrantWritingNews.aspx

2.       Finding Proposal Opportunities

         UCR subscribes to the COS Pivot Search Engine for finding Federal and Foundational Grants Opportunities. 

                                                                           i.      See http://pivot.cos.com to use it.

                                                                         ii.      Pivot is more useful if you take 15 minutes and create a profile.  It can then mail you anytime a grant opportunity arises that matches criteria you set.   It also creates a profile from your publications and you can search for opportunities related to your past publication.  http://research.ucr.edu/ord/funding/search-engines/pivot.aspx

         If you want to get an early notice of when a particular agency program updates, you can use a website change detection service. I use https://www.changedetection.com/ to monitor a few agencies that arenít very good at publicizing their programs (e.g., Department of Education GAANNs, or National Geospatial Agency.)

3.       Agency Updates

         USDA proposals no longer require a match (from land grant institutions from UCR).  The http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/afri.html  A new program supports undergraduate research and extension, graduate and postdoictoral students.  The Foundational Program,  Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change ,  FY 2015 Food Security , FY 2015 Food Safety , Childhood Obesity Prevention, and  Water for Agriculture  are all expected out this month.  The Specialty Crop and Citrus Greening programs will be repeated with call expected as soon as next month.

         NSF is getting very picky about formats:  (see http://research.ucr.edu/OrApps/VCR/Newsletters/20141203/UCR%20Research%20and%20Economic%20Development%20Newsletter%20%20December%203%202014%20.htm#New_NSF_Proposal)

                                                                           i.      New requirements include putting the results of prior NSF support into a particular format.  For a multi-PI proposal, this can take up almost a full page of the proposal body. This is reviewed and itís your chance to explain to NSF all the good things you did with their money so they give you more.

                                                                         ii.      New requirements including list the total number of advisees and collaborators on the Biographical Sketch, in addition to their names.

4.       After you are funded

         Keep your program manager informed of your progress. While most grants have a formal reporting agency requirement, sending a program manager a powerpoint used at a conference or describing a publication is helpful.  Program managers often have to present to their management on how the money was spent and by doing this you can help them.

         As for a supplement to your grant.  You can often add undergraduate students, underrepresented students, but sometimes ask for equipment, international supplements.   Good times to ask are timed with eth fiscal year when new funds are becoming available (Sept-Oct) or the end of a fiscal year when the current years funds must be spent out (July-August).   In addition, in those years that there a continuing resolution (most years recently), funds become available in the next month.  Now is a good time to ask for supplements this year

5.       Publicizing your research

         In addition to creating a web page with your publications, create a Google Scholar Profile.  It takes about 15 minutes. Hereís mine:. http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=bhO5bMAAAAAJ  It allows others to find your publications easily.

         Last century, faculty would mail paper reprints of articles to colleagues to make sure they know about them.   This century emailing articles serves the same purpose. 

6.       Recent Call for Proposals

         ARPA-E has very specific calls for proposals most years, but every three they have an Open call in which proposers can suggest topics related to energy. Notices of intent are due February 20, 2015,  Concept papers are due February 27, 2015,  A link to the full FOA is available at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/#FoaIdce3cc85c-75cb-4d73-baa5-3cee39bb6bc7

         The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to publish documentary editions of historical records. Projects may focus on the papers of major figures from American history or cover broadhistorical movements in politics, military, business, social reform, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience. The historical value of the records and their expected usefulness to broad audiences must justify the costs of the project.   Deadline, April 3, 2015. http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/announcement/editions.html




Free Bird


Hereís a photo of a Red-masked Parakeet from Claremont.  A flock of 40 have been visiting a park there.  The Red-masked Parakeet was brought to the US as a cage bird, but several have escaped and established wild breeding colonies in California.

Red-masked Parakeet




Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development 

Professor,  Computer Science & Engineering

University of California, Riverside

200 University Office Building

Riverside, CA 92521



Assistant:  Linda Bejenaru

Email: VCREDadmin@ucr.edu