UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  May 2, 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


·         UCR Early Career Investigator page

·         Samsung Global Research Outreach: June 1 Deadline

·         Why was my NSF proposal declined?

·         RFP – California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine Demonstration Projects: May 22 Deadline

·         2015 Ernest Orlando Lawrence and Enrico Fermi Awards: June 15 Deadline

·         Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Grand Challenges Explorations: May 13, Deadline

·         2016 UC President’s Research Catalyst Awards: June 4, Deadline

·         Hummingbird Nest

UCR Early Career Investigator page


Helen Magid, Director of Foundation Relations, put together a resource the UCR Early Career Investigator page. The web page lists private support  specifically focused on foundations who understand the importance and impact that early career funding can have. See http://research.ucr.edu/ord/new-investigators.aspx


Foundation often support areas in the arts and humanities for which there is little government support.



Samsung Global Research Outreach

Samsung has released its solicitation for the 2015 Global Research Outreach program. This program makes awards of up to $100,000 per year for up to three years.


The solicitation is available at http://www.sait.samsung.co.kr/saithome/Page.do?method=main&pagePath=01_about/&pageName=gro_overview.

Samsung requires a letter signed an authorized representative from UCR (Sponsored Programs) stating we accept their terms. Jade Sche ) Jade.Sche@ucr.edu)in  UCR’s Office of Technology Commercialization used to work at Samsung and can provide advice on positioning proposals to align with Samsung's selection processes.


Proposals, Due June 1, will be accepted in the following topic areas only. (greater detail on Samsung Web site)


·         Machine Learning & Recognition

·         Internet of Things

·         Security & Privacy

·         Big Data & Next Generation Network

·         Data Analytics

·         Mobile Healthcare

·         Biometrics

·         Sensor Technology

·         Next Generation Computing

·         Soft Robotics

·         Intelligent Assistant

·         2D Materials/Devices

·         New Photonic Sensors / Sources

·         Quantum Information

·         Nano Electro Mechanical System

·         Next Generation Battery

·         Remote Wireless Charging

·         Fast Charging Material / Structure

·         Functional Material

·         Smart Textile

·         Organic Sensor Materials

·         Next Generation Display

Why was my NSF proposal declined?

Recently, we went through the reviews of some NSF proposals from last year. Here are some comments on the intellectual merit.  Avoiding these mistakes will increase the chances of acceptance.


California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine Demonstration Projects Request for Proposal

Concept Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm PT on May 22, 2015


I.         California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine:


The University of California will host California’s Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine a collaboration of public and private academic and industry partners that will help to build the infrastructure and assemble the resources necessary to advance precision medicine-oriented data, tools and applications.


$2.4 million is provided by the state for two demonstration projects that leverage the UC’s expansive and diverse patient data and research expertise, along with expertise and resources from public and private partners across the state (see Section V Selection Criteria). The demonstration projects will be focused on different disease areas and funding will be allocated based on project needs (not necessarily an even split).


II.        Precision Medicine Demonstration Projects:


Precision medicine holds promise to profoundly transform health, healthcare and biomedical research, and California is positioned to lead in advancing the field. Gains are already being made, but efforts across the state are fragmented, failing to achieve the scale and scope needed to test and achieve the impact of a networked knowledgebase.


Precision medicine as envisioned in the 2011 National Academy of Sciences’ report, “Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease”i  aims to use advanced computing tools to integrate and analyze the vast amount of basic science data, together with molecular, clinical, environmental and epidemiological data on patients worldwide, so-called “big data.” The objective is to better understand diseases, with the goal of developing mechanistic insights into both rare and common illnesses, new diagnostics and therapeutics, and prevention measures. The report committee emphasized that it would take strong partnerships and collaboration to achieve the vision of precision medicine, and that pilot projects should be undertaken at the institutional or regional levels to identify barriers, define effective practices and achieve some early, albeit modest scale, successes.


The CIAPM will bring together precision medicine leaders as well as research projects to demonstrate the power and application of precision medicine, positioning California to lead in promoting this confluence of science, research, and medicine.. UC will assemble expert teams to conduct two proof- of-principle demonstration projects  in disease focus areas where the UCs have particularly deep expertise, and where private and non-profit partners are also ready to contribute assets. The demonstration projects will be developed and selected in a two stage process: 1) submission, review, and initial selection of concept proposals, and 2) active development of the selected concept proposals into full proposals (including the potential for matchmaking with internal and external collaborators) and final selection of the two demonstration projects. UC will provide guidance in developing concrete metrics and goals to track the success of this initiative over a two-year period.


III.      Proposal Process:


A.      Eligibility

a.       Each proposal must identify a host institution who will submit the proposal and administer the grant if awarded.

b.       This is a limited submission. Each UC campus may submit up to two proposals as host. Proposals must be submitted electronically by the vice chancellor for research.

c.       Proposals must include collaboration across at least two UC campuses, use of patient data from at least two campuses, and collaboration at least one external public or private partner (industry, foundation, non-UC academic institution). Additional collaborators are encouraged.

d.       Applicants must be willing to participate in planning and coordination activities, such as workshops and conference calls, and to submit bi-monthly progress reports.


B.      Proposal Concept proposals (maximum two pages; Arial 11 font; 0.5 inch margins) should describe:

a.       Disease focus area: Describe the potential for a project to develop and demonstrate the promise of precision medicine in a specific disease area. Provide rationale for the selected disease area by outlining existing strength, resources and opportunities available (e.g., ability to obtain molecular measurements, remotely collect behavioral or other data, subtype the disease, link genomic data to EHR; access to existing biobanks; databases, medical records; an engaged participant community, established mechanisms for responsible data sharing, etc.) –see also Selection Criteria below.

b.       Impact for patients: Describe the opportunities to improve patient outcomes within the 2 year project timeframe—and beyond.

c.       Precision medicine capabilities: Describe the precision medicine capabilities that will be developed as a result of this project (i.e., outline the infrastructure and tools will be built as result of this project including physical capacity, new consortia, collaborations, personnel competencies, databases, software or computational development, startup company opportunities, intellectual property, patient cohorts, participant communities and networks, models for responsible data sharing, etc.)

d.       Participant engagement: Describe strategies to engage patients (e.g. opportunities to build trust, approaches ensuring consent, approaches to data sharing, privacy, security, etc.).

e.       Anticipated challenges and proposed solutions: Describe potential barriers to the project’s success, paying particular attention to barriers that could delay the launch, progress or completion, and provide potential solutions to these challenges.

f.        Project Team: Provide a brief description of the host institution PI and team, and the key UC and external collaborators. Describe the nature and strength of any existing external collaborations.

g.       Budget, overview: Propose budget of up to $2 million with statement of what you would do with less. Note: no indirect costs will be provided with CIAPM funds. Outline how CIAPM funds will be used and other resources that will be leveraged (e.g., experts’ time; biomedical informaticians at each medical center to obtain and structure electronic health data; molecular characterization, including DNA, RNA and genomic sequencing; computational platforms, including genome analysis, data visualization, innovative databases, data sharing, data privacy and security, or high-performance computing; mobile platforms to reach patients between medical encounters, to track their health and outcomes, etc.)


C.      Submission Concept proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to ciapm@ucsf.edu by 5:00pm PT on May 22, 2015.


IV.     Selection:


A.      Criteria: Selection criteria will include, but not be limited to, the following:

a.       potential for tangible benefit to patients within two years, including the likelihood that the study will have an immediate impact on patients;

b.       depth and breadth of data available and potentially available in the disease focus area across the UCs and from partnering institutions/organizations (for example, the volume and scope of phenotypic and molecular data available for the patient cohort);

c.       prospects for efficient, effective data integration and analysis;

d.       expertise of potential team members;

e.       resources available for the project outside of CIAPM funds, including the potential for leveraging dollars (internal, extramural, or other external);

f.        clinical and commercial potential of the platforms as assessed by outside experts;

g.       strength of connections between proposal team collaborators;

h.       potential to scale, and to leverage the 13.6 million EHR from across the UC Health centers;

i.         attention to particular challenges of interoperability, health disparities, privacy, participant engagement, consent, security and ethical concerns and establish appropriate standards.

j.         potential downstream use of tools, measurements, and data, including open public accessibility of generated data and publications





Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease.




2015 Ernest Orlando Lawrence and Enrico Fermi Awards: June 15 Deadline


The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award is bestowed by the Secretary of Energy to mid-career scientists and engineers in recognition of exceptional scientific, technical, and/or engineering achievements related to the broad missions of DOE and its programs. The Award is administered by the DOE Office of Science, and consists of a citation signed by the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal, and a $20,000 honorarium. The award is given in nine categories: Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences; Biological and Environmental Sciences; Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences; Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences; Energy Science and Innovation; Fusion and Plasma Sciences; High Energy Physics; National Security and Nonproliferation; and Nuclear Physics.


The Enrico Fermi Award is one of the longest running and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the US Government. It recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements that are particularly distinguished and demonstrate scientific, technical, management or policy leadership that are related to all basic and applied research, science, and technology supported by DOE and its programs. The Fermi Award has recognized some of this country's most brilliant, productive, and accomplished scientists, engineers, science policymakers, and scientific leaders. It consists of a citation signed by the President and the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal, and a $50,000 honorarium. The award is administered on behalf of the White House by the DOE Office of Science.


For more information on the awards, the nomination process, or to nominate, go to: http://science.energy.gov/news/featured-articles/2015/04-08-15/


The nomination of a diverse pool of candidates is encouraged, as is the sharing of information throughout your campus, center, or other interested parties.



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Grand Challenges Explorations


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting applications for Round 15 of its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, an accelerated grant program that encourages bold approaches aimed at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. Anyone -- students, scientists, entrepreneurs -- with a transformative idea is invited to apply.


Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded twice a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million. Topics for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 15 are

1)      addressing newborn and infant gut health through bacteriophage-mediated microbiome engineering;

2)      exploring new ways to measure delivery and use of digital financial services data;

3)      surveillance tools, diagnostics, and an artificial diet to support new approaches to vector control;

4)      new approaches for addressing outdoor/residual malaria transmission;

5)      new ways to reduce childhood pneumonia deaths through delivery of timely effective treatment;

6)      enabling merchant acceptance of mobile money payments.


The foundation encourages cross-disciplinary approaches. Grants will be awarded within approximately four months of the proposal submission deadline.



Proposals are being accepted online until May 13, 2015.




University of California, Office of the President – 2016 President’s Research Catalyst Awards

Mike’s note:  In writing a LOI, make sure you mention all of the items in the 6 bullets below.  For example, those that don’t provide mentorship opportunities for early career faculty may not be invited to the final round.




Overview of Funding Opportunity

UC President Janet Napolitano and UC Research Initiatives are pleased to issue a Request for Proposals for the 2016 President’s Research Catalyst Awards. This president’s initiative aims to advance innovative research in areas of strategic importance to UC that has the potential to benefit California, the nation and the world, and to stimulate public support for UC research. Awards are made on a competitive basis for highly meritorious research that fulfills the following programmatic goals:


·         Catalyze innovative scholarship that makes significant contributions to knowledge and science in areas of strategic importance to UC, and that has the potential to improve human lives, society, the environment, or the economy, enhance culture and community, or provide other public benefit

·         Catalyze multicampus and systemwide collaboration that positions UC as a national leader

·         Catalyze faculty collaboration across career stages to provide mentorship, support professional advancement, and position UC faculty as leaders in key fields

·         Catalyze graduate student training opportunities in cutting-edge interdisciplinary or multi- disciplinary research

·         Catalyze public engagement in the UC research mission through opportunities for community collaborative research, citizen science, or other community outreach, education and engagement

·         Catalyze undergraduate participation in research through educational, curricular or training/internship components (as appropriate to the fields and disciplines)


Funding for this opportunity is provided through the President’s Initiative funds; we anticipate awarding

$7 million total over three years in response to this RFP. Within the constraints of this total available funding, there are no minimum or maximum budget limitations.  The competition is open to all fields of research and interdisciplinary or thematic collaboration.  All proposals must be submitted by academic appointees with Principal Investigator status at a UC campus.  The proposed research activities should go beyond individual PI projects to fulfill the research, education and public service mission of UC as outlined in the programmatic goals above.  To both take advantage of the distributed excellence and resources available through the UC system, and to benefit the UC research enterprise, a minimum of three (3) UC campuses must participate in the proposal; broader systemwide engagement is encouraged. Systemwide engagement may include, as appropriate to the proposed activities, collaboration with the UC-managed national laboratories, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, or other UC systemwide research entities. The award start date is January 1, 2016, and the award term is 2 - 3 years.


This RFP contains information regarding application requirements, the review process, eligibility and exclusion criteria, due dates, and program contacts.  Detailed instructions are provided in the application materials.  General program information regarding the President’s Research Catalyst Awards may be found at our website: http://ucop.edu/research-initiatives/programs/catalyst-awards/.


Key Dates

Applicant Teleconferences:                            May 1 - 8, 2015 (times TBD; register on the website)

Letters of Intent Due:                                      Thursday, June 4, 2015

Notification of LOI Decision:                          by Friday, July 10, 2015

Invited Full Proposals Due:                              Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Notification of Review Outcome:              by Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Award Start Date      Friday, January 1, 2016


NOTE:  The Letter of Intent is required and will be used to determine who will be invited to submit a full proposal.  All submission deadlines are 12:00 noon Pacific Time.  Late submissions will not be accepted.


Overview of the Application and Selection Process

Applicant teleconferences will be held between May 1-8, 2015.  Registration and call-in information will be available on our website at: http://ucop.edu/research-initiatives/programs/catalyst-awards/.

Participation in the teleconference is strongly recommended.


Interested applicants must complete a formal Letter of Intent (LOI) using the online proposalCENTRAL application system. Instructions are provided below. LOIs will be reviewed for compliance with the instructions and eligibility criteria, and will be prioritized based on adherence to the program goals and funding priorities as determined by the UC Office of the President.  Invitations to submit full proposals will be limited to no more than 30 proposed collaborations, or $25 million total funding.  No feedback or comments will be provided on the LOI, nor the reasons for selection or non-selection.


Only collaborations that are invited to advance beyond the LOI stage will be given access to the full application on proposalCENTRAL. All proposals must be submitted online and in accordance with the instructions, templates and guidelines provided, and must conform to the requirements of the final version of the RFP. It is the applicants’ responsibility to check the program website for any updates or clarifications prior to submitting the full proposal.


Full proposals will undergo a competitive peer review and ranking process based on the merit and scoring criteria outlined in this RFP. It is expected that no more than ten proposals will be selected for funding.

Final selection from among the highest ranked proposals will be at the discretion of the Office of the President. Awards are contingent on availability of funding. Final decisions may not be appealed, but declined proposals may be submitted to future competitions and opportunities without prejudice.


Eligibility, Proposal Requirements and Exclusion Criteria

Adherence to eligibility and program requirements will be evaluated at the LOI stage, as well as during the full proposal review for invited applications.


1.        Eligible Principal Investigators:  Proposals must identify a lead Principal Investigator (PI) for the award who holds PI status at a UC campus [Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, or Santa Cruz].  For guidelines on PI status, contact your campus Office of Research, or refer to Section 1-530 of the UC Contracts and Grants Manual.


2.       Proposals must also identify one collaborating PI (Co-PI or site lead) for each collaborating UC campus, UC-managed national laboratory, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), or other UC research entity.  All collaborating PIs must have PI status at their home institution.  Additional co- investigators (Co-Is) may be identified if (and only if) they contribute substantively to the proposed research activities.  Academic Personnel whose primary role is in university-wide, campus or school administration above the level of Dean may not serve as PIs, Co-PIs, or grant Key Personnel.


Eligible Institutions:  One of the ten UC campuses [Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, or Santa Cruz] must serve as the host institution for the research collaboration, and submit the proposal on behalf of the collaborative team. The host campus should be the home campus of the lead Principal Investigator, and full proposals must be submitted through the host campus SPO/C&G office. If a host campus is proposed that is not the home campus of the lead PI, an explanation must be provided, along with a description of how the research oversight and compliance will be administered. See “UC multicampus/systemwide collaboration” (#3 below) for requirements regarding the collaborating partner institutions.


3.       UC Multicampus/systemwide collaboration:  To take advantage of the distributed excellence and resources available through the UC system, and to benefit the UC research enterprise, proposals must include the participation of a minimum of three UC campuses; broader systemwide engagement is encouraged.  Where appropriate, systemwide engagement may also include collaboration with the UC- managed national laboratories, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the 5 UC medical centers, or other UC research entities if advantageous to the research effort and outcomes.  Funding may not support activities at the UC Office of the President.


If invited to submit a full proposal, collaborations that intend to utilize the infrastructure of existing institutes, programs or specialized facilities/labs must clearly articulate the relationship of this collaboration and project to those existing resources and infrastructure, indicating both the potential to leverage those resources and the unique contribution of this new effort.


4.       Faculty Collaboration and Mentorship: Project participation should include faculty across career stages (Assistant, Associate, full Professor, or equivalent academic titles) as appropriate to the proposed project and disciplines. Full proposals must describe how the team was composed and articulate how the collaboration, mentorship and shared leadership opportunities will be integrated into the proposed project and activities to achieve the programmatic goals.


5.       Graduate Student Support and Training: Proposals must clearly articulate the opportunities for graduate students to engage meaningfully in the research endeavor, gain professional experience, and make progress towards degree, and should request funding to support graduate student participation. Post- doctoral training opportunities are also encouraged but not required.


6.       Public Engagement: Proposals must include components of public engagement through community collaborative research, citizen science, community participation and educational outreach, or other activities that demonstrate the value of UC research to the California public. These components should be appropriate and tailored to the fields of research proposed. Patient treatment and medical care at the UC medical centers does not qualify as community/public engagement and may not be included in the proposal budgets. However, education and outreach to populations or communities not already benefitting from healthcare delivery in the proposed research area may be considered. Agricultural extension activities may be considered if they create new education and outreach services to communities as a function of the proposed research.


7.       Undergraduate Research and Education: The research activities should inform or expand curricula, provide opportunities for undergraduate engagement in research, or provide internship opportunities related to the proposed research.  If summer training programs or internships for UC undergraduates are already in place, funding may be used only to expand the activities in areas consistent with the proposed research (and not to fund the ongoing/existing program).


8.       Existing Support and New Activities:  The intent of this opportunity is to fund new research projects and collaborations that will position UC as a leader in cutting-edge and emerging fields, attract extramural funding, help recruit and retain outstanding faculty, enhance education and training, and positively impact human lives and society in California, the nation and the world.  Funding may not be requested to fund ongoing research activities, provide core institutional support, or extend funding for existing projects already supported by other systemwide funding from UCOP. Nor should proposers expect Catalyst funding to be renewed or extended beyond the maximum 3-year award period.


Existing collaborations that propose to initiate new research directions may apply, but must provide a compelling justification regarding the unique contribution of the proposed new activities beyond the existing work and support. To ensure that funds target novel research efforts, all applicants must disclose all current and concurrent UCOP and systemwide research funding in both the LOI and full proposal.  In addition, the full proposal will require disclosure of all other sources of support. Existing support will be considered as part of the decision-making process.


9.       Budget Request: The total available funding for this 2016 Catalyst Award competition is $7 million, and the maximum award term is 3 years. Given widely varying costs among different disciplines and possible projects, there is no minimum or maximum budget requirement imposed.  Keeping in mind the limits of the overall available funding, applicants should propose budgets that are well justified in relation to the proposed activities and potential impact. For the Letter of Intent, it is necessary to identify only the total estimated request (all years) and the number of years requested (2 or 3).


10.   Allowable Costs:  A budget itemization and justification will be required for the full proposal only. The template and application materials will outline allowable and non-allowable costs. While not fully detailed in this RFP, for general guidance, only direct costs that support approved research activities will be covered by this award. Funds provided by this opportunity may not be used to cover patient care costs, clinical trials, patent execution costs, fundraising costs, subawards to non-UC-affiliated entities (except as may be required to support community engagement or participation), or indirect costs.


11.   Exclusion Criteria:  Recipients of the 2015 Catalyst Awards are not eligible to apply. Recipients of other systemwide or UCOP funding may not apply for funding to extend or expand activities already supported by the Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI), the UC Lab Fees Research Program (LFRP), or other systemwide funding from the UC Office of the President. Requests to fund research activities and collaborations that leverage the infrastructure of existing collaborations, facilities or institutes will be required to clearly articulate the distinct and unique contribution, specific aims, and expected outcomes of the proposed novel activities. Without a compelling justification, such proposals will receive low priority for funding.


Letters of Intent: Content, Review and Selection

All interested applicants must submit an LOI using the template provided on proposalCentral.  LOIs must adhere to the instructions and requirements.  LOI instructions are available online in pC and attached in Appendix 1 of this document.  LOIs must be submitted by Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 12:00 noon PDT (3:00 PM EDT).


The LOI must include the following required information:


1.       Lead PI name, title, and departmental and campus affiliation;


2.       Host campus (usually it is the campus affiliation of the Lead PI);


3.       Identification of the collaborating UC campuses that will have a significant role in the proposed research and the name of the collaborating PI for each participating site, as well as identification of other collaborating sites and Co-PIs (national labs, DANR, or other UC research entities), if any;


4.       Identification of primary research field(s) (one required) and interdisciplinary or thematic area(s);


5.       Abstract (2400 characters/~350 words) providing a brief description of the proposed scope of research and activities, expected impact on UC research/scholarship, and a brief description of any specialized facilities or resources at each participating site relevant to the proposed activities;


6.       Brief text responses addressing the required structural components and eligibility criteria;

7.       Total estimated budget request and award term; and


8.       Disclosure of current/concurrent systemwide research funding.


Letters of Intent will be evaluated for responsiveness to Catalyst Award priorities in three areas:


1)      Eligibility: Is the LOI complete and fully adherent to the instructions and guidelines? Are all the eligibility criteria and structural requirements included? Submission of extraneous supplemental information or attachments may result in non-selection of the LOI.


2)      Research Scope: Is the proposed topic/scope of the research compelling, innovative and likely to create new knowledge or outcomes that benefit California and the world in areas of strategic importance to UC?


3)      Required Components: How well are the required components of faculty collaboration/mentorship, graduate student training, community engagement and undergraduate/curricular components integrated into the research effort?


NOTE: Assessment of the proposed research scope will be based on how well the significance and value of the project is communicated to a panel of well-educated non-experts who share a commitment to advancing the UC research mission to advance knowledge, benefit California and the world, and address significant challenges.


No more than 30 Letters of Intent, or $25 million in total funding requests, will be invited to submit a full proposal. This invitation is required to advance to the next stage. The decisions of the LOI review panel may not be appealed and no feedback will be provided to applicants regarding the LOI review. Declined LOIs may apply in future competitions without prejudice.


Full Proposal: Content, Review and Selection

Only project teams that receive an invitation to submit a full proposal will have access to the full application materials on proposalCentral. Proposals must adhere to all of the requirements to be forwarded to peer review.


Scope and Content of the Full Proposals

The proposal narrative is limited to eleven (11) single spaced pages (not including the abstract, budget justification, and attachments), and must include the following components (maximum page length for each section provided):


1.       Abstract/Project Summary: The abstract should be appropriate for a general scholarly audience. Avoid disciplinary jargon or technical language specific to a single field. (The abstract is not counted in the 11- page limit.)


2.       Proposed Research Activities (6 pages): Identify the specific aims, research activities and scholarly contributions of the proposed research, including the innovative, interdisciplinary components that will advance scholarship in emerging fields or areas of strategic importance to UC.


3.       Collaboration, Mentorship and Training Opportunities (2 pages): Describe the collaborative research and training aspects of the proposal in relation to: 1) Project leadership and mentorship across the Professorial ranks, and opportunities for professional development; 2) Faculty, post-doctoral and researcher engagement and participation across the campuses and collaborating partner institutions; 3) Graduate student engagement and opportunities for professional development and progress towards degree; and 4) Opportunities for undergraduate research, internships, and/or educational enhancement.


4.       Systemwide Engagement and Benefits (1 page): Describe the mechanisms and collaborative approaches that will ensure genuine multicampus engagement and/or UC systemwide benefit. Identify any existing infrastructure, resources or expertise that may be leveraged to enhance outcomes or impact of this novel endeavor.  Identify specific benefits to UC resulting from this collaboration.


5.       Public Engagement and Research Benefit (1 page): Describe the components for community participation or engagement with the research, as well as the anticipated public benefits of the research outcomes themselves to California and the world. As appropriate to the research activities or disciplines, public engagement includes community collaborative research, citizen science, community participation and educational outreach, or activities that demonstrate the value of UC research to the California public.


  1. Timeframe, Milestones and Evaluation Metrics (1 page): Identify the research timeline, benchmarks, and milestones, including a description of the methods that will be used to evaluate and assess effectiveness of the initiative, including specific outcome metrics, and other evaluation methods. Applicants must justify how the proposed time period and requested budget will accomplish the milestones to make a significant impact in the field. Include a description of how the program will either end, or transition to non-UCOP funds at the completion of the funding period, as appropriate. Catalyst funding will not be renewed or extended beyond the 3-year award period.


7.       Itemized Budget Template and Justification: Provide a detailed budget, by project year, using the Excel template provided in proposalCentral. In addition, a budget justification, not to exceed two (2) pages, is required, to describe significant project expenditures. The total budget requested in the budget template must match the total budget requested in the proposal cover sheet. If these figures do not match, the lower figure will be used to determine the maximum award. The budget may include direct costs only. The award start date is January 1, 2016. Funding may be requested for 2 or 3 years.


NOTE: For proposals that include collaboration with the 3 UC-managed national labs, DANR, or subcontracts to a community partner, the collaborating institutions must waive their indirect cost recovery on any funds paid by UCOP from this funding opportunity. Indirect costs may be covered by matching funds from non-UC sources, or through cost-sharing by the labs or other entities. (This restriction on indirect cost recovery does not apply to UC Lab Fees Research Program awards. For other systemwide programs or opportunities, refer to the specific program’s indirect cost recovery rules.)


8.       Attachments: a) Literature cited (2-page limit); b) Curriculum Vitae for principal investigator(s), co- Principal Investigators (site leads), and Co-investigators only; c) Disclosure (required) of all current or anticipated concurrent sources of systemwide (UCOP) research funds (template provided); and d) Letter(s) of commitment (optional) identifying campus resources (if any), as appropriate to the proposal.


Full proposals should be submitted through the host campus Office of Research (C&G or SPO). It is the PI’s responsibility to follow local rules and procedures for submitting a proposal and to confirm that all collaborators have obtained local approval, if required by their campus or lab, in advance of submission.


Proposal Review Process

The review process is competitive and interdisciplinary panels will evaluate proposals based on the scoring criteria and program priorities. Reviewers will be selected for their subject matter expertise, and the panels will be composed of faculty and researchers drawn from both inside and outside of the University of California system. Review assignments will be made to ensure a fair and balanced review and to address conflicts of interest. Because panels are interdisciplinary, applicants should avoid jargon, and use language understandable to scholars in other fields or disciplines.


Each panel will rank proposals based on overall merit, responsiveness to the RFP as reflected by the scoring criteria, feasibility, and adherence to the proposal requirements. A rank-ordered list of proposals will be forwarded to the President for a final determination of the funded applications. The President will make the final selection from among the highest ranked proposals consistent with Presidential priorities, portfolio balance, or other considerations. Funding decisions are not subject to appeal.


Scoring Criteria

The review and selection criteria for success in this competition include:


1.       Research Excellence and Innovation: Highest quality research in compelling and important topics that create or strengthen UC’s research capabilities to advance scholarship and knowledge in areas of strategic importance. Catalyst Awards clearly demonstrate the potential of the scholarship to position UC and its faculty as innovative leaders addressing topics and problems that impact California, the nation, and the world. Excellence includes likelihood of scholarly impact in the fields or thematic areas identified in the proposal, and feasibility for achieving proposed goals and outcomes in the award period. Innovation may be demonstrated by interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary scholarship at the cutting edge of two or more fields, or proposed theoretical or applied breakthroughs in important areas of scholarship. Translational and applied research efforts concerned with the ultimate practical application of basic research findings and innovative technologies are encouraged in applicable fields.


2.       Strength of the Multicampus Collaboration and Systemwide Impact and Benefit: The impact and benefits to the UC system of the proposed collaboration may be demonstrated by:

·         Genuine engagement and interaction of faculty, researchers, and graduate students from three or more UC campuses, and if advantageous to the research activities or outcomes, collaboration with the UC- managed national laboratories, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, or other UC research entities.

·         Interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary collaborations that stimulate systemwide creative processes, access to the best available resources (i.e., national laboratories, medical centers, museums and collections, databases, natural reserves and more).

·         Contributions that help position the UC system for strategic excellence, leverage the complementary strengths among the campuses and labs and increase utilization of shared resources.

·         A structure or approach that ensures systemwide impact and a balanced opportunity for participation. Additional benefits of the collaboration might be demonstrated through increased efficiency as a result of common facilities or administrative support.


3.       Strength and Benefits of Faculty Collaboration and Mentorship:  Meaningful collaborative engagement among faculty across career stages, and opportunities for mentorship and professional advancement that position UC faculty as leaders in their fields. This may be demonstrated by: leadership roles across the academic ranks; activities that help attract and retain outstanding and diverse faculty, or foster novel research directions; or collaborative activities that enhance UC’s competitiveness in awards, prizes, honors, and extramural funding.


4.       Quality of Graduate Student Training:  Opportunities for meaningful engagement by graduate or professional students in innovative research and cutting-edge scholarship, as demonstrated by graduate student support, participation in key research activities, as well as opportunities that advance them towards degree and successful professional careers.


5.       Community Engagement and Benefit: Successful proposals will catalyze public engagement in the UC research mission in ways that are meaningful to the research endeavor and provide community benefit. These may include, but are not limited to: community-based participatory research, citizen science, K-12 education and outreach, or other public engagement appropriate to the research scope and activities. Generally speaking, the creation of a community advisory board alone is not sufficient evidence of meaningful community engagement for the purposes of this award. Some examples of community engagement, not meant to be an exhaustive list, are included in the separate program FAQ.


6.       Contributions to Undergraduate Education or Curriculum: Proposal should incorporate research activities that inform or transform curriculum, provide opportunities for undergraduate participation in research, internships, or fieldwork appropriate to the fields and disciplines of the proposal. Strong proposals will demonstrate the impact on education and training of a future generation of scholars and engaged citizens.


7.       Other Considerations:  In addition to the criteria outlined above, five additional factors will be considered in evaluating proposals:

·         Appropriateness of the proposed budget to achieve the proposed aims in the award period;

·         Plans to secure extramural support, and likelihood that Catalyst Award funding will lead to enhanced competitiveness for extramural funding.  Proposals that rely on ongoing UC systemwide funds beyond the award period to achieve the proposed outcomes will receive a low priority for funding.

·         Other sources of support. Existing collaborations that leverage existing UC resources or infrastructure to propose innovative new research activities must provide a compelling justification indicating that the proposed research activities are distinct and unique contributions to scholarship.

·         Sufficient campus commitment and administrative capacity to support the proposed activities.

·         Proposals that involve human subjects, animals, or toxic substances must outline how they will address the regulatory and compliance requirements for research approval.


Research Program Oversight

The President’s Research Catalyst Awards are made on a one-time basis, and the funding opportunity is administered under the auspices of UC Research Initiatives (UCRI) in the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) at the UC Office of the President. Funded proposals are required to report annual progress and fiscal expenditures. Funded proposals will be assigned to at least one UCRI staff member who will serve as the primary program contact.


Awards are contingent on availability of funding, and compliance with research and reporting requirements.


Additional Information

For questions on program scope and priorities, please contact:  UCRI@ucop.edu

You are also encouraged to review the Catalyst Award FAQ document on our website (see below).


Administrative questions regarding the application process may be directed to: RGPOGrants@ucop.edu


Technical Questions related to use of proposalCENTRAL: Please email pcsupport@altum.com or call 800-875-2562 (Toll-free U.S. and Canada) Technical support for online submission is available through proposalCENTRAL (Monday Friday 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Please note that from California you must call between 5:00 AM and 2:00 PM).


Updated Program Announcements, FAQs and RFP clarifications (if any), and Applicant Information teleconference information will be posted on the UCRI website.  To ensure LOI and proposal submissions meet all program requirements, PIs and their collaborators are strongly encouraged to check the website for any program updates prior to submission:






Hummingbird Nest


A hummingbird built a nest outside my bedroom window, and is raising two baby chicks.  Thanks to a suction-cup camera mount, a timer shutter release, a wireless SD card, Dropbox, and an understanding wife, I’m able to take photos every few minutes without the disturbing the nest and look at them on the web .   Last weekend, while glancing at the photos, we noticed there was only one two-week old chick in the nest and it was about a week before they would normally leave the nest..  We ran to the nest and found the other chick on the ground about 5 feet from the nest.  I placed it back in the nest and all has been well this week.  Here’s a photo from yesterday.

Friday's hummingbird photos.




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





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