UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  May 22, 2016

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


·         Visit by NEH Chair: June 2, 10:am

·         USDA Calls for Proposals

·         Limited Submission: Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences:  June 16, 2016

·         BASF and Volkswagen Science Award Electrochemistry – Energy Storage:  August 12, 2016

·         Limited Submission: Keck Proposal- June 16

·         Fulbright Workshops:  May 24th and 27th

·         Academic Research Funding Strategies: Research Development & Grant Writing News

·         Faculty Networking Lunches –Bio-based Materials, Health Disparities

·         Bird


USDA Calls for Proposals


The following are recent USDA calls for proposals, indicating the topic, a summary, the URL for the call, deadlines, and types of awards.  For more information, please contact Randall Black at randall.black@ucr.edu.


USDA AFRI - Water for Agriculture Challenge Area

Research including social, behavioral, policy, environment and health in water resource issues such as drought in an agricultural context. The three areas are:


(1) Water Availability for Diverse Agricultural Uses: The Right Water for the Right Place and Time, which includes nontraditional sources of water, science for institutional, policy, regulatory decisions, and communication with non-agricultural users.


(2) Understanding Decisions and Behaviors Connected with Agriculture and Post-harvest Processing Industry Water Use, which includes societal responses to changes in water price, predicting water use behavior changes due to incentives, removal of subsidies, and implications of policy reforms.


(3) Understanding the Human Health Impacts to Exposure from Nontraditional Water Used in Agriculture, which includes chemical and pathogenic contaminants in nontraditional agricultural water, human exposure pathways, health risks, and translating research to communities and decision makers concerning community health.


URL: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-agriculture-challenge-area

Deadline Aug. 4, 2016 No LOI

Types of awards include Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, Research-only, Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants, and conferences. UCR is eligible for the special Strengthening category, eligibility statement available from randall.black@ucr.edu.



USDA AFRI - Foundational Program


Unless otherwise noted all awards $500,000 total; maximum; up to 5 years. None require matching.

No Letter of Intent (LOI), all deadlines at 5:00 p.m. EDT


The six priority areas a) through g) with heavily edited descriptions are:


a) Plant Health and Production and Plant Products;


1. Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems

Application Deadline – August 17, 2016


Investigate how agricultural production systems can increase plant resilience to stressors, altering the plant microbiome and the beneficial effects of  the alterations, how changes in production system management or biodiversity affect soil health, synthesis and meta-analysis of the existing data to derive general principles about agricultural production systems. Only studies involving two or more management components will be supported


2. Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems

Application Deadline – July 21, 2016

Two program area priorities offered in FY 2015 (Plant-Associated Insects and Nematodes; and Weedy and Invasive Species) have been combined in this single program area priority in FY 2016. Elucidate processes affecting the abundance and spread of plant-associated pests (insects, nematodes, pathogens and weeds) and beneficial species (pollinators and biological control agents). Factors that affect pollinator populations that will lead to technologies to mitigate their losses


3. Physiology of Agricultural Plants

Application Deadline – August 11, 2016

Two priorities offered in FY 2015 (Growth and Development, Composition and Stress Tolerance; and Photosynthesis and Nutrient Use in Agricultural Plants) have been combined in this single program area priority for 2016. Molecular, biochemical, whole-plant, agronomic or eco-physiological approaches to improve plant productivity or performance through studies on plant (or weed) growth, response to abiotic stresses, photosynthetic efficiency, carbon assimilation, metabolism, and nutrient uptake.


4. Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production

Application Deadline – July 28, 2016

Conventional and genomics-enabled breeding to improve crops. Should address priority needs identified by the USDA Roadmap for Plant Breeding


b) Animal Health and Production and Animal Products;

1. Animal Reproduction

2. Animal Nutrition, Growth and Lactation

3. Animal Well-Being

4. Animal Health and Disease

Application Deadline for 1-4 – July 14, 2016


5. Tools and Resources - Animal Breeding, Genetics and Genomics

Application Deadline – August 3, 2016


6. Tools and Resources - Immune Reagents for Agricultural Animals

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016


c) Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health;


1. Improving Food Safety

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016

Develop and validate novel concentration and purification methods for identification, detection, isolation, capture, or control of foodborne hazards (viable or infectious human pathogens, chemicals, microbial toxins, or engineered inorganic nanoparticles).


2. Improving Food Quality

Application Deadline – August 17, 2016

Knowledge gained should be used to improve the quality, shelf-life, convenience, nutrient value and/or sensory attributes of food. Technologies and materials for food processing, packaging, and food quality monitoring to improve food security by reducing post-harvest losses, food waste, and precisely indicating the shelf-life of foods.


3. Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016

Basic science that underpins alternatives to traditional antimicrobials currently used in agriculture. This will mitigate the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in crops and animals. Strategies should not create selection pressure favoring the development of antimicrobial resistance to medically-relevant human antibiotics.


4. Function and Efficacy of Nutrients

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016

Investigate the role of bioactive components of food in preventing inflammation or promoting gastrointestinal health. Priority will be given to projects that use a whole food approach or that address health effects of a combination of two or more bioactive components found in food. The whole food approach may add enrichment, fortification or micro- and nano-encapsulation to increase bioavailability of bioactive components in food.


d) Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment;

Application Deadlines for 1-4 – July 21, 2016


1. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling

High-risk/high-reward projects that evaluate the physical and biogeochemical (including microbial) processes affecting the flow, fate and transport, transformation, movement, and storage of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P).


2. Agro-ecosystem Management

Investigate practices and evaluate the connection of system diversity to production system functionality, productivity, socioeconomic viability, sustainability, biodiversity, and the production of other ecosystem services. System diversity includes natural resource diversity, genetic diversity, crop and/or landscape diversity over space and/or time, and/or species diversity in both the managed and unmanaged components of the agro-ecosystem.


3. Cover Crops for Bioenergy and Biobased Products

Develop and evaluate the regional/sub-regional use and system management of new and innovative cover crops and/or double cropping systems specifically for use in the production of biofuels, biopower, or biobased products


4. Socioeconomic Implications and Public Policy Challenges of Bioenergy and Bioproducts Market Development and Expansion

Identify best practices that contribute to the economic, social, environmental sustainability of emerging bioenergy and bioproduct markets; policy or socio-economic dimensions of bioenergy or bioproducts systems.


e) Agriculture Systems and Technology

Application Deadlines for 1-3 – July 13, 2016


1. Agricultural Engineering

Enable engineering, computing, modeling, automation, and information systems for: forestry and natural resources, plant and animal production and protection, and post-harvest inspection, handling, and distribution for improved efficiency, risk reduction, and sustainability


2. Bioprocessing and Bioengineering

Improve the production efficiency and capacity of biomass, biofuels, feedstock, bioenergy, and bio-based products; expand use of waste and byproducts; engineer products and processes that use materials of agricultural origin; or increase the sustainability of agricultural and forestry processing systems.


3. Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems

Novel uses and high value-added products of nano-biomaterials of agricultural and forest origins for food and non-food applications (projects on addition of engineered nanoparticles into foods for human consumption are not being solicited this year). Nanoscale-based sensors, precision agriculture technologies, assessments of engineered nanoparticles applied in food and agricultural systems, and analysis of the perceptions and social acceptance of nanotechnology using social science tools.


f) Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC)


1. Economics, Markets and Trade

Application Deadline – August 11, 2016

Economics theories, methods and applications in the following broad areas: agricultural market structure and performance; international trade; agricultural production and resource use; consumer behavior; farm labor and immigration and policy; agricultural policy design and impacts; technology development and adoption; and science and innovation policy.


2. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Application Deadline – August 18, 2016

Economic theories, methods, tools, analyses and applications that contribute to understanding an ecological approach to agriculture (including forestry and aquaculture).


3. Behavioral and Experimental Economic Applications for Agri-Environmental Policy Design

Max $250,000; up to 4 years

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016


A pilot program in behavioral and experimental economics (BE) on factors influencing individual choices, including perceived risk, the description of options (referred to as framing), the decision or choice environment, and the propensity of people (including farmers) to over-discount the future consequences of current decisions such as the choice of payment schedules, e.g. for USDA conservation incentives, in which many farmers do not participate.


4. Small and Medium-Sized Farms

Application Deadline – August 25, 2016

Strategies and technologies to enhance economic efficiency and sustainability, including the viability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized dairy, poultry, livestock, crop, forestry, and other operations.


5. Innovation for Rural Entrepreneurs and Communities

Application Deadline – August 31, 2016

Research and extension activities to develop and apply new knowledge to improve the well-being of people involved in agriculture, food systems and rural communities.


g) Critical Agricultural Research (CARE)

Applications must develop and implement solutions to critical stakeholder-identified problems associated one or more of the Farm Bill priorities a. through f. above


Standard Grants, Strengthening Standard Grants and New Investigator Grants must not exceed $300,000 total per project (including indirect costs) for project periods of up to 3 years and are not renewable.

Application Deadline – July 14, 2016


h) Exploratory Research Program

The AFRI Exploratory Research Program Area addresses priorities a. through f. above. Projects must not be suitable for submission to other program area priorities under AFRI and address one or more of the following:

        Extraordinarily novel or innovative ideas that have high potential impact;

        Application of new knowledge or new approaches to unsolved challenges that may result in dramatic improvements;

        Tools required to have a paradigm shift in the field; or

        Rapid response to natural disasters and unanticipated events affecting agriculture.


Letter of Intent required and accepted any time throughout the year. Proposals invited.

Standard Grants must not exceed $100,000 total per project (including indirect costs) for project periods of up to 2 years and are not renewable.


URL for all the Foundational Program:  https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-program


UCR is eligible for the special Strengthening category. Strengthening eligibility statement for 2016 available from randall.black@ucr.edu.



USDA AFRI - Food Safety Challenge Area

In FY 2016, applications are sought in the following priority areas:


(1) Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance

(2) 5-Year Assessment of the AFRI Food Safety Challenge Area


URL: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-safety-challenge-area


Deadline: August 3, 2016 No LOI


Grant TypesStandard, Conference, and FASE Grants (i.e., New Investigator Standard, Strengthening Standard, Conference, Seed, Equipment, and Sabbatical grants). Strengthening grants available.



USDA AFRI - Food Security Challenge Area

FY 2016 Program Area Priorities:

1) New Frontiers in Pollinator Health: From Research to Application:

Integrated Projects only Grant Types – Standard and FASE (Strengthening Standard and New Investigator)


2) Breeding and Phenomics of Food Crops and Animals

Project Type –Research Projects only Grant Types – Standard and FASE (Strengthening Standard and New Investigator)


URL: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-security-challenge-area-rfa 


Deadline: July 7, 2016 No LOI



USDA AFRI - Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area

2016 priority areas:

(1) Regional Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) on biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts in the context of a regional sustainable bioenergy and bioproducts supply chain systems.


Letter of Intent: Thursday, July 14, 2016 Deadline: September 22, 2016

Project Type – Integrated Projects

Grant Types – Regional CAP, Conference, and FASE Grants (i.e., Strengthening Regional CAP, Strengthening Conference, Seed, Equipment, and Sabbatical)


(2) Investing in America’s Scientific Corps: Preparing a New Generation of Students, Faculty, and Workforce for Emerging Challenges in Bioenergy, Bioproducts, and the Bioeconomy

Application Deadline July 14, 2016 No LOI

Project Type – Education Projects

Grant TypesStandard and FASE Grants (i.e., Strengthening Standard, New Investigator, Seed, Equipment, and Sabbatical)


URL: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-sustainable-bioenergy-and-bioproducts



Limited Submission: Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences:  June 16, 2016


The Pew Charitable Trusts has invited UCR to submit a candidate for the 2017 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. The Pew scholars program supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The award provides $240,000 in flexible support—$60,000 per year for four years.   The deadline for submitting applicants to UCR for consideration is June 16.


Interested applicants should submit pre-proposal materials, including a research project summary, curriculum vitae, and a letter of support from the chair of their division, to the office of sponsored research, which will submit them to an internal selection committee for consideration.  See http://research.ucr.edu/ord/limitedsubmissions.aspx.


Unsuccessful candidates who still meet eligibility criteria may reapply once (two applications in total) in a future competition by submitting new pre-proposal materials.


Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences or medicine.

Eligibility for the 2017 award

·         Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field.

·         As of November 1, 2016, nominees must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor. (Appointments such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible.)

·         On July 15, 2016, candidates must have been in such an appointment for less than three years (not appointed before July 15, 2013), whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track. Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, or in work toward board certification does not count as part of this three-year limit

·         Candidates may be nominated by their institution two times in total. ALL applicants must be nominated by their institution and must complete the 2017 online application.

·         If an applicant’s university has more than one eligible nominating institution or campus, that applicant may only apply from one institution; they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different one.

A complete description of the Pew program, its terms, and its eligibility requirements can be found at www.pewscholars.org.



BASF and Volkswagen Science Award Electrochemistry – Energy Storage


BASF and VW have established the Electrochemistry Science Award in order to increase innovation in the battery value chain to contribute to sustainable energy supply and individual mobility.  The research activities in focus of this Science Award contest could address, but are not limited to, battery materials, cells, battery systems, production and operations as well as recycling. All aspects of the battery value chain are included in this contest. Scientific as well as applied research is welcome. The total prize money of the Science Award is 85,000 EUR with the first rank worth 50,000 EUR for the best application selected by a high-ranked jury of experts. For detailed information, go to: http://www.science-award.com/en/sae/.  The closing date for applications is August 12, 2016



Limited Submission: Keck Proposal- June 16


The W.M. Keck Foundation offers the opportunity to discuss potential projects with universities before full proposals are submitted. The foundation allows each university to submit one proposal each in the areas of medical research and science/engineering research during each biannual cycle (see http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/research/eligibility-and-priorities for details.)


Funding is awarded for projects in medicine, science and engineering for research that:



An ideal target as stated by Keck is $1 Million over three years.  An abstract might present a disruptive concept that was declined by a federal agency, with reviews that indicate the research is extremely innovative, exciting and would have a large impact, but is too risky due to the lack of preliminary data.


Some common reasons why proposals are rejected by Keck:


·         The project is not ambitious enough (i.e. represents only an incremental advance over the state of the art vs. creating a new paradigm)

·         The proposal does not fully detail the scope of work and potential impact

·         The proposal does not list the reasons why Keck support is important (comments from reviewers at federal agencies are strongly recommended)

·         The project focuses on therapies or treatments (in the case of medical research) as opposed to bench science.

An abstract of less than one page will help focus the conversation and is needed by June 16 in advance of the phone counseling period which begins July 1.  Please do not submit anything directly to the Keck Foundation.  Interested faculty should submit an internal preproposal following the below format at http://or.ucr.edu/ord/limitedsubmissions.aspx by June 17, 2016.

Single-paged concepts for the Research Program should be in 12 point font with 1 inch margins and should include:

  1. an overview of the proposed project emphasizing any unique aspects and pilot studies (for Research Program concepts, indicate area of emphasis for project - medical research or science and engineering research);
  2. a description of the methodologies and key personnel;
  3. a brief justification of the need for Keck support; and
  4. an estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (budgets can be rough approximations at this stage).

If there’s room, the authors are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution’s prominence in the field, etc.). Avoid illustrations in these single-pagers – the researchers will need all the room for text. If a reference is necessary, abbreviate it as (Science, 323, 45, ‘11). DO NOT USE (Jones et al., 2011).

Here is more information from the Keck Foundation’s home page:

Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medicine has been our mandate from the beginning. By funding the high-risk/high-impact work of leading researchers, we are laying the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our understanding of the world. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.


For more information, please contact Bryan Carlson at bryan.carlson@ucr.edu.




Fulbright Workshops:  May 24th and 27th


Two open discussions with UCR faculty who have recently completed a Fulbright experience have been scheduled:


Tuesday, May 24 at 10 - 11am in UOB 210

Fulbright grantees: Jennifer Doyle and David Biggs

Jennifer Doyle is a Professor of English. David Biggs is a Professor of History. 

Jennifer also served on the interdisciplinary review panel for applications to the UK and has offered to share some insights from her experience on the committee.


Friday, May 27 at 11am - 12pm in UOB 210

Fulbright grantee: Lan Duong

Lan Duong is an Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies. 


Please RSVP by Monday, May 23rd: http://goo.gl/forms/6arwjl4mXaDZOjdI2


Feel free to forward this invitation to those who may be interested.



Academic Research Funding Strategies: Research Development & Grant Writing News


The May issue of the Academic Research Funding Strategies newsletter is now available on the web at http://research.ucr.edu/OrApps/SP/Info/GrantWriting/GrantWritingNews.aspx. The index is below.  


Note that this report is for UCR internal use only.  It may not be forwarded to colleagues at other institutions or professional associations.


May 2016

·         Topics of Interest URLs

·         Positioning for Smaller Team Grants

·         Where Proposals Run Off the Road

·         Human Health-Related Funding at NSF: Dos and Don’ts

·         Benefits of Packing Your Own Funding Chute

·         Tracking the 2017 Federal Research Budgets

·         Research Grant Writing Web Resources

·         Educational Grant Writing Web Resources

·         Agency Research News

·         Agency Reports, Workshops & Roadmaps

·         New Funding Opportunities

·         About Academic Research Funding Strategies



Faculty Networking Lunches


There are still seats available for the following faculty networking lunches:


·         Bio-based Materials: 6/20/16 at 11:30 (please note earlier time!)  Please register here:  https://biobased-materials.eventbrite.com

·         Health Disparities: 6/27/16.  Please register here:  https://health-disparities.eventbrite.com





Here’s a photo of a California Thrasher from Oasis de los Osos, part of the UCR James Reserve.








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