November 7, 2017


UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter


Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development

Grant Opportunity Search:


In this Newsletter


·     UCR Teaming Mini-Grant Program - Deadline: December 8, 2017

·     Collaborative Seed Grant Program 2018 - Deadline: March 25, 2018

·     Limited: NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program - Deadline: November 28, 2017

·     Limited: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program - Deadline: November 28, 2017

·     Limited: NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) - Deadline: January 16, 2018

·     Reminder: Research Lunches

·     Red-crested Cardinal


UCR Teaming Mini-Grant Program - Deadline: December 8, 2017


UCR’s Office of the Provost is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals to a new “Teaming” Mini-Grant program. This Mini-Grant program supports activities that bring together faculty to discuss new areas of research and scholarship, and catalyze the establishment of new teams.


Scope and Goals:

The primary goal of this program is to support UCR faculty engagement in early-stage germination of ideas, networking and team building. Proposed activities should help inspire new lines of research and new interdisciplinary collaborations with the potential for solving important and challenging problems. Proposed activities also should help facilitate collaborative proposals for seed grant funding from extramural sources.


Examples of activities that may be supported include (but are not limited to) the following:

• Workshops to discuss new interdisciplinary initiatives

• Team-building meetings

• Hosting symposia

• Proposal planning workshops

• Bringing outside experts to campus


Funds Available:

The maximum amount which should be requested by any one proposal is $3,000. In exceptional circumstances proposals requesting funding of up to $5,000 will be considered, but the additional funding must be well justified. A proposal should include at least three faculty members. A single faculty member may participate in more than one proposal if the proposals address clearly distinct topics or activities. Matching with campus-based or external sources of funding is encouraged but not required. Funds are expected to be used over a period of one year or less.


Who May Apply:

Faculty who are members of the UCR Academic Senate are eligible to submit proposals as PI. Activities that also include students and postdocs are encouraged.


Proposal Content:

The proposal should be a maximum of two pages in length. It should contain a descriptive title, brief abstract, a list of the names/department affiliations of the PI/Co-Is, a description of the activities to be undertaken and the budget requested.


Proposal Submission:

Proposals should be submitted by email in pdf format to the Executive Services Officer at the Office of Research & Economic Development (, and cc’d to the Executive Assistant to the Provost (, by close of business on Friday December 8th 2017. It is very important to write “Teaming Mini-Grant Proposal” in the email subject line. You will receive an email acknowledgement of the receipt of your proposal within one business day.


Proposal Evaluation and Selection:

Proposals will be evaluated by the Research and Economic Development Advisory Board. The final decision on funding will be made by the Provost. Criteria for selection will include potential for networking, team building, and interdisciplinary collaborations in new lines of research; potential to facilitate collaborative funding proposals; timeliness and feasibility of the proposed activities; and potential benefit to the UCR research and economic development enterprise as a whole. Reviewers will be notified of the outcome of their proposal by January 22nd 2018 and funds will be made available by January 31st 2018. Reviewer comments will be provided to PIs after the selection process has been completed. Approximately ten awards are planned.


Reporting requirements:

At the conclusion of the one-year funding period, proposers will be asked to submit a short report describing the results and next steps for their activities:

1) Brief biography of faculty involved.

2) Summary of research activities carried out.

3) Overview of the field e.g., funding, publications, thought leaders, future directions.

4) Next steps to be undertaken.


Strategic Planning Documents:

This Mini-Grant Program is intended to support any new team-building activities, not only those associated with the ongoing Cluster Hires. However, if relevant, proposers may wish to show how their proposed activities relate to UCR's Cluster Hiring initiative.


Collaborative Seed Grant Program 2018


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 6-10 months following seed funding.



·     Large Project Seed Grants: Enable a team of two or more UCR faculty to obtain initial results or data to prepare for a center grant, defined as at least 3 UCR faculty and 4 UCR graduate students. Examples include NIH program project (P-50) grants, NSF Science and Technology Centers, NSF Engineering Research Centers, DOE Manufacturing Centers, NEH Summer Institutes, or USDA/NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project, etc. Large Project seed grants have a maximum budget of $65,000 and funds may be spent from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019. The collaboration must involve faculty from two or more different departments.

·     Small Project Seed Grants: Enable a team of two or more UCR faculty to obtain initial results or data that will make them more competitive for any peer-reviewed federal program. A typical Small Project grant would include summer support for a graduate student plus supplies. . Small Project seed grants have a maximum budget of $10,000 and funds may be spent from July 1, 2018- December 31, 2018. The collaboration must involve faculty from two or more different departments.



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 as PI or CoPI on only one seed grant. A faculty PI on an award made through the Large or Small Collaborative Seed Grant Program in, 2016 or 2017 cannot be a PI or CoPI on a seed grant in 2017, unless they have been awarded a grant as a result of the prior seed grant or applied three times for funding based on the seed grant.



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 25, 2018.



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.



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 (pdf)

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, and anticipated results.

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).

6.  Results of prior seed grant(s).



Applications should be submitted through the "EasyChair" system at (link active by Jan 1)


Questions on the EasyChair application system should be directed to Bri Cates at or 951-827-4800


Limited: NSF Major Research Instrumentation


Deadline: November 28, 2017


The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.


MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.


An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Beginning with the FY 2018 competition, each performing organization may submit in revised “Tracks” as defined below, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2.


·     Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,0001 and less than $1,000,000.

·     Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.


In your application, start the title with "Track 1" or "Track 2". In general, equipment that will be used by existing NSF funded researchers is more likely to funded, and equipment that has a financial plan for sustained maintenance (such as a recharge) is more likely to be funded. A good location (such as MRB1 or a core facility) for equipment will also increase chances of success.


NSF requires a 30 percent match.  Research and Economic Development will provide 50 percent of the required match. PIs should consult with deans and chairs on the remainder of the required match.


Limited: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT)


Deadline: November 28, 2017


The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.


The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2018, proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on two high priority areas: (1) Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS). HDR is expected to continue as a priority research area for FY2019 and FY2020 competitions, along with a new priority area to be announced in 2018.


The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged. NRT especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society ( Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.


Limited: NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program


Deadline: January 16, 2018


The program seeks: 1) to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need obtaining degrees in STEM and entering the workforce or graduate programs in STEM; 2) to improve the education of future scientists, engineers, and technicians, with a focus on academically talented low-income students; and 3) to generate knowledge to advance understanding of how factors or evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities affect the success, retention, transfer, academic/career pathways, and graduation in STEM of low-income students.


The STEM disciplines supported by the S-STEM program include: 


·     Biological sciences (except medicine and other clinical fields); 

·     Physical sciences (including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and materials science); 

·     Mathematical sciences; 

·     Computer and information sciences; 

·     Geosciences; 

·     Engineering; and 

·     Technology areas associated with the preceding disciplines (for example, biotechnology, chemical technology, engineering technology, information technology, etc.)



For Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) and Track 2 (Design and Development: Single Institution) projects, the Principal Investigator must be a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines listed in Section IV.B. who can provide the leadership required to ensure the success of the project. Projects involving more than one department within an institution are eligible, but a single Principal Investigator must accept overall management responsibility. Other members of the S-STEM project leadership and management team may be listed as Co-Principal Investigators.


For Track 3 (Design and Development: Multi-Institutional Consortia) projects, the Principal Investigator must be a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines listed in Section IV.B. or an institutional, educational, or social science researcher who can provide the leadership required to ensure the success of the project. A consortium project must have a Principal Investigator who accepts overall management responsibility. Other members of the S-STEM senior project leadership and management team may be listed as Co-Principal Investigators or PIs on collaborative research proposals.


Reminder: Research Lunches



You can still RSVP for the upcoming Research and Economic Development Research Lunches


Numerical Simulation Research Lunch, November 13 starting at noon in UOB 145 


Autism Research Lunch, November 20 starting at noon in UOB 210 


The lunches are catered by a local Thai restaurant and include vegetarian and gluten-free options.


Red-crested Cardinal


The red-crested cardinal is native to South America, but has been introduced to Hawaii where I encountered this specimen.