March 10, 2018
UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter
Gillian Wilson
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Grant Opportunity Search:
In this Newsletter
  • Reminder: 2018 Collaborative Seed Grant Program
  • Research Development Proposal Materials
  • NSF Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI)
  • TEDxUCR Speaker Applications - Due by March 31, 2018
  • Pluto
2018 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 6-10 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 27, 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  

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

Research Development Proposal Materials
Research Development has updated their website with new materials, including:

  • a guide to diversity at UCR
  • the latest templates for NSF and NIH proposals, biosketches, etc.,
  • updated PDF lists of graduate and young PI fund sources
  • new graphics files for org charts and timelines, including a modifiable PPT timeline for a successful proposal.

New materials can be accessed here:
The National Science Foundation has updated its BIGDATA program (Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering) for 2018, now Program Solicitation 18-539. This program will make an estimated 25-33 awards at $200,000 to $500,000 per year for 3-4 years in two classes to support novel approaches in computer science, statistics, computational science, and mathematics leading towards the further development of the interdisciplinary field of data science. The program also seeks innovative applications in domain science, including social and behavioral sciences, education, physical sciences, and engineering, where data science and the availability of big data are creating new opportunities for research and insights not previously possible. Budgets can include costs of cloud computing.
The two types of projects are: 
1. Foundations (BIGDATA: F): those developing or studying fundamental theories, techniques, methodologies, and technologies of broad applicability to big data problems, motivated by specific data challenges and requirements.
2. Innovative Applications (BIGDATA: IA): those engaged in translational activities that employ new big data techniques, methodologies, and technologies to address and solve problems in specific application domains. Projects in this category must be collaborative, involving researchers from domain disciplines and one or more methodological disciplines, e.g., computer science, statistics, mathematics, simulation and modeling, etc.
The solicitation contains four paragraphs of “areas of interest” for different directorates and divisions of NSF that are participating in this program: MPS/DMS, EHR, SBE, and ENG. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your idea with a program officer before submitting a proposal. 
An individual may be involved in no more than one proposal.
Proposals are due May 14, 2018. The solicitation is available at .
Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation
The NSF has issued the  Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI): Data and Software – Elements and Frameworks solicitation. 
The goal of the CSSI umbrella program is to create a software and data cyber infrastructure ecosystem that scales from individuals or small groups of researchers/innovators to large communities. Proposals should identify science and engineering challenges where the proposed cyberinfrastructure enables fundamental new science and engineering advances, and describe how the proposed project fosters partnerships and community development that will have a significant impact on science and engineering research; indicate how the proposed cyberinfrastructure builds capability, capacity and cohesiveness of a national CI ecosystem; and provide a compelling discussion of the cyberinfrastructure’s potential use by a wider audience and its contribution to a national cyberinfrastructure.
The CSSI program describes four categories of proposals. This particular CSSI solicitation is open for proposals addressing the first two categories: Elements, and Framework Implementations.
  • Elements (either Data Elements or Software Elements): up to $600,000 for 3 years
  • These awards target small groups that will create and deploy robust capabilities for which there is a demonstrated need, and that will advance one or more significant areas of science and engineering. It is expected that the created elements will be disseminated to the community as reusable resources, with the potential for sustainability. The development approach may support the hardening of early prototypes and/or expanding functionality to increase end-user relevance.
  • Framework Implementations (either Data Frameworks or Software Frameworks): $600,000 - $5M for 3-5 years
  • These awards target larger, interdisciplinary teams organized around the development and application of common infrastructure aimed at solving common research problems faced by NSF researchers in one or more areas of science and engineering, resulting in a sustainable community framework serving a diverse community or communities. Some awards are anticipated to be continuing grants, where funds will be released annually subject to agreed-upon milestones, based on approval by NSF and the availability of funds
Please see the solicitation for specific programmatic areas of interest outlined by the following NSF Directorates: Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Math and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE).
Full Proposal Deadline:  April 18, 2018
Limit on number of proposals per PI/CoPI: 1
TEDxUCR Speaker Applications
UCR will be hosting a TEDxUCR event at the end of the spring quarter (June 1, 2018). If you are interested in being a speaker at the event, please apply at the link below. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2018. 

TEDx was created in the spirit of the Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference’s mission: "ideas worth spreading". The program is designed to give communities, organizations, and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. The videos generated by the event will be a forum for those ideas to be heard on an global level. The videos here ( provide a sample of the range of talks given at TEDx events around the world and are seen by tens of thousands. Occasionally these videos are put on the main TED website; we aim to get your talk there. 

Questions may be directed to Bri Cates at or 951-827-4800.
 Enhanced color view of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft
(and yes - Pluto will always be a planet to me too!)

Image Credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute / ZLDoyle

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