September 11, 2018
UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter
Gillian Wilson
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Grant Opportunity Search:
In this Newsletter
  • Federal Funding Prioirities in FY2020
  • NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN)
  • Proposal Call for Bioinspiration and Unusual Biology
  • Limited: NIST: Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program (PSIAP)
  • 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to be awarded to Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Federal Funding Priorities in FY2020
As discussed previously in this newsletter, FY2018 saw the largest federal research spending increase in a decade. Funding levels for FY2019 have not yet been finalized. We don't know the level of funding for FY2020 yet either of course, but we do have some insight into which areas are likely to be prioritized because the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released its annual Research and Development priority memorandum. This memo provides guidance to federal agencies on the Administration’s R&D priorities as agencies develop their budget proposals for FY2020.

The memo includes a strong focus on emerging technology research areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, advanced wireless communications, digital manufacturing, advanced materials, biotechnology, space technology, and gene editing

The 5-page memo can be found here.
NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN)
A supplemental funding opportunity is available in fiscal years FY 2019 and FY 2020 to provide support for non-academic research internships for graduate students to support career opportunities in any sector of the U.S. economy.

NSF will consider supplemental funding requests that enable PIs to request up to six months of additional support for graduate students with the following goals:

To provide graduate students with the opportunity to augment their research assistantships with non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training;
To allow graduate students to pursue new activities aimed at acquiring professional development experience that will enhance their preparation for multiple career pathways after graduation; and
To encourage the participation of graduate students from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, veterans, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The PI of an active NSF award may request supplemental funding for one or more graduate students to gain knowledge, skills and experiences that will augment their preparation for a successful long-term career through an internship in a non-academic setting, including the following:

For-profit industry laboratories or industry research and development groups;
Start-up businesses, such as (but not limited to) those funded through the NSF's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program;
Government agencies (all levels) and National Laboratories;
Policy think-tanks; and
Non-profit organizations.
PIs are encouraged to discuss with the cognizant NSF program director activities that are synergistic with the project scope. It is expected that the graduate student and the PI on the NSF grant will work together to identify innovative experiences that add the most educational value for the graduate student on activities that are not already available at the student's academic institution. Further, it is expected that the internship will be on-site at the host organization and will be research-focused in a STEM field or in STEM education research.

To be eligible, graduate students must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate programs (master's or doctoral) and be making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degrees.

This opportunity is open to PIs who are supporting graduate students through any active NSF award, except in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA). Please see the table below for the participating divisions or programs within these organizations and any special conditions for the supplemental funding requests.

The total amount of funding requested must not exceed $55,000 per student per six-month period. NSF plans to fund up to approximately 200 supplements in fiscal years FY 2019 and FY 2020, depending on the availability of funds.

Funds may be used to support travel, tuition and fees, health insurance, additional stipend and temporary relocation costs for the graduate student. Up to $2,500 may be used for PI travel to work with the host organization in co-mentoring the student during the internship. Up to $2,500 may be used for materials and supplies to support the student during the internship. The grantee is permitted to request indirect costs in accordance with their approved/negotiated indirect cost rate. The total requested budget cannot exceed the limits listed under the "Supplement funding amount" section above. Note: Spousal and dependent travel are not supported.

The supplement funding will provide up to six months of support for an internship. Up to two supplemental funding requests may be submitted on a grant per student. This would allow the student up to two internship periods up to six months each (i.e., a maximum of 12 months per student).

Supplemental funding requests may be submitted at any time but no later than May 1, 2019 (for available FY 2019 funds) and May 1, 2020 (for available FY 2020 funds).

Proposal Call for Bioinspiration and Unusual Biology
The Open Philanthropy Project is interested in promoting exploratory research into novel or atypical biological processes that have the potential for application in human medicine or design of new tools or materials. The objective is to identify proposals that demonstrate significant innovative potential. Our aim is to encourage exploration of biological processes, mechanisms, and components that may provide new insights or experimental tools of broad utility. 

Promising projects will be funded at up to $150,000, with the potential for future funding.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 13, 2018. 

This electronic request for partners challenge is being run by Innocentive. Please visit the link below for more details.

Limited: NIST: Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program (PSIAP)
Internal Deadline: 9/18/18
Agency Deadline: 10/19/18
Number of Submissions Allowed: 1

The NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program is seeking applications from organizations with significant geospatial expertise and experience working with public safety to conduct activities that will allow first responders to rapidly and successfully incorporate new and emerging indoor mapping, tracking, navigation, and location-based services capabilities into their day-to-day operations.
2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics awarded to Jocelyn Bell Burnell
This image shows 80 successive pulses from PSR B1919+21, the first radio pulsar ever to be discovered. First identified by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the radio source was briefly thought to be a signal from an alien civilization and christened with dry British humor "Little Green Men 1". The signal was soon recognized to be due to a rotating neutron star. This incredible discovery, made while she was an astronomy graduate student at Cambridge University, has provided inspiration to many toiling astronomy graduate students including myself.

In one of the most infamous travesties of scientific credit, the 1974 Nobel Prize for the work was awarded to Bell Burnell's male supervisor. It was recently announced that Bell Burnell will receive the 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, which comes with a check for $3 million and puts her in the same company as Stephen Hawking, the folks behind the discovery of the Higgs boson and the team responsible for the direct detection of gravitational waves. A longtime champion for equality and diversity in science, Dame Bell Burnell has announced she will donate her prize winnings to the U.K.'s Institute of Physics, where they will fund graduate scholarships for people from under-represented groups to study physics.

You can read more details here

Image Credit: Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data, edited by Walter Herdeg, The Graphis Press, Zurich, 1974.
Later made much more famous as a Joy Division album cover.

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