The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals to fund research infrastructure. Knowing that a strong and robust research environment rests on state of the art infrastructure, the President has made $3 million available for a one time investment in research infrastructure.
Both the President and Vice President for Research are committed to facilitating strong partnerships and interdisciplinary endeavors, especially between the health sciences and other disciplines. The eligibility criteria for this grant program were developed to support this collaborative spirit. All campuses are eligible and encouraged to participate in this program. Eligibility and other program details follow. Key dates are shown above.
2013 Call for Proposals
ALL of the following criteria must be met to be considered for funding. Proposals must:
- Meet the definition of research infrastructure provided below.
- Be interdisciplinary and intercollegiate. A college or school can partner with a large interdisciplinary center* outside its college or school to meet this criterion.
- Be collaborations between at least one AHC college, school, or interdisciplinary center and one non-AHC college, school, or interdisciplinary center.
- Submit only one proposal as the lead college, school, or interdisciplinary center. The lead will be responsible for receiving and managing the award in totality. A college, school, or interdisciplinary center can be part of multiple proposals, but each proposal must have a different set of partners and a different lead, (e.g. College of Science and Engineering (CSE) & the Medical School (MS) can submit one proposal together which CSE leads; and MS, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) & CSE can also submit a proposal as long as either MS or CVM is the lead).
- Provide a match of 50% of the TOTAL cost, that is, the match is at least equal to (100%) of the amount requested from OVPR. The match may be shared in any proportion by the collaborating units and does not determine which college, school, or interdisciplinary center receives and manages the award.
*Center is defined for use in this RFP as any interdisciplinary research center or institute that reports to a Dean, Vice Provost, Provost, Vice President, Chancellor or Vice Chancellor. Any question that a center meets either the definition of research, interdisciplinary, or appropriate reporting structure will be clarified upon receipt of a LOI. If centers have any concerns, the director can contact Research Advancement.
FUNDING LIMITS AND CONSTRAINTS
- Proposals will be accepted with a minimum request of $50,000 (i.e., $100,000 with matching funding) to a maximum request of $1,000,000 (i.e., $2 million total cost).
- Matching funds must be identified at the time the Letter of Intent is submitted to OVPR, but may be contributed over the same period as the budget (i.e., up to two years).
- The budget should not exceed two years from date of award.
- Faculty salaries are not allowed, but compensation and benefits for non-faculty specialized personnel can be included.
MANDATORY LETTER OF INTENT
A Letter of Intent is required to be submitted to email@example.com using “Infrastructure LOI” in the subject line, on or before March 15, 2013 and must include the following on the prescribed form:
- The Title of the proposal;
- The name, contact information, and signature of the corresponding investigator;
- The names of the collaborating investigators and their colleges, schools, or interdisciplinary centers;
- The college, school, or interdisciplinary center which will receive and manage the award;
- The estimated amount of funding being requested from OVPR (not including the match);
- The amounts and sources of match funding;
- The total estimated amount of funding (the sum of #5 and #6 above);
- A brief description of the infrastructure being requested; and
- The names of potential UMN faculty reviewers who are NOT part of the proposal.
The Letter of Intent will be reviewed to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. Any LOI not meeting the criteria will be notified within a week.
REQUIRED COMPONENTS OF PROPOSAL
The full proposal consists of three parts and is due on April 8, 2013. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF document, via e-mail and using “Infrastructure Proposal” in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposal narrative and the budget justifications should be in 12 point Times New Roman and may be single spaced.
- The Cover Page signed by the corresponding principal investigator and the authorized official of the matching funds;
- The proposal narrative (not to exceed five pages) that describes the infrastructure, the research and researchers it supports or will support, and the benefits to the research and to the University of Minnesota. The narrative portion should include:
- Description of the proposed infrastructure;
- Evidence of need by whom and for what purposes;
- An explanation of how an investment in this infrastructure is important to the future of and will benefit both research and the University. This explanation does not need to be in financial terms and can include social impact.
- A specific plan to measure the return on the investment.
- The budget and justifications, using the template provided
FACULTY PEER REVIEW
The proposals will be reviewed by expert University faculty selected by the OVPR. They will be asked to review the proposals against the following criteria:
- Centrality of the project to the research mission;
- Quality of the proposal;
- Potential for increased productivity and/or impact;
- Uniqueness and comparative research advantage offered, if any;
- Enhancement of research synergies brought about by the collaborative effort;
- Level of demand for the infrastructure;
- Significant length of time since receipt of funds from central (OVPR or AHC) or college;
- Fiscal and managerial leadership;
- Likelihood of sustainability.
Final selection will be made by the Vice President for Research after consultation with the President.
DEFINITION OF RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
Research infrastructure includes major research services or equipment, and specialized support staff, that constitute direct components of the research and scholarly efforts that further the University’s mission of Research and Discovery and that support interdisciplinary needs.
Some services and equipment are NOT considered research infrastructure. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Building construction or major renovations
- Transactional systems and support personnel included in cost pools (e.g. EGMS and SPA)
- IT Services unrelated to the support of specialized technology integral to research or scholarly effort
- General, non-specialized library services and collections
- Indirect, non-specialized support services (e.g. facilities/maintenance)
- Infrastructure that primarily supports teaching, learning, clinical care, or outreach (publicly engaged research is encouraged).