Research and Innovation Seed Funding Program

PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT

The Research and Innovation Seed Funding (RISF) Program is now accepting proposals.

Proposal due date:

Friday, March 7, 2014, 5:00 P.M.

INTRODUCTION

Background

NC State’s Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED), in partnership with the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science, established the Strategic Initiatives Program in the 2010 to augment and replace the multi-disciplinary component of the Faculty Research and Professional Development (FRPD) program. The individual faculty component of the FRPD program remained unchanged and can be found at FRPD program.

The SRI program was renamed Research and Innovation Seed Funding (RISF) Program later in the year to reflect the origin of the funding, F&A from outside research funding sources which is collected by ORIED and returned to the colleges and faculty to promote strategic research initiatives.

Program Description

The RISF program is designed to assist NC State researchers in developing innovative interdisciplinary programs that have strong potential for significant future support from government agencies, corporations, industrial consortia or foundations. Encouraged are projects that align with NC State’s strategic research areas of health and well-being, energy and environment, safety and security, or advanced materials and advanced manufacturing. Proposals should be of high risk/high gain and describe how the project will result in new areas of research for NC State.

Proposals must emphasize and promote interdisciplinary research across multiple colleges and develop research initiatives with high potential for significant external funding from government, corporate, and foundation partners. Be as specific as possible, including agency names, programs, dates, and potential amounts.

Proposals that seek funds to enhance scholarship or faculty professional development are not eligible for this program. See http://research.ncsu.edu/rdo/funding/internal-funding/ for internal funding opportunities that address these topics.

Projects Supported:

Project activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Workshops on emerging multidisciplinary research areas;
  • Support of a high-level seminar series to promote networking for formation of an innovation program;
  • Development of concepts and white papers for large-scale centers, institutes or cluster hires;
  • Travel to establish partnerships and to interact with program officers;
  • Identification and recruitment of industrial, academic and/or government partnerships in support of initiatives;
  • Support for release time, travel, workshops, and other expenses associated with conceptualization and preparation of large grants;
  • Development of plans to promote industrial research collaborations;
  • Creation and support of resources such as websites, research collaboration sites or social networking tools to facilitate large-scale research programs;
  • Collection of preliminary data needed for external proposal submission.

Award Information

Type of Award:
Solicitations will be open semi-annually in the Fall and Spring semesters.  Award will be effective for projects lasting twelve calendar months or less, beginning on the fiscal year (July 1) following Spring solicitations and calendar year (January 1) following Fall solicitations.

Estimated Number of Awards and Anticipated Funding Amount:
Approximately $150,000 will be available annually for awards.  Awards typically range between $10,000 and $25,000, with an average of 4 – 6 awards per solicitation.
Extension of the award period to complete proposed activities is at the discretion of the program administration.

Cost Match:  
A minimum 25% cost is required from internal or external sources.  Internal sources may be College or Department support, including salary release time.  A distinction must be indicated between a request for RSIF funding for release time and release time used as a source of matching funds.

Eligibility Information

All NC State faculty or EPA professionals are eligible for funding.  There is no limit on the number of proposals in which a single researcher may participate.  There is no limit on the number of proposals a single Principal Investigator may submit.

 

Proposal Content and Submission Instructions

Proposal Content

RISF proposals must include the following sections:

  • Cover page (1 page max):  The cover page includes title of the project, submitting principal investigator contact information, list of Co-PIs and other key personnel, duration of project (1 day to 1 year), total budget amount (requested amount and matching funds), five (5) keywords, and a 1,000-character synopsis of the proposed project.  Use of the RISF cover page template is strongly encouraged. It can be found at RISFcover page.
  • Project description (3 pages max):  The project description should specifically address how the proposed activities with the goals of the program, especially interdisciplinarity and potential for external funding.  The description should include sufficient detail that reviewers can evaluate the appropriateness and feasibility of the proposed plans.
  • Budget with Justification and Team Description (1 page max): 
    • The budget and justification should include funds requested from the RISF program and a minimum 25% cost match, indicating how funds from each source are to be allocated.  Indirect costs are not applicable.
    • The team description should describe the role of each PI, Co-PI, and other key personnel mentioned in the proposal.
  • References (no limit)
  • Appendices:
    • Biosketch (up to 1 page each):  Biosketches of each PI, Co-PI, and other key personnel should include information relevant to the project.
    • Letter(s) of support (no limit):  Letters from source(s) of matching funds must be included.  Other letters of support may be included.

Submission Instructions

The submission process is two-part:  NC State PINS system and electronic submission to the RISF program administrator.

  1. PINS submission:  Submit through your college research administrator at http://research.ncsu.edu/sparcs/systems-portal/pins/.
  2. Electronic submission to RISF program administrator:  When you have received approval in PINS, insert the PINS number on the cover page and submit electronically in MS Word or PDF format to:  research-development@ncsu.edu.  Subject of the email should be:  “RISF submission.”

Due Date

Proposals for the Fall 2013 solicitation are due no later than 5:00 P.M. on Friday, March 7, 2014.

 

Review Information

Timeline for Spring 2014 Solicitation

  • January 31: Request for Proposals announcements sent to URC, ROC, RSC members; posted to website at go.ncsu.edu/risf
  • March 7: Proposals due no later than 8:00 A.M.  Electronic submission with PINS number to:  research-development@ncsu.edu. Subject line:  RISF submission: PI name (where PI name is the last name of the submitting Principal Investigator)
  • March 12: Proposals delivered to reviewers
  • March 26: Review process ends; all reviews submitted to: research-development@ncsu.edu
    Subject line:  RISF review: PI name (where PI name is the last name of the submitting Principal Investigator)
  • After March 26: Principal Investigators notified of award status; summary of reviewer comments emailed to submitting PIs; abstracts of awarded proposals posted to website at go.ncsu.edu/risf
  • July 31, 2015: First report due to ORIED Research Development

Review Criteria

Each proposal will undergo an internal peer review based on the following criteria:

  • Potential for future funding:  The potential for follow-up funding for the project is high and clearly defined;
  • Integration of multiple colleges and disciplines:  Diversity in disciplines is contributory to the objectives of the project;
  • Description and feasibility of the project:  Goals and objectives are clearly defined and aligned with the specific purposes of the RISF program; project does not duplicate former efforts surrounding problem area; plan of work is clearly articulated and adequately meets the goals of the project; the project is feasible;
  • Budget:  Appropriate and justified budget includes a documented cost match of at least 25%; and
  • Team qualifications:  PI and team are qualified and appropriate for the project; roles for team members clearly defined.

Review and Selection Process

Proposals may be reviewed by colleagues outside of the project discipline.  In order to be ranked highly, proposals must use language that can be understood by persons lacking expertise in the discipline.  Highly ranked proposals will clearly state the:

  • Problem or need to address;
  • Innovativeness of the solution;
  • Specifics of activities;
  • Appropriateness and contribution of the named team members;
  • Cross-disciplinarity of the approach;
  • Expected outcomes from one year (or less) of work;
  • Long-term implications for the work; and
  • Funding agencies and specific opportunities likely to fund ongoing proposals generated from this effort.

Following the peer review, proposals and reviews are presented to a separate selection committee.  The selection committee decides the number of award and the amount of each award.

 

Notification of Award

The submitting PI(s) for the awarded proposals will be notified within one (1) business day of the award selection.  The submitting PI(s) for non-awarded proposals will be notified within three (3) business days of the award selection.

A synopsis of the reviewer comments will be provided to the submitting PI(s) for all proposals after all PI(s) have been notified of their award status.

Reporting Requirements

The principal investigator will be required to submit a final report approximately one month after the close of the grant period (see schedule below).  Periodic status updates on the progress of the project may be requested at the discretion of the program administration.

Reporting Schedule

  • February 1, 2013: Fall 2011 awards
  • August 2, 2013: Spring 2012 awards
  • January 31, 2014: Fall 2012 awards
  • August 5, 2014: Spring 2013 awards
  • January 30, 2015: Fall 2013 awards
  • July 31, 2015: Spring 2014 awards

Report Format

The final report should include the cover page from the proposal.  Required feedback includes the following information:

  • Changes (additions and deletions) to personnel from cover page, including:
    • NC State faculty, college and department
    • NC State students/postdocs, including year
    • Non-NC State personnel, including affiliation
  • Brief statement of progress to date
  • Publications and/or presentations resulting from this work
  • Other funding resulting from this project:
    • Funding that has been awarded, including source, amount, and duration
    • Funding that is or will be pursued as a result of this project

Program Contacts

Questions regarding this solicitation may be directed to:

Randy Avent, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development
(919) 513-2457
rkavent@ncsu.edu

revised January 31, 2014