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Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)
Faculty Seed Funding (FSF) Program

Request For Proposals

Calendar Year 2022

Recognizing the need to build capacity for success in obtaining external competitive funding, peer-reviewed publications, and PhD production, the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) is sponsoring a Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) Faculty Seed Funding program 2022 to provide seed funds for new and/or innovative research. The A&S Office of the Associate Dean for Research is accepting proposals for projects to be funded during Calendar Year 2022.

FACULTY SEED FUNDING PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

General Information:

  • SRI Faculty Seed Funding proposals will be considered in two tracks:
    • Track I is designed to support new investigators (<6 yr in tenure track at MSU) in acquiring preliminary data to support proposal development in response to nationally competitive RFPs and/or for peer reviewed publication.
    • Track II is designed for "Hot Topic - Immediate Need - New Direction Funding" or funding of pilot studies to generate preliminary data in support of proposal submission in response to nationally competitive RFPs and/or quality publication.
  • Awards will be announced mid-late Dec. 2021. Funding period is one calendar yr (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31).
    • Spending authority and project period of performance for awardees is Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022.
    • A one-time six-month no-cost extension may be approved upon request. If a request is not made and approved prior to Dec. 1, 2022, any funds remaining unspent will be returned to A&S.

Track I: Strategic Research Initiative FSF for New A&S Faculty

  • Track I SRI FSF is restricted to pre-tenure A&S faculty. Any other MSU faculty can serve as co-PI and/or collaborator.
  • If a Track I PI is within the first 3 years of their tenure-track appointment, there must be an explanation of how the requested SRI funds will leverage or be used for a project that could not be covered by Start-Up funds provided at time of hire.
  • Leveraging of existing funds, resources, and/or partnerships is strongly encouraged.
  • A renewal for a second year of funding can be submitted for competitive review and funding, however funding for a second year is not guaranteed. Renewal proposals must be submitted in response to the RFP. Renewal funds will only be released once an annual report has been submitted and approved for the first year of funding.
  • Projects can initiate as early as January 1, 2022.
  • An annual/final report is required within 30 days of the end of the project. These reports can be submitted by logging into the web portal and completing the report form available at the end of the active proposal tracker https://w.msstate.edu/cas/rfp/sri-faculty/.

Track II: Strategic Research Initiative FSF for Hot Topic/Priority Area/New Direction

  • Any A&S faculty is eligible for Track II funding.
  • SRI Faculty Seed Funding will be considered for:
    • projects necessary to springboard new competitive federally-funded proposals
    • projects resulting in quality peer-reviewed publications
  • Leveraging of existing funds, resources, and/or partnerships is strongly encouraged.
  • A renewal for a second year of funding can be submitted for competitive review and funding, however funding for a second year is not guaranteed. Any renewal proposal must be submitted in response to the RFP for the second year.
  • Projects can initiate as early as January 1, 2022.
  • An annual/final report is required within 30 days of the end of the project. These reports can be submitted by logging into the web portal and completing the report form available at the end of the active proposal tracker https://w.msstate.edu/cas/rfp/sri-faculty/.

Proposal specifics

  • A compliant proposal submission will contain a Proposal Cover Sheet (web form) and a Full Proposal Document described below and must follow the format included in this RFP.
  • You can enter the proposal submission portal by clicking the Login button in the upper right of this SRI Faculty Seed Funding announcement webpage.
  • To create a new proposal and to enter the submission portal, click on the +New Proposal/Submission box.
  • The submission portal will request that you enter the following information in a web form (Cover Sheet):
    • PI NetID, Name, and Contact Information
    • PI Title/Faculty Rank
    • Departmental Affiliation
    • Proposal title
    • Track I or Track II
    • Anticipated Start Date
    • Total Requested Proposal Budget (see Budget Specifics below)
      • SRI Seed Funding request
      • Other source of funding if available
    • Abstract/Project summary (type in or cut and paste into box provided)
  • The portal provides a browse and upload function to upload the Full Proposal Document (PDF format). The Full Proposal Document must consist of only the following:
    • Project Narrative (5 pg max; Single spaced; 1" margins; 12 pt font; Narrative must include overall research program goals, specific SRI goals, objectives, anticipated outcomes, impact, plan for leveraging SRI funding, and if appropriate a COVID-19 impact statement; if using Figures and Tables they must be included within the 5 pg narrative)
    • Literature Cited
    • Budget/Budget justification (should include all budgeted categories; include other sources of funding if appropriate)
    • No Supplemental Documents are allowed.
  • CoPI information can be entered in the boxes provided.
  • Department Head and Business Manager information is required.
  • When you have entered all required information, uploaded the Full Proposal Document, reviewed all and are ready to submit, click the Submit for Approval box at the bottom of the page.
  • After successful submission, you will receive a confirmation screen and your Proposal will be routed to the Department Head for review and approval. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact sknox@deanas.msstate.edu.
  • Once the head approves, all are sent a confirmation and the proposal is routed automatically to the ADR queue, where it will remain until the review process is complete.
  • Proposals must be submitted and approved through the head via the SRI Web Portal by midnight Oct. 15, 2021.

Go to https://www.cas.msstate.edu/research/collegefundingopportunities/ and click on SRI Faculty Seed Funding 2022.

Budget Specifics/Criteria

  • Salaries are allowed, but are limited to A&S faculty summer salary, post-doctoral associates, graduate research assistants, or undergraduate students. Partial funding for post-doctoral associates will be considered in proportion to their time and effort allocation to the SRI project and will require a justification. Other allowable costs include travel, supplies, small equipment.
  • Note that fringe benefits and tuition costs associated with salary requests must be included in the budget.
  • Budget Limitations
    • Track I – $500 – $10,000 per proposal.
    • Track II – $500 – $10,000 per proposal.
    • Equipment requests will be considered, but must be well justified. Equipment for shared use will be given more positive consideration.
    • No indirect costs are allowed.
  • A budget and budget justification should include all budgeted categories and must be included in the Full Proposal Document.
  • If other sources of funds have been or are to be committed to this effort, you should include the amount, source(s), and justification (include one budget/budget justification page).

SRI Review Criteria

Proposals will be screened for compliance with stated eligibility criteria, stated budget criteria and adherence to topic area. Non-compliant applications will be returned without review.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel comprised of current and retired A&S faculty that represent the broad research areas of the college including natural, physical, social and behavioral sciences, and humanities. Note that these reviewers are knowledgeable but not experts in your specific field. Please keep this in mind when writing the proposal summary and narrative. Proposals review much better when jargon is kept to a minimum and written for a knowledgeable non-expert audience.

Merit review guidelines are as follows:

  1. Does the proposal narrative address the overall research program goals, specific SRI goals, objectives, anticipated outcomes, impact, plan for leveraging SRI funding?
  2. Are the goals clearly stated and achievable within the timeline and budget?
  3. Are the approaches clearly described?
  4. Is there a clear path to competitive funding and/or quality peer-reviewed publication?
  5. What is the potential impact of the proposed project?
  6. If the project is a continuation or if it builds on previously collected data, is sufficient information/data presented to judge the merit of the proposal?
  7. Is the budget well justified, allowable, and reasonable?
  8. If the PI is within 3 years of TT hire, do they justify how the requested funds are not covered by start-up funds received?
  9. If applicable: What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the faculty’s research timeline or direction?