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A&S Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)

Request For Proposals

Calendar Year 2019

Recognizing the need to build capacity for success in obtaining peer-reviewed publications, PhD production, and external competitive funding, the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) is sponsoring a Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) grant program 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 2019.

SRI PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

General Information:

  • SRI 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 for peer reviewed publication or to support proposal development in response to nationally competitive RFPs.
    • Track II is designed for "Hot Topic-- Immediate Need--New Direction Funding" or funding of pilot studies to generate preliminary data in support of quality publication or proposal submission in response to nationally competitive RFPs.
  • Awards will be announced mid-late Dec. 2018. Funding period is one calendar yr (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31).
    • Spending authority and project period of performance for awardees is Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2019.
    • A one-time six-month no-cost extension may be approved upon request. In the absence of a request, funds remaining unspent at the end of the award period will be returned to A&S.

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

  • Track I SRI funding 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.
  • SRI funding for research responding/contributing to MSU or A&S-specific priority areas will be given priority.
  • 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, 2019.
  • 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/.

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

  • Any A&S faculty is eligible for Track II funding.
  • SRI funding will be considered for:
    • projects necessary to springboard new federally-funded proposals
    • projects resulting in quality peer-reviewed publications
  • SRI funding for research responding/contributing to MSU or A&S-specific priority areas will be given priority.
  • 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, 2019.
  • 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/.

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 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 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; 12 pt font; Narrative must include overall research program goals, specific SRI goals, objectives, anticipated outcomes, impact, plan for leveraging SRI funding; if using Figures and Tables they must be 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.
  • Proposals must be submitted via the SRI Web Portal by 5:00 PM, Oct. 15, 2018. Go to https://www.cas.msstate.edu/research/collegefundingopportunities/ and click on SRI 2019.

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.
  • 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.

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 representative of A&S diversity (natural/physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and humanities). Please keep this in mind when writing your proposals: reviewers are well-rounded educated faculty, but not experts in your specific area of research.

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. Is the proposal narrative understandable to an educated diverse review panel?
  3. Are the goals clearly stated and achievable within the timeline and budget?
  4. Are the approaches clearly described?
  5. Does the proposal address MSU, A&S, Departmental priorities?
  6. Is the experimental design robust and likely to produce reliable knowledge?
  7. Is there a clear path to competitive funding and/or quality peer-reviewed publication?
  8. What is the potential impact of the proposed project?
  9. 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?
  10. Is the budget well justified?
  11. Other merit guidelines may be considered.