Federally funded instrumentation grants and how to compete for them ttvn seminar
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Federally Funded Instrumentation Grants and How to Compete for Them (TTVN Seminar). Sept. 22, 2008 Lucy Deckard Office of Proposal Development [email protected] 458-4290. Overview. OPD – who we are Available instrumentation funding programs Common features and strategies

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Federally Funded Instrumentation Grants and How to Compete for Them (TTVN Seminar)

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Federally FundedInstrumentation Grantsand How to Compete for Them(TTVN Seminar)

Sept. 22, 2008

Lucy Deckard

Office of Proposal Development

[email protected]


Office of Proposal Development


  • OPD – who we are

  • Available instrumentation funding programs

  • Common features and strategies

  • Specifics on a few selected programs

    • Major Research Instrumentation (NSF)

    • Defense University Research Instrumentation (DoD)

    • Grants for Shared Instrumentation (NIH)

Office of Proposal Development

VPR/OPD Research Development Support

  • Workshops, seminars and presentations;

  • Center level initiatives;

  • Multidisciplinary initiatives;

  • New Faculty Initiative;

  • Help develop collaborative research activities;

  • Link to System universities and support System Pathways Initiative;

  • Identify institutional funding opportunities

Office of Proposal Development

Check out our Websitehttp://opd.tamu.edu/

  • Funding opportunities

  • Upcoming seminars

  • Proposal resources

  • Resources for junior faculty

  • Craft of Grant Writing workbook

  • Presentations from past seminars

    • To find this presentation with resource extra materials, go to http://opd.tamu.edu/seminar-materials and click on today’s date

Office of Proposal Development

Instrumentation Programs

  • Instrumentation for Materials Research (IMR)

  • Research Equipment Funding for CTS Div.

  • Instrumentation for Materials Research – Major Instrumentation Projects (IMR-MIP)

  • Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities

  • Chemistry Research Instrumentation Facilities: Instrument Development

  • DoD Instrumentation and Research Support for HBCU/MIs

  • Major Research Instrumentation Award

Office of Proposal Development

Instrumentation Programs (cont’d)

  • Grants for Shared Instrumentation (NIH)

  • Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation (NSF)

  • Defense University Research Instrumentation (DoD)

  • High-End Instrumentation Grant (NIH)

  • Multi-user Equipment and Instrumentation for Biological Sciences (NSF)

  • Astronomical Sciences Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (NSF)

  • Instrument Incubator Program (NASA)

  • Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program (NIH)

Office of Proposal Development

For an up-to-date list with links

  • See http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-opportunities/funding-opportunities-by-category/instrumentation-and-equipment

  • Or go to our website at http://opd.tamu.edu

    • Click on “Funding Opportunities”

    • Click on “Funding Opportunities by Category”

    • Click on “Instrumentation and Equipment”

Office of Proposal Development

Common Features

  • Proposed instruments should enhance projects already funded by agency

  • Looking for maximum impact for $s

    • Multiple users

    • Trend toward users from multiple disciplines

    • Enables important research

    • (NSF) Impact on education

    • Develop new instruments

Office of Proposal Development

More Common Features

  • Sponsor wants to make sure instrument will be taken care of and used

    • Infrastructure must be available

    • Researchers have record of active funded research, publications, pending proposals

    • Often require a “management plan”

Office of Proposal Development

Things to Find Out

  • Where is the funding coming from within the agency?

  • Who reviews the proposals?

  • How closely must the instrument be tied to agency-funded projects?

  • What are the review criteria?

    • Educational component?

    • Outreach component?

Office of Proposal Development

Before you start…

  • Is there a limit on number of submissions?

    • If so, need to go through internal selection process

  • Is there a cost share requirement?

    • If so, start lining up cost share early

  • Do they require an official cost quote from vendor?

Office of Proposal Development

NSF Major Research Instrumentation

  • This year’s solicitation not out yet

  • Due Jan. 22, 2009 (tentative)

  • Awards:

    • $100K - $ 4M for Ph.D. granting organizations

    • Less than $100K allowed for non-PhD granting organizations

    • Less than $100K allowed from mathematical science and social, behavioral and economic science

  • Types of Awards:

    • Instrument Acquisition

    • Instrument Development

  • 30% cost share required except for non PhD-granting institutions

    Gold text: New last year – assume will be same this year

Office of Proposal Development

Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)

  • Submissions limited to 3 proposals per institution

    • No more than 2 acquisition proposals per institution

    • Check with your administration regarding your institution’s internal selection process

  • Separate category for non-PhD granting institutions

    • 20 or fewer PhDs or DSci’s awarded in NSF-supported fields of science, engineering and math in the last 2 years

Office of Proposal Development

MRI Program Goals

The goals of the MRI program are to:

  • Support the acquisition, through purchase, upgrade, or development, of major state-of-the-art instrumentation for research, research training, and integrated research/education activities at organizations;

  • Improve access to and increase use of modern research and research training instrumentation by scientists, engineers, and graduate and undergraduate students;

  • Enable academic departments or cross-departmental units to create well-equipped learning environments that integrate research with education;

  • Foster the development of the next generation of instrumentation for research and research training;

  • Promote partnerships between academic researchers and private sector instrument developers.

Office of Proposal Development

MRI: Eligible Project Costs

  • Instrument Acquisition

    • Instrument purchase, installation, commissioning and calibration are eligible

    • Instrument maintenance, operations and research project costs not eligible

    • Do not put PI support, graduate student RAs, etc. on budget

  • Instrument Development

    • Parts, materials needed for construction

    • Commissioning costs and direct and indirect costs associated with support of personnel “directly engaged strictly in the instrument development effort”

Office of Proposal Development

MRI: Eligible Equipment

  • Can be more than one piece but must share common purpose

  • Cannot be assorted instruments that “do not share a common or specific research or research training focus”

  • Cannot be “instrumentation requested primarily for standard science and engineering courses”

Office of Proposal Development

MRI: Review Criteria

  • Intellectual Merit

    • Importance in advancing knowledge and understanding in own field and across different fields

    • How well-qualified is the proposer or team?

    • Creativity and originality

    • Access to sufficient resources?

  • Broader Impacts

    • Advance discovery, understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning

    • Broaden participation of under-represented groups

    • Enhancement of infrastructure

    • Dissemination of results

    • Benefits to society

Office of Proposal Development

MRI: Review Criteria

  • Integration of Research and Education

  • Integrating Diversity

  • Plans for enhancing research capability in teaching, training or learning

  • Instrument Acquisition Proposals: Management Plan

    • Sufficient infrastructure and expertise to allow effective usage of instrument;

    • Organizational commitments for operations and maintenance

Office of Proposal Development

MRI: Review Criteria

  • Instrument Development Proposals

    • Management Plan

      • Realistic schedule

      • Mechanisms to deal with potential risks

      • Availability of appropriate technical expertise to design and construct the instrument

      • Cost of the new technology

    • Rationale

      • Will proposed instrument enable new types of measurement or information gathering?

Office of Proposal Development

Features of Competitive MRI Proposals

  • Many users from multiple disciplines

  • Impact on NSF-funded research

  • Clear description of research that would not otherwise be possible enabled by instrument

  • Clear description of educational experiences that would not otherwise be possible and their benefits

  • Preliminary data from similar instrument

Office of Proposal Development

Features of Competitive MRI Proposals (cont’d)

  • Strong connection to education

    • Details describing numbers of graduate, undergraduate students impacted

  • Involvement of under-represented groups

    • E.g., researchers from minority serving institutions

    • Work with students from under-represented groups

  • Outreach component (e.g., teachers, high school students, etc.)

  • Well thought-out management plan

Office of Proposal Development

Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Beware extra bells and whistles on your instrument that aren’t explicitly justified by the listed research projects

  • Avoid vague or generic research project descriptions that don’t strongly tie the success of the project to the instrument

  • Beware vague references to education and outreach

Office of Proposal Development

Review Process for MRIs

  • Within directorate for requests below $600K - $800K

  • NSF-wide for larger requests

    • Must appeal both to directorate and across directorates

  • Very few awards at highest level ($2 M and above)

  • Go to MRI page (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5260&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund ) and click on “Abstracts of Recent Awards” to view 2008 awards with amounts and abstracts

Office of Proposal Development

Advice for Preparing an MRI Proposal

  • Get letters of collaboration from users outside your institution

  • Emphasize impact on NSF-funded programs

    • What science will having instrument enable?

    • What educational experiences will be enabled?

  • Be sure to discuss similar instruments available nearby and explain why need one here

Office of Proposal Development

Texas A&M System MRI Winners

  • Kevin Storr – PVAMU

    • “MRI: Acquisition of a Dilution Refrigerator with Tunnel Diode System”

    • DMR program

  • Joe Fox – TAMU-CC

    • “Acquisition of Amino Acid Analyzer for Enhancement of Research/Teaching at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi”

    • BIO directorate

  • Eugene Billiot – TAMU-CC

    • Winner of 3 MRIs (CHE program)

  • David Parker – WTAMU

    • “Acquisition of a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer-Olfactometer for Characterization of Environmental Odors of Arbitrary Composition”

    • ENG Directorate

Office of Proposal Development

Texas A&M System MRI Winners

  • Antoine Carty – PVAMU

    • “Acquisition of a 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer “

    • Chemistry Division

  • Michael Gyamerah – PVAMU

    • “MRI: Acquisition of research instrumentation for applied research and training in biotechnology and bioprocess engineering”

    • ENG directorate

  • Thomas Naehr – TAMU-CC

    • “Acquisition of a Powder X-ray Diffraction System for Earth Science Research and Education”

    • GEO directorate

  • Carol Thompson – Tarleton State University

    • “MRI/RUI: Acquisition of an Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES)”

    • CHE division

Office of Proposal Development

Texas A&M System MRI Winners

  • Kuruvilla John – TAMU-K

    • “Acquisition of a GCMS for the study of Hydrocarbons in the South Texas Environment”

    • ENG directorate

  • Daniel Marble – Tarleton State Univ.

    • “MRI/RUI: High Sensitivity Profiling of Hydrogen and Nitrogen Using Nuclear Reaction Analysis”

    • DMR Division

  • Kirk Cammarata – TAMU-CC

    • “MRI/RUI: Acquisition of a Digital Imaging System to Support Research and Research Training in Applications of Molecular Biology”

    • BIO directorate

  • Patrick Larkin – TAMU – CC

    • “MRI: Instrumentation for the Chemical and Biological Characterization of Factors Affecting the Distribution and Phytoremediation of Seagrasses in Coastal Bays and Estuaries”

Office of Proposal Development

Texas A&M System MRI Winners

  • Qingwen Ni - Texas A&M International

    • Low-field NMR Laboratory

    • MPS Directorate

  • Delbert Smee – Texas A&M Corpus Christi

    • Equipment to Quantify Environmental Conditions in Estuarine Systems

    • GEO

  • Laurence Angel – Texas A&M Commerce

    • IM-Q-TOF Mass Spectrometer

    • ENG

  • David Ramirez - Texas A&M – Kingsville

    • Field Emission SEM for Nanoscience Research and Education

    • ENG

  • More…see our seminar webpage for more complete list

Office of Proposal Development

Defense University Research Instrumentation Program

  • Last cycle due August 26, 2008

  • For the acquisition of major equipment to augment current or develop new research capabilities in support of DoD-relevant research

  • $50K - $1 M; average award $205K

  • Funded by ONR, ARO, AFOSR

  • No cost sharing required

  • $40 million available for FY 2008; in FY 2007 made 201 awards

  • http://www.wpafb.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-080605-018.pdf

Office of Proposal Development

DURIP – Things to Know

  • Closely tied to enhancement of funded/pending agency research

  • Talk to program officer first

    • Program officers highly involved in review process

    • Program officers communicate across agencies (can identify primary and secondary reviewing agencies)

  • Need multiple users with DoD funding

Office of Proposal Development

DURIP Review Criteria

  • Impact of equipment on current or future DoD projects

  • Scientific merits and potential contribution to DoD mission research

  • Potential to enhance education through research of future scientists and engineers in areas important to DoD

  • Past performance and capability of institution to operate and maintain equipment

  • Past performance and qualifications of PI and other personnel to conduct research of interest to DoD

  • Realism and reasonableness of cost

Office of Proposal Development

Grants for Shared Instrumentation (NIH)

  • NIH National Center for Research Resources

  • Last cycle due March 24, 2008

  • For Instrumentation $100K - $500K

  • Three major users must be PIs on NIH peer-reviewed research grants (P01, R01, U01, R35, or R37).

  • Show a clear need for the instrumentation by projects supported by multiple NIH peer review research grants

  • Demonstrate that these projects will require at least 75 percent of the total usage of the instrument

  • http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-036.html

Office of Proposal Development

Grant for Shared Instrumentation

  • Instrument should be integrated into a core facility whenever possible

    • Promote shared use

    • Foster a collaborative multi-disciplinary environment

  • Review criteria:

    • Need

    • Technical Expertise

    • Research Projects

    • Administration (management, maintenance, advisory committee, etc.)

    • Institutional commitment

    • Benefit to overall research community

Office of Proposal Development

Including Equipment on Your Research Grant

  • Purchase of special-purpose equipment that is necessary for your research may be allowed within limits

  • Check the agencies policies and talk to other faculty who have been funded by that agency

    • NSF: Equipment (> $5K per unit) allowed if necessary for proposed research; not otherwise reasonably available. Check what amounts are customary for your program and directorate.

    • NIH: “Avoid asking for expensive equipment unless you absolutely need it; if you do, justify it well.”

Office of Proposal Development

NSF Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)

  • Introduce new content into undergraduate STEM education based on recent advances in research on STEM learning and teaching

  • Instrumentation for undergraduate education can be included but must be part of a larger educational project

  • Phase 1 up to $150K for 1 – 3 yrs; Phase 2 (build on smaller-scale projects) $500K for 2 – 4 yrs; Phase 3 (large scale efforts) $2M for 3 – 5 years

  • Due January 12, 2009 (Phase 2 and 3); Phase 1 proposals due in May

  • Solicitation at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5741&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund

Office of Proposal Development


Office of Proposal Development

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