Commonwealth Campuses Research Collaboration Development Fellowship Program

Purpose

To encourage and support both independent and collaborative research projects between Penn State

Commonwealth Campuses and core multi-user faculty and research facility staff at the Interdisciplinary Institutes at University Park and at the College of Medicine, the Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR), in collaboration with the Provost’s Office, the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses (OVPCC), the College of Medicine, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Eberly College of Science, and the College of Health and Human Development is piloting the Commonwealth Campuses Research Collaboration Development Program. Through this program, Commonwealth Campus faculty are provided the opportunity to submit research proposals that will require access to Penn State’s shared facilities (equipment, instruments, capabilities, and/or expertise). In 2018, it is expected that 20 awards of up to $10,000 will be made through competitive selection process.

The goals of this program are

  • Build the foundation for collaborative research environment
  • Build relationships between researchers at UP and CoM facilities/institutes and faculty and students at Commonwealth Campuses
  • Accelerate research and strengthen opportunities for submission of high-quality publications and proposals
  • Increase opportunities for engaging with funding agencies and industry

This program requires a two-phase process for submitting a proposal

  1. Phase 1 concept paper (Submission window is from October 26, 2018 to March 1, 2019 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis)
  2. Phase 2 Proposal (Different processes for Huck/IEE/Nanofab/MCL; SSRI; ICS; CoM) (Submission window is from December 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis)

Institutes/facilities participating in this pilot

  • Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences (Huck)
  • Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE)
  • The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL)
  • Materials Research Institute
  • Materials Characterization Lab (MCL)
  • Nanofabrication Lab (Nanofab)
  • Institute for CyberScience (ICS)
  • Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)
  • College of Medicine (CoM)

The phase 1 concept papers will be reviewed by institute/facility researchers based upon the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit
  • Availability of the required resources and/or other research supports
  • Approach, including technical feasibility and research methods
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Likelihood of external funding

Phase 2 Proposal Review Criteria

  • Proposals will be evaluated by the Institute/Facility Leadership.
  • The evaluation criteria specific to each institute/faculty are listed on the application sites (see SSRI evaluation criteria below).

Funding and Allowable Costs

In 2018, it is expected that awards of up to $10,000 each will be made, with total number of awards not to exceed 20.

The program will consist of two types of support for the Commonwealth Campus Faculty:

  • Equipment use time and facility staff time
  • Consumables, if necessary
  • Travel expenses to and from campuses and Interdisciplinary Institutes
  • In addition, for SSRI applications, $500 will be provided for the UP mentor.

Eligibility

All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty* members at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses are eligible to apply. [*Waivers for non-tenure-track faculty may be requested when petitioned by the faculty member’s Associate Dean of Research in advance of the concept paper.]

Project Duration

All projects must be completed within one year of the start date. Any unspent funds remaining at the end of one year must be returned to the program / OVPR.

Reporting Requirements

Within 3 months of the end date of the project, the Commonwealth Campus faculty member/facility staff will submit an initial report to the OVPR. The Commonwealth Campus faculty member /facility staff should participate in the Commonwealth Campus Grant Writing Workshop in May. Within 1 year, a follow-up report is required and should include quantitative outcome measures:

  • Publications
  • Grant proposals
  • Presentations (At UP, CoM, and Commonwealth Campuses)

Application and Review Process

This program requires a two-phase application process, consisting of a pre-proposal concept paper and a proposal.

Phase 1

Click here to complete the Phase 1 application: https://psu.infoready4.com/#manageCompetitionsDetail/1774807 (For ALL applications)

Concept Paper: Submission window is from October 26st to March 1st and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

  1. Faculty must submit a concept paper specifying the main scientific question(s) to be addressed (maximum of two paragraphs). If known, please identify the institute or core facility and any required capabilities/expertise.
  2. For SSRI, faculty should suggest potential UP mentors.
  3. Concept papers will be reviewed by facility/institute staff and matched with an internal Subject Matter Expert (SME). A response will be provided within 10 days of submission.
  4. Preliminary Discussion. A conversation between the faculty and SME will occur to explore/develop the concept. If required, the program will provide “pre-proposal” funding to determine feasibility (e. g. cover up to ~ 1 day of staff time + instrument time for ~$1000). The decision to provide the pre-proposal funding will be made by the facility directors/faculty in conjunction with facility technical staff.
  5. The outcome of the pre-proposal work will be reviewed by the faculty member, SME, and core facility/institute leadership. The faculty member will be encouraged to submit a proposal if the results are positive.

All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty* members at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses are eligible to apply. [*Waivers for non-tenure-track faculty may be requested when petitioned by the faculty member’s Associate Dean of Research in advance of the concept paper.]

Phase 2 Proposal for the Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI): (Link will be available after Dec. 1st.) (Submission window is from December 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis)

SSRI Phase 2 Purpose

The purpose of the Research Collaboration Fellowship is to initiate and foster research collaborations between Penn State social science faculty at University Park (UP) and those at campuses across the Commonwealth. The objective is to cultivate long term research collaborations that will attract external research funds. The fellowship provides seed money to the campus faculty member to support the development of collaborative research relationships. The Program will award up to $10,000 to the Fellow, and SSRI will provide $500 for the UP mentor.

Eligibility

Tenure-track and tenured faculty* members at Commonwealth campuses are eligible to apply. The UP mentor should be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the social/behavioral sciences with a record of external funding. [*Waivers for non-tenure-track faculty may be requested when petitioned by the faculty member’s Associate Dean of Research in advance of the concept paper.]

Phase 2 Program Overview

  1. Tenure-track and tenured faculty* members at the campuses will identify a UP mentor. Those who have been awarded a fellowship in the past will not be considered for further proposals.
  2. The Fellows will begin working with their UP mentor during the summer semester. All Fellows are expected to make a full summer commitment to collaboration on the proposed research projects.
  3. Awardees will provide a progress report at the end of the year-long funding period, highlighting progress made, tangible outcomes (e.g. papers, presentations), and the plan and timeline for an external grant proposal. Follow-ups will be requested until targeted external funding is secured or the project is closed.

Phase 2 Application Format

All applications should include the following components: The application should be no more than three single-spaced pages, not including items 4 and 5 below. Items 1-5 should be saved in a single PDF document.

  1. Title of project, and the names and departments of each proposed Fellow. The mentor/mentorship team should also be listed.
  2. Goals for the Faculty Fellowship
    • Describe the research area and its significance.
    • Explain how the Fellowship will play a significant role in advancing the Fellow(s) research program.
  3. Activity Plan
    • Describe the activities that will be undertaken during the Fellowship period, including how these activities will advance the goals of the Fellowship, and a timeline for their accomplishment.
    • Describe the qualifications of the Fellow and mentor.
    • Explain how the Fellowship will lead to a proposal for external funding, incorporating a plan and timeline for an external grant proposal
  4. Attach statements of support from Department Head(s) and mentor(s)/Fellow Collaborator(s) other than the PI.
  5. Attach NSF or NIH biosketches of investigators and mentors. (If an NIH biosketch, please use the new version.)

Proposal Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated by the SSRI Executive Committee.

Review Criteria

  • Merits of the proposal, including its innovation, significance and relevance to the SSRI’s interdisciplinary mission and strategic aims
  • Qualifications, commitment, and clarity of roles for the Fellow and mentor
  • Clarity, rigor, and feasibility of the work plan
  • Likelihood of an external proposal resulting from Fellowship

Budget Explanatory Notes

The $10,000 project-related expenses may be used for the following purposes:

    1. Travel expenses to UP or Hershey to work with the collaborator.
    2. Housing and food expenses while traveling as a Fellow.
    3. Purchase of equipment/software/materials that are directly related to the approved research project.
    4. Service expenses that are directly related to the approved research project (e.g. facility/computing user fees, student wages, etc.)

    These funds may NOT be used for the following purposes

    • Domestic and/or international travel to conferences or meetings.
    • Publication page charges.
    • Any expenses that are not directly related to the approved research project.

    Additional information about the Commonwealth Campuses Research Collaboration Development Program can be found here: https://www.research.psu.edu/capabilities/ccrcdp