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RED Extramural Fund Opportunities

 

Extramural Funding Opportunity Preparation Award (EFOPA)

    UCR’s Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) is pleased to announce the new Extramural Funding Opportunity Preparation Award (EFOPA) program. The intention of the program is to enable UCR faculty to increase their competitiveness for extramural funding. Proposals requesting internal funding in an amount between $5,000 and $25,000 are solicited and it is anticipated that a total of approximately $600,000 will be disbursed. This internal competition will be piloted this year and could be continued on an annual cycle based on its initial outcomes, applicants’ and awardees’ feedback, and funds available. For this initial competition, funds will need to be spent between May 15, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

PURPOSE
The program is intended to serve as a catalyst for UCR faculty to be more competitive for extramural funding.  The key consideration for funding will be whether the project can be leveraged toward securing new extramural research funding in the near future. The internal award is to be used to conduct preliminary research or scholarly activities, generate data, establish collaborations, and/or conduct other planning activities, which will allow awardees to put together compelling proposals for extramural funding opportunities for which they could not be equally competitive otherwise.  Faculty from all disciplines and methodological approaches from all schools, colleges, departments, and programs are encouraged to apply. Proposers will be required to target  at least one external funding opportunity with a posted deadline on or before March 31, 2022. Inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental collaborations are encouraged but not required.
    
TYPES OF AWARDS
There are two tracks for this program:

  • “Early-Career EFOPA”:  In light of COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on various groups of faculty members, this particular award aims to support junior faculty and it is open only to UCR tenure-track assistant professors
  • “General EFOPA”: Open to all UCR individuals eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator.

ELIGIBILITY
Proposals are invited from all UCR individuals eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator. (For additional information on PI eligibility see Policy #527-3).  Both single and multiple-PI proposals will be accepted. However, if a multiple-PI proposal is submitted to the Early Career track, all the PIs need to be tenure-track assistant professors.

USE OF FUNDS
Funds may be used for any activity directly related to the conduct of the research or scholarly activity, e.g., salaries and benefits for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or similar position; software or supplies; small pieces of equipment (less than $5,000); facility recharge; travel to meet with funding agencies, attend proposer workshops, coordinate with collaborators, and conduct field work;  or other research expenses required to facilitate preparation of the proposal. Funds may not be used for cost-share in the external funding opportunity, faculty summer salaries, administrative staff, course buyouts, seminar speakers, consultants, conferences, or travel to regular conferences. All funds must be expended by the end of the project period. To focus on projects that can make rapid progress, no extensions of the award will be approved and unexpended funds will be recovered. 

DEADLINE
The internal proposal deadline for both tracks is April 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

PROGRESS TRACKING AND REPORTING
Awardees will be required to submit a two-page final project report within 60 days of the end of the award period. The final project report should include the results of the research, a financial statement, information about the external funding opportunity submission or efforts underway to obtain external funding. A further update of the report as soon as the PI knows of the outcome of the extramural funding opportunity submission is required too.  Lack of timely reporting may result in exclusion from future award opportunities. RED will use the reporting information to evaluate the efficacy of the EFOPA program and its sustainable continuation.

REVIEW PROCESS
Proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the RED Vice Chancellor and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, and Associate or Divisional Deans from each of UCR’s colleges represented among the applicants. The primary evaluation criteria will be the feasibility of the project being completed, the need of the internal award to seek the identified extramural funding opportunity, and the likelihood of securing such funding. The Associate/Divisional Deans will be also asked for input on the importance of the proposed project to their college. The appropriateness of the budget request vs. the amount of external funding to be sought out will be considered too.  Because we expect a large number of proposals to be submitted for the competition, and in the interest of time to communicate the recipients of the awards, no detailed review feedback will be provided. However, recipients may be asked to reformulate part of the proposal or modify their proposed budgets.  

APPLICATION FORMAT
Bearing in mind that not all reviewers will have an extensive knowledge of their field of inquiry, faculty should use proposal language accessible to reviewers with different backgrounds. Both tracks of the program use the same application format:  

  1. Application Form (pdf) 
  2. External Funding Opportunity: What specific extramural funding opportunity will be targeted and why this opportunity cannot be target without the EFOPA support?  Please include the deadline and the proposed timeline and an estimated amount of funding to be applied for. Projects that do not indicate a specific opportunity and related required information will be returned without review.
  3. Research Plan - No more than 3 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font with one-inch margins. Typical proposals should include: a brief introduction and objectives, specific aims, and anticipated results (if applicable). A brief description of how COVID-19 has impacted the PIs research agenda a how EFOPA award will make the extramural proposal more competitive should be included too.
  4. Budget with breakdown of cost categories.
  5. CVs (no more than 2 pages for each investigator).
  6. Copy of solicitation or description of anticipated solicitation if not yet released.  
  7. Results of prior seed grant(s) if applicable.
  8. No matching costs or additional support from the units are required or expected, but if relying on such support is crucial for the success of the project, then letters of support documenting commitments from the units will need to be included in the proposal.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION
Applications should be submitted through the "EasyChair" system at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=efopa2021.

Questions on the EasyChair application system should be directed to Marisela Martinez at VCREDadmin@ucr.edu.