Federal Budget – one step further forward

Association of Public and Land-grant UniversitiesOur friends at the APLU reported on the FY15 federal budget authorizations.  (Don’t forget that authorizations have to be matched with a separate action called the appropriation so we are not out of the woods for sequestration, changes, or even an outright loggerhead on an appropriations bill.)

“Both the House and Senate have now passed the $1.1 trillion FY2015 “CRomnibus” spending package (HR 83), funding the majority of government through September 2015 and funding the Department of Homeland Security through February via a short term continuing resolution.  The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of the bill and the president is expected to sign the bill before the current continuing resolution expires on Wednesday.
The updated FY2015 APLU Appropriations Priorities Chart and the APLU FY2015 CRomnibus Preliminary Analysis prepared by our Congressional and Governmental Affairs team details the funding levels for federal agencies of importance to public universities.  Although the funding levels in the bill are not as robust as APLU or others in the education and science community would like, in most cases the funding levels are higher than FY2014 levels and we are pleased to finally have certainty in FY2015 appropriations.

A few highlights include:

  • The maximum Pell Grant award is projected to increase by $120 to $5,850;
  • NIH is provided $30.084 billion, which is $150 million above FY2014;
  • NSF is provided $7.344 billion, an increase of around $172 million over FY2014 and about $90M above the President’s Budget Request;
  • USDA’s AFRI received $325 million, an increase of $9 million above last year;
  • The Federal Work Study program will increase by $15 million and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is level funded;
  • And while not funded, the CRomnibus language establishes the RAMI Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a priority for APLU and many public campuses. This program supports the development of regional innovation strategies and allows for competitive grants for activities relating to regional innovation clusters.

The CRomnibus bill text and joint explanatory statement are available on the House Rules Committee website here. Also available are the House Appropriations Committee Majorities summaries by bill, the House Appropriations Democratic Summary of the CRomnibus, and the Senate Appropriations Committee Majority CRomnibus summary. “

Keck Foundation: local suspense Jan 12

The W. M. Keck Foundation: The Keck Foundation strives to fund projects that are high-risk with the potential for transformative impact in two areas: i) medical research; and ii) science and engineering research.  Research must fall outside the mission of public funding agencies and demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success.  We may submit four concept papers in each area during the pre-application counseling period.  If you are interested in pursuing this funding opportunity, please email your one-page concept paper to me at vpr@mst.edu by Monday, January 12, 2015.  The attachment provides more information on this funding opportunity, concept paper requirements and other deadlines.

Materials Innovation Platforms: local suspense Dec 29

National Science Foundation: The Materials Innovation Platforms (MIP) program is intended to significantly accelerate advances in materials research and engineering through the rapid discovery of new materials and phenomena by developing a new midscale user facility program.  We may submit only one (1) proposal.  If you are interested in responding to this solicitation, please submit your intent (PI name and Title of Proposal) to me at vpr@mst.edu by Monday, December 29, 2014.  The internal review deadlines will be established if there is more than one team interested in pursuing this opportunity.  FYI, NSF’s deadline for receiving the full proposal is Monday, March 2, 2015.

Friday Report 12/12/2014

Pivot at S&THere are Steve’s picks of things that were announced this week and could effect either you or one of your colleagues that you nudge into action. As always these are culled from PIVOT.
  • Young Faculty Award (YFA) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security challenges and needs.
  • Select Topics in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Office of Naval Research (ONR) Topics in this notice are designed to address research and technology gaps in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology in ONR’s current program portfolio.
  • Science Technology and Society (STS) National Science Foundation Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES) This program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines.
  • Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI): Instrument Acquisition or Development National Science Foundation (NSF) This program serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in the United States’ institutions of higher education, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations.
  • Research Program Keck Foundation W.M. This program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering, that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory in their field.

Friday Report 12/5/2014

Here are a few interesting proposals that have popped this week:

 A joint solicitation from NSF and Intel seeks proposals to be considered for both NSF Grants and Intel Agreements (i.e., Contracts, Grants or Gifts). Intel Agreements contain provisions for possible direct, on-siteparticipation in research by Intel researchers-in-residence. For the purposes of this program, visual computing deals with the acquisition, analysis, and synthesis of visual information through the use of computational resources and tools. Experiential computing involves the use of computing architectures and applications to enable and/or enhance compelling human experiences. Proposals responsive to this solicitation should seek to improve core capabilities in this emerging field and make advances to relevant areas. Suggested focus areas include but are not limited to: Computational Photography, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, Augmented Reality, Image and Video Understanding, and 3D Scene Understanding. Proposals may only be submitted by universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Proposals will be considered for funding within their project classes: (1) Small VEC Projects, with total budgets ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for durations of three years; (2) Medium VEC Projects, with total budgets ranging from $1,000,001 to $2,000,000 for durations of three years; and (3) Large VEC Projects, with total budgets ranging from $2,000,001 to $3,000,000 for durations of three years. Full proposals are due February 20, 2015.
 This funding opportunity announcement, in support of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, aims to support planning activities and the initial stages of development ofentirely new or next generation brain imaging technologies and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain. Eligible organizations include higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, governments, and others. NIH intends to commit an estimated total of $3.2M to fund 6-8 awards. Application budgets are limited to $300,000 in direct costs in any project year, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 3 years. Letters of intent are due February 18, 2015.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) The program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) and NationalSecurity challenges and needs.
National Science Foundation (NSF) This solicitation seeks proposals to be considered for both NSF Grants and Intel Agreements (i.e., Contracts, Grants or Gifts). Intel Agreements contain provisions for possible direct, on-site participation in researchby Intel researchers-in-residence (RinRs).

Friday Report 11/28/2014

A few interesting proposal opportunities have pooped up this Thanksgiving week.  Peruse these few:

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The STS program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering, andmathematical (STEM) disciplines. It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

MRI provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally.

The Economic Development Agency (EDA) seeks to continue building on its strong foundation of place-based regional economic development and partnerships. EDA is seeking a nonprofit “national partner” that will work witha Federal team led by the Department of Commerce, to launch a learning exchange to identify, promote, and expand upon successful best practices for industry-driven regional partnerships for talent development. The learning exchange is a mechanism to identify, understand, and elevate best practices, facilitate peer learning and deepen knowledge, spark replication and advancement across regions, and inform the long-term public investment in talent development. Eligible applicants for and recipients of EDA investment assistance include a District Organization; an Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; a State; a city or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; an institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or a public or private nonprofit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State. EDA anticipates that the award made under this announcement will involve an 18-month project period and plans to allocate up to $500,000. Under this announcement, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development (“Assistant Secretary”) has established a maximum EDA investment rate of up to 80 percent where the project (a) merits, and is not otherwise feasible without, such an increase to the EDA investment rate; or (b) will be of no or only incidental financial benefit to the recipient. Applications are due on January 9, 2015.

This funding opportunity announcement, in support of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, aims to support planning activities and the initial stages of development ofentirely new or next generation brain imaging technologies and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain. Eligible organizations include higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, governments, and others. NIH intends to commit an estimated total of $3.2M to fund 6-8 awards. Application budgets are limited to $300,000 in direct costs in any project year, but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 3 years. Letters of intent are due February 18, 2015.

Friday Report 11/21/2014

Here is a sample of a few really interesting research grants that were publicly solicited this week. Check out PIVOT is you want to find more.

DOE Funds Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES)

NIH Seeks P50 Applications for Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research

Patricia and John Klingenstein Short-Term Fellowships Support Research on New York and U.S. History

NIH BRAIN Initiative Studies Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System

Missouri History Book Award

Funding Watch

Missouri S&T subscribes to ProQuest PIVOT a database that keeps a current and comprehensive list of research funding opportunities accessible to all S&T personnel. Please check it out and establish your personalized funding matches.

Here are a few items this week that may tickle your interest: