MRC Call for Inter-institutional Working Group Proposals

Mississippi Research Consortium (MRC)

The Mississippi Research Consortium (MRC) aims to develop and sustain nationally competitive research programs in the state of Mississippi. The MRC’s member institutions collaborate through mutual respect and trust, and believe that individual institutions have secured more resources by combining efforts than any one of them could have accomplished independently – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This cooperative attitude has been successfully conveyed to faculty members, who often initiate collaborative efforts and recommend that certain proposals are directed through MRC. Generally speaking, the MRC operates by forming faculty teams from several universities to address research opportunities. The organization has received praise from the National Science Foundation and others, and has been cited as a national model for how to best form a state science and technology infrastructure.

Purpose of this RFP

The MRC is putting forth this Call for Working Group Proposals to identify potential statewide research initiatives, enabling multi-disciplinary research programs that capitalize on existing and potential strengths in Mississippi and increase the breadth and depth of research at the MRC institutions. To do so, the MRC seeks to develop working groups that have faculty participants from all four MRC institutions in order to foster potential collaborative proposals.  The MRC has set aside funding at each institution to support these working groups, in the amount of $2,000 per institution on each group. Thus, collectively the groups will have $8,000 to use at their discretion (within state procurement guidelines).  Examples of uses could include travel to meetings of the working group, travel to other locations, seed funding for data collection, and travel for guest speakers and visiting scientists.  A total of five working groups will be selected.  These working groups will help the MRC identify unique opportunities for funding initiatives from a variety of sources.  The concept papers will also play an important role when competitive selection is necessary for statewide proposal submission efforts to relevant federal agencies. Themes of these working groups should be forward-looking, envisioning where the next frontiers of science will be, and how to best position Mississippi to meet these opportunities. 

In creating these working group proposals it will be helpful to peruse the Blueprint Mississippi Report ( ), which compares Mississippi with peer states and provides recommendations on how the state can best position itself for progress.  The proposal should be a brief overview of a programmatic opportunity, summarizing the theme of the working group and how it aligns with the state’s Science and Technology Plan ( ). The goal of the working group should be to have developed one or more competitive proposals for submission within 12 months.

While all proposal topics will be considered, priorities will be (in no priority order):

  • Health and other disparities Issues
  • Cybersecurity
  • Big data and data analytics
  • Water resource protection and management
  • Geospatial - data to decisions
  • Disaster preparedness and resilience
  • Coastal protection and restoration
  • Solar and bio-energy
  • Advanced materials
  • Marine aquaculture
  • Energy efficiency/smart grid design
  • Carbon management, sequestration, and capture
  • Oil and gas exploration and refining technologies

Proposals should be no more than three pages, single-spaced, with no less than 12-point font. Proposals should be signed by each team member to indicate concurrence with the proposal.

Please submit the concept paper via email and in PDF format.

Working Group Proposal Elements:

Working Group Title:

Working Group Chair, with contact information:

Specific faculty from each institution who have agreed to participate:

Brief Description:

  • ·      Focus of proposed working group;
  • ·      Justification for working group thrust;
  • ·      Benefits of the proposed project to our State;
  • ·      Target agency(ies) for proposals;
  • ·      Current capabilities;
  • ·      Limitations of current capabilities;
  • ·      Requirements for success;

Working Group Proposals Due:  December 15, 2015

All team members should submit the proposal to their CRO.

JSU:    Dr. Loretta Moore,
MSU:  Dr. David Shaw,
UM:     Dr. Alice Clark,
USM:  Dr. Gordon Cannon,

Faculty in search of collaborators for this and other opportunities may participate in the UM Collaboration Pop-Up on November 23rd.

Click here for PDF of this RFP on MRC letterhead.


UM faculty/researchers with questions about this RFP, including questions about working groups that include UMMC, should e-mail them to Jason Hale at

Frequently Asked Questions (UM)

Q: Are Transmittals required for these proposals?
A: No.

Q: If a proposal has a UMMC participant, is a UM participant still required?
A: No. The UM participation requirement can be met by either a UM participant or a UMMC participant (or both).

Q: If the lead person is from UMMC, should the proposal be submitted to the UM Chief Research Officer, Alice Clark, or to the UMMC Cheif Research Officer, Richard Summers? 
A: The lead person should submit to his or her institution's CRO: Alice Clark if the lead is from UM; Richard Summers if the lead is from UMMC; etc. However, each UM member on a team lead by another institution should still send a copy of the proposal to Alice Clark, and each UMMC member on a team lead by UM or another institution should still send a copy of the proposal to Dr. Sumers.