NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (FEC) - Internal Competition

Solicitation of UM Pre-Proposals for Limited Submission Opportunity
NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (FEC)

Funding Opportunity for Research in Understanding the Relationship between Genome and Phenome

Program Solicitation: NSF 18-502: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505263

Institutional Limitations: NSF EPSCoR Track-2 grants fund research collaborations among two or more EPSCoR RII eligible jurisdictions (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas,Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, US Virgin Islands, West Virginia, and Wyoming.).  A collaborative proposal that includes researchers/institutions within at least two (or more) of these states will be required.  UM (Oxford) can submit only one proposal. UM (Jackson) can also submit one proposal. This announcement applies to UM (Oxford) only. Any proposal from UM (or UMMC) will be stronger if the other is included, regardless of which institution is the lead.

PI Limitations: An individual can serve as a PI or co-PI on no more than one proposal to this solicitation (but may participate in multiple internal pre-proposals). An investigator may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one RII Track-2 award at any given time. Each proposal will have one PI, and must identify at least one co-PI from another EPSCoR jurisdiction/state, and ideally should include at least one co-PI from another MRC institution (Jackson State, Mississippi State, or Southern Mississippi).

Other Requirements: All proposals must promote collaborations among researchers in EPSCoR jurisdictions and emphasize the recruitment/development of diverse early career faculty and STEM education and workforce development. An Institutional Letter of Intent is REQUIRED by November 27

Limited Submission Selection Process: To determine which (if any) proposal will be developed for UM (Oxford)’s sole submission to NSF, a two-stage selection process will be conducted. For Stage 1, individuals or teams proposing to lead a collaboration project must submit a non-binding 2-page internal Notice of Intent to ORSP. If more than one Notice of Intent is received, those assessed to have reasonable potential will be invited to submit a longer (up to 10 pages) Stage 2 internal Pre-Proposal to ORSP. If multiple Stage 2 Pre-Proposals are received, ORSP will coordinate the selection of the winning pre-proposal, which the proposing PI/team will be invited to develop as a full proposal for submission to NSF. If at either Stage (1 or 2) only one viable submission is received by ORSP, the submitting PI will be invited to develop the full proposal on behalf of the institution. Both the Stage 1 Notice of Intent, and the Stage 2 Pre-Proposal, should be submitted to ORSP via the Ole Miss InfoReady Review portal at https://olemiss.infoready4.com, by the due dates given below.

Budget: The maximum budget request allowed per four-year project/proposal is:

  • up to $1.0M/year for collaborations involving two RII-eligible jurisdictions, or up to $4M total over four years; OR
  • up to $1.5M/year for collaborations involving 3 or more eligible jurisdictions, or up to $6M total over four years.

Committed cost sharing is prohibited. Full F&A is in effect.

Key Dates

10/19/2017     NSF solicitation released
11/07/2017     This UM announcement with Internal Competition Instructions
11/15/2017     2-3pm. ORSP Information Session on EPSCoR Track 2
                       Center for Manufacturing Excellence Conference Room
                       Remote Participation via Webinar possible (contact jghale@olemiss.edu for connection details)
                       UMMC personnel are especially welcome to attend via Webinar

11/16/2017     Stage 1 Internal Notices of Intent due to ORSP
11/21/2017     Stage 2 Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP
11/22/2017     Last day before Thanksgiving Break.
11/27/2017     UM Offices Reopen
                       ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposal to move forward; 
                       Required Letter of Intent due to NSF.  

12/20/2017     Last full day before Christmas/Winter Break
1/2/2018         University reopens

1/19/2017       Full proposal & Transmittal due to ORSP for review (including subaward budgets--sooner would be much better!)
1/26/2018       Full Proposal due to NSF, under Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) NSF 17-1.[2]

1/30/2018       NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) NSF 18-1 goes into effect.

Instructions for UM Internal Stage 1 (Notice of Intent)

The sole purpose of the Stage 1 Notice of Intent is to learn whether we will need to have an internal competition. If we receive only one Notice of Intent, we probably won't have a competition.
Stage 1 Notices of Intent (NOI) should be no more than 1 page long, and should consist of an Abbreviated Project Summary and a list of Prospective Collaborators. The Stage 1 NOI is required, but not binding. That is, to move to the Stage 2 competition, a viable Stage-1 NOI must be submitted; however, the Stage-1 NOI does not commit the PI to submit a Stage-2 Pre-Proposal, and the team/approach can be shuffled between Stages 1 and 2.

Abbreviated Project Summary: 1/2 of 1-page NSF-style Project Summary, including working title.

(1)    Prospective Collaborators: 1/2 page max list of institutions and individuals that a UM PI/team is considering collaborating with, including at least one institution/co-PI from another EPSCoR jurisdiction (NSF requirement), and at least one co-PI from another MRC institution (Mississippi Research Consortium recommendation, not absolutely required). If collaborating with UMMC, please list them here as well. It is not necessarily expected that those proposed collaborators would have confirmed their intention to collaborate on a proposal at this stage, but please provide some idea of the state of discussions, what is decided, what is being considered, what hasn’t been decided, etc. No signatures are required at this point.

Instructions for UM Internal Stage 2 (Pre-Proposal)

State 2 Pre-Proposals are to see which of multipe competing ideas is the most developed so that we can choose which to move forward to a full proposal. The primary difference between a Stage 1 NOI and a Stage 2 Pre-Proposal, is that the collaborators for the Stage 2 Pre-Proposal must be confirmed, whereas at Stage 1, then must only be identified as potential collaborators. Stage 2 Pre-Proposals  can also be a little be longer, but should be no more than 5 pages, in 11 or 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font, single-spaced with one-inch margins, and include the following sections, in order, with these names.

(2)    Project Summary: 1-page NSF-style Project Summary, including working title.

(3)    Confirmed Collaborators: 1-page max list of proposed collaborating institutions and individuals—the UM PI and up to four co-PIs, including at least one co-PI from another EPSCoR jurisdiction (NSF requirement), and at least one co-PI from another MRC institution (Mississippi Research Consortium recommendation). This page should summarize the specific role/contribution of each proposed collaborating investigator, and why each is critical to the project. Include the contact information and signatures of the proposed PI and each co-PI. 

(4)    Very Abbreviated Project Description: A short (1-2 pages) version of the Project Description, containing (extremely abbreviated versions of) all (or as many as you can in the time available) of the required components, including: Status and Overview; Results from Relevant Prior Support; Research, Collaboration, and Workforce Development; Inter-jurisdictional Collaborations and Partnerships; Workforce Development; Evaluation and Assessment Plan; & Sustainability Plan. Due to the limited space and time, it is not expected that any of these elements will be complete, but you should provide enough to convince internal reviewers that, if selected for UM’s institutional nomination, the ensuing full proposal will be complete and strong.

(5)    Anticipated Outcomes (1/2 page): what kinds of outcomes are anticipated through this collaboration that would not be possible by the investigators working separately, including:

a.    workforce development outcomes

b.    benefits to the jurisdictions, (especially Mississippi), the nation, world

c.     research capability improvements in the designated focus area

(6)    Early Career Development and Diversity Plan (1/2 page): specific plan for how the project will lead to the recruitment and development of diverse early-career faculty, and how the full diversity of the participating jurisdictions’ resources will be engaged

(7)    Sustainability Plan (1/2 to 1 page): the potential of this collaboration, if funded, to become self-sustaining with non-EPSCoR funding from federal, jurisdictional, or private sector sources.

RII Track-2 FEC 2017 proposals must be aligned with the following focus area:

Understanding the Relationship between the genome and phenome; per NSF, proposals that do not align with this focus area will be returned without review– “Our vast and ever-increasing storehouse of genomic data has enabled rapid progress in many fields allied with the biological sciences; however, understanding the complex, multi-level relationships between the genotype and the set of phenotypic characteristics displayed by an organism, or the phenome, remains a central challenge to biology. A more complete understanding of the emergent properties underlying this relationship would have profound implications for medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, ecology, evolution, and other fields. Proposers should pursue innovative, inter-disciplinary approaches toward understanding the factors and features that produce particular phenotypes in individuals and/or populations, including but not limited to genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic, and environmental. Proposals that bring together teams that are using relevant technologies/tools that address multiple levels of organization from genome-cellular-organismal and population are encouraged. These efforts may include the work of biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, informaticians, and other scientists. Proposals may use any combination of experimental, computational, and/or theoretical approaches with any appropriate species