Internal Funding Initiatives (IFI)

Examples of successful proposals (Hawk ID required)
March 2014 Awardees  
IFI Review Panels

Submit your application

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED) invites applications to its Internal Funding Initiatives (IFI) for Academic year 2014-2015.  These programs encourage leading edge scholarship, creative activities, and interdisciplinary research. 

Please contact Cheryl Ridgeway (cheryl-a-ridgeway@uiowa.edu / 319-384-3332) in the OVPRED with questions.

 

Program Description Average Grant Amount Maximum Funding Amounts
OVPRED seeks to identify applications that advance collaborations and multidisciplinary projects with an overall emphasis on innovation and impact.
Arts & Humanities Initiative (AHI) Standard Grant Support is available for individual or collaborative grants that focus on humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual, and performing arts. $7,500 $7,500
Major Project Grant All disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals for funding to conduct preliminary work and/or develop pilot data that represents novel and innovative projects to develop new collaborations and enable the PI/PD to submit competitive applications for external research grants or leverage substantial unit/departmental/collegiate support. $30,000 Up to $75,000
Larger amounts may be available for large interdisciplinary teams
Major Conferences/ Ideation Meetings Supports new conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia or workshops in all disciplines to address novel research issues, explore new research frontiers and/or initiate new interdisciplinary research. $10,000 Up to $30,000
Core Facilities/Shared Equipment Limited funding for development or improvement of core research facilities and equipment that will foster collaborative opportunities on campus. $40,000 Up to $75,000

Strategic Global Initiatives Award (sgIA)

*New IFI Grant Mechanism*

Under co-sponsorship of OVPRED and International Programs, these awards support the creation of new global collaborations opening new areas of research or new research directions that lead to technology transfer and commercialization.  The ideal proposal will triangulate UI faculty, international faculty or facilities at a university abroad, and a governmental agency and/or commercial or industrial entity.  Immediate outcomes will be a MOU or MOA that provides a clear framework for new or ongoing collaboration and deliverables.  The award will not support pilot studies or the incremental advancement of primary research.  Support for new or existing degree programs, or other collegiate or cross-collegiate initiatives in support of the curriculum or outreach, may be a secondary benefit from the project but are not core objectives. $20,000 Up to $40,000

Scholarly Book and Sound Recording Subventions:  OVPRED provides funding to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for scholarly book and sound recording subventions. Contact Joe Kearney (joe-kearney@uiowa.edu / 319-335-3994), Associate Dean for Research, for more information.

PROPOSALS OF HIGH INTEREST TO OVPRED

  • Highly innovative, pushing-the-envelope ideas
  • Highly original and creative artistic projects
  • Multidisciplinary proposals
  • Applications that are considered high risk and not fundable by standard mechanisms
  • Proposals that initiate new scholarly and creative collaborations 
  • Applications to build teams that are necessary to seek large, multi-institutional/industry partnerships
     

TYPES OF PROPOSALS THAT ARE NOT RESPONSIVE TO THIS INITIATIVE

  • Typical NIH R01, R21 or similar proposals
  • Standard investigator-initiated NSF proposals
  • Projects that incrementally advance existing research or scholarship
  • Bridging requests
  • Grants previously submitted to federal agencies that were not funded
  • Existing conferences or meetings
  • Shared equipment for a single PI laboratory
     

 

Deadlines / Eligibility / Resubmissions / Budgets / Submission / Application Form /
Narrative Guidelines / CV or Biosketch / DEO Endorsement / Review Process /
Notification and Project Period /
Other Funding

 

DEADLINES

We are pleased to announce that we will accept proposals three times annually under the revised program to respond more rapidly to faculty requests for funding.  The 2014-2015 academic year deadlines are:

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (2:00 pm)
  • Tuesday, December 9, 2014 (2:00 pm)
  • Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (2:00 pm)

 

ELIGIBILITY

At the time of application, all UI personnel who are tenure-track or tenured faculty, clinical track faculty, research faculty, research scientists, research engineers, associates, lecturers (AHI only), and other staff members for whom research and scholarship are assigned as one of their primary job responsibilities and have at least a 50% university appointment during the academic year of the project are eligible to apply for funding.  Exceptions may be made for PIs holding SBIR grants.  Please contact Richard Hichwa (richard-hichwa@uiowa.edu / 335-2106) for more information. 

The award is made to only one individual.  Co-PIs are not allowed.  Adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, lecturers (except AHI), medical residents, fellowship trainees, and graduate students are not eligible.

An applicant may appear as PI/PD on only one proposal per application cycle, but may be listed as a collaborator or consultant on other proposals

RESUBMISSIONS

 Only one resubmission will be allowed for any application.  A one-page “Response to Reviewers” may be included in the revised submission (see Narrative Guidelines below).  The revised proposal will be considered only if significantly improved over the original submission and comments from the initial review are appropriately addressed.  Submissions beyond the permitted single revision will be returned without review.

BUDGETS

Budget requests are for a 12-month period with the exception of 24 months for the sgIA program.  Funding commences at the time of the award letter.  Enter budget items, costs and justification in the appropriate areas of the electronic form.  Be as specific as possible, listing the need for personnel, travel, equipment, services, supplies, etc.  Explain why the requested item is essential for the proposed work.   Justification for each budget item should answer the question: “Why is this specific person/item necessary for the proposed project?”  Note: a description of the person/item is not a justification.

To view allowable budget items for all programs, please click here.  Do not submit a budget as part of the narrative PDF.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

To begin the submission process, please click here and sign in with your Hawk ID and password to access the application form. Please contact Cheryl Ridgeway (cheryl-a-ridgeway@uiowa.edu / 319-384-3332) in the OVPRED with questions. 

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FORM

The electronic application form requires completion of five sections: 1) general information, 2) CVs or biosketches of internal/external collaborators, 3) abstract and focused questions in text boxes (see below), 4) budget information, and 5) the combined Project Narrative and PI/PD curriculum vitae or biosketch.*

Text Boxes:  Provide the following information in the appropriate text box.  Some material requested may appear to be redundant with the Project Narrative, but the Text Box information should be considered as the Executive Summary of the proposal.  

1)  Abstract/Project Summary:  Provide a brief overview of the proposal.  Include the main procedures and activities of the project that are comprehensible to non-specialists and, if successful, the expected impact of the project;
2)  Justification:  Describe why the requested funds are needed.  Elaborate on how existing sources of support will be leveraged to expand, extend or innovate towards a new or novel research, scholarly or creative project; and
3)  Why should the OVPRED invest in your project?  Describe what distinguishes your project from literally hundreds of others.  Clearly define what is unique and innovative about your project.  Identify new collaborations that extend your project into areas that have not previously been established.  Describe how your project advances a big idea or influences your discipline.  Provide details about how your proposed work will respond to departmental, collegiate or institutional strategic challenges.

* A brief CV or biosketch is required for the PI/PD, and each collaborator (internal or external to the University of Iowa).  See CURRICULUM VITAE or NIH/NSF BIOSKETCH GUIDELINES below.

PROJECT NARRATIVE GUIDELINES

The required Project Narrative (to be uploaded to the electronic application site) must contain sections 1-5 (1-6 for resubmissions) in the order indicated, with each section clearly identified.  Type font must be 11-point (or larger) Times, Times New Roman or Arial, and margins must be at least .75 inches. A “Response to Reviewers” section is encouraged for resubmitted proposals.

1.  Project Description 
2.  Innovation
3.  Collaboration 
4.  Feasibility and Timeline 
5.  Outcomes and Impact 
6.  Response to Reviewers (Resubmissions only)

Page Limitations:  The narrative may not exceed 6 single spaced pages (7 pages for resubmissions), inclusive of all sections, diagrams, images, graphs, equations, and bibliography.  Narratives that exceed the page limits will be returned without review.

Narrative Content:  The content of the Project Narrative should minimally address the questions and respond to comments outlined in the specific Review Criteria for the applicable IFI grant mechanism.  See the paragraph on REVIEW PROCESS for review criteria for each section of the appropriate IFI grant.

Narrative Language:  It is essential that applicants write their proposals in a language that is comprehensible to nonspecialists.  All too often the PI/PD writes the proposal in complex technical language with a significant number of abbreviations, formulas and symbols.  The PI/PD is strongly advised to write in straightforward language that emphasizes why the area of investigation is important and how the individual or team will conduct the research or scholarly activity.  To that end, limit the amount of highly discipline-specific jargon used.  Minimize the number of abbreviations used.  Define all abbreviations.  Restrict description of overly technical components of your project.  Remember that most reviewers will not be experts in your field of study.  Your objective is to assist the reviewer in understanding the goals, feasibility and overall impact of your project.  Concentrate your efforts on defining the big idea.  In the past, applications with significant technical jargon have not been well received.

Supplemental Materials:  AHI applicants proposing audio-visual or digital projects are permitted to insert a link to web hosted materials within the narrative.  Alternatively, applicants may upload the appropriate file where indicated in the online form related to audio, visual or digital projects.  Since reviewers tend to be most attentive to the narrative, applicants should be sure to develop a narrative that can stand on its own.

CURRICULUM VITAE or NIH/NSF BIOSKETCH GUIDELINES

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or biosketch is required for the PI/PD and all collaborators.  The PI/PD’s CV or biosketch is to be combined with the 6 page (7 page for resubmissions) narrative and uploaded as one pdf attachment where indicated in the electronic submission site.  Collaborator CVs or biosketches are to be uploaded only where indicated in the online application form.

The CV should be no longer than 4 pages.  The following elements are required:

  • Education history;
  • Academic, corporate and other significant positions held;
  • Relevant peer-reviewed publications or creative projects; 
  • Funding support (all active internal and external funding support, recently completed funding support (last 3 years), and any pending support.  Include all support from federal, state, foundation, departmental, university, and start-up funds.  Citations of sources of support listed above must contain dates of funding, PI/PD, direct dollar amounts, and a brief but clear description of the work supported by the awards; if none, please so state; and 
  • If appropriate, list all previous AHI or seed grant awards held in the past five years. 

Applications not following the prescribed formats outlined above may be rejected.  You are encouraged to send an email to ifi-questions@uiowa.edu or call 319-384-3332, if you have questions about any of these programs.

DEO ENDORSEMENT

Once the application is submitted on the Fluid Review web site, the OVPRED will send an automatic email to the PI/PD’s DEO shortly after the deadline with a link to the endorsement form.  Applicants do not need to request a DEO endorsement prior to submission; however, it is strongly suggested to consult with your DEO prior to submission to inform them of your project.  If the DEO is also an applicant, the request will instead be sent to the collegiate associate dean for research.  DEO comments are required and are considered by the review panel as part of the evaluation process.

REVIEW PROCESS

All applications will be evaluated by peer-review teams composed of University of Iowa faculty.  Recommendations will be made to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, who will make the final determination of awards.  Applications will be reviewed based on the criteria described below.

AHI Specific Review Criteria:  AHI applications should be responsive to the specific review criteria below.  OVPRED seeks to identify applications that are both innovative and impact the field, discipline, or broader community defined in the proposal.  Applications that complement, challenge or expand relevant studies should be the focus of AHI proposals.

Project Description

  • Are important elements of originality and significance identified?
  • Are the methods and procedures sound and clearly described?
  • How does the project complement, challenge, or expand relevant studies in the field?
  • If applicable, what are the results from previous AHI Grants?
  • Comment as to whether a completed work is envisioned as a result of AHI funding or if a particular stage in the development of the work is the focus of the proposed project. 
  • Is a short list of bibliographical references relevant to the application included?
     

Innovation

  • What is the novel, unique, or creative component of the project?
     

Collaboration

  • How does the project bring together individuals from other disciplines to define and develop a scholarly or creative work? 
  • If the project stems from a single scholar or artist, describe how the proposed work enhances the PI/PD’s scholarship or creative experiences.
     

Feasibility and Timeline

  • Specifically comment on a) the likelihood that the project will be completed in the proposed timeline, b) the qualifications, competencies and achievements of the PI/PD (and collaborators, if appropriate) to carry out the project, and c) the essential resources, environment (personnel, space, facilities), and budget to support the project’s desired outcomes. 
  • What critical milestones are provided to assure progress along the timeline?
     

Outcomes and Impact

  • What is the overall impact of the project? 
  • What is the original and significant contribution of knowledge? 
  • Who derives direct or indirect benefit from the project?  
  • How does the applicant plan to reach a wider public or audience?  
  • What are the next steps for the project once internal funding has been completed?
  • What is the likelihood that the project will attract external funding?
     

Response to Reviewers (resubmissions only)

  • How has the revised proposal been significantly improved and how has the proposal addressed comments from the initial review.
     

Major Project Specific Review Criteria:  Major Project applications should be responsive to the specific review criteria below.  OVPRED seeks to identify applications that are highly innovative and impact the field, discipline, or broader community defined in the proposal.  Applications that focus on incremental scholarship or a long-standing research direction are not overly responsive to the internal funding initiatives.  Major Project applications are expected to emphasize innovation, collaboration and multiple disciplinarity

Project Description

  • What is the new big idea of the major project? 
  • Is the proposed scholarly, research, or creative project clearly described?
  • Are important elements of originality and significance identified? 
  • When appropriate, is a statement of the hypothesis to be tested provided? 
  • Is applicable preliminary information or data in support of the project provided?
  • Are the approach and methodology sound and clearly described? 
  • How will the impact of the project be evaluated? 
  • Are potential pitfalls and alternative approaches provided? 
  • Is a short list of bibliographical references relevant to the application included?
     

Innovation

  • What is the novel, unique, or creative component of the project? 
  • How does the innovative idea promote new research directions, scholarly capabilities or creative works? 
     

Collaboration

  • What new key collaborations are identified? 
  • How does the application bring together individuals from other disciplines to develop and advance a scholarly, creative, or research project?
     

Feasibility and Timeline

  • Specifically comment on a) the likelihood that the project will be completed in the proposed timeline, b) the qualifications and achievements of the PI (and collaborators) to carry out the project, and c) the essential resources, environment (personnel, space, facilities), and budget to support the project’s desired outcomes.
  • What specific milestones are provided to assure progress along the timeline?
     

Outcomes and Impact

  • What is the overall impact of the project? 
  • Is the project the outcome of a new idea or incremental in nature?  
  • What is produced at the end of the project?
  • Who derives direct or indirect benefit from the project?
  • What outreach and engagement to broader communities and disciplines is provided?    
  • What are the next steps for the project once internal funding has been completed? 
  • What is the likelihood that the project will attract external funding?
     

Response to Reviewers (resubmissions only)

  • How has the revised proposal been significantly improved and how has the proposal addressed comments from the initial review.
     

Major Conference/Ideation Meeting Specific Review Criteria:  Major Conference and Ideation Meeting applications should be responsive to the specific review criteria below.  OVPRED seeks to identify applications that are highly innovative and impact the field, discipline, or broader community defined in the proposal.  Applications that focus on existing conferences or have very limited participation are not considered responsive to this internal funding initiative.

Project Description

  • Why is the proposed new conference needed? 
  • Is the proposed conference clearly described?
  • What is the importance and significance of the conference from the perspective of the discipline or area of focus?   
  • Who is the target audience? 
  • How will the impact of the conference be evaluated and assessed?
     

Innovation

  • What is new and novel about the proposed conference or meeting?
     

Collaboration

  • How does the conference bring together individuals from cross- or multiple disciplines? 
  • Who benefits from the proposed conference?
     

Feasibility and Timeline

  • Specifically comment on a) the likelihood that the conference will be completed in the proposed timeline, b) the qualifications of the conference PI (and collaborators), and c) the essential resources and budget to support the desired outcomes from the conference. 
  • What specific milestones are provided to assure progress along the timeline?
     

Outcomes and Impact

  • What is the overall impact of the conference? 
  • What is the benefit to the target audience? 
  • What outreach and engagement to broader communities and disciplines is envisioned as a result of the conference or meeting?  
  • If the conference will continue in future years, what mechanisms are developed to sustain funding for the conference?
     

Response to Reviewers (resubmissions only)

  • How has the revised proposal been significantly improved and how has the proposal addressed comments from the initial review.
     

Core Facilities/Shared Equipment Specific Review Criteria:  Core Facilities and Shared Equipment applications should be responsive to the specific review criteria below.  OVPRED seeks to identify applications for new or novel infrastructure that serves a broad representation of the institution and provides collaboration.  Applications that focus on individual PI laboratory needs are not responsive to this internal funding initiative.

Project Description

  • What is the new resource and why is it needed? 
  • Is the resource or equipment clearly described? 
  • If a similar resource already exists on campus, why should the request be funded? 
  • Who will direct and operate the resource? 
  • What additional personnel, space, site renovation, and post-warranty maintenance will be required to install and provide ongoing support for the resource? 
  • Is there departmental, collegiate and/or institutional support for developing the resource? 
  • How is access and availability to the resource assured for all users?
     

Innovation

  • What is new and novel about the proposed resource or equipment? 
  • How does the resource promote new research on campus?
     

Collaboration

  • What is the target user base?  
  • How does the resource bring together individuals from cross- or multiple disciplines?
     

Feasibility and Timeline

  • Specifically comment on a) the likelihood that the resource will be acquired and installed in the proposed timeline, b) the qualifications of the PI (and collaborators) to direct and run the resource, and c) the budget to purchase, renovate space, install and maintain the resource. 
  • What specific milestones are provided to assure progress along the timeline?
     

Outcomes and Impact

  • What is the overall impact of the resource?  
  • Who directly benefits from the new resource? 
  • Is a long-term sustainable funding model described? 
  • Is ongoing institutional commitment essential to support the resource?
     

Response to Reviewers (resubmissions only)

  • How has the revised proposal been significantly improved and how has the proposal addressed comments from the initial review.
     

Strategic Global Initiative Award (sgIA) Specific Review Criteria:  Strategic Global Initiative applications should be responsive to the specific review criteria below.  OVPRED seeks to identify applications that are highly innovative and impact the field, discipline, or broader community defined in the proposal.  Applications are required to have three major components: international collaboration, economic development focus and participation by industry, NGOs, governments and/or universities outside the U.S.

Project Description

  • What is the new big idea of the Strategic Global Initiative? 
  • What is the importance and significance of the project to develop international collaborations for economic development activities?   
  • Are the approach and methodology sound and clearly described?
  • What prior work or preliminary data support the project? 
  • Are potential pitfalls and alternative approaches provided? 
  • Is a short list of bibliographical references relevant to the application included?
     

Innovation

  • What are the areas of research, technology transfer and commercialization that benefit from new global collaborations? 
  • What is novel about the specific collaborations identified?
     

Collaboration

  • What new global collaborations are described? 
  • What prior collaborations are being leveraged?  
  • How does the application bring together international collaborations from universities, governmental agencies, industry (or other commercial entities), and NGOs to develop a research project that leads to economic development activities?
     

Feasibility and Timeline

  • Specifically comment on a) the likelihood that the project will be completed in the proposed timeline, b) the qualifications and achievements of the PI (and collaborators) to carry out the project, c) the legal framework for engagement abroad and necessary governmental approvals, and d) the essential resources and budget to support the project’s desired outcomes. 
  • What specific milestones are provided to assure progress along the timeline?
     

Outcomes and Impact

  • What is the overall impact of the project?  
  • What is produced at the end of the project? 
  • Who derives direct or indirect benefit from the project? 
  • How does the work affect internationalization of the field, discipline or broader community?  
  • What are the next steps for the project once internal funding has been completed? 
  • What is the likelihood that the project will attract additional internal and external funding?
     

Response to Reviewers (resubmissions only)

  • How has the revised proposal been significantly improved and how has the proposal addressed comments from the initial review.

 

NOTIFICATION AND PROJECT PERIOD OF AWARD

Reviews for the September 2014 application cycle will be held in October/November 2014.  We anticipate award notifications to be sent no later than the end of November 2014.  The project period is 12 months from the date of the award letter with the exception of 24 months for the sgIA program.  If your project is constrained by outside factors dictating a different funding period, you should apply during the funding cycle that more closely matches the project's required timeframe.

OTHER FUNDING PROGRAMS

ICE Commercialization GAP Fund  Contact Paul Dymerski (paul-dymerski@uiowa.edu), in the University of Iowa Research Foundation, with questions.

The Studio (formerly known as Digital Studio for the Public Humanities --  DSPH) grant program.  

ICRU Research Fellows Program  Email icru@uiowa.edu or call 319-335-8336 for more information.