Overview

In partnership with the City of Richardson (CoR), UT Dallas aims to establish a presence at the Innovation Quarter effective January 2022. Formerly known as the Startech building (1302 E Collins Blvd, Richardson), CoR has committed funds to revitalize the space with the goal of creating a nexus for CoR, new/existing industries, and UT Dallas.  The UT Dallas presence is expected to include multiple programs, departments, and schools that can leverage the substantial space provided to UT Dallas. This RFP seeks concepts for a new center to be located at the IQ that has the potential to capitalize on interactions with industry and advance the University’s strategic goals. Center themes include, but are not limited to: applied artificial intelligence, automated mobility technology and testing, big data analytics, and health care informatics.

For the purposes of this program, the proposed center will report to at least one School within UT Dallas. Cooperation between Schools with secondary and perhaps tertiary participation is encouraged. Successful proposals will have the endorsement of at least one School designated as primary and report to the Dean or his/her designee within the School. It is the role of the Office of Research to seed such endeavors rather than to provide long term sustaining resources. For this reason, successful applications will include a strategy for pursuing sustained external funding and a sound fiscal strategy for supporting operations.

Award Information

This program is open to all Schools within the University. The duration of the award will be no more than 3 years, where the maximum funding level is $50,000 per year for years 1 & 2, and $25,000 for year 3.

Dates

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2021

Eligibility Guidelines

CENT-IQ funding is meant to seed a new center activity rather than to support an existing one. A successful CENT-IQ proposal will demonstrate the following:

  • The PI, co-PI, and founding faculty must be from the tenured/tenure-track ranks and will constitute a multidisciplinary team contributing their knowledge and abilities towards a common mission. Adjunct faculty, affiliate faculty, visiting researchers, and postdocs are not eligible to serve as PI, co-PI, or founding faculty but may participate in the proposed project.
  • Focused and dedicated leadership is necessary for the Centers to be successful. Therefore, neither department heads, program heads, Deans, nor administrators are eligible to serve as PIs or co-PIs upon award.
  • The proposal must offer a clear fiscal plan, negotiated with participating School leadership, for supporting Center operations after the duration of the CENT-IQ award.
  • Faculty serving as PI or co-PI with greater than $250,000 in chair or research enhancement accounts are expected to contribute at least $25,000 for first year operating costs.
  • A faculty member may submit only one CENT-IQ proposal as a PI or co-PI during each submission opportunity.
  • Faculty participating in the review process are not eligible to apply concurrently for a CENT-IQ.

Allowable Expenses

  • Supplies 
  • Equipment 
  • Graduate student stipend, benefits and tuition 
  • Postdoctoral or Research Scientist support and benefits 
  • Travel, conference/workshop attendance, or conference/workshop hosting for team-building 
  • Administrative, secretarial, or web support 

Unallowable Expenses

  • Faculty salary and/or benefits 
  • Transfer of funds to institutions or individuals outside of UT Dallas 
  • Indirect costs 

Required Submission Materials

Proposal documents should have 1-inch margins and use a 12-point font.

  • Summary. In 300 words or less describe the proposed Center, the potential impact, and the collaboration for a general audience.
    • Proposal. Limited to three pages with the following section heading in sequence. The bibliography does not count against the page limit.
      • Mission. What is the mission of the proposed Center and how does being located at the IQ enable it to thrive?
      • Rationale and Vision. What are the main intellectual problems and challenges that are the focus of the Center? What is innovative about the proposed Center approach? Address the degree that the proposed Center theme is unique in Texas and the nation. What kinds of industry partners would seek the engagement of the proposed Center?
      • Plan and Anticipated Accomplishments. Provide a description of your plan and timeline explaining what you need to accomplish during the CENT-IQ award period. What are the metrics for evaluating success (publications, patents, tech transfer, collaborations outside of UT Dallas, or workshops/conferences)?
      • Leadership and Reporting. Provide a description of the leadership plan for the proposed Center including advisory board members. Provide a plan for annual open forum reporting to the School primary (and secondary, etc.) leadership.
      • Team. Explain why the PI and founding faculty team has the background and abilities to form the Center. List participating faculty members, research staff/scientists, post-doctoral fellows, providing an explanation of each participant’s role in the proposed Center.  If the proposal involves unfunded contributions from outside UT Dallas, describe the source(s) of support for those contributions.
      • Space and Equipment. Identify any space and/or equipment needs for the proposed Center.
    • Budget. Limited to two pages, provide a table with each expenditure category and line item descriptions. The Office of Research budget template may be used.
    • Budget justification. Limited to two pages, provide a justification for the expenditures relative to personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.
    • Co-funding. For the duration of this award, co-funding from within or outside UT Dallas is neither required nor considered for priority in funding. However, if the Center, during this award phase, requires funds exceeding the stated limit, an academic unit may provide co-funding. If so, provide a description of the source and planned use of the funds to support Center. A letter of support from the academic unit leadership should accompany the application expressing commitment to provide the funds during the CENT-IQ Grant award period.
    • Bio-sketches. Provide NIH/NSF format bio-sketches (including page limitations) for the faculty PI and founding faculty.

Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

CENT-IQ applications will be reviewed by a committee of UT Dallas faculty and administrators with appropriate experience. Applicants will receive a brief list of strengths and weaknesses with a numerical rank (10=highly meritorious and recommended for funding, 1=low priority for application consideration). Awards will be announced within 4 weeks following the completion of the reviews and funding will be available in the fall 2021 semester. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Importance of the Center theme area and potential synergy by locating at the IQ.
  • Capacity for regional recognition as an innovative Center.
  • Relevance of proposed goals, plans, timeline, and metrics of success leading to a sustainable Center.
  • The degree of commitment and support from School leadership in the proposed Center.

Awardee Requirements

Upon award, you must submit the following information:

  1. Within 1 month of award, one page text with graphic representing the Center and team members. The document must be suitable for presentation on the Office of Research website.
  2. An annual report must be submitted to the cognizant School leadership and Office of Research 2 weeks prior to the release of any follow-on funding. The annual report should include research outcomes, other outcomes (manuscripts submitted/presented, conferences, etc.), and progress toward securing external funding.
  3. Upon request, provide a brief presentation within UT Dallas during a research symposium or other event to highlight the CENT-IQ award impact.
  4. Recipients will serve on Seed Grant review panels; this means recipients cannot be PIs or collaborators on proposals submitted the cycle following the cycle in which they were awarded. By accepting an award, recipients agree to score and provide written comments on assigned proposals before the review deadline and participate in in-person review meetings.

Other Terms and Conditions

  • No more than 10% of any year’s award amount can be carried over to the following year, and any funds unspent after the 3rd year will be returned to the Office of Research.
  • Failure to comply with items 1 and 2 of the Awardee Requirements will result in faculty becoming ineligible for future seed grant competitions from the Office of Research and suspension of further financial support.
  • The CENT-IQ award must be acknowledged in any resulting publications, exhibitions, or events including press releases, using the following language: “This project was funded (or partially funded) by The University of Texas at Dallas Office of Research through the CENT-IQ award program.”

Contact Us

For further information please contact Suzanne Head or Emily Lacy.