The UT Dallas TxACE Collaboration Initiative (TCI) is an internal funding mechanism designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations with a high likelihood of securing major externally funded research. Successful proposals will include at least one non-TxACE affiliated faculty (no affiliation with TxACE in the previous 5 years) as PI and at least one current affiliated TxACE faculty as co-PI. This program is well-suited to support the endeavors of those faculty with STEM backgrounds and project interests, although there is no limitation for faculty affiliations. Activities that are not eligible for support through this mechanism include consulting, dissertation completion, research/analysis pertaining to the operation of UT Dallas, and curriculum development.

Award Information

  • The maximum allowable budget for a TCI award is $40,000, inclusive of a maximum $5,000 for the TxACE affiliated PI.
  • The duration of the TCI award is 12 months.
  • Pending availability of funds, TCI awards will be offered annually.
  • Anticipated number of awards: 1

Submission Deadline:

We are not accepting proposals at this time

Eligibility Guidelines

TCI funding is meant to catalyze research collaborations among TxACE and non-TxACE affiliated faculty to leverage capabilities, talents, and resources for major external funding. For a list of TxACE faculty, visit the TxACE website.

A successful TCI proposal will demonstrate the following:

  • The project team must include a non-TxACE PI and a TxACE affiliated co-PI, with each having a primary UT Dallas appointment and must be either tenured/tenure-track faculty, or a Center Director.
  • While the idea must be new and distinct from what is currently funded, priority will be made to support those collaborative projects that are new, i.e. the participating PI has had no affiliation with TxACE within the past five years.
  • Adjunct faculty, affiliate faculty, visiting researchers, and postdocs are not eligible to serve as either PI or co-PIs but may be participate in the proposed project.
  • The proposal must provide evidence that one or more external funding opportunities exist that are relevant for the proposed work. The funding levels should substantially exceed that which is provided by the TCI mechanism.
  • The timeline for submitting a TCI Grant application should be 12 to 18 months ahead of the team’s anticipated submission to one or more target external grant programs. 
  • Faculty with greater than $100,000 in chair, start-up, or research enhancement accounts are not eligible to serve as PI.
  • A faculty member may submit only one TCI Grant 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 TCI award.

Allowable Expenses

  • Supplies, equipment, reagents, fabrication, facility use and publication costs
  • Graduate student tuition, stipend and benefits
  • Postdoctoral or Research Scientist support and benefits
  • Travel, conference/workshop attendance, or conference/workshop hosting for team-building to support the proposal submission for external funding

Unallowable Expenses

  • Faculty salary and/or benefits (neither academic year nor summer support permitted)
  • Transfer of funds to institutions or individuals outside of UT Dallas
  • Administrative or secretarial support
  • Indirect costs

Required Submission Materials

Proposal documents should have 1-inch margins and use a 12-point font. Upload one combined document (preferably in PDF format). 

  • Summary. In 300 words or less describe the project, the potential impact, and the collaboration for a general audience.
    • Proposal. Limited to three pages with the following section headings in sequence. The bibliography does not count against the page limit.
      • Rationale and Vision. Explain the goal, the current state of the art and how your interdisciplinary collaborative work is innovative.
      • Plan. Provide a description of your plan and explain what you need to accomplish during the TCI award period to be competitive for external funding.
      • Collaboration with TxACE. Explain why the project team has the background and abilities to pursue the project. State if the team is new with the participating PIs having no previous track record of co-funding on externally sponsored work.
      • Justification. Explain why a TCI award is required to foster the proposed collaboration and how the award will increase the likelihood of securing external funding.
      • Participating Personnel. List participating faculty members, providing a clear explanation of each member’s role in the collaboration. Also list any named graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or research scientists.  If the proposal involves unfunded contributions from outside UT Dallas, describe the source(s) of support for those contributions. Letters of support may be included and do not count against the page limit.
    • External Funding Opportunities. Limited to one page, summarize the external funding opportunities for which the TCI award will enable the pursuit of external funding.  Include a timeline with milestones for development of one or more external proposals, names of potential sponsoring agencies including SRC (see the SRC Decadal Plan: https://www.src.org/about/decadal-plan/) and solicitations and relevant deadlines for those agencies.
    • Budget. Limited to two pages, provide a table with each expenditure category and line item descriptions. The Office of Research and Innovation budget template may be used. Identify the total amount attributed to each faculty.
    • Budget justification. Limited to three pages, provide a justification for all expenditures.
    • Co-funding. Co-funding from within or outside UT Dallas is neither required nor considered for priority in funding. However, if a project 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 the overall goals of the project. A letter of support from the academic unit authority should accompany the application expressing commitment to provide the funds during the TCI award period.
    • Previous seed grant funding. Limited to one page, if any team member has had previous seed grant funding through a UT Dallas program, detail the distinction between previous funding and the proposed project.
    • Biosketch. Provide NIH/NSF format biosketches (including page limitations) for the faculty PI. Include a personal statement identifying the role of the individual in the project. Biosketches do not count towards the proposal page limit.

Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

TCI proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of UT Dallas faculty, including those from TxACE, and stakeholders from the Semiconductor Research Consortium with a range of scientific, technical, and research 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 following the completion of the reviews and funding will be available soon after. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Relevance of project goals, plans, and expected outcome(s) to create new collaboration leading to external funding opportunities.
  • The extent which the collaborative relationship with TxACE brings the necessary skills and abilities to achieve the goals of the project.
  • The targeted funding program(s), associated funding level(s), and timeline for pursuit.
  • The extent that the TCI Grant support is vital for the collaboration.
  • The extent to which the TCI funding will enhance the competitiveness in securing external funding.
  • If applicable, the extent of difference between previous seed grant funding and the proposed project; and the past success of the seed grant funding.

Awardee Requirements

Upon award, you must submit the following information to the Office of Research and Innovation:

  • Within 1 month of award, one page text with graphic representing of the project and team. The document must be suitable for presentation on the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation website.
  • Within 1 month of project end: A two-page progress report including research outcomes, other outcomes (manuscripts submitted/presented, conferences, etc.), and progress toward securing external funding. If either research progression or plans toward submission of proposals for external funding has been impacted, a clear explanation for the delay and a mitigation plan is required. 
  • Upon request: Provide a brief presentation at UT Dallas during a research symposium or other event to highlight the TCI grant impact. 
  • Recipients will serve on Seed Grant review panels for the following review cycle; 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 or virtual review meetings
  • Participation in TxACE activities and compliance to the reporting requirements of TxACE.

Other Terms and Conditions

  • Funds will not be released until all necessary compliance related approvals and/or training are acquired, such as IRB, IACUC, IBC, RCR and COI.
  • Funds expire and must be used within 12 months of award such that no carryover of funds will be permitted unless approval has been provided by the Office of Research and Innovation. Any unused funds must be returned to the Office of Research and Innovation.
  • Failure to comply with any of the Awardee Requirements will result in suspension of TCI Grant funding and faculty becoming ineligible for future seed grant competitions from the Office of Research and Innovation.
  • The TCI Grant 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 and Innovation through the TxACE Collaboration Initiative Grant Program.”

Contact Us

For further information, please contact Lucien Finley or Emily Lacy.