Overview

The UT Dallas and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Seed Projects for Research INnovation and Technology (SPRINT) Grant is offered to enhance greater scientific and engineering collaboration between the two institutions with the expectation that the teams will jointly respond to future external funding opportunities. This program provides opportunities for researchers to work together in addressing issues of mutual interest and need, bringing together the capabilities, facilities, and expertise from both organizations. Proposals must include at least one investigator with PI status from each institution. PIs who accept a UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant commit to the pursuit of external funding for the collaborative effort within 12 to 18 months of receiving this funding.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Materials ScienceBiomedicine/Biomedical
Chemistry/Chemical EngineeringEnergy/Environment
Cloud Computing/Big Data/Cyber SecuritySpace Science and Technology

Award Information

The maximum allowable budget for a UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant is $125,000 with a $50,000 cap on UT Dallas costs and $75,000 cap on SwRI costs. There will be no co-mingling of funds and no funding may be sent between the two institutions.

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2024

Program Guidelines

UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant will support the completion of an inter-institutional project. It will enable the development and submission of proposals for extramural funding of research from a competitive granting agency or industry contracts. Proposals must provide compelling 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 UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant mechanism.

Eligibility Guidelines

Project teams must include at least one investigator with PI status from each institution, UT Dallas and SwRI. This opportunity is open to all Colleges or Schools.

If a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is required, one should be drafted (by either organization’s contract office) and approved by both parties prior to funding distribution.

Any additional requirements specifically for UT Dallas faculty or SwRI staff are noted in the sections below.

Proposal Submission

UT Dallas will be the lead institution for the collection and administration of this grant program. PIs must submit one combined proposal through the OAR Portal.

Proposal documents should have 1-inch margins and use a 12-point font. Upload one combined document in PDF format. Pages in addition to the required elements or in excess of the page limits will be removed before proposal evaluation.

  • Summary/Abstract. 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 field and how your interdisciplinary collaborative work is innovative.
    • Plan. Provide a description of your plan and explain what you need to accomplish during the UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant award period to be competitive for external funding.
    • Team. Explain why the project team has the background and abilities to pursue the project and become competitive for external funding in this research area. 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 UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant is required to foster the proposed collaboration and how the award will increase the likelihood of securing external funding.
    • Participating Personnel. List all key personnel (UT Dallas faculty members and SwRI staff), 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 of either UT Dallas or SwRI, describe the source(s) of support for those contributions. Letters of support may be included and do not count against the page limit.
    • Acronym and Symbol Definitions. Provide a glossary of acronyms and symbols. Does not count against the page limit.
  • Biosketches. Provide NIH/NSF or SwRI PDS format biosketches for the Key Personnel listed in the Participating Personnel section of your proposal. Biosketches do not count towards the proposal page limit.
  • External Funding Opportunities. Limited to one page, summarize the external funding opportunities for which the UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant 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 and solicitations, and relevant deadlines for those agencies.
  • Budget. Limited to the one-page template in Attachment A, fill out the table with each expenditure category.
  • Budget Justification. Limited to two pages, provide line-item descriptions and a justification for all expenditures listed in Attachment A. One combined budget justification should be submitted for UT Dallas and SwRI.
  • UT Dallas PIs
    • 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 and the past success of the seed grant funding.
    • Current and Pending. Provide current and pending support for the faculty Key Personnel. There is no page limit for current and pending support.
    • Co-funding. Co-funding 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 UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant award period.

Application Review Process

UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant applications will be reviewed by a joint committee comprised of UT Dallas and SwRI representatives with significant research experience.

Proposals will be evaluated on a 100-point scale. The PIs are expected to include all required proposal components and fully and clearly address each criterion.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be the basis for evaluating applications and for assigning a single score for each proposal. The score should reflect the overall impact that the project could have on the advancement of engineering or science.

  1. Potential and Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the objectives of the project are achieved, how will engineering or scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or standard practice be improved?
  2. Investigators. Do the PIs have appropriate experience and training; have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s); do they have complementary and integrated expertise?
  3. External Funding. Are the project goals, plans, and expected results relevant to obtain the outlined external funding? Is the plan for seeking external funding reasonable and attainable?
  4. Innovation and Approach. Does the application utilize novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, and instrumentation? Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the project objectives?
  5. Collaboration Environment. Will the project environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Will the project benefit from new and unique features of the collaborative arrangements and technical environment?

The committee will make a recommendation; however, the UT Dallas VP for Research and Innovation and SwRI EVP & COO will make the final determination on all funding decisions.

Project Requirements

Each PI is responsible for the administration of grant funds within their respective institutions’ rules and regulations. In particular, each PI must be certain that over-expenditures do not occur and that all funds are fully expended according to institutional programmatic deadlines. All work must be completed within the performance period.

Each team will be required to participate in a virtual Mid-Project Review Meeting. Each PI is responsible for submitting a Final Grant Report per the program timeline. Awardees will be provided final reporting instructions prior to the end of their project.

UTD Requirements

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Adjunct faculty, affiliate faculty, and visiting researchers are not eligible to serve as either PI or co-PIs. With the support of department/program head, research scientists can serve as PIs.
  • Individually, the PI and co-PI cannot have greater than $200,000 in their discretionary funds (e.g., Research Enhancement and Chair cost centers). Start-up funding does not count towards the discretionary fund limit.
  • A faculty member may submit only one UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant proposal as a PI or co-PI during each submission period.
  • Faculty participating in the review process are not eligible to apply concurrently for a UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant.

Allowable Expenses

  • Supplies, equipment, reagents, facility use and publication costs
  • Graduate student stipend, tuition and benefits
  • Postdoctoral or Research Scientist salary 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

Awardee Requirements

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

  • Within 12 months of receiving the award: A three-page max 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 UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant impact.
  • Recipients will serve on Seed Grant review panels as requested. 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

  • 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 14 months of award. No carryover of funds will be permitted unless approval has been provided by the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation. Any unused funds must be returned to the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation.
  • Failure to comply with any of the UT Dallas Requirements will result in suspension of UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant funding and faculty becoming ineligible for future seed grant competitions from the UT Dallas Office of Research and Innovation.
  • The UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant funding 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 UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant program.”

SwRI Requirements

SwRI policies for proposing and executing internal research projects are described in SwRI’s internal OPP and IR&D Program Guidelines for Projects.

SwRI PI(s) should follow the format and requirements outlined in the above Proposal Submission section.

Proposal Submission Instructions

UT Dallas will be the lead institution for collection and administration of this grant program through their internal grant processing system; however, this system does not levy any additional requirements on SwRI.

SwRI PI Eligibility

The PI(s) from SwRI must be a full-time employee.

SwRI Budget Considerations

Acceptable expenditures of SwRI’s internal research funds are described in the IR&D Program Descriptions and Guidelines for Applicants, which is available to SwRI staff.

Directions for generating a formal IR&D cost proposal are in the SwRI Internal Guidelines for Collaborative Proposals.

SwRI PC-7 (Conflict of Interest, Intellectual Property, 3rd Party Funding)

A PC-7 must be submitted and approved prior to proposal submission.

If the UT Dallas scope includes matching fund contributions, that information must be included on the SwRI PC-7 for conflicts of interest (COI) review.

If any existing SwRI intellectual property (IP) is proposed, that information must be included on the SwRI PC-7 for review by SwRI’s patent attorney.

An Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA) could be required prior to proposal submission based on the SwRI PC-7 review by the Proposal Panel. Please contact the SwRI General Counsel’s Intellectual Property Office for assistance.

SwRI Awardee Requirements (Attachment B)

Each SwRI PI must have this document signed per Division or OPP approval policies prior to receiving your project number.

SwRI Project Reporting Requirements

If funded, each SwRI PI will be required to submit quarterly progress reports and a final report as described for Presidential Discretion projects in the IR&D Program Guidelines for Projects, section 7.4 (Progress Reports) and section 7.5 (Final Reports).

Attachment A: Budget

A budget justification (not to exceed two pages) must also be submitted describing each of the proposed line item expenditures for both institutions.

UTD Budget

Staff Salaries$
Wages$
Faculty Salaries$
Equipment$
Travel (Domestic only)$
Participant Support Costs$
Material and Supplies$
Other Direct Costs$
Total UTD Request$

SwRI Budget

Total Proposed Labor Cost$
Equipment$
Travel (Foreign or Domestic)$
Material and Supplies$
Services and/or Other Direct Costs$
Total SwRI Request$
Attachment B: SwRI Awardee Requirements

I agree that my acceptance of UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant funding obligates me to: 

  1. Include the following acknowledgement on all publications, exhibitions, or events (including press releases) resulting from this grant award.

“This project was funded (or partially funded) by The University of Texas at Dallas Office of Research and Innovation and Southwest Research Institute through the UTD-SwRI SPRINT grant program.”

  1. Adhere to the assigned program timeline:
June 1, 2024Performance Period Begins (Funds Available)
Early 2025Mid-Project Review Meeting
August 31, 2025Performance Period Ends / Final Report Due
December 1, 2025External Funding Progress Report Due
  1. Comply with SwRI policies for proposing and executing internal research projects as described in SwRI’s internal OPP and IR&D Program Guidelines for Projects.

SwRI Principal Investigator (PI)

Project Title 
Print Name 
Signature & Date 

Signature of Approval (Per Division or OPP approval policies)

Print Name 
Signature & Date 

Contact Us

For further information please contact Emily Lacy or Cynthia Hokanson.