After this post on approaching deadlines for some major undergraduate research funding mechanisms, we here at CURChem will also be taking WINTER BREAK. We will be back online to inspire and support your undergraduate research efforts at the end of January. Until then – don’t forget to check out the resources available on these pages. Especially as you plan for a new semester of research!
Winter break is so fleeting, as little as 3-4 weeks. Plan to use your time effectively. Are you working on a proposal? Or hoping to? Here are some funding opportunities with deadlines in the spring semester. If writing a major proposal is a goal of yours, then schedule in the time necessary to write a good research plan and the time to handle the administrative details of submission.
Major Funding Mechanisms with Deadlines in the Next 6 months
NIH-AREA program (R15). DEADLINE(S): 2/25, 6/25, or 10/25. There are three submission dates per year.
The goals of the NIH-AREA are three fold: 1) support meritorious research (these are not training grants), 2) Expose students to research (hooray!) 3) strengthen the research environment of the institution. And the last two areas are unique to this funding mechanism (the R15).
Will your research encourage students to pursue their own careers in biomedical research? Then this funding mechanism could be right for you (it is the National Institutes of HEALTH, after all). Successful PIs recommend that you address the specific goals of the NIH-AREA program in the application. Your science must be meritorious, which goes without saying – but Goal #2 is all about student outcomes. Your students are researchers, not trainees. It should be clear to the reviewers how the students will benefit. Training undergrads is a battle, and you are starting from scratch. One strategy is to make a plan to include students early on (as first years), getting repeat students – so they are better trained by juniors, making a realistic plan for what students can do. Demonstrate what “your” undergrads can do – show they can be competent researchers. Make the research topic pragmatic for available resources. Get a tech (or part-time tech) to maintain progress during semesters. Talk about what part of the research and project management works for lower skilled and higher skilled students and student schedules. Programmatic or curricular elements that prepare students for research can be worked elsewhere into the proposal (under “Facilities” for example).
Successful PIs recommend that you address the specific goals of the NIH-AREA program in the application
It should also be clear how your research environment will be strengthened. What are you getting and what is the institution getting?
ACS-PRF. DEADLINE: 2/28 through 3/16
The ACS-PRF program will only support certain kind of chemical research as they directly relate to the petroleum industry (read: no biomed or pharma research).
The American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund has two funding mechanisms for faculty from non-doctoral granting institutions – that is, primarily undergraduate institutions. These funding mechanisms are the Undergraduate Research (UR) and the Undergraduate New Investigator (UNI) awards. The ACS-PRF program will only support certain kind of chemical research as they directly relate to the petroleum industry (read: no biomed or pharma research).
Cottrell Scholars. DEADLINE for pre-proposal, 5/15
In 2015, the > 20 year CCSA program was consolidated into Cottrell Scholars. The CCSA program was specifically for PIs from primarily undergraduate institutions. Cottrell Scholars is a broader program for teacher-scholars from all types of institutions. For the 2015 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track appointment anytime in calendar year 2012. In the recent 2015 cohort of the “new” Cottrell Scholars (since the consolidation with CCSA), all awardees were from doctoral granting departments. We recommend PUI faculty discuss a Cottrell submission with the program officer. Cottrell Scholars also requires a pre-proposal and full proposals are by invitation.
Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program. DEADLINE: 5/18
Nominees must hold a full-time tenure-track academic appointment, be after the fourth and not after the twelfth years of their independent academic careers, and be engaged in research and teaching, primarily with undergraduates and in the chemical sciences, including biochemistry, materials chemistry, and chemical engineering. This Awardees are typically in departments that do not grant a doctoral degree. The award is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching, and provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000.
And don’t forget that internal funding may exist at your institution, and likely those applications will be due very early in the spring semester.
Need other options?
This is a (very) short list of the major funding mechanisms available to anyone in the US (with deadlines in the spring semester….NSF deadlines are largely in the Fall). But there are also many state level funding mechanisms: The Welch Foundation (Texas), Lilly (Indiana), NASA consortia in various states. And don’t forget that internal funding may exist at your institution, and likely those applications will be due very early in the spring semester. Ask around at your institution and do a search for funding mechanisms in your state.
If you have a proposal in the works and you haven’t called a program officer yet, do it. They want to talk with you about how to increase the programmatic relevance of your proposal.
Happy Winter Break! We’ll see you back in January!
~ Dr. Keri Colabroy is an associate professor of chemistry at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Her plans for winter break include eating chocolate, submitting a revised manuscript and working up a Dreyfus application.