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Endowment Grants Program

 

>>>  Download the 2022-2023 Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grants RFA  <<<

 

2022 - 2023 Submission Deadline: April 13, 2022, 5:00 PM CST

 

 

OVERVIEW

Funded by the Stengl-Wyer Endowment, the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grants Program (Grants Program) supports initiatives in research, educational activities, and research-driven enhancements to facilities and collections.  Applications are due by 5:00 PM CST on April 13, 2022.

Initiative 1: Research

Research grants will be awarded to faculty for new high-impact research projects.  Support of ongoing, large-scale operation of a research program is not within the scope of the program.  Research grants are limited to one (1) year and no more than $100,000.

Initiative 2: Educational activities

The Grants Program will support educational activities such as 1) innovative models for support of graduate students to study the diversity of life and interactions between organisms and their natural environments, and 2) undergraduate summer research summer fellowships and streams within the Freshman Research Initiative. Educational activity programs may be proposed for up to three (3) years with a maximum total budget of $150,000.

Initiative 3: Research-directed enhancements to facilities and collections

The Grants Program will support research-directed enhancements of the college’s biological field stations, the college’s natural sciences collections, including the Biodiversity Collection. Enhancement programs may be proposed for up to three (3) years with a maximum total budget of $150,000.

 

ELIGIBILITY

  • Tenure track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and those with active Principal Investigator (PI) status in the College of Natural Sciences are eligible to apply.
  • A PI previously awarded a Research grant may apply for a subsequent Research grant. However, funding of research projects by the same PI in consecutive years is not intended. Co-PIs with limited roles on Research grants are not affected by this limitation.
  • A PI previously awarded a grant for an Educational Activity or Research-directed Enhancement is eligible to apply for a Research grant but is discouraged to apply for a subsequent Educational Activity or Research-directed Enhancement grant during the period of performance of the awarded project or program.
  • Non-awarded applicants from previous cycles may resubmit their proposals once for a total of two submissions.

 

APPLICATION COMPONENTS

All application sections should be formatted using 1-inch margins and no smaller than 11-point font. Recommended fonts are Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, and Times New Roman. The following sections are all required and must be submitted as a single pdf file by the application deadline of 5:00 PM CST on April 13, 2022:

  1. Lay Summary. In 200 words or less describe for a general audience the proposed project and its potential impact on the study of the diversity of life and interactions between organisms and their natural environments.
  2. Research/Program Plan. Limit to three (3) pages including figures and excluding citations. Organize the proposal in the specified order using the section headings (Rationale and Vision, Participants) and the following instructions:
    • Rationale and vision. Explain the innovative and transformative nature of the proposed project, and how it supports one or more of the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grant Program initiatives.
    • Participants. List PI, Co-PI(s), and others making significant contributions to the project and provide a clear explanation of each participant’s role in the project.
  3. Bibliography/References. No page limit. List sources in a section separate from the Research/Program Plan.
  4. External Funding Leveraging. Limit to one (1) page. Describe your plan to leverage the funding requested from the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grant Program with external funding sources. Include an anticipated timeline with milestones for development of external proposals, names of potential sponsoring agencies, and relevant deadlines for those agencies.
  5. Budget and budget justification. No page limit. Submit a detailed budget outlining expenditures in appropriate categories. Budgets for multi-year proposals (educational or enhancement only) should show costs for each year proposed. Clearly justify each major expense in the budget justification. Budgets may include tuition and stipends for graduate students. Budgets should not include faculty salary (e.g., summer salary) or indirect costs/facilities & administrative fees. Funding levels for maintenance and operations (M&O) for the field stations and the collections are determined separately, and should not be included in the research proposals. Other resources that will be committed to the effort, such as support from academic units, should also be outlined. The size of the budget is taken into account in funding decisions. Small budget projects are welcome.
  6. Resubmissions & Results from Prior Stengl-Wyer Support. Limit to two (2) pages. Address the following as applicable to resubmission applications and/or applicants who have previously accepted funding through the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grant Program.
    • Resubmissions: For applications being resubmitted for consideration, please list the prior submission, including date and title, and summarize any changes made to address prior reviews or to otherwise improve or update the proposal.
    • Results From Prior Support: For each previous Stengl-Wyer Endowment Program award, list the award title and briefly describe the results and products of research, educational activities, and/or research-driven enhancements. Include awards for which the applicant is a PI or Co-PI and that may be complete or ongoing. Products include submission of external proposals for continued support.    
  7. Biosketches/CVs and Current and Pending Support. Submit biosketches/CVs and Current and Pending Support documents for all participating faculty and Co-PI(s).

 

APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applications must be submitted through CompetitionSpace, UT-Austin’s online submission interface, by 5:00 PM CST on April 13, 2022. All required application components (listed in the Application Components section above) should be combined and uploaded as a single pdf. To apply:

  1. Click the “Apply Now” button at the top right of this page or go to https://utexas.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1853910.
  2. Click the “Apply” button on the CompetitionSpace page.
  3. This will take you to a login screen. Click “University of Texas login” to enter your UT EID and password.
  4. You will be taken to an online application form. Complete the application form, upload the required application components, and click “Submit Application” at the bottom of the page. You also have the option to save a draft application and return later to submit it.

 

REVIEW PROCESS

The following competitive review process will be used to determine specific activities and funding levels:

  1. Faculty (individual or in small teams) submit proposals describing their vision for a research project, educational activity, or enhancement within the budget and duration specified in the Overview section of this request for applications.
  2. A faculty committee will evaluate the submitted proposals to identify the projects and programs that will have the greatest potential to advance the study of the diversity of life and interactions between organisms and their natural environments.
  3. The committee will present their recommendations to the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Committee and the CNS Dean (or designate) for final approval based on available funding.

 

REVIEW CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria, and unsuccessful applications will be provided a summary of review comments:

  • Investigator(s)
    1. For research initiatives, consider researcher abilities, skills and accomplishments relevant to career rank.
    2. For educational activities, consider the PI’s training history and teaching accomplishments relevant to career rank.
    3. For research-directed enhancements, consider prior PI experience operating/directing a facility and/or collection relevant to career rank.
  • Proposed project
    1. For research initiatives, consider innovation, relevance, and impact.
    2. For educational activities, consider innovation, relevance, inclusion of diverse students, and inclusion of activities to enrich diversity.
    3. For research-directed enhancements, consider innovation, relevance, and how the project will improve usefulness of the field station or collection to researchers and/or students.
  • Feasibility: Consider feasibility of the project given the budget, resources, research or educational environment, and project plan.
  • Budget: Budget should be realistic in size and match the scope of the proposed project.
  • External Funding Leverage: Consider the PI’s plan for leveraging Stengl-Wyer funding with external funding sources, including the availability of external funding sources and timeline for development of proposals to external sources.

 

AWARD NOTIFICATION

Announcement of awardees: June 2022

Award Start Date:  September 1, 2022

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Program website: https://cns.utexas.edu/swe/endowment-grants

Program questions should be directed to the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Program Directors: swe@austin.utexas.edu.

Application submission interface questions should be directed to CNS Strategic Research Initiatives: CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu.

 

The form and timing of Stengl-Wyer Endowment Grant awards is subject to change in subsequent years.

 The content of this announcement is relevant only for the 2022 competition cycle.

 

 

 

2021 stengl-wyer endowment grant awardees

Research-driven enhancements of field stations

1. Brian Sedio: "Leveraging big data science for ecological research in an era of global change: A Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) plot at Stengl Lost Pines Biological Station" (Co-investigators: Eric Abelson, Amy Wolf, Caroline Farrior, Timothy Keitt, Robert Plowes)

2. Robert Plowes: "Establishment of an Experimental Garden and Associated Infrastructure at Stengl Lost Pines Biological Station" (Co-investigator: Larry Gilbert)

Educational support

1.  Timothy Keitt: "Undergraduate Biodiversity Scholars: A proposal for a need-based program to fund undergraduate students to take field classes at UT Austin" (Co-investigator: Laura Gonzalez-Guzman)

2. Jo-anne Holley: "A CURE for the Biodiversity Crisis: Integrating Biodiversity Research with Education to Increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology" (Co-investigators: Kara Rogers, Thomas Devitt)

3. Kasia Dinkeloo: "FRI Bioprospecting ImPRInt (Impact of Plastics on Rhizosphere Interactions)" (Co-investigators: Jenny Brodbelt, Andy Ellington)

4. Becca Young: "EvoDevOmics: a Freshman Research Initiative Stream"

Research grants

1. Kristin Nielsen "Danger Downstream? Investigating indirect mechanisms of urban runoff toxicity using a whole ecosystem approach" (Co-investigators: Vince Palace, Erin Ussery, Kerri Ackerly)

2. Amy Wolf: "Probing the mechanisms of enhanced ecosystem functioning from diversity: resource acquisition, trophic interaction, and phylogenetic diversity within plant communities" (Co-investigators: Caroline Farrior, Shahlene Jha, Brian Sedio)

3. Felicty Muth: "Examining the function of an insect neurohormone found in plants" (Co-investigator: Brian Sedio)

 

previous stengl-wyer endowment grant awardees