DSF Charitable Foundation Solicitation
Through a very generous grant supporting life-science research from the DSF Charitable Foundation, we are pleased to announce a new internal grant opportunity at Carnegie Mellon.
This program will support innovative interdisciplinary life science research involving collaborations across Carnegie Mellon. Four funding levels will be offered throughout the five-year program. During the first year of the program, Workshop and Professional Development Grants and Early Career and Individual Investigator Grants will be awarded. In subsequent years, larger Collaborative Grants and a large Moonshot Grant will be supported.
Workshop and Professional Development Grants
Description: Grants of up to $20,000 will support the organization and execution of workshops, symposia and professional development activities intended to foster new transdisciplinary collaborations. Such gatherings would be focused on new areas of research, collaborations or approaches that are not yet fundable but could lead to the creation and development of ideas and interdisciplinary partnerships.
Criteria/Attributes: A maximum two-page proposal must contain a project summary that consists of an overview, a statement on the intellectual merit of the proposed activity and a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activity. The proposals should describe designated focus areas for workshops/conferences or professional development experiences, which also benefit areas of interest for the DSF Charitable Foundation. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to make a short presentation to the evaluation committee.
Submission: Proposals will be accepted at any time and should be submitted to the MCS Associate Dean for Research. An internal committee will review and make timely decisions on these proposals. Investigators from any school or college are eligible, recognizing that the next great breakthroughs in science and medicine are as likely to be born of foundational research in chemistry, physics, biological science or psychology, as they are in computational biology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, biomedical or electrical engineering or robotics.
Reporting: A summary of the meetings, their outcomes and the path forward must be provided at the end of the activity or within six months of the award (whichever comes first).
Early Career and Individual Investigator Grants
Description: Grants up to $100,000 over one year or $150,000 over two years are aimed at new collaborative research projects, with special consideration for collaborations with MCS partner institutions and new cross-college collaborations. With a special focus on early career investigators, such grants may support graduate students and build the basis for work that leads to future funding.
Criteria/Attributes: A maximum three-page proposal consisting of an overview and a statement on the intellectual merit and impact of the project describing the potential of the proposed activity to advance knowledge and benefit society. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to make a short presentation to the evaluation committee. The proposal will be evaluated on the following.
- Scientific Merit: Does the proposed work represent important initial steps towards achieving a significant advance in the life sciences, broadly defined, to include the development of tools, technologies, methods and basic and applied research, which have the potential to contribute to the advancement of human health? How will this funding set the stage (e.g., preliminary data, major leap forward, etc.) for larger scale support? The proposal should list specific mechanisms and application deadlines for seeking additional funding.
- Transdisciplinary Collaborations: Does the work involve collaborations between multiple faculty, especially faculty from different departments and/or colleges and schools at CMU? How will this work serve to link the collaborative groups that will benefit from and leverage the existing strengths of CMU (e.g., computing, machine learning, biomedical engineering, etc.)?
- Specific Criteria:
• What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
º advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields; and
º benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes?
• What is the relevance of the proposed work toward broadly improving human health, well-being, care delivery, disease prevention and/or diagnostics?
• To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original or potentially transformative concepts?
• Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well organized and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
• How well-qualified is the individual, team or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
Submission: A campus-wide call for proposals will be made once each year for projects within the life sciences, broadly defined, to include the development of tools, technologies, methods and basic and applied research, which have the potential to contribute to the advancement of human health. Investigators from any school or college are eligible, recognizing that the next great breakthroughs in science and medicine are as likely to be born of foundational research in chemistry, physics, biological science or psychology, as they are in computational biology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, biomedical or electrical engineering, or robotics. All proposals will be reviewed based on the previously mentioned criteria. The review panel will consist of five faculty members representing colleges/schools across campus, the Dean of the Mellon College of Science, the Vice Provost for Research and a representative from the DSF Charitable Foundation.
Reporting and Monitoring: A report including a list of proposals submitted to further the activity of the project must be provided at the end of the grant. For grants spanning two years, an interim report is required at the end of the first year.