http://www.ksu.edu/biology K-State Division of Biology
Biology Research and Instruction Enhancement Fund
(BRIEF) Program
(Updated Nov 20, 2008)

A key to continued high quality growth and development of Division of Biology research and instructional activities is enhancement of faculty capabilities to conduct research and improve instruction. The BRIEF Program supports these faculty activities with a combination of funds that come to the Division from the Dean’s Office and from sponsored research overhead. There are seven different funding categories in this program, each with a slightly different application requirement. In all cases, the goal is to enhance the ability of our faculty to secure or ensure stable funding for research and instructional activities, equipment, and facilities. In each case, the applications are reviewed by the BRIEF Committee. Members of the BRIEF Committee who have applications under consideration are excluded from the review process. The Committee makes funding recommendations to the Division Director, who is responsible for final funding decisions. The seven categories in the BRIEF Program are:

*applications for categories without specific deadlines are accepted anytime


BRIEF Program Category 1

Infrastructure Research/Instruction Equipment (Matching) Awards

The combination of infrastructure decay from aging equipment/facilities and underfunding, creates an unacceptable environment for quality research and instruction. The Infrastructure Research/Instruction Equipment Awards program is part of an effort to enhance infrastructure for research and instruction. The Division will utilize targeted funds from instructional categories and research overhead as matching, or partial matching, commitments in applications to University, State, Federal, and Private agencies for instructional and/or research equipment.
Applications for Infrastructure Research/Instruction Equipment Awards will be considered anytime, but should be submitted sufficiently in advance of agency (e.g., NSF, NIH, etc.) deadlines to allow BRIEF Committee review and recommendation to the Director, and to meet University Pre-Award Services requirements.

The application can be in one of two forms:
A) Pre-Proposal Form

    1. Cover Page (available at this website)
    2. Background and Significance (one page maximum)
    3. Proposed Equipment - need, purpose, utilization, etc. (1-2 pages)
    4. Budget and Budget Justification (include both total costs and matching request here; indicate other possible sources, or committed sources of additional matching to the proposal)
    5. Curriculum Vitae(s) of PI(s) (two pages maximum; list up to five publications most closely related to proposed project and no more than five other significant publications).
    6. Anticipated Benefits
    7. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years, along with a description of how the funding benefited your research program and the Division.

B) Final Proposal Form

    1. Cover Page (available at this website)
    2. The Complete Proposal, as required by the potential extramural agency (e.g., NSF, NIH, etc.) or other funding source (e.g., Provost’s Office, Board of Regents, AES, etc.).
    3. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years, along with a description of how the funding benefited your research program and the Division.

BRIEF Program Category 2

Research Seed Grant Awards

In the present funding climate, it is difficult to generate a competitive proposal without substantial preliminary research results. These demonstrate feasibility and expertise, and generate reviewer confidence that an award will result in the accomplishment of the specific aims. Convincing preliminary data are often difficult to obtain without some initial support for the project. Thus, a portion of the Division’s sponsored research overhead will be committed to fund research specifically intended to generate results supporting new extramural grant proposals. Such awards will be limited to one year.

Applications for a Research Seed Grant Award will be considered semiannually, with deadlines on October 15 and April 15. Applications should consist of the following sections:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website)
      2. Background and Significance (one page maximum)
      3. Specific Aims and Research Plan (two pages maximum)
      4. Budget and Budget Justification
      5. Curriculum Vitae (two pages maximum; list up to five publications most closely related to proposed project and no more than five other significant publications)
      6. Current and Pending Funding (indicate if you are also submitting a seed grant application to the University Small Research Grants Program)
      7. Anticipated Benefits (describe potential funding sources, submission timetable, importance of support to proposal success; 1 page maximum).
      8. A copy of the proposal reviews and panel summary, if the proposal was previously submitted to a funding agency (e.g., NSF, NIH, USDA, etc.)
      9. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years, including a summary of grant applications submitted as a result of BRIEF support and the status of those submissions.

BRIEF Program Category 3

Interim Research Funding Awards

With the present high level of competition for research funding, even a successful and productive project may fall below the payline at the time of competitive renewal. A revised application dealing with issues and/or misunderstandings raised (and perhaps evaluated by a different group of reviewers) will often result in renewed support. In such cases, it is important to avoid a total loss of momentum during a temporary interruption of funding. Thus, a portion of the Division’s SRO will be committed to providing interim support for projects which have not been successfully renewed. The period of support will be variable, maximally limited to one year.

Applications for an Interim Research Funding Award will be considered within 6 weeks of submission, with no specific deadlines for submission. Applications should consist of the following sections:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website)
      2. Abstract and Specific Aims of the Unfunded Project
      3. Reapplication Strategy (summary of criticisms and anticipated responses, resubmission timetable; 2 pages maximum).  Include a copy of the proposal reviews and panel summary, if the proposal was previously submitted to a funding agency (e.g., NSF, NIH, USDA, etc.).
      4. Budget and Budget Justification
      5. Curriculum Vitae (two pages maximum; list up to five publications most closely related to proposed project and no more than five other significant publications)
      6. Current and Pending Funding (including residual funds available during a no cost extension)
      7. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years, including a summary of grant applications submitted as a result of BRIEF support and the status of those submissions.

BRIEF Program Category 4

Travel Awards

Participation in professional meetings, workshops, and symposia is essential for faculty development, and funds have been set aside to help defray the costs of attending these endeavors. Faculty growth and development can also be enhanced by the participation of their students and staff in such events, and, for example, requests to fund graduate student travel are also appropriate (support will not be given in the absence of a presentation by a student or postdoctoral associate at the meeting). These requests, however, are to be made by the major advisor. The potential of support for enhancing the faculty member’s research program, frugality (including possible partial funding from other sources), and past use of Division resources will be considered in the evaluation. Applications for travel funds will be accepted thrice each year (October 15, February 14, and June 13 target deadlines), and should consist of the following sections:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website)
      2. Description of the meeting (organization, dates, site, etc.)
      3. Summary of the purpose of the travel, describing the impact on faculty professional development
      4. Person for whom support is requested
      5. Title of poster or talk.  Is it “submitted or invited”?  Will the meeting provide a forum for other professional activities?
      6. Justification of the need for support in the context of other funding sources available (grant funds, OOE and SRO discretionary accounts, foundation accounts, etc.), efforts to obtain travel funds from other sources on campus (e.g. the President’s Faculty Development Award*), and previous use(s) of Travel Award resources.
      7. Travel budget (available at this website)
      8. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years.

* BRIEF funding can be used for up to 50% matching in FDA proposals. If the FDA is funded, the matching is assured, but an application to BRIEF must be made to formalize the record. The FDA proposal should be included with your BRIEF application.


BRIEF Program Category 5

Multi-User Facilities Award

Establishing facilities which fulfill research or instructional needs of a number of faculty is an appropriate means to bring new technologies to Biology, and a portion of Division funds are committed to support the initiation of new, or the enhancement of existing, multi-user facilities. Requests for either equipment infrastructure or personnel support costs would be appropriate, and such requests may be made at any time, to correspond with deadlines for the preparation of grants to provide matching monies. Applications should consists of the following sections:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website)
      2. Description of the facility – need, purpose, utility, users, etc. (1-2 pages)
      3. Budget and budget justification (include both total costs and the amount requested in this application; indicate other potential and/or secured sources of additional matching funds).
      4. Facility maintenance plan (funds for service contracts, salaries for technical staff, plans for user fees, plans for advertising the availability of the facility, and other considerations which may continue past the period of this award).
      5. Anticipated benefits.
      6. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years, along with a description of how the funding benefited your research program and the Division.

BRIEF Program Category 6

Division-Required Matching Funds for Program Grants

Large program and multi-investigator grant applications usually require real dollar matching commitments from the University. A number of units on campus participate in the matching aspects of such proposals, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Division of Biology. The Division will continue to support these grant applications by participating in required matching. There is no restriction on the supportable number of such proposals, as we wish to continue to encourage programmatic and multi-investigator applications. We do need a formal tracking and accounting of the Division’s array of these commitments, however, to ensure an overall knowledge of our potential commitments at any one time. To apply for Division-matching fund commitments to program or multi-investigator grants, the submission procedure is as follows:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website, that is all that is needed in advance of the proposal)
      2. Discussion with the Division Director
      3. A copy of the complete proposal (optional before submission, required at submission)

BRIEF Program Category 7

Alternate Scholarly Achievement

Some Division of Biology faculty members undertake scholarly achievement activities that are not traditional research activities, even though they represent contributions beyond regular or traditional instructional and service activities. In most cases, such activities involve writing and publishing textbooks, and/or creating, developing, and implementing innovative techniques, tools, and strategies for improvement of instruction, which can be course specific or curriculum applicable. Costs involved in such alternative scholarly achievement activities can include office supplies, art materials, computer software, long distance telephone expenses, etc. The BRIEF Program can supply moderate support for such activities (maximum budget of $500 for one year). Deadlines for receipt of applications in this category are October 15 and April 15.

To apply for Division support in the Alternative Scholarly Achievement Category, the submission procedure is as follows:

      1. Cover Page (available at this website)
      2. A complete description of the project (including the proposed target audience or course, the data supporting the need or justification, an outline of the coverage or contents, proposed publisher(s) or other outlet, and a budget – 3-4 pages).
      3. A plan to develop a self-sustaining support base for your alternative scholarly activity (use of a percentage of future royalty income, establish an account using prepublication funding from publishers, apply for grants and awards, etc. – 2-3 pages).
      4. A complete copy of your Curriculum Vitae.
      5. List of previous BRIEF funding (proposal title, amount funded, dates) over the past five years.

SUBMIT COMPLETED APPLICATIONS TO DR. JOHN BLAIR IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT (preferably as a single pdf file e-mailed to jblair@ksu.edu).

 

 

 


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