RSI Explorer Grant Proposal Call
The Spring 2022 proposal submission period is now closed. We anticipate making decisions in June 2022, with awards beginning in July 2022. We expect to make up to 3 awards in this cycle.
RSI Explorer Grant proposals (up to $120K in total direct costs over a period of two years) will prioritize proposals that address significant challenges and opportunities associated with climate change and the stewardship of natural resources.
Proposals may seek support for fundamentally new or existing research projects that are taking a new direction, including (but not limited to): research projects that might grow into larger research projects; proof-of-concept research that might enable follow-on federal funding; funds to support process engineering, scale-up or development of first lab prototype devices based on existing research results; or instrumentation that would support an individual or multiple research projects.
The call is limited to lead PIs who have their primary affiliation with one of Caltech's academic divisions and the ability to conduct research on campus. Only one application per lead PI is allowed.
The full proposal must include:
- A completed Application Form, including the following information:
- Lead PI name/affiliation/e-mail;
- Co-PI name(s)/affiliations(s)/e-mails(s);
- Proposal title;
- One-sentence proposal summary;
- Research initiative focus area;
- Statement of impact (500 words). The impact statement needs to describe a sustainability challenge that the proposal addresses, a description of how the research might impact that challenge, and an explanation of how the research outcomes might be translated to realize that impact. If at all possible, the application should identify a relevant metric for global sustainability (e.g., Gt CO2 emission reduction, cubic feet of water purified) that provides a quantitative analysis of the project's potential for impact over some specified time frame;
- If applicable, an explanation of leverage of internal/external non-financial resources (200 words);
- Team qualifications (500 words);
- Budget Justification (500 words);
- If applicable, an explanation of leverage of other financial resources (500 words).
- A Proposal Technical Narrative - 3 pages (11 pt font, 1 in margins, single-spaced), inclusive of figures and references.
- A completed RSI Proposal Budget Worksheet. The budgets can be uploaded by grants managers to the secure Caltech box folder. For any questions or issues with uploads or access, please contact the RSI grants manager. (Note: Indirect Costs are not assessed on RSI Research Grants.)
- A signed Division Approval Form.
The Application Form, the Proposal Technical Narrative, and the signed Division Approval Form should be sent as e-mail attachments to email@example.com with copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Proposal Budget Worksheets must be uploaded into the secure Caltech box folder.
General queries may be submitted to email@example.com.
The following criteria will be among the factors considered in the selection process. Note that we are especially interested in projects that can have a broad impact on sustainability, and research teams are encouraged to have talked with practitioners to demonstrate interest in the outcomes of their work.
- The overall intellectual strength of the proposal and its alignment with the RSI's general mission.
- The potential of the proposal for large-scale impact, or to seed new work/ideas that have clear potential for broad, real-world impact, and a definable path to get there.
- The degree to which the proposed work/instrumentation seeds collaborations or enables critical infrastructure. For instrumentation proposals, a plan for maintaining the instrument and, where appropriate, a mechanism for broader campus access should be addressed. Specification of defined users from the campus (if more than one lab) is encouraged.
- The degree to which the proposal leverages timely external resources or opportunities (e.g., timed access to a facility, or a planned event that could be a platform for proposed research).
- The degree to which the proposal significantly leverages other financial resources.
- The degree to which the proposal outlines a pathway to sustained external support.
- The qualifications of the investigators.
You may view a sample of the evaluation form here.