Research Core Revitalization Program (3)
About the Initiative:
The Research Core Revitalization Program is the third round of an initiative to strengthen campus research core capacities by supporting the upgrade, replacement or duplication of heavily used shared research resources. Shared instruments, equipment and other resources play a critical role in research across the university and typically have a limited lifespan.
Although essential and highly used, these critical resources may not be eligible or competitive for federal and other external grant programs targeting new capabilities and technologies. Researchers across campus depend on the shared resources managed by cores, and investment in renewing these capabilities ensures the continuity and productivity of our research enterprise.
The RCRP was first launched in fall 2019 and was a highly successful competition. Seventeen projects across six schools and colleges were awarded funding, ranging from upgrading video recording capabilities for intellectual and developmental disabilities research to delivering increased computational speed for the analysis of large biomedical data sets and ensuring the integrity of natural history collections.
Another successful round was offered in fall 2021, and 12 projects were awarded funding.
The OVCRGE is offering a third round of the Research Core Revitalization Program in fall 2023. Proposals must be made by a lead Principal Investigator (PI) associated with a research core facility or program in any division. Academic staff and Clinical Health Science (CHS) faculty are invited as co-investigators, and collaborative proposals are encouraged. An investigator can be a lead PI on only one proposal, but co-PIs may participate in more than one proposal.
Funds may be requested for instruments, equipment, or other shared resources housed in a research core. Eligible costs include upgrading existing resources, replacing aging resources, or duplicating oversubscribed resources. Continuing or operating costs (including staff labor) are not allowable under this program. Cost sharing by the core, unit, department or college is expected. The cost share should be for direct project expenses and not for general operations or previously incurred expenditures.
The Research Core Revitalization Program is supported by an investment from the OVCRGE and with support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Each award will be in the range of $100,000 to $500,000 for direct costs.
Deadlines and key dates:
Applications are due no later than Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. Award notifications will be sent in June 2024 with funding to begin on July 1, 2024. The standard duration of the grant is July 1, 2024–June 30, 2025. Award recipients will be asked to complete a brief report at the end of the grant period and for the first two years following the award period (2025-2026 and 2026-2027).
- A proposal must be submitted by a faculty Principal Investigator (PI).
- The lead PI must be a tenured or tenure-track UW-Madison faculty member, or a researcher with permanent PI status. The lead PI should be associated with the core as a user, leader, or subject expert. An investigator can be a lead PI on only one proposal.
- Co-PIs can be tenured or tenure-track UW-Madison faculty member, a Clinical Health Science faculty member, a researcher with permanent PI status, or an academic staff member. Co-PIs should have subject expertise and a leadership role in the core. A Co-PI may participate in more than one proposal.
- Part of a core: The instrument, equipment, or resource must be housed and operated on the UW–Madison campus as part of a campus research core listed in the Research Core Directory online database (http://resources.research.wisc.edu/). Cores may request inclusion in the Research Core Directory by contacting Ryan Pingel, organizational and data analyst, Office of Campus Research Cores (email@example.com).
- High usage: Evidence of high usage over a meaningful time period through reservation records, service requests, or other appropriate logs must be provided.
- Wide user base: Evidence of a wide and strong user base, representing multiple departments or colleges, should be included.
- Integral to grants: The role of the resource in supporting ongoing grant-funded work should be highlighted. In addition, the importance of the resource in grant applications for recently hired faculty should be apparent.
- Broad access: The research core should demonstrate broad accessibility to campus researchers.
- Strong investment: A record of strong and continuing investment in the core and resources should be provided.
- Sustainable plan: The core should provide a plan to ensure the sustainable, efficient operation of the resource within a fiscally sound framework that includes appropriate user fees.
- Statements of support: The application should be supported by statements from key researchers, with a commitment for matching funds from the core director, department chair, college or school dean, and/or other stakeholders.
Please apply electronically through the online application hosted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education at https://vcrge-uwmadison.smapply.io. You may log in using your UW–Madison NET-ID and password. Select the “Research Core Revitalization Program 3” program tile. Click “Apply” to start a new application.
Some Key Tips:
- The lead PI must initiate the application in the on-line process. To give the submission a name, please indicate the PI’s last name and the PI’s first name (e.g. Smith Jane).
- The PI can invite additional collaborators (writers/editors) to fill out the application form. However, the lead PI who initiates the application must also be the person that ultimately submits the application.
- The on-line form will ask the writer to supply information on the items outlined below as “Key Tasks.”
- Remember to scroll down to select “mark as complete” at the bottom of each completed page.
- The list of tasks to be completed will be located on the left-hand portion of the screen. You may need to scroll down to see all of them. To edit each page, go to the three dots at the top right-hand portion of your screen.
- When creating and uploading documents, use Arial 11 pt. font wherever possible.
- The PI will be able to select “review and submit” before final submission.
- The PI will also have the option of downloading the entire application document.
- Descriptive Title
Provide a short title that includes the shared resource and purpose (e.g., Replacement for Workhorse Scanning Electron Microscope for Nanoscale Imaging).
- Provide Information on Lead Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator
Describe the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the applicants to support the shared resource and users. Upload one PDF that contains a short biosketch or CV for the principal investigator and Co-PI.
- Lead PI: A tenured or tenure-track UW–Madison faculty member, or a researcher with permanent PI status. The lead PI should be associated with the core as a user, leader, or subject expert. An investigator can be a lead PI on only one proposal.
- Co-PI: (Optional) A tenured or tenure-track UW-Madison faculty member, a Clinical Health Science faculty member, a researcher with permanent PI status, or an academic staff member (including research professors and CHS faculty). The Co-PI should have subject expertise and a leadership role in the core. A Co-PI may participate in more than one proposal.
- Provide a List of Co-Investigators (optional)
List up to four additional faculty members or academic staff who will participate on the project (a maximum total of six team members).
- Provide Information about the Core for which the Funding is Requested:
- List the Core
- Identify the school/college/division for the Core
- Provide the unit and/or department for the Core
- Describe the Core: Describe in one or two paragraphs the research mission of the core and summarize its capabilities and services.
- Have you (or has someone affiliated with the Core) previously submitted a proposal to the RCRP? Yes/No
- If yes, what was the funding outcome? Awarded/ Not Awarded
- Also, what was the title of the proposal
- Provide Funding Request Details
Please provide details of the requested resource, the type of support requested (upgrade, replacement, or duplication) and total funding request. The request can be for a small number of related instrumentation or shared resources and is not limited to a single item. Continuing or operating costs (e.g., staff labor, laptops, etc.) are not allowable under this program. Only necessary costs should be included. Attempts to maximize the award amount with costs that are not integral to the project may receive unfavorable reviews. Finally, indicate the total request for the RCRP funding. Each award will be in the range of $100,000–$500,000 for direct costs.
Cost sharing by the core, unit, department, or college is expected. The cost share should be for direct project expenses—not for general operations, and not from previously incurred expenses.
- Provide a Justification
Please upload as one PDF a justification for the requested resource(s) that is no more 2 two pages in length and written for a general audience, incorporating accessible and non-technical language whenever possible. Assess comparable capabilities on campus. Is similar equipment available on campus? If so, why is that equipment unable to meet researcher needs? Include alternative mechanisms for obtaining these resources if this proposal is not funded. Expenses that are not well-justified may result in proposals that are unfunded or partially funded.
- Upload Usage and User Data for the Relevant Resource
Please upload as one PDF a record of resource usage or utilization for a meaningful time frame (previous year or years). Explain usage in terms of practical capacity or limits. Include a summary of current resource users, affiliation, and intensity of use for a meaningful time period (previous months or year). Note any anticipated changes (e.g., new faculty member or pending grant award).
- Highlight Support of Funded Projects
Please upload a PDF of no more than 3 pages that describes the need to support major and minor users with this shared resource. In up to 5 examples, highlight the role of the resource in advancing the work of extramurally-funded projects. Describe the importance of the resource to recently recruited faculty members.
- Outline Core Administration
Please upload a PDF of no more than 2 pages that describes the administrative and operational structure of the core and the resource. Outline the staffing and major responsibilities of core personnel. Note what administrative support is provided at the unit, department, or college level. Describe the structure and membership of the local advisory committee and the short-term (1–2 years) and long-term (3–5 years) goals or priorities for the core.
- Upload a Financial Plan
Please upload a PDF of no more than 3 pages that describes the financial model to support this resource. Demonstrate the sustainability of the shared resource in a financial plan that provides for long-term operation, new user training and maintenance. Outline the costs associated with routine operation and maintenance and costs for any support personnel. The financial plan should include a detailed calculation of expenses and income sufficient to support the resource and may include separate calculations for short-term (1–2 years) and long-term (3–5 years) sustainability.
- Upload Letters of Support and Commitment
Please upload a single PDF that contains up to 5 letters of support from key researchers. In addition, include letters of commitment for matching funds from the core director, center director, department chair, and/or college or school dean.
Submitting the application:
The PI will be able to select “review and submit” before making your final submission. Please make sure to review the entire document before you select “submit.” The PI will also have the option to download the entire document.
General and technical questions should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions concerning proposal development should be sent to:
John Svaren, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research – Biological Sciences: email@example.com
Ryan Pingel, organizational and data analyst, Office of Campus Research Cores: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much match funding should be provided?
- We do not prescribe a specific dollar amount or proportion of the purchase that must be funded by matching dollars, but matching commitments do help demonstrate the breadth and strength of support for a given proposal. Most successful proposals to date have included matching commitments between 20% and 40% of the total project cost.
- Can a proposal be submitted for a facility that supports instruction and research?
- Yes, but it will be important to demonstrate the impact of the proposed equipment on externally funded research. The proposal should quantify research usage for existing equipment and project research usage for the proposed equipment. Help reviewers understand the balance between research and instructional use.
- What are some best practices for a successful proposal?
- Address each point in the proposal instructions.
- Use data to demonstrate wide and heavy usage.
- Provide strong letters of support. Avoid boilerplate text reused across multiple letters.
- Secure match commitments that demonstrate broad support for the requested equipment.
- Contact us with specific questions about your proposal.
- Why does the lead PI have to create and submit the application?
- This helps in managing the online application and review process and aids in our ability to track the information. Once the lead PI has started an application, they may add collaborators to help with the preparation of the materials. However, the lead PI must be the person that ultimately submits the application
- How much match funding should be provided?