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Scholarship and Collaboration in Humanities and Arts Research (SCHARP)

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Scholarship and Collaboration in Humanities and Arts Research (SCHARP) Awards aim to support innovative works of scholarship and creative activities in the arts and humanities that have the potential to transform a field of study, impact the common good, or chart a new direction in scholarly, creative, or artistic development.  Proposal reviews will be conducted by a committee composed of representatives from UCHI, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Fine Arts.

To learn more about the SCHARP Awards, visit the OVPR Storrs site.

UConn Innovations in Quantum STEM Education

Advances in quantum science have the potential to have transformative social and economic impact.  New technologies are poised to revolutionize major industries, creating opportunities for new applications that will fuel economic growth.

Taking full advantage of emerging quantum technologies requires a STEM-educated workforce that is ready to put these new technologies to work.  The Innovations in Quantum STEM Education program seeks to inspire and seed research into quantum-ready STEM education and workforce training that will enable our communities to rise to meet the new employment opportunities that quantum technologies will bring.  We encourage collaborations between UConn and Yale faculty, as well as other academic, workforce development, and corporate/industry partner organizations, to pursue innovative educational research related to quantum.  We particularly encourage collaborations that include faculty from quantum-related fields, STEM Education or curriculum development, and/or digital media and design.

Areas of interest include (but are not limited to): assessing the current state of STEM education approaches in our region and our readiness for quantum, developing/testing new educational approaches to teaching quantum-related STEM concepts, developing training modules and game-based techniques for teaching quantum concepts, developing/implementing quantum-informed curriculum plans for all educational levels, and developing/implementing quantum-informed workforce development approaches for specific industries.

This program is offered as a companion program to the Quantum-CT Regional Innovation Engine project. Quantum-CT, led by UConn and Yale University, is an effort to build an innovation ecosystem of researchers, educators, industry, and state/local stakeholders to harness the economic impact of new quantum-enabled technologies through technology development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and advances in STEM education and workforce development.

To learn more about the program, visit the OVPR Storrs site.

UConn Quantum Innovation Seed Grants

Advances in quantum science have the potential to have transformative social and economic impact.  New technologies are poised to revolutionize major industries, creating opportunities for new applications that will fuel economic growth.

The UConn Quantum Innovation Seed Grant program is designed to encourage and catalyze collaboration among researchers from UConn, Yale University and other regional academic partners, corporate/industry partners, and other stakeholders to explore, develop, and translate innovations and applications related to quantum technologies.  Building on existing strengths at UConn and within partner organizations across the region, this program seeks to support the development of use-inspired applications of quantum technologies relevant to the following research areas and industries:

  • New materials and manufacturing methods for fabricating quantum devices
  • Quantum computing and algorithms; quantum assisted optimization, quantum simulation
  • Advancements in data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning
  • Quantum information technologies, quantum sensing and cryptography

Quantum science is expected to have direct applications in industries in which Connecticut has a strong presence and workforce:

  • Healthcare and biotechnology
  • Insurance and financial tech
  • Cybersecurity
  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Defense
  • Other use sectors

This program is offered as a companion program to the Quantum-CT Regional Innovation Engine project. Quantum-CT, led by UConn and Yale University, is an effort to build an innovation ecosystem of researchers, educators, industry, and state/local stakeholders to harness the economic impact of new quantum-enabled technologies through technology development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and advances in STEM education and workforce development.

To learn more about the program, visit the OVPR Storrs site.

UConn Quantum Startup Awards

Advances in quantum science have the potential to have transformative social and economic impact.  New technologies are poised to revolutionize major industries, creating opportunities for new applications that will fuel economic growth.

To accelerate the translation of quantum technologies, UConn’s Office of the Vice President for Research is creating a new program to support faculty entrepreneurs interested in creating new startups based on quantum-related innovations – the UConn Quantum Startup Awards

This program is offered as a companion program to the Quantum-CT Regional Innovation Engine project. Quantum-CT, led by UConn and Yale University, is an effort to build an innovation ecosystem of researchers, educators, industry, and state/local stakeholders to harness the economic impact of new quantum-enabled technologies through technology development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and advances in STEM education and workforce development.

To learn more about the program, visit OVPR Storrs site.

Active and Pending Support

General Information/Introduction

UConn researchers should be transparent regarding their other research support, other research activities, and research collaborations when submitting grant proposals to external sponsors. Disclosure of such support, via forms commonly referred to as “Current and Pending” or “Other Support,” allows the identification of potential duplication of funding, assessment of the investigator’s capacity/available effort to complete proposed projects, the evaluation of potential conflicts of interest, and the overall protection of national security and economic interests.

While the format/form being provided to the sponsor may vary, if applicable to a proposal under development, PIs should include ALL support, including grants and contracts from all domestic and non-U.S. sources, including support internal to UConn. Additional guidance is generally available in the specific funding opportunity announcement to which the proposal is responding, and MUST be followed to avoid return without review or other negative consequences.

Federal agencies are increasingly placing additional scrutiny on potential foreign influence and its impact upon the U.S. research enterprise. Efforts at the federal level are currently underway to standardize disclosure requirements, forms, and other requirements, and some agencies have provided additional guidance on completing disclosure documents. For additional assistance, or to report changes to disclosure documents related to existing awards, please contact your department administrator or SPS@uchc.edu.

Active and Pending Support

New England University Collaboration on Renewable and Sustainable Energy (NEUCORSE)

Purpose

UConn’s NEUCORSE initiative is designed to catalyze collaboration among universities in New England to address our nation’s urgent need for renewable and sustainable energy.  Building on UConn’s existing strengths in clean energy engineering, this program seeks to support the development of cross-institutional teams with the expertise and capacity to successfully tackle the most challenging scientific and technical problems in this area.  NEUCORSE awards should be thought of as planning grants that will provide seed funding and support team development activities to prepare teams for larger-scale activities in the future.   We welcome proposals focusing on any topic that is relevant to the larger goal of developing renewable and sustainable energy solutions and that can be best addressed through sustained, interdisciplinary efforts within New England.  It is expected that proposed teams be diverse, including investigators from underrepresented groups and a mixture of early-career and more senior investigators.  It is also expected that the planning activities proposed include activities that prepare for future work that will have significant broader impacts, including workforce development.

For more information, please visit the program’s website here.

Research Development Services (RDS): Proposal Development Services Overview

Overview

As a University, we’ve committed to work together to substantially grow UConn/UConn Health’s capacity for high-level research, scholarship, and creative endeavors.  As part of its Research Development (RD) efforts, the Office of the Vice President for Research now offers proposal development services to increase the competitiveness of proposals UConn/UConn Health investigators submit to funders.  The services offered include consultation, brief and in depth proposal reviews, and large and complex proposal support.

Proposal development services build on the success of OVPR RD initiatives such as grantwriting training and seed funding programs by providing grantwriting support, including grantsmanship reviews, proposal editing, and project management support for large and complex proposals.  These services are designed to ensure that high-quality science and scholarship proposed by UConn investigators can be as competitive as possible.

To learn more about the role and mission of our Research Development Services team, the services we offer, and to submit requests for service, please visit this link.

Proposal Development, Review, and Submission Timeline

Full Business Days Before Submission Deadline

>6 days: PI provides application components to local grants administrator (or Faculty Services)

5 days: Complete application (plus draft scientific components) and IPR submitted to SPS

5-2 days: SPS reviews proposal and provides feedback

2 days: Corrections made and all approvals in place

Noon day before deadline: Final proposal and PI authorization to submit to sponsor provided to SPS

1-0 days before deadline: Proposal submitted

 

Important Notice on Proposal Submission Policy

Revision Date: March 8, 2021 – revisions in italics

As an applicant organization, UConn/UConn Health has an institutional responsibility to verify the accuracy, validity, conformity, and eligibility of all applications submitted to a sponsor on behalf of the University. We have been exploring how to ensure the best delivery of services, meet sponsor and institutional policy requirements that were highlighted in the recent NSF audit, and to ensure that the University has sufficient time to review and certify proposals and increase the number of successful applications. To that end, we have conducted a survey of all faculty who submitted grant proposals within the last two years, listened to the research community’s comments at town halls, and solicited input from the President, Provost, deans, associate deans for research, the President’s Research Advisory Council, University Senate, and other faculty groups.

This listening process revealed that one of the main challenges for both investigators and staff is the bottleneck that occurs immediately prior to proposal submission. In recent years, nearly two-thirds of proposals submitted (with all components ready) are received by Sponsored Program Services (SPS) within one working day or less of the sponsor deadline.

Numerous proposals are being submitted just barely in time, meaning there is little time for a thorough review. Additionally, proposals that have been submitted to SPS far in advance also routinely lack a timely and thorough review because other proposals with an earlier deadline came in and “cut the line.”

To begin to remedy the proposal submission bottleneck, beginning May 5, 2021, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) will implement the current policy on internal deadlines for the review and submission of sponsored project proposals. The process change aims to reduce last day proposal submissions and will prioritize proposals as received. Once the policy is implemented, final administrative components of a proposal must be received by SPS Pre-Award at least five full business days in advance of the submission due date (along with a draft of the scientific components). The final submission ready proposal is due to SPS no later than noon the day before the sponsor deadline.

Exceptions include short turnaround RFPs, last minute sponsor requests, or a last minute opportunity to join a proposal under submission by another institution. Also, each UConn investigator will be given one pass to use in the event they are not able to meet the internal five-day deadline. As is the current practice, SPS Pre-Award will make every effort to submit these proposals when possible. Please visit the OVPR website for additional information and FAQs regarding the internal deadline policy.

To increase faculty support related to proposal preparation, the OVPR will be taking the following additional steps:

  • The OVPR is working to address situations where investigators do not have dedicated administrative support for the preparation of a proposal; we will continue to increase staff training opportunities, extend faculty service offerings, and work to simplify the submission process.
  • The OVPR will implement a dashboard to increase transparency and provide information on the status and order of review.
  • The OVPR will provide additional research development services, such as grant editing and proofreading, proposal review, large and complex grant support, and research funding consultation. Further information regarding these services and how to request them is available on the OVPR Research Development section of this website.
  • The OVPR will continue to work with and incorporate feedback from faculty working groups.  Upon recommendation of the University Senate, the President formed a sponsored projects working group to identify impediments to the expeditious review of sponsored project proposals in advance of deadlines.  The group’s report is available on the University Senate website.

Development, review, and submission timeline:

Full Business Days Before Submission Deadline

>6 days: PI provides application components to local grants administrator (or Faculty Services)

5 days: Complete application (plus draft scientific components) and IPR submitted to SPS

5-2 days: SPS reviews proposal and provides feedback

2 days: Corrections made and all approvals in place

Noon day before deadline: Final proposal and PI authorization to submit to sponsor provided to SPS

1-0 days before deadline: Proposal submitted

SPS is responsible for ensuring that applications are compliant and that institutional and sponsor guidelines are met including administrative, management, and scientific information. Please contact Paul Hudobenko (hudobenko@uchc.edu/UConn Health) or Mark Reeves (mark.reeves@uconn.edu/Storrs and Regionals) with questions as we move to a consistent and sustainable process.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in our collaborative efforts to advance UConn’s mission through innovative research, scholarship, and creative pursuits.

Guidance for Fall 2020 Lab, Field, and Human Subjects Research

To the UConn Research Community:

As we approach the beginning of another unprecedented time in UConn’s history, my team and I have provided guidance on several topics related to the continued resumption of research. Since May, researchers have shown that with proper procedures, adherence to guidelines, and community commitment, it was possible to return to the critically important research projects happening throughout UConn. Throughout this process, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has adhered to President Katsouleas’ message that in order to educate our students in a pandemic, we must all work together and to provide a safe learning environment. Students returning to UConn campuses must also commit to the “UConn Promise” to help keep the UConn community safe, including strictly abiding by rules that require a campus quarantine to start the semester, face mask usage at all times, and keeping physical distance from one another. Similar requirements of masking and distancing are mandated by the state for off-campus residents, as well as quarantines for those from most outside states. These guidelines will not only help to keep our students in the classroom, they will help to keep researchers in the lab, field, and clinic.

While most labs have already resumed activities under the current process, which requires approval from the OVPR, some faculty and students may have questions about what is required to continue or initiate new research projects in the fall. As of August 31, 2020 when the campus reopens, obtaining written approval from the OVPR for Resuming Research Activity is no longer necessary to engage in research on any of UConn’s campuses. The following guidance outlines additional aspects of conducting research at UConn for the Fall Re-Opening.

 

Guidance for Fall 2020 Lab, Field, and Human Subjects Research

  • Approval from the OVPR for “Resuming Research Activity” will no longer be required for conducting research at any UConn campus.
  • Labs and research programs must continue to develop and maintain a written COVID-19 Research Safety Plan (Lab and Field Research COVID-19 Safety Plan or Human Subjects COVID-19 Safety Plan), but submission and approval of Research Safety Plans to the OVPR will no longer be required. Departments and administrative offices are required to perform a detailed risk assessment, set site-specific prevention protocols, and to have the resulting safety plan approved by their leadership. If your department does not already have an approved COVID-19 safety plan in place, please use the Return to Campus COVID-19 Protection Plan template to prepare to return to work on campus.
  • Research personnel must continue to be trained on the plan and documentation of the training must be maintained.
  • Research personnel must continue to complete COVID-19 Research Safety Training from the Division of Environmental Health and Safety. Documentation of completion must be retained as part of Research Safety Plan documentation.
  • Research Safety Plans may be amended as necessary. If a plan is amended, all personnel must be retrained on the amended plan and training must be documented.
  • Research Safety Plans should continue to address federal and state guidelines and requirements.
  • Lab and research personnel must follow University wide and campus specific COVID-19 requirements.
  • Research Safety Plans must allow for distancing of at least six feet, with the goal of maintaining an overall personnel density of 50% or less of the pre-COVID occupancy/density. If this is not possible then the Safety Plan must justify why and specify what measures will be put in place to minimize the potential of exposure.
  • For research involving human subjects, Research Safety Plans should follow the clinical requirements of UConn Health, even if those projects take place on another UConn campus. If this is not possible, the Research Safety Plan must justify why and specify what measures will be put in place to minimize the potential of exposure.
  • Labs and research programs should maintain a process to know when personnel are working in the labs or research areas. Labs and research programs may develop their own methods to achieve this goal. Signed daily logs will no longer be required as the only acceptable method. Other acceptable methods include key card access, electronic check-ins, or use of location-based apps. Some schools and colleges may also have processes in place for monitoring building density and access.
  • Labs and research programs should continue to have and refine plans to immediately halt or ramp down research activities, if required.
  • The summer requirements/processes for undergraduates to participate in research will no longer be required. Guidance for Fall Undergraduate Research and Independent Study Courses has been issued.

 

While we reopen UConn for academic activities, we thank you for your dedication to the health and safety of your labs and the UConn community. If you have additional questions, more information can be found on the OVPR website or by emailing ovpr@uconn.edu.