The Presidential Scholars Challenge (PSC) program is designed to provide seed or bridge funding for projects in areas important to the core initiatives of Kean University with the objective of securing external funding to continue a research program. One requirement of the grant is to write and submit a significant proposal for external funding during the grant period. For that reason, the PSC application process is modeled on the application processes of two major, potential external funding sources: the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), borrowing a little from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Some of the requirements and instructions listed below are essentially the same as those of NSF and/or IES.
Format: single-spaced, one inch margins in all directions, Times New Roman typeface at 11 points or larger, paginated.
All proposals must include the sections and subsections listed under “Proposal Contents” below.
Prepare the text proposal using any word processing program and then convert those files to PDF.
Electronic copies of the proposal and attachments (all as PDF files) and of the budget (Excel spreadsheet) must be sent as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 1.
A copy of the proposal along with the signed cover page must be submitted to your Dean by November 1. Deans will have one week to review and send recommendations to ORSP.
Applications not adhering to all proposal instructions will not be reviewed. There will be no opportunity to correct and resubmit for this competition.
I. Proposal Title
II. Project Summary
The project summary (Section II) is limited to one page.
This is a succinct but complete description of objectives, methods and significance. It must include a concise statement of your research program goal (what you intend to find out); the specific objectives for the period of the proposed project; and, a summary of the activity that would result if your project is funded. It must include a description of how this activity will better position the PI to apply for external funding to continue the research program. It must then clearly address “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts/Benefits to Kean University” in separate sections.
Explain the importance of the proposed activity to advancing knowledge or understanding within the field or across different fields; if applicable, highlight the creative, original or potentially transformative concepts involved.
B. Broader Impacts/Benefits to Kean University
Examples here include (but are not limited to) how this activity will support and enhance the infrastructure for research and/or education at Kean University and/or establish productive collaborations for the future; how the activity advances discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning; how the participation of underrepresented groups will be expanded; how the activity benefits to society as a whole.
III. Project narrative
The project narrative (Section III) is limited to 10 pages including charts, maps, graphs, etc.
A. Objectives and Expected Significance
This section should start with a restatement of the research objective, a description of the specific objectives for the period of the proposed project, and the relation to the longer-term goals of the PI’s research program. (Remember, this funding is intended to support faculty who then pursue external funding to continue their research program.) Make a compelling case for the potential contribution of this project to the solution of a problem. Include why this objective is important and why it is interesting or difficult or challenging. Provide detail on the intellectual merit of your research objective. Your proposal should describe the contribution that your research is making to the knowledge base and how that impacts the field.
B. Background and Need
In this section you will address what has been done so far and what is the missing knowledge. You might describe the value your research will provide and why these are important issues to be addressing now. You will put your work in context, citing the relevant literature and the work you are building on.
C. General Plan of Work
This is where you provide the broad, technical description of your research plan: the specific activities, methods and data. Present a feasible plan and include a discussion of milestones and expected dates of completion. (Remember the PSC grant mechanism breaks the grant into an initial grant and a continuation grant so be sure you have sufficient, measureable activity planned early enough to show progress and justify continuation.) This is not a plan that you will follow no matter what – it is a path that you believe will get you from where you are now to where you want to be at the end of your research.
The description of personnel on the project should make it apparent that the principal investigator and any key personnel possess the training and experience and will commit sufficient time to competently implement the proposed research. If this is a collaborative project with co-PIs, this is the section in which to describe the major activities, responsibilities and expected contributions of each member.
This section is a brief description of the existing facilities, equipment, supplies and other resources available to the applicant that are required to support the proposed activities.
D. Future Funding
In this section you will describe your plan for seeking external funding. It is important to identify both specific funders and specific funding opportunities offered by these funders. Remember, a condition of this grant is to write and submit a significant new proposal for external funding during the grant period. A significant proposal would, at a minimum match the PSC grant at 2 to 1. So, if you are requesting a PSC grant with a benchmark budget of $40,000 you will need to identify funding opportunities that would provide the potential for a minimum of $80,000 in external funds. Note that resubmissions of proposals previously submitted do not count toward fulfilling the requirement to seek external funding.
The ORSP website http://orsp.kean.edu includes many resources for finding funding opportunities. Look under the “External Funding Opportunities” and “Resources and Training/KU Library Resources” links.
IV. References Cited
Cite the pertinent literature referenced within the project description. The references do not count in the proposal page limit.
V. Curricula vitae
Each CV is limited to two pages, following NSF format. Includes up to five publications “most closely related to this proposal” and up to five “other significant” publications; include up to five synergistic activities.
VI. Current & pending support
Include both internal and external support and list only the following information:
All applications must use the budget form for the PSC program, available on the ORSP website.
Note: SHADED AREAS CONTAIN FORMULAS. PLEASE DO NOT FILL.
1. Salaries and Fringe Benefits
List all personnel who will be involved in the project and complete all unshaded areas in the budget sheet. Summer II salary should be calculated at the current overload rate. Include the roles and responsibilities of all project personnel in the budget justification.
Amounts for non-faculty personnel should be entered in the academic base salary column.
2. Consultant Costs
List all consultants to be used on the project in the budget sheet. Include the hourly rates for each consultant and the responsibilities the consultant will have on the project in the budget justification.
List all major items costing in excess of $500 on the budget sheet. Explain in detail why the equipment is needed for the project and include quotations in budget justification. Do not include research supplies including kits, reagents, cells, serum, etc. with a cost over $500 in this section, these costs should be listed under supplies.
List all supplies needed and the estimated cost of each item to complete the project in the budget sheet. Explain why each supply item is needed and how it is related to the project in the budget justification.
Itemize each destination and the estimated cost of the trip in the budget sheet. Explain the need for the travel and how it is related to the project in the budget justification.
6. Other Expenses
Itemize any other expenses that are related to the project and estimate their costs in the budget sheet. These expenses may include: publication costs, equipment maintenance, software, etc. Explain the need for these expenses and how they are related to the project in the budget justification.
VIII. Budget Narrative
In this section you are justifying your budget request. Include the roles and responsibilities of all project personnel. If applicable, include the hourly rates for each consultant and the responsibilities the consultant will have on the project. If you are requesting equipment, explain in detail why the equipment is needed for the project and include quotations. Explain why each supply item is needed and how it is related to the project. Explain the need for the travel and how it is related to the project. Explain the need for any other expenses you included in your budget request and how they are related to the project.
A. Human Subjects / Vertebrate Animals
Note: An IRB Approval Date is not required at the time of submission but is a requirement of the grant.
Note: an IACUC Approval Date is not required at the time of submission but is a requirement of the grant.
B. Collaborative Arrangements (if applicable)
If your proposal includes a collaborative arrangement with an outside organization, you must include a letter of support specifically outlining the activities that will be performed at that site.
Do not include letters of support from consultants.