To view the full RFP and learn more about ISTC’s Sponsored Research Program, visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/research/.
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, promotes sustainability through resource conservation, pollution prevention, and technical assistance. The Center’s current research activities are focused on industrial pollution prevention; energy conservation and new energy technologies; biofuels; waste reduction; water quality improvements; and water use and reuse.
In pursuit of its mission, ISTC administers the Sponsored Research Grant Program which provides funds to advance the state of knowledge/practice in areas of sustainability, pollution prevention, energy generation and conservation, and environmental issues of importance to the State. Requests for proposals are announced each year or every other year, depending on the availability of funds. Each of ISTC’s new funding cycles begins with a focused solicitation identifying issues of special interest to the State. Pre-proposals are now being requested for funding in FY15. Pre-proposals are due to ISTC by March 11, 2014. They will be screened internally based on factors such as relevance to the solicitation, project objectives, adequacy of methods and techniques to achieve them, and qualifications of participants to carry out the proposed work. Successful pre-proposal applicants will be notified by March 24, 2014, and asked to submit a full proposal by April 25, 2014. Notification of funding will be made by June 3, 2014.
For FY15, there will be approximately $225,000 available for new projects. We anticipate funding 3 – 6 projects (maximum grant amount of $75,000). Project period should be one year or less, with earliest starting date of July 1, 2014, and latest completion date of June 30, 2015.
Proposals are being requested for projects that will contribute to ISTC’s goal of conserving a total of one billion gallons of water in the state of Illinois. Projects located in northeastern Illinois, east-central Illinois, and southwestern Illinois (Metro East area) are particularly encouraged as those areas have been identified as priority water supply planning areas. Projects can be focused on methods for reducing water use; treatment of wastewater or other process water for reuse; novel recycling methods; or other significant water-saving measures. Technologies or practices that are easily transferable to other industries or businesses are preferred. Projects that target significant water savings through energy savings will also be considered.
Projects should be able to achieve real measurable water savings/conservation within the time frame of the project or be able to show a very high potential for significant water savings/conservation in the near future. Funded projects will be used as case studies by ISTC to provide information to other entities about sustainable water-saving/conservation practices and technologies.
The following section of this document provides the guidelines needed to prepare a pre-proposal in response to the FY15 solicitation. Adherence to these guidelines is required.
Eligible Applicants: Businesses, consultants, engineering firms, government/municipal agencies, non-profits, universities, and other institutes of higher education may apply.
Available Funding: Three to six grants (maximum of $75,000 each) will be awarded. Reimbursements will be made following receipt of each quarterly progress report after the first initial payment.
The pre-proposals for this award should contain the following information (use 11-point font or greater for the whole pre-proposal starting each section on a new page):
- Title Page which lists (1 page):
- Investigators and their affiliations
- Duration (start date July 1, 2014, or after; end date no later than June 30, 2015)
- Total Cost, funds requested and any matching funds (matching funds are not required but cash match would be a positive factor in proposal selection).
- Pre-proposal narrative which (3 single-spaced pages or less)
- Outlines the problem – giving the context and specific need.
- Describes what is being proposed and how it advances the state of knowledge and practice of water conservation. (References can be on an additional page and not counted in the narrative page limit.)
- Provides a broad overview of the approach and timeline.
- Discusses expected results (e.g., how many gallons of water saved), impacts, or outcomes as well as potential for transfer of practices to other industries or business sectors.
- Preliminary budget (1 page or less): Give a brief breakdown of costs. Pre-proposals do not need to include a fully executed budget. The request for funds must include overhead as required by the institution or entity. Purchase of equipment is allowed but must not be greater than two-thirds of the budget amount.
- Resume(s): Include a maximum 1-page resume for each investigator demonstrating sufficient expertise and a history of project completions.
Pre-proposal Evaluation Criteria
Pre-proposals will be reviewed for the following:
- Does the work fit within the scope of the solicitation topic?
- Is the work significant?
- Is this project innovative?
- Will the work be able to be completed in the stated timeframe?
- Will the anticipated results provide positive impacts toward the goal of conserving a total of one billion gallons of water in FY15?
- Can this project or the practices be easily used/adopted by other industries, businesses, or entities to broaden the impact?
- March 11, 2014 (by 5 pm CST) – Pre-proposals due to ISTC (with preliminary budgets)
- March 24, 2014 – Invitations to submit full proposals. Detailed guidelines for submission of full proposals will be provided at that time and will also be available on the ISTC web site. Full proposals will undergo detailed technical reviews by external reviewers as well as internal review.
- April 25, 2014 (by 5 pm CST) – Full proposals due to ISTC
- June 3, 2014 – Notification of funding
- Email an attached electronic pdf copy of the pre-proposal to Nancy Holm at email@example.com. Please include the PI’s last name in the name of the attached file (e.g., Holm_MembraneFiltration_Preproposal.pdf).
- Pre-proposals must be received by 5 pm CST, March 11, 2014.
All questions regarding the program should be directed via email to Nancy Holm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-244-3330. Specific technical questions should be directed via email to Dr. Kishore Rajagopalan at email@example.com or call 217-244-8905.