Request for Letters of Interest 2013
To: Faculty and Research Staff in Science and Engineering
Date: August 1, 2013
From: Pablo G. Debenedetti, Dean for Research
Subject: The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund – Request for Letters of Interest
Deadline: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
I am delighted to announce this year’s competition for support from the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund (EWSF), endowed by the Schmidts’ perceptive generosity. The purpose of the fund, as put forth by President Emerita Shirley M. Tilghman at its inauguration “…is to fund risk-taking projects, understanding that with risk comes not only the potential for huge reward, but some frequency of failure.”
The University therefore seeks to fund the following kinds of research:
- Invention of a disruptive new technology having potential major impact on a field of research.
- Acquisition of equipment or an enabling technology that will transform research in a field.
Eligibility: Faculty and research staff.
Size and term of awards: We plan to provide awards totaling approximately $1M per year on the average, depending on the number and requirements of high-quality proposals received. Funding will normally be spread over one or two years. Smaller payout, or even no awards will be made in years where the quality is inadequate. Sufficiently compelling proposals could be awarded up to $1M.
Allowable Expenses: Equipment, materials and supplies, support for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers directly working on the project. Renovation costs are not allowed, nor is salary support for the Principal Investigator or senior researchers. Additionally, these awards are exempt from indirect costs.
Letters of Interest (LOI) must be no longer than three pages, and should focus on the research proposed, emphasizing its potential significance and impact. Please be sure to address the following issues:
- The LOI should explain why the generation or acquisition of the specific technology is ground-breaking.
- Please include a simple budget containing sufficient detail to be reviewable by the committee.
- Proposed research that would combine support from the EWSF and other sources is eligible. In such cases the sources, amounts, and status of non-EWSF support must be specified. It is essential to emphasize the impact and leverage (“bang for the buck”) that a grant from the EWSF would provide.
- Letters of Interest should be sent electronically to John Ritter, director of Technology Licensing (email@example.com) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Each PI will receive a prompt acknowledgement, as assurance that his/her submission has been properly received.
A peer-review committee will evaluate the letters of interest and invite selected researchers to submit full proposals. Selection will be based entirely on the overall quality and innovativeness of the proposed research, its significance and its likely impact.
The committee will review the full proposals and forward its recommendations to the President, who will consider them and announce the winner(s).