The University of Arizona

Industry Engagement and Interdisciplinary Link Student Team Awards

Funding Links

Contact Research Development Services 
Phone: (520) 621-8585


Award Cycle: Annual
Limit on Proposals per PI: An individual may participate as PI on one proposal per cycle.
Next Due Date: March 15, 2018
Earliest Start Date: July 1, 2018
Award Period: July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Applications: Submissions are currently closed.

Updated guidance will be posted in January 2018. The guidance below is for the FY17 competition. 

Description: These Category 1 grants are designed to catalyze new extramural research and build new intramural collaborations. Awards support Graduate Research Assistants (salary, ERE, tuition remission, travel), undergraduate research assistants, and core facility usage.

Track 1: Interdisciplinary Link awards extend a single faculty member’s funded research (i.e., existing grant) into new interdisciplinary efforts with a collaborator in another discipline (typically in another college) via a co-mentored GRA.

Track 2: Industry Engagement awards extend a newly funded UA-industry agreement via a co-mentored GRA. The GRA should work in industry and gain experience supervising and mentoring undergraduates conducting the industry-supported work.

1. Expected Outcomes: Student Team awards must be leveraged to acquire external support for the proposed research. Indications of such support will vary (e.g., depending on when external proposals are due). PIs are expected to use RDI services/staff to enhance the competitiveness of external proposals. Options include: Research Development Services, Strategic Business Initiatives, and consultation with federal agency representatives. In addition, PIs will need to liaise with college/departmental staff on planning proposal budgets. Other expectations are distinguished for the tracks below.

a. Interdisciplinary Link

  • Co-mentors must be faculty from different disciplines (typically across colleges).

b. Industry Engagement

  • Co-mentors must include the UA-based PI and an industry-based collaborator.

2. Eligibility: UA Competition Space will require a single PI from the UA as a local lead for RDI to contact. Teams must include the PI, one graduate student, and at least one other mentor for the student (i.e., UA faculty for Track 1; industry supervisor for Track 2). Teams can include other participants, but those participants cannot serve as PI.

3. Other Program Details

a. Proposal-Related Information: Student Team proposals must be submitted through UA Competition Space by 5:00 PM on May 8, 2017. See below for other proposal and submission requirements. Review and award/decline decisions are anticipated to be completed in June.

b. Award-Related Information: Award notification will be sent to PIs, heads/directors, and deans. Awards begin with the fiscal year (i.e., July 1). Typically, Student Team projects will be completed within one year. That is, award period is exactly one year. These awards are not eligible for extensions.

c. Reporting Requirements: Within one month of an award’s end date, the PI must submit a final report via UA Competition Space.

This report will describe activities performed and success in meeting project milestones, ideally including a copy of a proposal submitted to an external funder. If a proposal has not been submitted during the award period, the status of its development must be addressed. Reports must also address the graduate student’s co-mentoring in terms of the originally proposed Individual Development Plan.

d. Review Requirements: Student Team awardees are expected to serve as reviewers on at least two RDI grant competitions over a three-year period.

Failure to meet the expectations described in 3c and 3d results in ineligibility for receipt of subsequent funding from RDI.

4. Review and Selection Processes: Interdisciplinary faculty peers will review proposals. PIs should write proposals that are understandable to such audiences. For both tracks, reviewers will consider the qualifications of the co-mentors and evidence of integrated collaboration. The following criteria will also be considered:

  • Feasibility of plan to pursue external funding and likelihood of a competitive proposal
  • Fit with identified funder’s or industry partner’s priorities
  • Soundness of approach, including research questions and methods
  • Sustainability of project (e.g., in business plan, integration with department/college priorities)
  • How the proposed research advances the graduate student’s skills, leadership, and training

Selection will be based on review recommendations and, where applicable, alignment with University strategic plans and TRIF research initiatives.

5. Application and Submission Instructions: Student Team proposals must be submitted through UA Competition Space by 5:00 PM on May 8, 2017. If you have not used this system, please see the instructions on the right side of UA Competition Space’s home page.

a. Two-Page Project Narrative

  • Summary of short- and long-term research milestones revealing a specific strategy for winning external funding via grants or industry agreements. (Example milestones include manuscripts co-authored by team members, co-hosted events, meetings with funders, submitted grant proposal.)
  • Proposed activities corresponding to each milestone 
  • Discussion of at least one extramural funding opportunity: Include a link to the RFA/RFP/solicitation (or program if the solicitation is not yet available). Give the grant/program title, agency name, and submission deadline, and/or private foundation funding priorities.
  • References (included within the two-page limit)

b. TRIF Initiative: If your proposal aligns with a TRIF initiative, select the most applicable initiative. If your proposal does not align, select "other". Options include: Improving Health; Water, Environment & Energy Solutions; Space Exploration & Optical Solutions; Defense & Security Systems; Other. You may select up to two categories.

c. PI’s CV or agency-specific biographical sketch

d. One-page Individual Development Plan agreed on by graduate student and both mentors

e. One-page description of co-mentoring team

f. Match certification: provide documentation of the match (discussed below). This could include a signed letter from the industry partner or a current award document with GRA support.

g. Budget and budget justification using template on UA Competition Space for costs from among these options:

  • For Track 1: Up to .50 FTE GRA with ERE per semester for two semesters
    • For e.g., .25 FTE GRA per semester for two semesters from Student Team Award and .25 FTE GRA per semester for two semesters from existing grant
    • Student Team Awards will only match the existing grant commitment, i.e., if the existing grant commitment is for .20 FTE GRA per semester then the Student Team Award will provide .20 FTE GRA support per semester.
  • For Track 2: Up to .50 FTE GRA with ERE
    • .50 FTE GRA from industry commitment for the first semester
    • .50 FTE GRA from Student Team Award for the second semester
  • Tuition remission (for the semesters of the GRAship)
  • Travel for graduate student’s data collection or conference attendance (up to $1000)
  • Core facility usage credit (up to $5000)
  • Two undergraduate assistants (up to 15 hours/week for 40 weeks)

Note: No Student Team awards may be used for faculty or administrator salaries; neither may awards be used to replace current sources of support for personnel. No Student Team awards may be used for personnel salaries from other institutions.