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Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences Request for Proposals

Research proposals requested: CEIS is soliciting research proposals for consideration in the 2019/2020 program year (7/1/2020 – 6/30/ 2021).  CEIS is a NYSTAR (Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation) designated Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) funded by NY State.   Proposals will be reviewed in May 2020, for projects to commence on July 1, 2020 subject to the availability of funds. The goal of the CEIS CIR program is to stimulate economic growth in NY State by promoting technology transfer from our universities to New York companies.  Accordingly, proposed projects should involve a NY industry partner that is actively engaged with the project, financially sponsoring the research, and providing assessment of economic impact of the project.

Who may apply: The CIR program is open to Principal Investigators (PIs) from the faculties of Rochester Institute of Technology and other regional universities. Persons eligible to be PIs shall hold full time faculty positions or full-time positions enjoying similar responsibilities, rights, and privileges in their respective universities.  Note that only university PIs are eligible for CIR funding.  CEIS does not award funds to companies.

Types of projects considered: CEIS support traditionally spans a broad range of optics, photonics and imaging interests, including ophthalmic and vision science, fiber optic communications, biomedical imaging, geospatial imaging, precision optics, consumer imaging and displays.  Proposals in other technical areas will be considered as well.

Award specifics: In general, awards are computed as one-half the dollar value (excluding qualifying “in kind” contributions) of designated funds from NYS companies.  Travel expenses are not allowed on the CEIS portion of the award.  Equipment purchased is considered the property of the CAT.  F&A on the CEIS awarded funds is restricted to 15% on payroll expenses (salary and benefits) only and may be allowed at a reduced rate of 25% of payroll expenses only on the company matching funds with Dean’s Office approval.  CEIS awards are capped at $30,000 per proposal and $45,000 per faculty researcher.  Awards will be granted for one year only.  Submission of a new proposal is required for all 2020/2021 funding, even for continuing projects.

Selection of proposals for awards: For each category of projects, proposals will be ranked by an outside review panel serving at the invitation of the director and the awards will be given according to rank to the funding maximum. We anticipate making awards for a July 1, 2020 start datesubject to the availability of funds.  The criteria for evaluation will be based on:

  1. Scientific and technical merit (50%)
  2. Potential economic impact on the state of New York (50%)
  3. Demonstrated technical accomplishments and economic impact (for continuing projects)
  4. Level of corporate support in relation to requested NYSTAR funding (minimum of 2:1 required)
  5. Consistency with the technical themes and strategic interests of CEIS (exceptions on a case by case basis)

Scientific and technical merit: The scientific and technical quality of the proposed fundamental or applied research or development activities is assessed by outside expert reviewers.  The proposal should clearly and succinctly state the problem, objectives, methodology, work plan and deliverables of the project.

Economic impact: Ranking will be strongly dependent on the potential jobs and revenues that will result from the proposed projects.  Note that economic impact is equal in weight to scientific and technical merit.  PIs are strongly encouraged to work closely with their industrial sponsors on the Economic Impact portion of their proposals to give realistic quantitative estimates of the expected impact.

Proposal submission: All proposals must be submitted by email as attachments using the forms on the CEIS web site at  Please note: Documentation of company commitment must accompany the proposal.  Proposals will not be reviewed if this is missing.  RIT proposals are due to Scott Miller ( 585-475-4287)) by May 18, 2020.