UC MEXUS-CONACYT
Grants for Collaborative Projects

$25,000 Maximum for up to 1.5 years
Deadline for receipt of proposals: February 25, 2019


A Program Established Under the UC-CONACYT Agreement of Cooperation in Higher Education and Research, July 25, 19971 (1Joint funding for this program is provided in accordance with the most recent UC-CONACYT Agreement signed in 2015.)

The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) are pleased to announce a call for proposals to provide seed funding to teams of UC and Mexican researchers with beginning projects in basic and applied collaborative research, instructional development, and public service and education projects that apply research to public issues. The primary objective of the program is to enable the establishment of new collaborative initiatives with the potential for creating permanent ties between UC campuses and Mexican institutions that will grow and continue with the support of other institutional and extramural funds. Therefore, proposals for expansion or continuation of ongoing projects, as well as dissemination of research results of earlier work through binational conferences and publications, will be considered a lower priority.

Projects funded are expected to lead to development of major, long-term collaborations; significant advancement of scholarship in the natural sciences, physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences, social sciences, or humanities; strengthening of academic and research capabilities of the participating UC and Mexican institutions, especially in Mexican regional universities and institutions outside of the traditional Mexican research centers; the development of innovative binational instruction or new courses or degree programs; and/or public service and education programs addressing critical issues in Mexico or in the United States. The program also favors projects that enhance institutional collaboration in terms of student training and researcher exchange. Grant recipients are expected to use the seed funds to undertake the preliminary research necessary to develop proposals for extramural funding.

Eligibility

Each proposal must be co-directed by an eligible Principal Investigator from a UC campus and an eligible Principal Investigator from a Mexican institution of higher education and/or research center that is part of the Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas (RENIECYT). Recipients of two or more UC MEXUS-CONACYT collaborative grants within the previous five years (2014-2018) are not eligible to apply. Postdoctoral researchers and students are not eligible. Principal Investigators are encouraged to submit proposals that include additional academic participants from U.S. and Mexican institutions other than their own.

Principal Investigators may submit only one proposal to this competition, and the same proposal may not be submitted to concurrent UC MEXUS or CONACYT grants competitions. The project may be connected to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT postdoctoral fellowship program. However the grant proposal must be unique and written for the goals of this program, i.e., it may not be a copy of the proposal submitted to the fellowship program.

University of California Principal Investigators must meet eligibility criteria specified in the University of California Policy on Eligibility to Submit Proposals, Office of the President, Contract and Grant Manual, 1-530, Issued January 1, 1996. The criteria authorize the submission of proposals for research or training contracts and grants by academic appointees in the following title groups: (1) Members of the Academic Senate, including emeriti; (2) Appointees in the Agronomist series, including emeriti; (3) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Adjunct Professor series; (4) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Clinical Professor series; (5) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Professional Research series; (6) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Cooperative Extension Specialist series.

Principal Investigators from Mexican institutions must meet eligibility criteria set forth by CONACYT, which specify that they must hold full time academic/research appointments in a Mexican institution of higher education and/or research that is part of the Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas (RENIECYT) referred to in article 25, section II of the Law of Science and Technology (LCYT).

Conditions of Award

Because of the collaborative component of these awards, a single final narrative report indicating full concurrence by both Co-Principal Investigators and financial reports from each institution must be submitted at the end of the project. The support of UC MEXUS and CONACYT shall be acknowledged in proposals, publications, conference materials, exhibitions, videotapes, or other products of the grant. A copy of each such product must be provided to UC MEXUS as the Office of Record for the UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants program. During the project period, grant recipients may be asked to participate in seminars, conferences, and educational activities organized by UC MEXUS-CONACYT as part of this program. Prior to funding of new proposals, Co-Principal Investigators must complete previous awards in this program, and final financial and narrative reports must be filed and accepted by UC MEXUS.

Any selected project that uses human subjects, including pilot surveys or interviews, will be required to provide a copy of a UC campus IRB Human Subjects approval or exemption before the grant can be awarded. Applicants who are conducting research in Mexico are expected to acquire all required permits for sampling or fieldwork in Mexico, as well as export and import permits as appropriate. Copies of human subject review approvals or necessary research permits that have been obtained already should be included in the proposal as an attachment.

Budgets

Awards of up to $25,000 will be provided for the 18-month period, July 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. The budget must specify the planned distribution of costs and funds at both the UC and Mexican institutions. All budgets are subject to strict administrative review. The appropriateness of the budget to the project and to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT program is considered within the criteria for the peer review process. No project will be funded until all the appropriate items have been approved.

Allowable expenses include:

  • Domestic and international travel—including transportation, lodging, and meal expenses—for the purpose of meetings for project planning; collaborative research and training; field, laboratory and archival research; and data collection. Keep in mind that the program is intended to support the seed research phase of a project. As a result, conference attendance is given lower priority in the review process. If included, it should be limited to one meeting, no more than $500 per Co-P.I., and clearly directly related to the development of the project or the reporting of results.
  • Student research assistance for UC or Mexico students.
  • Supplies and services, including laboratory analyses and computing.

Items which will not be funded include:

  • Salary payments to Co-Principal Investigators or any other academic salaries, except student research assistants.
  • Student/academic fees or tuition for student assistants.
  • Equipment purchases in excess of $1,000 per item.
  • Indirect costs or institutional overhead assessments.
Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be jointly submitted by eligible UC and Mexican collaborators by Monday, February 25, 2019 using the on-line application site. There is no subsequent hard copy deadline. The items required in a complete application are listed below. Each of the items must be completed and uploaded online before you will be allowed to submit the entire application.

  • Application Cover Sheet, providing summary information in English and Spanish about the project and project personnel. For your records, the cover sheet can be printed out directly from the on-line application, where it says “View and Print Application Cover Page.” Keep in mind that the abstract should be understandable to a review committee of diverse academic expertise.
  • Project Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet, University of California, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying institutional approvals, i.e., a signature from the UC P.I.’s campus sponsored research or contracts and grants office.

    Each Co-Principal Investigator is responsible for securing all appropriate approvals from their home institution or campus prior to submission of the proposal. Please note that earlier local deadlines may be in place at each institution and the approval process should be undertaken well before the UC MEXUS-CONACYT electronic submission deadline. UC investigators should contact their campus research office or office of contracts and grants administration (a list of UC campus offices is provided on the UC MEXUS Resources page).

    The form for the Institutional Approval Sheet can be downloaded from the online application site (or by clicking on the link at the start of this bullet item). The completed and signed form should be uploaded to the online application site. Digital or electronic signatures are allowed.
  • Project Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet, Mexican Institution, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying the signature of the legal representative of the Co-Principal Investigator's institution.

    Each Co-Principal Investigator is responsible for securing all appropriate approvals from their home institution or campus prior to submission of the proposal. Please note that earlier local deadlines may be in place at each institution and the approval process should be undertaken well before the UC MEXUS-CONACYT electronic submission deadline. Mexican investigators should consult with the office responsible for approval of proposals at their institution in order to obtain the endorsement of the appropriate representative.

    The form for the Institutional Approval Sheet can be downloaded from the online application site (or by clicking on the link at the start of this bullet item). The completed and signed form should be uploaded to the online application site. Digital or electronic signatures are allowed.
  • Budget Request, in English or Spanish, specifying the cost to support activities at each of the participating institutions, along with a detailed explanation of all requested items. Indicate all amounts in U.S. currency. Please refer to the budget section above for allowable items and expenses.
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae, in English or Spanish, for each Co-Principal Investigator and academic participant (except for students) in the project. Do not exceed five pages for each individual; list only current and/or most relevant publications.
  • Letters of intent to participate from all academic participants, written in English or Spanish. Letters of intent are not required from the Co-Principal Investigators or students. Letters should be on institutional letterhead and include a signature. Digital or electronic signatures are allowed.
  • Project Plan, in English or Spanish and preferably as a pdf. Do not exceed 10 pages. The meaningful participation of both Co-Principal Investigators must be evident in the project plan. Provide background information about the project; summarize relevant academic or scientific issues and literature, and state the specific objectives of the project. Describe the work to be performed, including information regarding who will perform each task and the timeline governing the work; discuss plans for continuation of the project beyond the UC MEXUS-CONACYT grant period, including plans to seek additional funding from outside agencies and foundations. Explain the significance of the work, both its potential for advancement of science, scholarship, or technology and its possible importance in regional, environmental, economic, social, or other terms. If graduate students are to be involved in the project, describe the work they will undertake, its relevance to their graduate study, and the supervision planned for their participation.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a paragraph on the project’s fit to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT program goals and objectives as described at the beginning of this Call for Proposals. Note any previous UC MEXUS-CONACYT funding, including a description of the project results and the current status of the award.
  • Bibliography. Provide a list of key resources or references for the project plan, cited in the language in which they were published.
  • Attachments. These should be kept to a minimum. Attach only critical documents in the on-line submission, such as maps or sample survey instruments. Do not attach large files, additional articles, or addendums that essentially lengthen the project plan text.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted. A copy of the cover page information and links to your uploaded files can be printed from the online application site, under “View and Print Application Cover Page.”

UC MEXUS and CONACYT provide no pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition. However, proposal writing suggestions specific to this program can be found on the UC MEXUS website under "Resources."

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals

To be considered, proposals must be submitted to the on-line application site not later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 25, 2019. Late or incomplete proposals will not be considered, and proposals will not be accepted by e-mail. Please note that all items, including the signed Institutional Approval Forms, are required by that date. We do not have a subsequent hard copy deadline and strongly suggest that applicants get the required institutional signatures well before the proposal is submitted electronically.

Review Process and Criteria

UC MEXUS and CONACYT are committed to the principles of peer review and parity in the review and selection processes. Each proposal will be reviewed, evaluated, and rated by a committee of faculty members and/or researchers from Mexican and UC institutions representing expertise in relevant topics. Proposals should be written for a committee of broadly based expertise and interests. Appropriate bibliographies and supporting documents should be provided.

In addition to standard review criteria such as clarity, quality, and feasibility of the proposal, the Committee will assign great importance to the character and parity of the proposed collaboration and the binational unity of the work. Reviewers will seek evidence of meaningful participation among all collaborators and will look for project design that leads to development of new research programs and resources in UC or Mexican institutions. The potential for establishment of long-term collaborative activities between the Co-Principal Investigators, their students, and their institutions is a critical factor. Committees will evaluate the significance of the proposed work for society and/or for the advancement of science and scholarship. The involvement of graduate students is an important factor and will be evaluated in terms of the students' participation in ways that advance their training.

Applicants are expected to exercise sound environmental protection standards when conducting research in Mexico and be particularly attentive to the risk of introducing or spreading pathogens or invasive exotics in native ecosystems or agricultural systems. In addition, participants are expected to follow research protocols that demonstrate sensitivity to cultural factors affecting human subjects and non-academic participants. In the proposal narrative, particular attention should be given to research methodology, including how samples will be drawn, how control groups will be used, how questionnaires will be constructed and administered, and, in general, how cooperation will be elicited from local informants and subjects. Proposals should indicate awareness of the appropriate permits, human subject reviews, and other documents required for research in either Mexico or the United States, and awards may be contingent upon evidence of these permits or the approval of individual campus Institutional Review Boards.

In addition, reviewers consider whether the budget is in keeping with the methodology, appropriate to the program goals, and within the allowable criteria set forth by UC MEXUS and CONACYT (see the Budgets section). In keeping with the intention of the program to provide seed funding, review committee members will also look for plans for future work beyond the project period and the intention of the researchers to develop applications for extramural funding from other agencies and foundations that can provide substantial long-term support. All proposals should discuss any UC MEXUS-CONACYT funding received by the Co-Principal Investigators in the past five years, including a description of the project results and the current status of the award.

The program does not offer any pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition. Additional proposal writing suggestions specific to this program can be found on this website under Resources.

Administration of Awards

All funds will be administered in accordance with University of California policies and procedures and in observance with CONACYT's institutional requirements. The portion of the grant awarded to the Principal Investigator at UC will be transferred directly to their respective campus, and the portion of the grant awarded to the Mexican Principal Investigator will be transferred directly to their respective institution under terms previously determined and agreed upon by UC MEXUS and the institution.

Each Principal Investigator is responsible for accurate and appropriate administration of funds, accounting of expenditures, and completion of accurate and timely financial reports. Principal Investigators are equally responsible for preparation of the required final narrative report and for acknowledgment of UC MEXUS and CONACYT support in products resulting from the grant. Final reports and accounting of funds are to be submitted jointly by both Co-Principal Investigators within the established deadlines to UC MEXUS as the Office of Record for the program. No indirect costs or institutional overhead may be charged against funds awarded under this program.

For additional information contact:
Dr. Wendy DeBoer
Director of Academic Programs, UC MEXUS, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521
tel: (951) 827-7339; e-mail: wendy.deboer@ucr.edu
or
Mtro. Alejandro Uribe Castillo
Director de Planeación de Ciencia, CONACYT
tel: (55) 5322-7700 Ext. 4060; e-mail: auuribeca@conacyt.mx

Consult the UC MEXUS website
Consult the CONACYT website
Updated on 10/23/2019