UC MEXUS
Grants for Dissertation Research
$12,000 Maximum for Two Years
Deadline for receipt of proposals: September 15, 2014

UC MEXUS is pleased to announce a competition for support of dissertation research or MFA final projects by University of California graduate students in the areas of

Mexico-Related Studies-All Disciplines
Latino Studies
United States-Mexican Relations
Critical U.S.-Mexico Issues
Mexican and Latino Topics in the Arts and Humanities
UC-Mexico Collaboration

Projects funded are expected to lead to the completion of dissertations or MFA degrees in these areas. Preference will be given to projects that hold significant promise for the advancement of science or scholarship in areas of interest to UC MEXUS; that involve meaningful collaboration with a Mexican institution and/or a Mexican scientist or scholar; or that address issues of importance to Mexico and/or the Mexican-origin population in California and/or the United States.

Eligibility

University of California graduate students in good academic standing are eligible if they will have advanced to candidacy for the research doctorate by December 31, 2014. Successful proposals will not be funded until advancement to candidacy is attained. Only one proposal will be accepted from any student. Proposals for renewals of previous UC MEXUS awards will not be considered. Mexican nationals currently enrolled in UC graduate programs, including UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellows, may apply to the dissertation research grants competition. However, please note that the selection process is based on the proposed project's fit to UC MEXUS goals and, specifically, a thematic connection to Mexico, completely independent of the applicant's nationality.

Conditions of Award

Each grant is expected to result in the completion of research to support the dissertation within two years of the UC MEXUS grant award. UC MEXUS support of the project shall be acknowledged within the dissertation and in publications that result, fully or partially, from the UC MEXUS grant. A copy of the dissertation or other publications must be provided to UC MEXUS. During the project period, grant recipients may be asked to participate in seminars, conferences, and educational activities organized 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. Students 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.

Proposals that include any activities that will be undertaken in Mexico must reflect a collaborative relationship with a Mexican scholar or scientist and an affiliation with a host Mexican academic institution. A copy of a letter of invitation from the Mexican institution is required with the proposal.

Budgets

Awards of up to $12,000 will be provided for a project period of two years (January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2016) to support research leading to the dissertation or final MFA project. The grant period will end if the student graduates within that two-year period.

Allowable expenses include:
  • Domestic and international travel for field, laboratory and archival research; data collection; and meetings. Keep in mind that the program is intended to fund research activities directly related to completing the dissertation or MFA final project. As a result, conference attendance is given lower priority in the review process and, if included, should be limited to one meeting, no more than $500 of the total budget, and directly related to the development of the dissertation research or reporting on its results.
  • Computing, lab analyses, and other costs necessary to the research.
  • Payment for field or research assistants, but only if well justified as to why this work would not be done by the applicant.
  • Support stipends for periods of field and archival research if well justified and when no other source of support is available. Stipends are limited to a maximum of $1,000 per month and may not exceed $6,000 over the entire two-year project period.
Items which will not be funded include:
  • Salaries, tuition, or associated academic/educational fees.
  • Equipment purchases.
  • Indirect costs or institutional overhead assessments.
  • Printing, publication, or editing costs of the dissertation or MFA final project.
  • Reimbursement for activities that occur before the project period begins.

All budgets are subject to strict administrative review. No project will be funded until all the appropriate items have been approved.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted by eligible UC graduate students using the online application site. The items required in a complete application are listed below and on the online application site. Each of the items must be completed online before you will be allowed to submit the entire application.

In addition, two hard copy sets of one complete proposal packet (original plus one copy), including the Institutional Approval Form with original signatures, must be submitted to UC MEXUS at the address listed below within 10 days following the online application deadline of September 15, 2014, for the application to be considered complete (i.e., by September 26, 2014). The proposal packets must include hard copies of all files uploaded to the online application submission site.

Procedures established by each campus for the submission of grant proposals must be followed. Approval by the student's research professor/faculty advisor is required; academic standing must be certified by the Graduate Division serving the student. On most campuses, these procedures provide for review of the proposal and budget by the Contracts and Grants or Research Office that serves the student's faculty advisor. The Institutional Approval Form, which documents the required signatures, is available via the link above or from the online application site. Students are responsible for securing all appropriate approvals from their campus prior to submission of the proposal to UC MEXUS. Please note that campus offices may require that proposals be submitted for internal review well before the UC MEXUS deadline.

All proposals must include a complete original set of the following items:
  • Application Cover Sheet, providing summary information about the project, student, advisor, and additional academic participants. For the hard copies to be sent after submitting the application electronically, the cover sheet can be printed out directly from the online application site, where it says "print application." Keep in mind that the abstract should be understandable to a review committee of diverse academic expertise.
  • Project Institutional Approval Sheet, completed and signed in all the places indicated by the student, advisor, UC campus Graduate Division, and UC campus Contracts and Grants or Research Office. The form can be downloaded from the online application site or from the pdf link here. The signed form should be sent with the hard copies.
  • Project Plan. Do not exceed 5 pages. Provide detailed information about the project you propose to develop within a narrative statement. The project plan narrative should include the academic bases for the proposed activities, specific research plans and methodology, and potential results of the project. Refer to the section below, Review Process and Criteria, for additional considerations. A bibliography of relevant work should be attached separately in the next checklist section. Proposals for work in basic science should address the potential applications of the work to a problem of importance to both Mexico and the United States. For any project activities to be conducted in Mexico, planned involvement of Mexican collaborators must be clearly detailed and supported in writing, including a copy of a letter of invitation from the host Mexican institution (see Conditions of Award above). You may disregard this instruction if your project does not involve fieldwork or travel to Mexico. The project plan is uploaded to the online application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS. The letter can be uploaded under "attachments."
  • Bibliography. Provide an abbreviated list of bibliographic references for your project plan and/or relevant work for your dissertation topic. Keep the list brief, no more than 2-3 pages. The bibliography is uploaded to the online application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS.
  • Budget Request specifying the cost to support the project activities along with a detailed explanation of all requested items. Refer to the Budgets section above regarding eligible expenses. Keep in mind that the budget is part of the criteria for the review process. For the hard copies to be sent after the electronic submission, the cover sheet can be printed out directly from the online application site, where it says "print application."
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae, , in English or Spanish, for the student, the advisor, and any additional academic participants (except for students) in the project. Do not exceed five pages for each individual; list only current and/or most relevant publications. The c.v. is uploaded to the online application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS.
  • Letters of intent to participate from any additional academic participants, written in English or Spanish. (Letters of intent are not required from the applicant, students, or the advisor.) The letters are uploaded to the online application site and the paper versions with signatures included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS. Faxes and e-mail messages will not be accepted.
  • Attachments. These should be kept to a minimum. Attach only critical documents in the on-line submission, such as maps or sample survey instruments. If these items cannot be incorporated into the online application site, please provide 10 copies for reviewers. Items that are not uploaded must be included with the hard copy set (they cannot be added in after the deadline) and should not exceed 10 pages in length. For any activities to be undertaken in Mexico, the proposal must include a copy of a letter of invitation from a Mexican academic and/or research institution. Please upload a copy of the letter here and include a hard copy with the proposal packet sent to UC MEXUS. The letter should be addressed to the applicant, and the applicant should retain the original for his/her use while in Mexico.
  • Support letters. Two separate faculty recommendation letters are required from 1) the student's research professor/faculty advisor, and 2) a faculty member other than the student's advisor. This person need not be from the student's department, and the letter may be written in English or Spanish. Both letters must be uploaded by the online application deadline. Information regarding uploading letters separately and confidentially is provided on the online application site. Letters should be addressed to the UC MEXUS Review Committee and, after uploading them to the online application site, the faculty members should sent their letters directly to UC MEXUS at the address listed below.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted.

Within 10 days following the online application deadline of September 15, 2014, send two hard copies (original plus one copy) of a complete application set with all required materials listed above, including the signed institutional approval sheet, in one package to the following address:

UC MEXUS - Grants Programs
3324 Olmsted Hall
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521 U.S.A.
Attn: Martha Ponce; tel. (951) 827-4773
Deadline for Receipt of Proposals

To be considered, proposals must be submitted to the online application site not later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, September 15, 2014, and the two hard copies of the complete proposal packet must be received by Friday, September 26, 2014. Hard copies of proposals not previously submitted on the online application site will not be accepted, nor will late submissions, faxes, e-mail attachments, incomplete, or subsequently revised proposals. The copies sent to UC MEXUS must match the text and information submitted in the online version of the proposal. The proposal will not be entered into the competition unless the hard copies and required institutional approval forms are received by the deadline. We strongly suggest that students obtain the required institutional signatures well before the proposal is submitted electronically.

Review Process and Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed, evaluated, and rated by a committee of UC and Mexican scientists and scholars representing expertise in relevant academic disciplines and topics in the physical, natural and social sciences, humanities, and arts. Proposals should be written for a committee of broadly-based expertise and interests. Appropriate bibliographies and supporting documents should be provided.

In addition to such standard review criteria as clarity, quality, and feasibility of the proposal, the Committee will assign importance to whether the proposed activities support research directly applicable to completion of the doctoral dissertation. Additional consideration will be given to the significance of the proposed work for society and for the advancement of scholarship in the discipline(s); the protocols of research, particularly with respect to cultural factors affecting hu-man subjects and non-academic participants; and the preparation of the student to undertake the project. For projects in Mexico, reviewers will seek evidence of affiliation or collaboration with Mexican institutions and/or scholars. In addition, reviewers will 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 (see the Budgets section above). Reviews are based on the proposed project or activity only and the thematic fit to UC MEXUS goals, independent of the nationality of the applicant.

Students 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, applicants 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. Selected projects that involve human subjects, including interviewing, will be contingent upon receipt of a copy of a campus IRB human subjects approval or exemption (see the "Conditions of Award" section above).

UC MEXUS does not provide pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition. However, proposal writing suggestions specific to this program can be found under the Resources section of this website.

For additional information contact
Andrea Kaus, Ph.D.
Director of Research Programs, UC MEXUS
3324 Olmsted Hall, University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
tel: (951) 827-3519, e-mail: andrea.kaus@ucr.edu
Important Points
  • Submit the proposal by the deadline. Proposals that are received after this date will not be accepted, even if they are postmarked earlier. Faxes or e-mail attachments will not be accepted.
  • Allow at least two weeks before the UC MEXUS deadline to meet internal campus deadlines and to get your advisor's signature. The application requires several signatures, including that of your advisor, Graduate Division, and the Contracts and Grants or Research offices at your campus. Each one will have deadlines for the submission of proposals for their review well before the published deadline in this Call for Proposals.
  • Observe the indicated page limits (maximum 5 pp.) for the narrative statement.
  • Submit all narrative materials, including the abstract, in at least 11-12 point font with adequate spacing and margins. The review committees will be reading many proposals, so make your proposal easy to read, both in content and format.
  • Be clear but detailed in your budget. Note carefully the instructions on allowable expenses in the Budgets section when preparing the detailed budget justification. The review committees evaluate the budget in terms of whether it is reasonable, clear, and appropriate for the project methodology and whether it stays within the guidelines for allowable expenses.
  • Include all signatures, as indicated on the Institutional Approval Form, from the faculty advisor, the graduate division, and the Contracts and Grants or Research Office serving the student's campus. Check that the Graduate Division has indicated that the student has advanced to candidacy. Proposals without the appropriate signatures will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
  • Advise your advisors of the critical deadlines. . Make sure that your faculty advisor and additional faculty member are aware of the deadline to submit their letters of recommendation to UC MEXUS. Your advisor most likely will want to read your proposal draft with sufficient time to make suggestions and changes well before you submit it for review to the Contracts and Grants Office on your campus. The recommendation letters are uploaded by them separately to your on-line application and remain confidential. Remind your advisor and additional faculty member that they also need to send a hard copy of the letter to UC MEXUS directly, independent of your proposal packet.
  • For any research to be undertaken in Mexico, you must include a letter of invitation from a Mexican institution of research and/or higher education with your proposal. UC MEXUS only needs a copy of the letter. Retain the original for your own use and documentation while in Mexico.
  • Include letters of intent and short curricula vitae from any additional academic participants (except for other students) listed on the application forms. E-mail messages will not be accepted. The letters must include letterhead and a signature. Keep in mind that the review committees will look over these materials to evaluate the commitment and qualifications of the additional participants for the project. However, you do not have to list any additional academic participants at all. Include only those researchers outside of those in an advisory role whom you anticipate will be actively adding to the intellectual content of your project.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted for your own records. UC MEXUS will not provide you with copies of submitted materials.
  • Consult the Resources section of this website for proposal writing suggestions.
CHECKLIST

Proposals must be submitted using the online application site. Instructions for uploading proposal items are available on the website.

Proposal checklist to be completed on the online application site by Monday, Sept. 15, 2014:
  • Application Cover Sheet
  • Project Plan
  • Bibliography
  • Budget Request - summary table and detailed justification
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae for each academic participant (except for students)
  • Letters of intent from Additional Academic Participants (except for students)
  • Support letters from the faculty advisor and an additional faculty member. After uploading their letters, the faculty members should send hard copies of their letters separately to the address below.
  • Attachments (optional)
Additional requirements to be included with the two hard copies of the proposal packet sent to UC MEXUS:

A complete proposal packet with two hard copies (original plus one copy) of all the information listed above, except for the faculty support letters, must be received by UC MEXUS at the address below within 10 days of the online application deadline (i.e., by Friday, September 26, 2014).

UC MEXUS - Grants Programs
3324 Olmsted Hall, University of California
Riverside, CA 92521 U.S.A.
Attn: Martha Ponce;
tel. (951) 827-4773

Hard copies of proposals not previously submitted on the online application site will not be accepted, nor will late submissions, faxes, e-mail attachments, or incomplete proposals. The proposal will not be entered into the competition unless the hard copies and required institutional approval forms are received by the deadline. We strongly suggest that applicants get the required institutional signatures well before the proposal is submitted electronically..

  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted.
Updated on 03/10/2014