Special Call for Proposals 2008
return to funding

UC MEXUS-CONACYT

Climate Change Research in Mexico and California
Grants for Collaborative Projects

2008
Up to $40,000 Maximum for 1.5 Years Deadline for receipt of proposals: July 7, 2008
Download the grant application in its entirety, including the application forms (blank or with form fields).

The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) are pleased to announce a special call for proposals from teams of UC and Mexican researchers for basic and applied collaborative research, instructional development, and public service and education projects that apply research to the challenges created by climate change in Mexico and the United States with an emphasis on California.

Specifically, the primary objective of the program is to provide seed funds for developing projects fostering interdisciplinary perspectives that will enhance the understanding and knowledge of the causes and consequences of climate change and that can help inform mitigation and adaptation policies and responses in Mexico and California. A second but equal objective is to foster and strengthen the linkages among research and academic institutions in Mexico and California, seeking innovative and creative patterns of research, education, and training. Ultimately, the program strives to create a binational network of researchers and institutions that can lead to a better understanding of the challenges created by climate changes and the alternatives and opportunities to integrate better responses to them.

Research areas for consideration include, but are not limited to, mitigation strategies for the reduction of greenhouses gases, particularly in terms of energy consumption (transportation, residential use, and the urban economy); changes in attitudes and consumption patterns in California or Mexican societies; perceptions of climate change risk; land use and land cover changes; regional scenarios of climate change; adaptation strategies addressing water availability, supply, distribution, and quality; opportunities to improve institutional responses to climate change; vulnerability and adaptation to the negative consequences of climate change, particularly in terms of climate-related natural disasters; and the use of traditional climate knowledge in adaptation policies and practices. High priority will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary (especially those that combine natural and social sciences) and multi-institutional that address a clear relationship between science and policy/practices, and/or that include matching funds involving additional researchers and institutions.

Projects funded are expected to lead to the development of major, long-term collaborations; significant advancement of scholarship in the natural sciences, physical sciences and engineering, social sciences, and humanities; strengthening of academic and research capabilities of the participating institutions in Mexico and California; the development of innovative binational instruction or new courses or degree programs; and/or public service and education programs addressing critical issues related to climate change in Mexico and California. Grant recipients are encouraged 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 academic or research institution. Principal Investigators are encouraged to submit proposals that include additional academic participants from U.S. and Mexican institutions and disciplines other than their own that will foster interdisciplinary perspectives as part of their project. Principal Investigators may submit only one proposal to this competition, and the same proposal may not be submitted to concurrent UC MEXUS and UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants competitions.

University of California Principal Investigators must meet eligibility criteria specified in the University of California Policy on Eligibility to Submit Proposals. 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 in 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.

Researchers who do not meet the requirements above are encouraged to develop collaborative ties with eligible Principal Investigators and collaborate as "Additional Academic Participants."

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 Climate Change Research 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 UC MEXUS-CONACYT and UC MEXUS programs, 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

Grant awards are expected to be in the range of $25,000 for the 18 month period, October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010. However, larger projects up to $40,000 will be considered with adequate detailed budget justification. If funds are to be expended at both the UC and Mexican institution, the budget must specify the planned distribution of costs and funds at each institution. The appropriateness of the budget to the project and to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Climate Change Research program will be considered within the criteria for the peer review process. All budgets are subject to strict administrative review following the project selection process, and 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. Planning meetings among the project participants are encouraged. Keep in mind, however, that the program is intended to support the seed research phase of a project. As a result, professional conference attendance is given lower priority in the review process. If included, it should be limited to one meeting, no more than $500 per participant, and clearly directly related to the development of the project or the reporting of results.
  • Student research assistance.
  • Supplies and services, including laboratory analyses and computing.
  • Subcontracts to institutions of additional academic participants not eligible as Principal Investigators.

Items which will not be funded include:

  • Salary payments to Principal Investigators or any other academic salaries, except student research assistants.
  • Tuition remission to student assistants.
  • Equipment purchases in excess of $500 per item, including computers, computer parts and accessories.
  • Indirect costs or institutional overhead assessments.
Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be jointly submitted by eligible UC and Mexican collaborators, using the forms enclosed with this Call. Each collaborator is responsible for securing all appropriate approvals of his or her home institution prior to submission of the proposal. UC investigators should contact their campus research office or office of contracts and grants administration well before the published proposal deadline to determine if earlier local campus deadlines have been established. Following the usual CONACYT procedures, Mexican investigators should consult with the office responsible for approval of proposals in order to obtain the endorsement of the legal representative of their institution. The approval process at each investigator's home institution should be undertaken well before the deadline for receipt of the proposal by UC MEXUS.

Submit 10 complete application sets of all required materials (originals plus 9 copies), with all local approvals, in one package to the address below. The package must contain the following:

  • Application Cover Sheet at the end of the pdf document, providing summary information in English and Spanish about the project, project personnel, and budget.
  • Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet University of California at the end of the pdf document, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying institutional approvals.
  • Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet, Mexican Institution at the end of the pdf document, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying the signa-ture of the legal representative of the Principal Investigator's institution.
  • 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.
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae, in English or Spanish, for Principal Investigators and all academic participants (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 additional academic participants (except for students), written either in English or Spanish. (Letters of intention are not required from the Principal Investigators.)
  • Project Plan, in either English or Spanish. Do not exceed ten pages. The meaningful participation of both 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 about 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. 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 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. For multi-institutional projects, specify the involvement and interaction with other principal academic participants and institutions other than those of the Principal Investigators.
  • Bibliography. Provide a list of key resources, cited in the language in which they were published.
  • Attachments. These should be kept to a minimum. Attach only critical documents, such as maps or sample survey instruments.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted.

UC MEXUS and CONACYT provide no pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition.

Applications may be sent to the following address:

UC MEXUS (Attn: Martha Ponce)
3324 Olmsted Hall
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521 U.S.A.
Tel. (951) 827-3519

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals

To be considered, complete and approved proposals must be received not later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 7, 2008. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted, nor will proposals only postmarked with deadline date. Faxed or electronically submitted proposals will not be accepted.

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 experts from Mexican and U.S. 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 such standard review criteria as clarity, quality, and feasibility of the proposal, the Committee will assign great importance to the character of the proposed collaboration and the binational unity of the work. Reviewers will seek evidence of meaningful participation among 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 Principal Investigators, their students, and their institutions is a critical factor, as is the development of linkages with additional U.S. or Mexican institutions. Committees will evaluate the significance of the proposed work for society and for the advancement of science and scholarship related to climate change research in Mexico and the United States with an emphasis on California. The involvement of students will be evaluated in terms of the students' participation in ways which 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 the involvement of human subjects and non-academic participants. In the proposal narrative, particular attention should be given to description of research methodology, including discussions, where relevant, of how samples will be drawn, how control groups will be utilized, how questionnaires will be constructed and administered, and, in general, how cooperation will be elicited from local informants and subjects. Principal Investigators must provide evidence of the appropriate permits, human subject reviews, and other documents required for research in either Mexico or the United States.

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 in this Call for Proposals. 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 and CONACYT funding received by the 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 prereview of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition. However, proposal writing suggestions can be found on the UC MEXUS website under Resources (consult the suggestions for the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Grants Program).

Administration of Awards

All funds will be administered by UC MEXUS 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(s) at UC will be transferred directly to the academic department at their respective campus, and the portion of the grant awarded to the Mexican Principal Investigator(s) will be transferred directly to their respective institution under mutually agreeable 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 required final narrative reports, 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

Andrea Kaus, Ph.D.
Director of Grants Programs, UC MEXUS
University of California, Riverside, CA 92521
tel: (951) 827-3519; e-mail: andrea.kaus@ucr.edu
Consult the UC MEXUS website at ucmexus.ucr.edu

UC MEXUS-CONACYT Climate Change Research in Mexico and California
Proposal Checklist

Provide ten complete application sets (originals plus 9 copies), each consisting of

  • Application Cover Sheet (including abstract in English and Spanish). Print out the application forms from the pdf document.
  • Project Co-Director/Institutional Approval Sheet, completed and signed by the UC Principal Inves-tigator and his/her campus institutional official. Print out the approval sheet forms from the pdf document.
  • Project Co-Director/Institutional Approval Sheet, completed and signed by the Principal Investigator at the Mexican institution and his/her institutional official. Print out the approval sheet forms from the pdf document.
  • Budget Request, in English or Spanish. Attach a separate sheet or sheets with a detailed explanation of all items. Indicate all amounts in U.S. currency.
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae for Principal Investigators and all academic participants in the project (except for students). Do not exceed five pages for each individual; list only current and/or most relevant publications.
  • Letters of Intended Participation from all academic participants in the project (except for students).
  • Project Plan, in English or Spanish. Do not exceed ten pages. The meaningful participation of both 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 about who will perform each task and the timeline governing the work. Explain the significance of the work, both its potential for the 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, its relevance to their graduate study, and the supervision planned for their participation. For multi-institutional projects, specify the involvement and interaction with other principal academic participants and institutions other than those of the Principal Investigators.
  • Bibliography. Provide a list of key resources, cited in the language in which they were published.
  • Attachments. These should be kept to a minimum. Attach only critical documents, such as maps or sample survey instruments.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted.
SUBMIT COMPLETE PACKAGE TO THE ADDRESS BELOW.

UC MEXUS (Attn: Martha Ponce)
3324 Olmsted Hall
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521 U.S.A.
Tel. (951) 827-3519

Complete proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 7, 2008.
LATE OR INCOMPLETE PROPOSALS, FAXES, OR ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Proposals postmarked by the deadline but received later will not be accepted.