Questions about the Research Development Fund.

If my proposal is not funded, will it be sent back with questions or suggestions for needed changes for a re-submission?

  • The Advisory Committee intends to provide some feedback for all proposals.  The review comments may contain suggestions for improvement or may recommend alternative resources.

May I re-submit an unsuccessful proposal at a later date?

  • Yes

Can the RDF be used to pay for personnel?

  • As noted in the RFP, technical expertise may be included in the proposal, but permanent positions will not be supported.  An appropriate management plan should be clearly described.

The RFP states that smaller requests that are more appropriate for other existing programs or funding sources are not likely to be funded. Why?  What are those other resources?

  • Faculty submitting proposals that are more competitive with institutional support, wish to acquire a single, less costly instrument, or are proposing other research related requests that fall outside the scope of the RDF should discuss options with their department head, and Vice President for Research Associate Dean for Research, Director of AgriLife Research, etc., as appropriate, because other sources of internal funding may be available for meritorious requests.

Will the RDF-MC  suggest an increase or decrease in the scope and budget of the proposal to make it more fundable?

  • If appropriate.  The RDF Management Committee is looking for good ideas that will make great, positive impact on the research enterprise.  It is likely that these investments will require discussion among the proposal submitter(s), and relevant department heads, deans, and research administrators.

Can researchers who are located outside Brazos County apply?

  • No, not at this time. The RDF is designed to directly enhance the research enterprise at the Texas A&M locations in Bryan and College Station, and currently derives revenue only from grants awarded in Brazos County.  However, this requirement should not prevent off-campus researchers from collaborating with researchers located in Brazos County, and potentially utilizing the proposed physical resources.

May proposals be submitted early or out of cycle?

  • Yes, proposals may be submitted at any time.  Proposals are scheduled for evaluation 3 times per fiscal year, but it’s possible that certain time-sensitive or extraordinary circumstances might warrant additional review times.  All RDF funds awarded will be announced on the RDF website.

Some sections of the proposal instructions may be 1-2 pages.  Will my proposal fare better if I use the full 2 pages?

  • No.  The review committee encourages brevity.  However some proposals may require additional space to adequately describe the critical details of their management plan or budget, so up to 2 pages will be accepted.

Do proposals need to be routed through Department Heads or Deans?

  • No.  Proposals can be submitted directly to RDF@tamu.edu.

Will the RDF management committee fund proposals to a certain level each cycle?

  • Not necessarily. A certain amount is not allocated per round as might be expected at a funding agency.  These awards are investments in the Texas A&M research enterprise that are expected to catalyze research success and be leveraged for additional extramural funding.  The RDF will collect a percentage of F&A costs that are received, so the amount in the fund will vary. Awards will be made based on the perceived likelihood of the request to be transformative, not because the fund exists.

How was the RDF-AC committee appointed?

  • In a December 8, 2014 memo from Drs. Glen Laine, Craig Nessler, Dimitris Lagoudas and Allison Rice-Ficht regarding the Research Development Fund (RDF) and “Implementation Principles,” it was announced that an RDF Advisory Committee (RDF-AC) would be formed to help develop guidelines for the RDF funding mechanism, to receive and review proposals, and to share assessments with the RDF Management Committee. 
  • The CPI was charged with forming the RDF-AC by the RDF-MC.  At the January CPI Executive Committee (EC) meeting, the EC met with members of the RDF Management Committee, where the RDF-MC discussed the following skills desired in prospective RDF-AC members : broad understanding of research at Texas A&M University, knowledge of shared facilities and equipment, and evidence of knowledge and vision regarding future needs to enhance research infrastructure at Texas A&M University.
  • During the January meeting, the CPI EC and RDF-MC developed a list of prospective members of the RDF-AC. The CPI EC also met in executive session and identified additional individuals to add to the list of prospective RDF-AC members. The CPI Chair also sent out a call for and collected nominations from the full CPI membership for prospective individuals to serve on the RDF-AC.
  • The members that agreed to serve on the inaugural RDF-AC are: James Batteas (Science); Jeff Cirillo (Medicine); Arum Han (Engineering) Christi Madsen, (Engineering); Stephen Maren (Liberal Arts); Tom Meek (AGLS); Penny Riggs (AGLS, Chair); Courtney Schumacher (Geosciences); David Threadgill (CVM and Medicine); and Karen Wooley (Science). The first meeting of the RDF-AC was held February 13, 2015, and the committee elected a Chair. The RDF-AC may appoint additional members at their discretion or seek external input, and will interact with the RDF management committee, other Texas A&M administrators, and the research community.