UCI Division to Administer Nicholas Foundation Prize; Call for Proposals Issued

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Gunther, Nicholas, Alexopoulos
Henry Nicholas (center) is joined by Craig Gunther of the Nicholas Foundation (left) and Engineering Dean Nicolaos Alexopoulos, co-chair of the Calit2 governing board, after the announcement of his research prize at the building opening.

1.20.05 -- Calit2 at UC Irvine will award as many as five grants for collaborative research under the auspices of the Nicholas Foundation Prize for Cross-Disciplinary Research. The funding, first announced by UCI Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone at the Calit2 building opening ceremony in November 2004, was established by the Nicholas Foundation to promote new collaborations among faculty members on high-risk, high-yield pilot research relevant to Calit2's mission. Teams of two or more UCI Academic Senate members are eligible to apply; teams are encouraged to invite collaborators from Calit2 at UCSD.

''Calit2 is dedicated to bringing together the most innovative research from all disciplines at UCI and creating collaborative relationships that will produce new and valuable results,'' said Albert Yee, director of the Irvine Division of Calit2.

The Nicholas Prize fund totals $300,000; each team may receive up to $80,000 in support depending on the quality of proposal. Grants may be used for research assistance, materials and equipment, as well as travel expenses and professional meetings directly related to the project. Deadline for submitting proposals is 5 p.m. (Pacific time) Monday, Feb. 28, 2005. Faculty members from all disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals.

The Nicholas Foundation, founded in 1998 by Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III, co-founder and retired co-chairman and CEO of Broadcom Corp., is committed to enhancing the quality of life by providing grants to nonprofit organizations, primarily in education, performing arts, humanities and science. Other Nicholas Foundation philanthropic activities in Orange County include gifts to UCI engineering, St. Margaret's Episcopal School, the South Coast Repertory, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the UCI crew program.

UCI opening
Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone announces the Nicholas Foundation cross-disciplinary research gift at the Nov. 19 UCI Calit2 building ceremony.

In a previously released statement regarding the gift, Dr. Nicholas said: ''I've had a long-term relationship with UCI and the Samueli School of Engineering in particular. The establishment of this prize is a logical step as we build our partnership in the areas of telecommunications and information technology. I expect to see more collaboration with our colleagues at UCI in the months and years ahead."

The complete Request for Proposals follows:

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC Irvine is issuing a Call for Proposals for the Nicholas Foundation Prize for Cross-disciplinary Research. This funding was announced by Chancellor Cicerone at the November ceremony dedicating the new Calit2 building, and the funds will be administered by Calit2 Irvine division. Teams of two or more UCI Academic Senate members are eligible for support for innovative research projects and pilot studies. The UCI team is encouraged to invite collaborators from the UCSD division of Calit2.

Calit2 expects to award approximately five grants up to $80,000 each, depending on the number and quality of the proposals. The total amount available from the Nicholas Foundation is $300,000. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. (Pacific time) Monday, February 28, 2005. FACULTY FROM ALL DISCIPLINES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. For a description of Calit2's activities, please see www.calit2.net.

The Nicholas Foundation program promotes NEW collaborations among faculty members on "high-risk, high-yield" pilot research investigations relevant to Calit2's mission that may lead to further discoveries and/or large-scale extramural funding.

Proposals will be evaluated in terms of (a) the apparent synergy and innovativeness suggested by the team's formation; (b) the extent of involvement of each team member in the research activity and the clarity with which the specific roles of each member are described; (c) the appropriateness of the budget requested for the tasks proposed; (d) the opportunities presented for future lines of research and future funding of the research (in fields where extramural funding possibilities exist); and (e) relevance to Calit2's mission.

Project funds are to be expended between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006. The grants may be used for research assistance, materials and equipment not otherwise available, and travel expenses associated with gathering data and attending professional meetings of direct relevance to the project. Administrative support costs should be kept to a minimum. While not encouraged, summer stipends will be considered, but applicants should carefully justify the need for such stipends in their budget requests (e.g., why must the work be done during the summer?). If equipment is requested, it should be essential to the research. In fields where extramural support is available, it is expected that equipment costs will be shared with the applicant's school or department. If research involves human or animal subjects or rDNA, funding would be contingent on approval of the protocol by the IRB, IACUC and/or IBC.

Award funds will be transferred to the lead investigator's department and will be subject to standard UC and UCI policies. A summary report on the research and expenditures made will be required by June 30, 2006. Research results, publication rights, and IP rights will be subject only to standard UC and UCI policies. The funding for the Nicholas Prize is available this one time only.

An original and five copies should be submitted to:
Director, Calit2 Irvine Division
4100 Calit2 Building
Zot Code 2800

For convenience, the application instructions and forms will be identical to those for the Academic Senate Council on Research, Computing and Library Resources (CORCLR) EXCEPT for the deadlines, project dates and evaluation criteria given above. For further information and the application form, please consult the guidelines, which are available on the RGS website, www.rgs.uci.edu/cor/cormul.htm. Proposals should be clear, concise, and written in language understandable by scholarly, but non-expert readers in a variety of disciplines. Proposals consist of an application form, abstract, research description (up to five pages), budget summary and budget justification, and two-page CVs for each faculty participant.

Proposals received by the deadline will be reviewed by the director of the Irvine Division of Calit2, in consultation with faculty members with the relevant expertise. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by the end of March 2005.

Questions may be directed to Stuart Ross (stuross@uci.edu; 949-824-9602 ) or Lorrie Minkel (lgminkel@uci.edu; 949-824-9074 ).