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Northwestern University / Tel Aviv University

Moonshot Research Seed Funding in Bio-Nanotechnology

Call for Proposals

Northwestern University (NU) and Tel Aviv University (TAU) are offering seed funding to promote joint research projects in Bio-Nanotechnology. Researchers are invited to jointly submit proposals for the development of high-risk and innovative collaborative research projects.

Preference will be given to multidisciplinary collaborations that integrate a broader scope of research among engineering, medicine, and science. At least one of the two PIs must be a junior faculty member, affiliated with either Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology or Northwestern University.  

Review the detailed guidelines below or download a PDF version here.

The proposal deadline is February 28, 2023.

Contacts:

Northwestern University (NU) and Tel Aviv University (TAU) are offering seed funding to promote joint research projects in Bio-Nanotechnology. Researchers affiliated with each institution [Principal Investigators (“PIs”)] are invited to jointly submit proposals for the development of high-risk and innovative collaborative research projects (a “Project”) under the terms and conditions described below. 

The field of interest for this Call for Proposals is Bio-Nanotechnology, with a focus on new projects that are ambitious, collaborative, leading-edge, and innovative.

Up to two (2) joint Projects may be selected by means of a call for proposals issued jointly by the two institutions, up to USD $100K each Project, shared equally between both institutions. These funds will not be subject to indirect charges.

To be eligible under the program, a Project must include:

  1. Research team participants from both Institutions, affiliated with either TAU’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology or Northwestern University.
  2. Preference for multidisciplinary collaborations that integrate a broader scope of research among engineering, medicine, and science.
  3. At least one of the two PIs must be a junior faculty member with no more than 10 years as a faculty member. Collaborators from other institutions besides TAU and NU are eligible to participate in projects but are not eligible for any financial support from TAU or NU.
  4. Support is not intended for pre-existing research collaborations without a significant expansion of the scope of the research.
  5. Each Project will be for a budget period ending one year from the activation date of the award (tentative award period to begin in spring 2023). Cost extensions will not be allowed, and any unused funds at the end of this period will be returned to the sponsoring institution.
  6. PI’s commitment of funds will strengthen the proposals. PI contributions cannot be in-kind.
  7. Funding provided by the Universities is intended to support research expenses at the respective institutions, including research personnel (tuition/stipend for students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, and associated benefits) and direct research costs (materials, supplies, and expendables for the performance and analysis of experiments). Funding cannot be applied to capital equipment purchases, travel, or to supplement faculty salary/living expenses.
  8. The collaborations that win the seed funding are expected to gather preliminary data and apply for joint research funding from the NSF/BSF or other sources, or to leverage the seed-funded collaboration explicitly in US or Israeli grant applications before the end of the award period.

Up to two successful joint proposals will be selected, each receiving up to a maximum of USD $100,000. TAU will provide each approved project up to 50% of the USD $100,000, and NU will provide each approved project up to 50% of the USD $100,000.

All proposals will be in English in either US standard format (Letter paper, 1” margins) or Israel standard format (A4 paper, 2.5 cm margins), and should be submitted as a single .pdf document containing the following:

  1. Cover Sheet (1 page)
    1. The names, academic rank, and departments of the investigators
    2. The proposal title
    3. A one-paragraph, non-technical executive summary of the research goals
  2. Budget Sheet (1-2 pages)
    1. List trainees who will be supported by this award and for how long, their salaries, other budget requests, and the total funding being requested
    2. A list of existing funding
  3. Research Plan (2-3 pages) The research plan should include the following items:
    1. Scientific Question: What scientific question does this proposal address? Why is it important? What will be learned through the proposed research? Why is the project too risky and/or not well suited for established funding mechanisms?
    2. Research Plan: Provide a compelling and well justified plan for research that can be completed one year from the activation of the award (tentative award period to begin in spring 2023)
    3. Research Team: Summarize the expertise that each submitting PI brings to the project. Also, briefly discuss whether/how this represents a new collaboration, an expanded collaboration, and/or a new research direction for an existing collaboration
    4. Measures of Success: Discuss the ways in which this proposal will (i) affect future collaborative research directions for the PIs, (ii) increase the likelihood of both NU and TAU research groups obtaining external funding either jointly or independently (identify at least one funding agency), and/or (iii) increase the external visibility of the NU/TAU collaboration
    5. Figures as needed
    6. References
  1. Biosketches
    NSF style biosketch or NIH style biosketch for each of the faculty investigators
Either submitting scientist (the NU PI or the TAU PI) should submit the joint application via the online form.  Proposals must be submitted as a single .pdf file.  Proposals submitted as multiple files will be returned without review. 
 
For administrative purposes, if you have identified a partner and plan to apply, please notify Tal Dvir and Dévora Grynspan by email, before the February 28, 2023, deadline. In the subject line please write: “Submission to NU-TAU Bio-Nano call.”

TAU and NU agree that each party has its own pre-existing proprietary rights that are not affected by this Call for Proposals. If TAU personnel and NU personnel are co-inventors of any result or invention, the parties will negotiate in good faith and enter into an inter-institutional agreement relating to the protection, use and commercialization of such joint result or invention.

  • December 2022: Call for Proposals announced on TAU and NU websites and/or distributed by email
  • February 28, 2023: Closing date for submission of proposals
  • March 2023: Notification of results (Projects will be reviewed by a TAU/NU faculty committee)

Final projects reports, two pages in length, are due to each institution within 2 months after the project ends, and should include:

  1. A brief summary of the collaborative research project
  2. A description of the development of human resources – with emphasis on post-doctoral and graduate students associated with the project
  3. A list of joint publications or papers submitted for publication, conference presentations, and any intellectual property disclosures
  4. Any other outcomes of the collaborative project
  5. A description of the collaborative research funding applied for, or planned for, to continue collaboration between the two groups

Reports will be prepared jointly and submitted by either PI to Tal Dvir and Dévora Grynspan by email.