For guidance on maintaining continuity of research and sponsored program activities during the COVID-19 crisis, please see ORSP’s Keep Discovering page.

Postdoctoral Research Grants

Title: Postdoctoral Research Grants
Sponsored by: The Graduate School at the University of Mississippi.
Coordinated by: The Postdoctoral Association at the University of Mississippi (MSPDA), with support from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) Division of Research Development.
Announced: April 26, 2021
Applications Due: May 26, 2021, by 5:00pm
Awards Announced: June 2021

Part 1: Overview

Through this RFA, the MSPDA, in coordination with the Graduate School and ORSP Research Development, solicits applications from currently employed UM postdoctoral researchers in any discipline. Postdoctoral Research Grants are funded by the Graduate School.

Program goals

  1. Increase the marketability and competitiveness of UM postdoctoral researchers by helping them develop their grant-writing records and skills at UM;
  2. Expand the ability of UM postdoctoral researchers to conduct their own research, creative, or innovation projects alongside, or complementary to, those projects assigned by their UM mentors;
  3. Increase UM’s appeal to future potential postdoctoral researchers.

Timeline and Funding

The sponsor will award up to two grants of up to $1,000 each in Spring 2021 for projects to be conducted between June 2021 and May 2022. Each application will consist of a proposal to conduct a project at UM, along with a budget and budget justification.

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility

With the consent of their primary advisor/supervisor (Advisor), all UM postdoctoral researchers, defined as doctoral degree holders conducting research on temporary or short-term appointments at the UM, are eligible to apply, as long as their remaining appointments are of sufficient duration (generally, one year) to complete the project. For remaining appointments of less than a year, only projects that will be completed before the end of the employment contract of the postdoctoral researcher at UM will be funded. The postdoctoral researcher will be the Principal Investigator on the project. No more than one postdoctoral researcher may serve as a PI per application/award, and each postdoctoral researcher may submit only one application.

Submission Details

To be considered for funding, the interested postdoc should submit a proposal consisting of:

  1. Cover Data: Applicant’s name, phone number, email address (ending in @olemiss.edu), department, advisor’s name and title of the project. These data will be entered in name fields in the application interface in the portal.
  2. Project Overview: (1 page maximum, uploaded as a separate document to the portal)
  3. Budget and Budget Justification: (0.5 page maximum, uploaded as a separate document to portal)
  4. Signed Terms of Agreements form (download here)

Part II: The Funding

Eligible costs

Funds may be used for research or presentation supplies, travel directly related to field research, participant support costs, equipment that will be owned by the university, and costs directly related to essential technical support.

Examples of ELIGIBLE costs include (but are not limited to):

  • Research supplies, such as chemicals, sample bags, software etc.
  • Presentation supplies & contracted expenses (e.g.: poster-board, printing charges)
  • Travel expenses related to field work
  • Upgrades to existing university computers (memory, graphics cards)
  • Gift cards to incentivize research study participation
  • Wages and fringes for undergraduate student research assistants
  • Transcription services
  • Computing devices that will be owned by the university

Ineligible costs

Funds may NOT be applied to educational expenses, travel to professional meetings/conferences, self-education projects/programs, or food for persons. Generally, the award amount will not be enough to buy equipment. However, there are some categories of items that the university considers equipment regardless of purchase price (https://procurement.olemiss.edu/definitions/).

Any purchased equipment will need to be tagged for inventory purposes by the Office of Procurement services, and added to the equipment inventory of the postdoc’s department. Applicants must demonstrate in their proposal budgets and budget justifications that they understand all applicable UM procurement and spending policies and guidelines, and, along with their Advisors and Departmental Points of Contact, must exercise responsibility for ensuring all expenditures comply with UM Policy. (To learn about procurement policies and guidelines, see https://procurement.olemiss.edu/). Applicants with questions about eligible costs may direct those questions to the MSPDA Point of Contact listed in Part VI of this RFA; award recipients may direct their cost questions to their Advisor or Departmental Point of Contact.

Part III: The Application

General Rules

Applications must have at least 1” inch margins on all sides, and should use Times New Roman or Arial, font size 12 or 11 for all narrative text. Incomplete, late, improperly formatted, or otherwise non-compliant applications will be returned without review.

Content and Form of Application

Project Overview (1 page maximum)

This section should summarize the scientific context and the intellectual merit of the project (summarizing why the project is important to the field itself). You should list the overall goal of the work, the methodology to be employed, expected deliverables (e.g., publications, conferences) and timeline.

Budget and Budget Justification Overview (0.5 page maximum)

Give an overview of the supplies, commodities, travel, and other research related expenses you are requesting and the estimated cost of each. Pay careful attention to ensure all proposed expenses are compliant with this RFA and with the University’s spending and reimbursement policies. For proposed projects whose total costs exceed $1,000, please mention how the additional costs (over the $1,000 award) will be met.

Terms of Agreement Form

A Completed and signed Terms of Agreement Form by the Applicant, the Advisor, and any other Departmental Point of Contact for financial administration (e.g., the Chairperson’s Administrative Assistant).

Submission Requirements

Your proposal will be submitted as three documents to the UM InfoReady Review Portal (http://www.research.olemiss.edu/InfoReady): Project Overview, Budget and Budget Justification, and Signed Terms of Agreement Form.  You will be notified of the funding decision within two-four weeks following receipt of your application.

Part IV. The Review

Proposals will be reviewed by ad-hoc volunteers recruited from the UM faculty-at-large by ORSP RD and/or the Graduate School. Anonymized reviewer feedback will be shared with the proposers via the portal.

Part V: The Award

Accessing Grant Funds

Upon award notification, and once the postdoc and their advisor have provided evidence of having completed the appropriate CITI responsible conduct of research training module, and once an  RB protocol has been approved (or exemption granted) for projects involving human subject research, or an IACUC protocol approved for projects involving research animals, the Graduate School will transfer the awarded funds into a research overhead account maintained and managed by the Advisor or a Departmental Point of Contact on behalf of the Awardee. For more information about university-allowable costs, see UM Procurement Services at http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/procurement/, or ask your Advisor or other Departmental Point of Contact. For travel, the recipient should work with the Departmental Point of Contact to ensure proper authorizations are in place at least five days before the travel takes place. For additional information, see the agreement document or contact the Departmental Point of Contact. Awardees who experience administrative difficulties that cannot be solved in a timely manner by their Advisor or Departmental Point of Contact should seek assistance from Dr. Robert Doerksen, Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Reports

All awardees will be required to upload a 1-page report by May 30, 2022 to the InfoReady Review Portal, from which it will be shared with the MSPDA, the Graduate School and ORSP.  Awardees with unfinished projects as of May 30, 2022 should submit a progress report by that time, and request a no-cost extension to complete the project no later than July 31, 2022, at which time the final report will be due. Awardees who plan to leave UM before May 30, 2022 are required to submit a report before the end of their appointments.

Publications

Any publications (including conference presentations and peer-reviewed papers) resulting from the sponsored research should include an appropriate acknowledgment of receipt of a University of Mississippi Postdoctoral Research Grant. Copies of all such publications and news of all such events and presentations should be included with the final progress report, to be sent to the MSPDA.

Part VI: Contact Information

Questions about the application process may be directed to Mr. Jason Hale or Ms. Renee Cain in ORSP RD (orspresdev@olemiss.edu), or to the MSPDA (mspda@olemiss.edu). The UM Point of Contact for issue escalation and resolution is Dr. Robert Doerksen, Associate Dean of the Graduate School (rjd@olemiss.edu).

Part VII. Application Checklist

A completed application packet consists of the following documents:

  • Project Overview
  • Budget and Budget Justification Overview
  • The signed Terms of Agreement Form (download here)