30 Jul
2013 WVU NanoSAFE Seed Grants

Proposals due by 5:00pm, August 23, 2013.
Award begins Sept 15, 2013 (retroactive spending from August 15 will be permitted)

Goals of the Seed Program: The goals of the Seed Program are to complement current research of the WVU Nanotechnology Sensing Advanced Field Environment (NanoSAFE) program in bionanotechnology and to provide new scientific developments that are transformative, thus providing the foundation of a nationally and internationally competitive program ( In order to achieve these goals, the Seed Program will support two high risk/high payoff projects that meet at least one of the following objectives:

1. Acquire preliminary data for transformative projects
2. Support competitive researchers changing directions
3. Support junior faculty pursuing National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER or other similar young investigator awards from federal agencies
4. Establish innovative educational/research alliances with industry

Seed grants may provide support for graduate students and/or postdocs, equipment, materials and supplies, travel, and summer salary for faculty Co-PIs (one month per PI and Co-PI maximum). Up to two projects with a maximum of $68,000 per project (excluding overhead) per year be will be funded. Projects must have a PI and at least one co-PI. Having co-PIs from different departments and colleges is desirable. Note that the PI or co-PIs do not have to be current NanoSAFE participants

Areas of Interest: Scientific themes of projects must be interdisciplinary, in the field of bionanotechnology, and consistent with the scientific aims of the 2010 NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant, namely, to develop the fundamental knowledge necessary for:

1. Rapid, field‐deployable DNA fingerprinting of environmental threats, including pathogens
2. Miniature ultrasensitive toxin and other environmental hazard sensors that do not rely on large laboratory equipment
3. Devices that quickly determine damage to cell functionality and use cell functionality as a sensor element

RII research is organized in terms of three Interdisciplinary Research Teams (IRTs), each with a strategic priority related to the areas of interest listed above. More information about these strategic priorities may be found in the WV RII Strategic Plan, pp 4-6, at Please note that IRT 1 now focuses on pathogen identification and using DNA to identify environmental threats, and not on human identification. The Seed Program seeks novel approaches that might improve the techniques listed on the research plans for each IRT or other efficient approaches that address the areas of interest listed above.

Proposal Evaluation: Proposals will be evaluated by referees external to WVU. NSF merit review criteria based on intellectual merit and broader impacts ( will be used with an emphasis on novelty and contribution to RII core investigations. Seed project recipients will be required to submit reports after six and twelve months. The annual report will be evaluated externally to determine if the project should receive second year renewal. Metrics include: number of papers published or submitted for publication, major proposals submitted to external agencies, and patent applications. Final decisions will be made by a committee composed of the WVU EPSCoR RII grant Technical PI, Prof. David Lederman, and three other WVU faculty members to be selected at a later stage.

Submission Information: To apply, a single pdf document with the information in the list below must be submitted. The document must be written using 11 point font or larger (Arial or Times-New Roman), letter size pages, and 25.4 mm margins, with all pages sequentially numbered. The page limit for each section is specified in parentheses. Proposals that do not comply with the formatting and page limits specifications may be returned without review.
1. Title Page: Include the name, affiliation, and contact information of the PI and Co-PIs. The PI, who will also be the contact person for the project, should be clearly identified. Indicate if this is a renewal proposal. (1 page)
2. Abstract: Summarize the important aspects of the proposal, including the major theme, goals, proposed work, and relation to the RII program’s scientific aims. Include two separate paragraphs that specifically describe the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of the proposed work as defined by NSF. (1 page)
3. Project Description: Describe the significance of the project and its relation to the Seed Program goals and areas of interest listed above, and the current knowledge in the field. Describe the goals and specific objectives (milestones) that need to be achieved. Discuss the experimental and/or computational techniques that will be used to achieve the objectives. External collaborations and their specific role should be discussed if applicable. Include a timeline for completion of the project’s major objectives. Renewal proposals should relevance of first year results. (6 pages)
4. References: Include references for all work cited in the project description (do not include end notes designed to skirt the page limit of the Project Description). (No page limit)
5. Biographical Sketches: Include a biographical sketch per NSF guidelines for each PI and Co-PI. (2 pages per investigator)
6. Current and Pending Support
: Include a description of the current and pending support for each PI and Co-PI per NSF guidelines. (No page limit)
7. Budget: In a table, include single year costs for PI and Co-PI summer salary (one month per investigator maximum), post-doc salary, graduate research assistant salary, fringes, equipment (cost greater than $5,000), materials and supplies, and travel, as well as a grand total of all costs (do not include overhead). A budget justification narrative should include a brief description of each category and how the costs were calculated. In particular, as a result of the short timeline of the project, the names of the selected graduate students and/or postdocs and their current affiliations should be provided. If support for equipment is requested, a quotation from the vendor must be included (the equipment must be available and ready for use within a short time frame). (2 page limit, excluding vendor quotations)
8. Letters of Support: Include letters from external collaborators mentioned in the Project Description that will provide key resources to the project. The letters should briefly specify those resources and express the willingness from the external collaborator to provide them within the time frame of the project. (1 page per collaborator)

*NSF guidelines may be found at

Submission and Contact Information: Email the complete submission package as a single PDF file to Lisa Sharpe, Assistant Director for Program Operations, (subject line: Seed Proposal). For questions regarding the Seed Program, contact David Lederman (Email:, Phone: 304-293-5136).