2017 Targeted Research Internal Seed Program (TRISP)

TRISP Proposal Deadline: March 15, 2017 (If you missed the deadline, we invite you to participate in next year's program.)

TRISP Overview

The Charlotte Research Institute is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Targeted Research Internal Seed Program (TRISP). Serving as a catalyst for UNC Charlotte faculty, TRISP offers internal funds intended to (1) help generate more compelling grant submissions to federal agencies, (2) initiate new intellectual directions for our faculty, and (3) foster new relationships across colleges, departments or centers. Key considerations include the likelihood that the project can be leveraged to obtain new externally-funded research from mission oriented funding agencies such as DoD, DoE, DoT, DHS, etc. (typically not NSF or NIH), and whether the project cannot be otherwise initiated using regular department or college resources. An ideal project would apply for external funding within 6-10 months following seed funding. Although single Principal Investigators (PI’s) are also encouraged to apply, we are particularly keen on using this funding mechanism to promote interdisciplinary collaborative teams. Teams with seed funding who generate preliminary results and gain experience working jointly have proven more successful when they later compete for multi-investigator and/or multidisciplinary grants.

Perspectives from 2016 TRISP Awards

The Charlotte Research Institute introduced TRISP last year to help UNC Charlotte faculty conduct significant research that serves to enhance their ability to obtain new external funding and to promote interdisciplinary collaborative projects before competing for larger external multi-investigator and/or multidisciplinary grants. In its inaugural competition, CRI made 10 TRISP awards totaling nearly $380,000, and the program is already generating exciting results.  

The awarded team of Mark Clemens from Biological Sciences and Gloria Elliott from Mechanical Engineering used program funds to demonstrate that their newly-developed solution for use in cold storage of organs for transplantation was able to preserve pig mesenteric artery segments for up to six days, which is three times longer than the preservation time achieved by the “gold standard” solution currently in use. The Elliott/Clemens team has included these significant preliminary results in a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) invited proposal and will use results to bolster an NSF graduate research training proposal currently being prepared. 

Another 2016 TRISP award has allowed a team to demonstrate, for the first time, the capabilities of a new UNC Charlotte/private sector venture called the Infrastructure Security and Emergency Responder Research and Training (ISERRT-M) Facility. The PIs, David Weggel and Matt Whelan from Civil and Environmental Engineering, state that “working with CRI has connected us to potential new federal and industry funding sources and research collaborators.”

TRISP awardees Wlodek Zadrozny of Computer Science and James Walsh and Cherie Maestas of Political Science and Public Administration concur: “This (program) was the spark that initiated a collaboration across our colleges and departments. It's spawned exciting new work and is a fun project that’s already generated one publication submission with a second in the works.” 

Awards in the 2016 competition were made to individual researchers and collaborative teams representing eight departments: Physics and Optical Science, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, Bioinformatics and Genomics, Computer Science, and Political Science and Public Administration. Six awards included pre-tenure faculty. 

The Charlotte Research Institute’s Targeted Research Internal Seed Program (TRISP) offers two tiers of funding: 1) larger grants of up to $55K that require collaboration between two or more faculty members and encourage interdisciplinary research, and 2) smaller grants capped at $12K that are typically for one PI. As part of the application process, PIs are required to identify potential funding opportunities and program managers; recipients are generally expected to apply for external funding, ideally from mission-oriented funding agencies, within 6 to 10 months following an award.

Please direct questions and all TRISP application materials to CRI-Grant@uncc.edu.