Invitation to Submit Proposals for Strategic Initiatives

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Call for Proposals
Cal Poly resides in a uniquely beautiful environment and as a comprehensive university provides education in the arts, sciences, and technology under the umbrella of Learn by Doing. A strong foundation has been built to provide outstanding education through the teacher-scholar model, to create new knowledge that helps us to see the world in new ways, and enables us to address fundamental problems and opportunities that may face the Central Coast, California, and the world. We seek to make a difference through innovative proposals that reflect your best ideas. Proposals should focus on impacts to California and beyond and reflect the underlying goals to:
• Enhance academic and student success
• Create positive economic and social impacts
• Enrich personal well-being of faculty, students, staff, and our greater community
• Ensure financial success and sustainability

Eligibility and Funding Level
All faculty are eligible and encouraged to apply. Funding level for each proposal is $50,000 to $500,000 for one year, with subsequent funding negotiable pending progress as assessed by an annual progress report. The number of projects funded will be determined following proposal review and depending on the funding level for each proposal.

Proposal Format
A three-page proposal (12 pt. font and 1-inch margins) should include:
I. Scope/background of proposed research, scholarship and creative activity (up to one half page)
II. Specific aims/objectives/goals (up to one half page)
III. Methods/approach (up to one half page)
IV. Expected outcomes (up to one half page)
V. Anticipated contribution to growth and impact of research, scholarship and creative activity at Cal Poly (up to one half page)

Additional Documents
Cover page indicating project title, principal investigator(s), department, center, institute affiliations
I. Biographical sketch and/or CV of principal investigator(s) not to exceed 3 pages in length per person
II. General budget outline (personnel, supplies, equipment, travel) for the first year and up to two additional years
III. Potential for building a faculty cluster or for consideration of faculty cluster hiring
IV. Matching funds, if available, and source, or existing funds (grants, donors, etc.)
V. One page, or less, of references cited or addendum materials/figures

Proposal Evaluation Criteria
I. Innovation
II. Interdisciplinary
III. Feasibility
IV. Academic merit
V. Expected outcomes
VI. Ability to generate funding from federal, state, philanthropic and/or private sources
VII. Anticipated contribution to Cal Poly undergraduate and graduate students
VIII. Anticipated impact on the Central Coast and the state of California

Proposal Review Committee
Note: Principal investigators of top-ranked proposals will be invited to give 15-minute oral presentations to the Proposal Review Committee (PRC). The PRC will be co-chaired by the Provost, the Vice President for University Development and Alumni Engagement, and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Members will include representatives from each of the following: Each of the six colleges, the Academic Senate, a center or institute, Graduate Education, two undergraduate students, Government Relations, and two community members. Qualitative assessments of the proposals and priority for further consideration will be presented to the President and his cabinet.

Anticipated Timeline
January 28: Proposal due
February 1 – 15: Staff review, assembly and distribution
February 16-28: Committee review – first round
March 1-7: Proposal teams are notified of outcomes
March 8-15: Finalists make presentations
March 15-31: Present recommendations for President’s cabinet consideration
April: Symposia on big ideas
April – May on: Team will develop resourcing plan (outward press, funding, student support, future funding strategies, potential for faculty recruitment and other as merited)

Additional Notes on Proposal Review and Follow-Up
In some cases, multiple proposals may reflect distinct aspects of the same challenge and may naturally appear to fit together into a larger framework. In that case, the PRC may seek input from proposal writers on ability to combine efforts and proposed strategies, for further consideration of support.

All proposals will receive follow-up attention and assistance in finding internal and/or external funding sources. Additional support on further development of the ideas and concepts will also be provided, as requested.

Submit proposals to: by midnight on January 28, 2020.

If you have questions regarding this RFP, please contact the Office of Research and Economic Development at or (805) 756-5153.

The Cal Poly College of Engineering understands there has been an enormous amount of turmoil and transition due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we continue offering support to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we also continue providing critical updates as well as college highlights. Ours is a college full of creative and bright engineers and staff. For more information on COVID-19 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For more information on how Cal Poly is responding to COVID-19, visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website Coronavirus website.


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