Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology - Frequently Asked Questions
NOTE: LIFT proposals and any supporting materials must be received by May 3, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.
Below are answers to questions received from faculty and staff about the LIFT solicitation, proposal, and award process. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.
Can recipients of LIFT funding apply for additional funding?
LIFT is intended as one-time seed money for innovative academic technology projects that leverage information technology for the benefit of the University and in support of its mission.
While LIFT is not intended to provide ongoing funding for any project after the initial award period, some projects merit renewal. Projects previously funded through LIFT may apply for additional funding on a one-time-only basis. Those who choose to reapply should be aware that any renewal will be judged against new proposals and no more than half of the total funding dollars will be allocated to proposal renewals.
Those seeking to renew funding through LIFT are required to complete supplemental proposal materials including metrics from the original proposal, documented efforts to receive external funding, and a fully considered Sustainability Plan. Requests for renewals of LIFT funding will be expected to achieve substantive new deliverables.
Can initial proposals be for a two year period?
No. Though the Research and Educational Technology (R&E) committee will consider renewing proposals for projects that have received LIFT funding, all proposed projects should be 12 months in duration.
Are LIFT funds available for projects under $75,000?
LIFT funding is intended for innovative projects that address significant campus needs. Breadth of impact to the University is a key consideration. For example, projects to fund a single graduate assistant or create a project-specific website are probably too narrow in scope to receive LIFT funding.
However, if a project proposal meets the criteria outlined in the solicition - to improve the quality of instruction, create a differentiator for attracting higher caliber students to the University, or result in a competitive advantage to the University in attracting sponsored research - it will be considered for LIFT funding.
Reading the midpoint progress reports for projects previously funded by R&E will provide insight into what type of proposal the committee will fund.
Are faculty from other University of Texas System institutions eligible for LIFT funding?
At this time, LIFT funding is only available for faculty and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. Some faculty from other UT institutions received the solicitation due to the Group Email system. We apologize for any inconvenience.
What is the timeline for the LIFT proposal and award process?
Here are important dates-to-remember:
- March 25, 2013 - Solicitation for proposals
- May 3, 2013 - Deadline for proposal submission
- June, 2013 - Notification of award recipients
- Beginning of fall semester - Project start
What format should I use when submitting a LIFT proposal?
Proposals should be written using the LIFT Proposal Template. Supplemental documentation (letters of support, etc.) can be submitted on line in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We are assembling a multi-department team. Do we need to submit separate budgets from each department?
Several of the previously funded LIFT projects had multi-department teams. It is not necessary to submit separate budgets from each department, just submit the budget breakdown for your project and the justification for the funds you are requesting.
Do we need to submitt letters of support or approvals from each chair or dean if our project team is from multiple departments?
Letters of support and approval from each chair or dean are not required, but may be helpful to your application.
Do we need to submit a letter of inquiry prior to submitting a proposal?
There is no need to submit a letter of inquiry before submitting your proposal. Remember to download and use the proposal template though - and submit your proposal by the May 3, 2013 5 p.m. deadline!
How are the logistics of the award process handled?
Logistics of the award process are handled by the University's Budget Office.
Do we need to submit cost share forms for inkind time?
No, it is not necessary to submit cost share forms for inkind time.
May sub-contractors be used and, if so, is a letter of agreement from the subcontractor required?
You may use sub-contractors to complete work. While not required, a letter of agreement may be included with your proposal.
What are key issues the committee considers when evaluating a proposal?
A common theme in the first group of LIFT funded projects was an attempt to provide a service or prototype that would broadly support adopters across campus. This does not mean that projects have to directly benefit the entire campus community, but the committee is interested in projects with - for example - positive potential for multiple research groups or for large numbers of students. Another consideration is leverage. If this project is funded, will it leave some lasting footprint on campus or lead to further research funded from other sources?
Do I need to reimburse tuition for graduate research assistant (GRA) positions?
If tuition reimbursement is part of your normal compensation for a GRA then you should include it in your budget. Generally it is included.
Do I account for fringe in my budget?
If fringe is not paid centrally then you should include it in your budget.
In the LIFT proposal template, what is meant by a "high level" timeline for the project?
A “high level timeline” means mapping the major milestones of the project over the year of the award. This can be done however best suits your project – with monthly milestones, or in larger blocks of time. The timeline can be in bullets, a table, or simple narrative. Having a reasonable high level timeline shows the committee that you have planned how you will implement your proposal.