LIFT Solicitation for Proposals


The Research and Educational Technology Committee (R&E) of the IT governance structure at The University of Texas at Austin is seeking proposals for innovative technology projects that support students and faculty. R&E is responsible for allocating $500,000, through the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT), for use towards innovative technology projects in fiscal year 2016-2017.

LIFT is intended as one-time seed money for innovative academic technology projects that leverage information technology in order to improve 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. While LIFT may be awarded to research projects, the research must be applied with near-term practical use and benefit at the University. Preference will be given to projects with broad impact across the University. The pilot project funded by LIFT can target a specific audience, but if it does, there should be a plan for increasing audience size and broadening impact to the University. LIFT is not a substitute for normal infrastructure funding. Facility or infrastructure upgrades will not be funded through this program. Each year, approximately eight to ten percent of proposals receive funding.

Preference will be given to proposals that address significant campus needs in innovative ways. R&E will also look at the likelihood of success and adoption in evaluating proposals and determine the breadth of impact to the University. Refer to the LIFT Criteria section for a complete list of criteria. Each member of R&E will judge each submission on three main criteria, Significance, Likelihood of Success, and Impact/Value. If there is a potential conflict of interest between R&E members and proposals, members will recuse themselves from the review and discussion of the specific proposal.

Proposals should adhere to the LIFT Proposal Template. A sample proposal can be found here. Requests should be in the range of $75,000 – $125,000. Any UT faculty or staff member is eligible to submit a project proposal. LIFT awards can be used for salaries, faculty time, student time, staff time, and participant support. LIFT awards can also be used for domestic travel and equipment. LIFT awards are considered internal funding and do not carry indirect costs. Proposed projects should be 12 months in duration.

Please note that projects that are not selected for funding will receive feedback on their proposals.


  • January 2016 -- LIFT Solicitation Opens

  • March 4, 2016 – Friday 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Past Winner Poster Session and Solicitation Q&A

  • April 15, 2016 – Proposals Due

  • May 2016 -- LIFT Proposals Evaluated

  • June 2016 – LIFT Winners Announced

  • Beginning of fall 2016 semester – Project Start


Proposals should be written using the LIFT Proposal Template can be submitted on-line via EasyChair in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. Supplemental documentation (letters of support, etc) may be submitted in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Angela Newell or Christy Tran.

Proposal Renewals

While LIFT is not intended to provide ongoing funding for any project after the initial award period, the committee recognizes that 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.

LIFT Criteria

The Research and Educational Technology Committee will use the following criteria to evaluate and judge each submission for the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology.


  • Significance of need addressed
  • How innovative
  • Quality of implementation plan
  • Quality of evaluation plan

Likelihood of Success

  • Likelihood of execution
  • Readiness for adoption
  • Extensibility of plan
  • Sustainability of plan
  • Reasonableness of cost


  • Short-term impact
  • Long-term impact
  • Breadth/depth of impact
  • Competitive advantage to UT