In anticipation of an upcoming call for proposals from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for materials research https://research.ucla.edu/news/ucla-research-enhancement-office-announces-seed-funding-prepare-ucla-nsf-mrsec-submission and an interest in increasing UCLA’s competitiveness for such a center, Vice Chancellor Wakimoto invested in a seed funding mechanism and in a series of workshops.
This initiative began in summer 2018.
This initiative is currently active. A call for proposals for potential IRGs was published in spring 2018 with funding decisions made in Fall quarter 2018. In advance of the Call for Proposals, Professor Jane Chang organized a workshop for campus faculty. UCLA also served as a West Coast site for an NSF workshop about MRSEC on September 25, 2018 with approximately 9 campuses participating. https://research.ucla.edu/news/invitation-campuses-near-west-coast-attend-nsf-mrsec-workshop-ucla. Following the workshop, the NSF released its program solicitation (NSF 19-517) on November 2, 2018, with the option to include two to three IRGs. Through the internal funding mechanism, UCLA had already seeded certain projects as prospective IRGs but in the interest of putting together the most competitive application, there is still an opportunity for other research groups to compete to be part of the preliminary propsal, which process is being managed as a limited submission.
The preliminary proposal is due to the NSF on June 24, 2019.