Latinx Studies Seed Grants (LSS) Program

 

This cycle of the Latinx Studies Seed (LSS) Grants Program has concluded. To see the list of awardees, please visit: https://www3.research.ucla.edu/reo/internalfunding/lss/awardees 

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IMPORTANT DATES/TIMELINE 

  • Application opens: February 2022
  • Application due date: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 11:59 PM
  • Announcement of Awards: May 2022
  • Project Start/Funding Date: June 2022

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Introduction

The Chicano Studies Research Center in collaboration with the Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the Latinx Studies Seed (LSS) Grants Program. These LSS Grants are designed to help launch and support research projects related to topics relevant to Latinx populations in the United States, including (but not limited to) comparative studies that attend to forces that shape the experiences of Latinx groups (including those of Mexican, Central American, Caribbean, and South American origin) and other historically marginalized populations. As such, proposals funded by this grant program may also have implications for Black, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, immigrant, and refugee communities. Projects that incorporate research training opportunities for first generation and underrepresented students are highly encouraged and will be prioritized.  This funding competition is open to scholars of any discipline.

The goal of the LSS Grants is to facilitate investigators’ preparedness for attaining extramural funding. Grants must be used to design and launch work-in-progress where the PI has not previously been awarded major research funding for the proposed project. LSS Grants can be used for the development of proof-of-concepts, the collection of pilot data and archival research, drafting of white papers, creation of functional prototypes, development of preliminary art and multimedia work, training programs that allow the research team to be competitive for future funding, the study of campus climate issues, and other deliverables. As a multi-year commitment, LSS Grants are a part of the HSI Infrastructure Initiative announced by Chancellor Block and EVCP Carter in Sept 2021. Successful LSS projects are expected to advance the goals of the HSI Initiative by enhancing UCLA’s commitment to supporting scholarship with implications for diverse Latinx communities.

In addition to LSS grant funding, it is anticipated that the lead principal investigator (PI) will participate, along with other members of their cohort, in grants development workshops/activities hosted by ORCA and IAC during the grant period. This includes meeting with national and local foundation and philanthropic representatives.  The goal is to advance academic research by providing grantees with greater access and tools to build and broaden their exposure to major grants development resources.

Eligibility Criteria

PI/Co-PI Eligibility

  • Projects must have one lead principal investigator (PI) from a school or division at UCLA, and may include Co-PIs from other schools, divisions, and institutions.
  • The PI must hold UCLA academic faculty or academic administrator appointments as of 7/1/2022 (individuals in the senate, lecturer, adjunct, other non-senate, or academic administrator series are all eligible). Visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and individuals without UCLA appointments are not eligible to serve as the PI, although they may serve as co-PIs or team members.  

Proposal Focus

  • The proposal must represent a research or creative collaboration that substantively relates to or has implications for Latinx populations in the United States (including Puerto Rico).
  • Each collaborator’s expertise should clearly contribute to developing a project competitive enough to be funded through extramural support beyond the LSS Grant.

Current Funding

  • Activities currently or previously funded by major research awards (over $30,000) are not eligible for consideration.
  • Should any aspect of a proposal receive alternative funding, the primary applicant must notify the LSS grant program coordinator within 5 business days.
  • Proposals that build off other funded work are eligible, but the application should describe how the proposal is distinct from existing funded work.

Other ORCA Funding Programs

  • PIs, co-PIs, and team members may apply for other funding through ORCA, including TRAG and the Arts Initiative Grants, provided that the applications are for distinct projects.
    • In other words, the same project is not eligible to apply for more than one ORCA funding opportunity. 
    • If you are unsure which funding opportunity makes the most sense for your project, please contact orcafunding@conet.ucla.edu.
  • PIs and Co-PIs may not additionally apply to the IAC’s Racial and Social Justice Seed (RSJ) Grant Program for the same or a different project for the same academic year, and hence must choose between applying for an RSJ or LSS.  While an overlap exists between the RSJ and LSS call for proposals, scholars whose research has explicit focus on or implications for Latinx populations in the USA are encouraged to apply to the LSS program.  

    Additional Program Guidelines & Preferences

    Project descriptions should be understandable by reviewers from a variety of disciplines.

    Projects are expected to be sufficiently developed to demonstrate competitiveness for extramural funding after completion of a LSS grant (although we recognize project development cycles may require additional time beyond one year).

    Preference will be given to projects that include a strong plan for providing training opportunities for underrepresented UCLA students, as well as those led by junior faculty.

    The lead PI and any co-PI must meet the eligibility criteria listed above, and teams can include non-UCLA faculty.

    We expect applicants to provide evidence of fair collaboration practices in terms of gender, rank (especially with regard to junior faculty), and, as appropriate, the participation of students and community partners.

    Scholars with personal ties to Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and Asian-American Pacific Islander communities are encouraged to apply.


    AWARD INFORMATION

    Available Funds

    It is anticipated that 8-10 projects will be funded, with a maximum award of up to $30,000 per project. The funding envelope is $250,000 each year for five years, with calls for proposals being announced in early 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026. Applicants who are unsuccessful in this year's competition are encouraged to reapply in future years.

    Period of Funding

    Funds will be available for distribution approximately 6 weeks following the announcement of the awards, so long as the research team provides all requested information including IRB approvals, if applicable, in a timely fashion. All funds should be expended within approximately 12 months of the fund transfer. PIs/Project Directors will be permitted to apply for one no-cost extension of an additional 12 months.

    Allowable Expenses

    Funds must be used for direct research costs such as materials, supplies, personnel (including staff, student salaries, and fee remissions, if applicable), and travel to the extent that such expenses are directly related to the proposed project.

    If proposals involve compensating non-UCLA affiliated personnel, then an explanation of why this expertise or service is critical for the success of the project must be included in the project narrative.

    Proposed activities and expenditures must comply with all applicable university policies and procedures.

     

    Funding Restrictions

    Funds may not be used for UCLA-based faculty/investigator salaries or support including teaching buy-outs or summer ninths, or departmental overhead costs (indirect costs).

    The following activities are not eligible for funding under this mechanism:

    • Seminars, courses, or curricular development
    • Conferences or conference support and workshops
    • Publishing subventions 

    PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS AND SUBMISSION

    Proposal Elements

    All proposals must be submitted through the application portal and include the following elements:

    To be entered in the appropriate fields in the application form in the portal:

    • Proposal Title
    • Name, academic rank/title, School/Division affiliation and Departmental affiliation of the PI, co-PI, and key co-investigators
    • A project abstract (150-word maximum), which may be used in announcing recipients of the grants.
    • NOTE: The information above does not need to be included in the Project Narrative document.

    To be uploaded in the application form in the portal:

    • I. Project Narrative (6-page maximum, double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 pt. font minimum, excluding references). Please address the following elements and indicate each topic section with a header.
      • a. Research Questions/Creative Activities: Statement of question/issue to be addressed, current state of knowledge and general research approach to be used
      • b.  Connection to Latinx communities: Statement on how the aims of the project are squarely connected to Latinx populations, and other marginalized groups in the United States (if relevant).
      • c. Current Progress and Funding Potential: Summary of existing work by the PIs to date and potential for extramural funding, including identification of specific funding agencies or calls for proposals 
      • d. Timeline and Outcomes: Timeline of activities and anticipated outcomes 
    • II. Budget. Please provide a listing of the projected expenses, along with written justifications, using this budget template form
    • III. Biosketch for key personnel (2 pages maximum each, including professional appointments/affiliations, awards/honors, and publications). In a single pdf, combine biosketches for the PI, any Co-PIs, and any key project personnel. Place the PI's biosketch first.
    • IV. Statement of other project support/funding for all key personnel. Please include all support, not just any that is related to the proposed project. This section can be in a list format; it does not need to be a narrative.
    • V. Proposed plan to ensure fair collaboration practices in cases involving women, junior faculty, and students (250 words).

    Human Subject Review

    Projects involving animal or human subjects require appropriate review board(s) approval prior to the release of funds. The approvals or waivers will need to reference the applicable funding mechanism. 

    Human Subjects – Please be sure to determine whether human subjects are involved in your project, and hence the need for Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. For information about submission requirements, available training, and applicable policies and procedures, please refer to the Office of the Human Research Protection Program website. However, an IRB application submission and approval are not required until after award notification. A period of 4 weeks should be allocated for the IRB review process, and approval must be granted before funding is distributed.

    Submission Process

    All submissions are due Wednesday, March 23, 2022 by 11:59pm.  Each proposal and all corresponding information must be submitted through the application portal.


    REVIEW PROCESS AND RECIPIENT OBLIGATIONS

    Review Process

    Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

    • How the project advances social justice, racial equity, public life, and the goals of the Hispanic Infrastructure Initiative on campus
    • Novelty, significance, and potential public impact of the project
    • The composition of multi-rank research teams (that also include students) and fair collaboration practices
    • Qualifications of the lead PI, co-PIs, and co-Investigators
    • Potential for external funding and further scholarship
    • Project feasibility
    • The proposed use of funds. The review panel may elect to disallow certain proposed expenditures.

     

    Obligations of Recipients of LSS Grants

    As a condition of funding research teams should be prepared and willing to meet with ORCA and IAC over the course of the award term to learn about extramural opportunities and gain support for future grant development. Within one month of completion of the project or within 13 months following the transfer of funds (whichever is sooner), PIs must submit a project report including the following information:

    • I. Progress report – status of research and progress to date
    • II. Primary outcomes including any publications, presentations, or portfolios made possible by the award
    • III. A list of external funding applied for/received as a result of the project and/or new directions developed for the project after RSJ support.
    • IV. Financial report accounting for how funds were spent

    The Office for Research and Creative Activities and the Latinx Studies Seed Grant program must be credited in any work product resulting from this funding.


    QUESTIONS?

    For questions regarding the program, please email orcafunding@conet.ucla.edu