Opportunities for Faculty Research

I-DREAM4D Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

 Defense Fellow Program for Advanced Materials, Manufacturing, and Systems

Issued by

DoD Consortium for Innovation Driven Research/Education Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing for the Defense

UTRGV Texas Manufacturing Assistant Center

Application Due: May 15th, each year 2021-2023

Overview of the Funding Opportunity:

Funding Opportunity Announcement Title: Defense Fellows for Early Career Researchers at I-DREAM4D member institutions.

Dates for Proposal: May 15th, 2021 for 2021 fiscal year. This FOA will remain open from the date of publish through 30 September 2023.

FOA Request: I-DREAM4D National Consortium is soliciting concept paper on the endeavor described herein. This notice of funding availability constitutes a competitive mechanism by which to evaluate and select proposals for award, including a merit-based competition.

Estimated Program Funding: The consortium and UTRGV Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) provide support for selected faculty fellows that covers one summer month support, one research assistantship position, plus materials and supplies for research.

Anticipated Number of Awards and Award Period: The consortium plan to support up to five defense fellows, which can be renewed for 2 years upon progress and performance reviewed by the I-DREAM4D program director for research and TMAC director.

Brief Program Summary:

I-DREAM4D (www.idream4d.org), a national Consortium for Innovation Driven Research/Education Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing for the Defense, is created on a DoD MEEP grant to support talent needs for US military and US defense manufacturing operations. The focus of the consortium is through a collaborative effort, to conduct impactful research for defense innovations and to prepare engineers and scientists who lead the US defense manufacturing innovation. The consortium is composed of five higher education institutions (UTRGV, UT Austin, UTSA, Virginia Tech, VSU), national research centers, national labs, defense manufacturers, local high school districts, and community colleges.

The consortium goal is to promote advanced additive manufacturing (AM), smart technology (ST), and lightweight materials to support innovations for the defense industries. The key consortium missions include:

  • Perform high risk and high return research projects supported by consortium industrial members
  • Educate college students in advance materials and manufacturing engineering education programs
  • Prepare faculty to perform impactful research for the defense industries
  • Prepare student to lead defense innovation
  • Expose defense manufacturing innovation opportunities to local communities and school districts

Proposal is solicited from UTRGV early career faculty members at all STEM fields. Proposed effort shall align with consortium research thrusts which include:

  1. Advanced Additive Manufacturing Science and Technologies
  2. Defense materials and devices enabled by additive manufacturing and AI
  3. Smart technology for Additive Manufacturing processes
  4. Additive Manufacturing for tooling and defense manufacturing systems

Application and Submission Information:

Preliminary Inquiries: Applicants are encouraged to make preliminary inquiries to the Technical Point of Contact for this FOA, Dr. Anil Srivastava, at anil.srivastava@utrgv.edu to discuss the type of research effort being contemplated.

Whitepaper Preparation

Whitepapers should outline the proposed research, including how it is innovative, how it will increase state-of-the-art knowledge in the proposed research area, and how the project will impact I-DREAM4D core mission and key research areas.

Collaboration with DoD labs is an important element of the Defense Fellow program. Proposers shall provide detailed contact information of the anticipated collaborator (or the research group) from DOD Labs, describe their participation and the anticipated impact to the research proposed and the students as well. Describe the project’s relevance to DoD modernization areas and potential impact on the defense mission, if known.

  1. Whitepapers are limited to four (4) pages: (1) cover page, two (2) pages of technical content and one (1) page addendum as described below. Pages exceeding these limits will not be reviewed or considered.
  2. Whitepapers must comply with the guidelines below. No forms are required for whitepaper submission.
  • Page Size: 8 ½ x 11 inches
  • Margins – 1 inch
  • Spacing – single
  • Font – Times New Roman, 12 point
  • PDF document as attachment to email directed to TPOC at above address.
  1. Format and content of whitepapers:
    1. Cover Page (not to exceed one page): The whitepaper cover page must include: Title of the whitepaper; name of the applicant and the department submitting the whitepaper; the research area against which the whitepaper is submitted.
    2. Technical Content (not to exceed two pages): Provide a detailed discussion of the proposed effort including the research objective, approach, relationship to similar research, and student involvement. Also include the nature and extent of the anticipated results and, if known, the manner in which the project will align with I-DREAM4D core research areas and/or DoD priorities set forth in the National Defense Strategy.
    3. The type of support, if any, the applicant may need in the proposed research, such as facilities, equipment, demonstration sites, test ranges, software, personnel or materials, shall be identified or suggested,
    4. Addendum (not to exceed one page): Provide one-page biographical sketches, highlighting qualifications and experience in the proposed research area.

Submission Dates and Time:

Submit your package in one PDF file to anil.srivastava@utrgv.edu by 5:00pm Central Daylight Time, May 15th, 2021

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Evaluation Process: The whitepaper will be evaluated for the concept's scientific merit, potential contributions to the I-DREAM4D and DoD mission and priority areas, and how the proposed efforts facilitate core consortium and TMAC operations including but not limited to: supervising students (graduate and undergraduate RAs, Summer Interns), participating in outreach/recruitment events such as high school summer camp), directing projects from industries, publication and attending consortium conferences, submission of a full proposal to DoD agencies on the proposed topic. Applicants whose whitepapers are evaluated as having significant scientific merit and strong student participation in STEM disciplines will be selected.
  2. Disposition Process: The applicant will be notified in writing upon completion of the whitepaper evaluation. Whitepapers will not be returned to applicants. Applicants may request a summary of their whitepaper evaluation from the Grants Officer.