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E-mail the IREE Grants Team any further questions related to IREE funding.
1. I am interested in proposing a project that addresses energy conservation and efficient energy utilization or energy storage. Do these projects need to include development of technologies, and do they need to include a renewable energy component?
Projects must address development of technologies in these areas, as well as demonstrate a clear link to renewable energy systems, consistent with IREE’s mission statement, core values, and the overall intent of IREE’s funding mandate. Hydrogen, for example, would need to be produced by means of a renewable energy source.
2. Would an individual project investigator be eligible to apply for both a Large Grant and a Seed Grant?
Yes, you may submit more than one proposal as a lead PI and/or as a co-PI, within a grant category (Large or Seed) or between the two categories.
3. To what degree are environmental impacts considered in reviewing proposals?
IREE’s mission specifies that it promotes “sustainable, healthy and diverse ecosystems through development of bio-based and other renewable resources and processes.” Environmental impacts of the renewable energy systems within which proposed projects operate should be at least environmentally benign and, ideally, would have clear environmental benefits.
4. Is it expected that projects will include some element of policy, economics and ecosystems analysis?
We do encourage integration of research on policy, economics and ecosystems, as appropriate to the project.
5. If all the PIs, or most of the PIs, are located at the Twin Cities campus and have a demonstration or other activity at a site outside of the Twin Cities, would it count as rural under the RFP?
The legislative intent language of IREE’s funding mandate states, “(IREE) must set aside at least 15 percent of the funds received annually […] for qualified projects conducted at a rural campus or experiment station.” We define “rural” as other than the Twin Cities campuses. We strongly encourage projects with a rural component to have one or more PIs from a non-Twin Cities campus or research/outreach center and/or to include private industrial partners from Greater Minnesota.
6. How will intellectual property be handled when there are industry partners on a project?
The usual University of Minnesota policies and procedures will be followed, and specific IP agreements will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
7. How will indirect costs be handled when these funds are used to support personnel at another academic institution or with a partner in private industry?
IREE’s policy is that its grants do not include indirect costs. If you are faced with an exceptional case in which an extramural partner demands inclusion of indirect costs, contact us, and we will work with you to the extent possible
8. Will extensions be allowed?
Large Grants are expected to be three years in duration and may be no longer than four years, including any request for a no-cost extension. Seed Grants are expected to be one year in duration and may be no longer than two years, including any request for a no-cost extension.
9. May graduate students apply directly for a seed grant?
Graduate students will certainly be key members of the project teams in most cases, but graduate students are not eligible to apply as PIs under this RFP.
10. Would IREE consider a project focused on curriculum development?
A project focused on a formal curriculum development project would not be eligible, since any project focused on education and outreach/engagement is not eligible under this RFP. Projects must be for basic research, applied research and/or demonstration. However, one of the review criteria for Large Grant and Seed Grant proposals is “a plan for disseminating information and integrating findings into the teaching curriculum and outreach and education to non-scientific and business communities.”
11. Would IREE accept projects that include collaborations with out-of-state universities?
Collaborations with out-of-state universities (and national labs, private industry, NGOs, etc.) are permissible and encouraged, as long as the lead PI is from the University of Minnesota and the majority of the project funds remain at the University of Minnesota.
12. Does IREE expect matching funds to be included in proposals?
Matching funds are not required up front, although these would be viewed in a favorable light, by demonstrating a partner’s strong commitment to the project. The most important considerations for IREE are a clear, viable exit strategy for securing other sources of support in the future; and demonstrable progress toward an exit strategy in the course of the project.
13. Are faculty salaries permitted in Large Grant or Seed Grant budgets?
Inclusion of tenured/tenure-track faculty salaries is strongly discouraged but will be considered in exceptional cases, with a strong justification.
14. Can I make a request to exclude certain external reviewers from reviewing my proposal?
Yes, if that is a concern, include that request in a supplementary document attached to the proposal.