Internal Competitions

If you haven't already done so, please review our general procedures for managing grant programs that limit the number of applications an institution or its subsidiary components may submit. If the University is currently conducting an internal competition pursuant to a grant program that interests you, you will find instructions below. If you would like to apply to a limited submission program that is not listed below, before you begin to prepare a proposal, please contact ORA Information Specialist Syd Conner for guidance, at 601-266-4119 or

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Current Competitions

Always refer to sponsor guidelines for complete program details.

There are currently no active competitions. Information on the two listed below will remain here for a short time, for anyone who would like to copy the information. Both programs are expected to be reissued at about the same time next year.


Title: ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards
Internal (USM) Deadline: 5:00 pm Monday, November 24, 2015
Sponsor:  Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Program Summary:  The Powe Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. Full-time assistant professors at member institutions within two years of their initial tenure track appointment (1/12/2013 through 1/12/2015) at their current (member) institution at the time of application are eligible. The eligible research topics are: 

  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Applied Science
  • Mathematics & Computer Sciences
  • Education, Policy, or Management
Link to more information: 
Sponsor Restrictions: Only two (2) applications per institution are allowed, and they must be submitted electronically by the institution's Member Councilor (i.e., institutional representative). USM's internal competition facilitates the selection of the University's applicant(s).

Instructions: Your USM Office of Research Administration (ORA) Grants Administrator will need all of the materials iterated below. In addition, you must email all of the materials except the Internal Approval Form to To participate in the internal competition:

  1. Read the ORAU guidelines here.
  2. Prepare application packet per the ORAU instructions hereHowever, do not send anything to the ORAU Councilor as noted in ORAU's instructions; instead, send/deliver everything to the USM Office of Research Administration (ORA). After USM's applicant(s) are selected by a review panel appointed by the Vice President for Research, ORA will deliver the selected faculty's materials to the councilor (at USM, the VPR is the Councilor). Retain electronic copies of all documents, since the two chosen proposals will be sent to ORAU electronically.
  3. Prepare a one-page abbreviated resume with a second page listing publications and/or presentations, and save it in PDF or Word format. 
  4. Prepare a two-page research proposal, addressing each item listed in the Powe Award application instructions, and save a copy in Word or PDF format.
  5. Complete the online application form, then (important: this step enables saving and printing the completed form) click the “Check Application” button at the bottom of the page. Correct any omissions or errors, then use your browser’s "Save as" to save a copy on your computer. Send it to ORA with your other materials.
  6. Complete and print a USM Internal Approval Form (for PC; for Mac) and obtain appropriate authorizations. Your ORA Grants Administrator can help you complete the IAF and devise a budget.  
  7. Have your chair or dean prepare a letter of support. The letter should be addressed to (not sent to) Dr. Gordon C. Cannon, Vice President for Research (who is USM's ORAU Councilor). The signed letter will need to be scanned or otherwise saved as a PDF document.  ORA can scan it.
  8. All materials must be received at ORA no later than 5:00 pm Monday, November 24. Make sure you send electronic copies of everything except the IAF to


  • Internal application materials are due at the Office of Research Administration (ORA) by 5:00 pm Monday, November 24, 2014
  • USM's ORAU Councilor (Dr. Cannon) will send the selected application(s) to ORAU by the January 12, 2015 deadline.


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Title: NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) — Instrument Acquisition or Development

Internal (USM) Deadline: 5:00 pm Monday, December 1, 2014   

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Program Summary:
MRI grants support improving the quality & expanding the scope of science research, & fostering the integration of research & education by supporting the development or acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- or intra-organizational use, & in concert with private sector partners. Proposals are accepted in any NSF-supported discipline for instrumentation costing up to $4 million. Cost-sharing of 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions. The MRI program has introduced specific tracks for the acquisition (Track 1) and development (Track 2) of a research instrument, and provided guidance that must be followed when applying for each track. Please read the RFP thoroughly.

Link to more information: 

Sponsor Restrictions:
Because NSF allows only 2 acquisition proposals & 1 development proposal per institution, USM is conducting an internal competition to determine who may submit proposals to NSF.


Faculty members who want to compete should:

A selection committee appointed by the Vice President for Research will choose up to three concept papers for development into full proposals for submission to NSF.


  • Concept papers due at by 5:00 pm Monday, December 1
  • Full proposals (those selected) due at NSF by January 22, 2015