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JDRD FAQs

Can travel expenses be paid with JDRD funds?
No. No travel expenses, including conference registration fees, may be charged to JDRD accounts.

Are membership fees allowed on JDRD accounts?
No.

Are UTIA employees eligible for JDRD awards?
Science Alliance funding is intended for UTK researchers in Knoxville. Thus, UTIA researchers would not have top priority. Nevertheless, we are willing to consider proposals from UTIA researchers if the research plan is compelling. Such proposals would be considered more competitive if they also included UTK researchers from in the proposal.

I am considering two different potential projects for JDRD funding. One would be for an LDRD Project, and the second for a Seed Project. In your experience, would applying for both result in one of them being viewed as less favored?
It is allowable to submit more than one proposal to the JDRD program. There is no disadvantage in submitting more than one proposal. Each would be reviewed independently. However, a maximum of one proposal from the same PI/co-PI would be funded.

My collaborator’s LDRD project finishes this year. May I submit a second year funding application if I can find a different LDRD collaborator? Or if I find a new LDRD collaborator, will I be treated as a first year applicant if I still want to submit a proposal?
Since your collaborator’s LDRD project has concluded, then your current JDRD project is not eligible for continuation. However, if there is another LDRD collaborator whose work would be complementary to yours, then you can submit a new proposal for consideration. It would be treated as a first year application.

Do JDRD proposals have to consist of only one investigator, or can two propose together?
It is indeed possible to have more than one investigator on the JDRD proposal. Of course, the project plan should be integrated, with each PI’s contribution to the overall project clearly outlined. From a budget perspective, the $5K cap on PI salary and budget applies to the overall project—i.e., $5K is the total allowable, combined across all PIs.

Is it possible to submit more than one proposal collaborating with more than one PI form ORNL?
Yes, you are free to submit more than one proposal for collaborations with different ORNL PIs. However, we ask that your proposals be fundamentally different; that is, we don’t want two submissions of the same proposal, just connected with different ORNL PIs.

In the end, however, only one proposal with the same UTK PI can be awarded funding.

Are UTSI tenure-line faculty (they have appointments in UTK departments and participate in UTK annual review processes) eligible for the JDRD program?
Because the JDRD funds are part of the Science Alliance funds (which come from the State of TN), our policy is to follow our understanding of the intent of the State legislature in setting up the Science Alliance (which is a State Center of Excellence). Since the legislature separates UTSI’s campus funding from the Knoxville campus of UTK, the Science Alliance funding is handled similarly (i.e., as specific to the Knoxville campus). As background, the legislature has also approved a State Center of Excellence specific to UTSI, which does not include the Knoxville campus. So, this policy is based on how the legislature allocates campus funding, not on how the academics are organized. And, it is generally easier to argue for a JDRD project’s potential success in developing close collaborations with ORNL (which is the main objective of the Science Alliance Funding), due to the close physical proximity of the Knoxville UTK campus and ORNL. (Not all collaborations require physical proximity or the shared use of facilities, of course, but a large percentage of the successful collaborations developed via JDRD projects have this characteristic.)

However, we are still willing to consider proposals from UTSI faculty if they are particularly timely for some reason, and if the funds benefit students on the Knoxville UTK campus. But funding to be spent at the UTSI campus would be lower priority to funding activities on the UTK Knoxville campus, all other things being equal.

It seems that other than myself, two more faculty members from UT are approaching the same PI at ORNL. What is your policy regarding this situation (having multiple proposals with the same ORNL PI)? I think there should be no issue with this case since everybody defines their project from their own perspective and based on their area of expertise.
You are correct—we evaluate each proposal individually. If there are multiple strong UTK proposals with the same ORNL JDRD project, then there is no problem funding more than one of them, as long as the research tasks are not overlapping. If you find that the other UTK PIs are proposing research that has some overlaps with yours, then you might consider combining efforts into a single proposal. But if the proposed research tasks are orthogonal, then going with separate proposals is the right approach.

I am close to publishing my first round of results that were funded through the cohort’s program. How should we acknowledge this funding source?
Something like the following would be appropriate:

“This research was supported by the Science Alliance at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, thorough the JDRD Collaborative Cohort Program Fellowship.”

The bulk of funds I am requesting is for the support of a graduate student to participate on the LDRD. The LDRD is a renewal. I would like to request support for the graduate student for a full academic year (Spring, Summer, Fall). Are we permitted to ask for full support for a graduate student (stipend, benefits, tuition) for the entire fall semester if the LDRD ends, for example, in October? Is the more appropriate option to request tuition for all of Fall and only request funding for stipends and benefits up through Oct 1?
It is allowable to request student support for the entire academic year, even if the LDRD project will end in October.

In general, the Science Alliance does not want JDRD funds to be spent as supplements to LDRD projects. If the (student) work needs to be done in order to achieve the LDRD project goals, then ORNL should be funding the (student) work directly. JDRD funds should not be viewed as a way of partially funding LDRD projects.

Instead, the intent is for JDRD projects to add new complementary research to the LDRD project, such that, when combined, the efforts leads to more potential research opportunities than would be possible with either project alone.

I plan to submit a new JDRD proposal. In the new JDRD application, is it appropriate to mention that I have been supported by JDRD previously and we have done work by this support?
Yes, as part of the application, you are required to discuss any prior collaborations you have had with ORNL. You should certainly include the JDRD collaborations you’ve had, and discuss the nature of those collaborations, and how the prior work relates to the proposed work. We would be particularly interested in new external funding that resulted from the work, or efforts toward that end.

I have a couple images of modules developed for the collaboration with the ORNL LDRD project — the ORNL team has asked that I verify that these will remain confidential before including them. These modules are quite novel, but have not yet been made public and the IP is not protected appropriately as of yet. I assume this is not an issue since this is internal, but wanted to perform my due diligence.
Even though we don’t release the proposals publicly, it would be better not to have to deal with the procedures needed to protect ORNL IP. So, please only include material in your proposal that represents UTK intellectual property, not IP shared with ORNL.