Young Scholars Program Frequently Asked Questions
I. INFORMATION ON THE LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) AND FULL APPLICATION
Q1. How do I set up an account to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)?
The first step is to create an account by logging in to the on-line grants management system. The code to access the 2018 YSP LOI is “2018YSP”. The applicant or Principal Investigator (PI) should create the account so that s/he can fill out the information about his/her background and the proposed research project. The LOI is then completed and submitted online. Please note that the system can only accommodate one username and password per proposal.
For the 501(c)(3) entity information during the create account step, please enter the Tax I.D. number that will verify this IRS status. The format is “12-1234567.” Government agencies and departments, including public universities, must apply through a non-profit partner that will receive, process, and support the funded research project if awarded, e.g., University of Texas Foundation. If you are unsure of your Tax I.D. number, for those in a university setting, please check with your Office of Sponsored Projects, for others check with your Development Office.
For the Organization name, if it is different from the 501(c)(3) entity, please provide the name of the organization that you are employed by that is served by the 501(c)(3) entity.
Q2. How long is the LOI?
Once the account is created, the PI will then be asked to answer survey questions about the nature of the proposed research. Based on the character limits for the text boxes placed on the five questions/sections below, the actual length of the LOI narrative is up to 10-12 pages.
- What are the research questions? (9600 character max)
- What are the actionable implications for public policy of the proposed study? (6400 character max)
- What is the proposed methodology and what are the proposed measures? (9600 character max)
- What are the proposed data analysis approaches? (9600 character max)
- Describe your experience relevant to the proposed research project. (3200 character max)
Q3. How do I submit a strong LOI?
In general, it may be helpful to work with mentors or senior scholars to develop a strong LOI. In the event that your LOI is approved and you are invited to submit a full Application, two letters of support will be required. At least one letter must fully evaluate the proposed research and discuss the quality of the research questions, significance of the proposed research, and soundness of the proposed methodology and plans for analysis. Please see the mentor/mentee checklist.
Q4. What is the process to submit a full application?
If the Foundation approves your completed LOI, you will be invited to submit a full Application and will be given access to the online Application process.
Q5. How long is the full application?
The survey responses from your approved LOI will be preloaded into the online Application and you will be able to revise your responses. Based on the character limits for the text boxes placed on the sections below (not including the budget, required/optional attachments, etc.), the maximum length of the Application narrative is approximately 17 pages.
- Executive Summary
- Research Project Basis and Questions
- Policy- and/or Practice-Relevance of the Proposed Research
- Current State of Knowledge and the Significance of the Present Study
- Methodology and Measurement Procedures
- Data Analysis Approaches
- Description of Relevant Experience to Undertake the Proposed Research
- Time Commitment and Effort
Q6. Will my application still be considered if my Letters of Recommendation are submitted after the submission deadline?
No, all requirements must be met, including recommendation letters, in order to be considered.
Q7. What are the review criteria for the LOI and full application?
Please see item VI. Criteria for Selection in the 2018 YSP Guidelines.
Q8. Will written evaluator reviews of the LOI and full application be shared with applicants (both those who were successful and unsuccessful) once the Young Scholars have been selected?
Feedback will be shared with applicants who are invited to submit a full Application to further enhance the proposal.
II. ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS
Q1. What are the earliest and latest possible dates to have received a doctoral degree and still be eligible?
A minimum of one year must have elapsed since receiving your doctoral degree before you may apply to the program. The earliest and latest possible dates to have received your degree are January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2016. For those with medical degrees (M.D.s), the earliest and latest possible dates are January 1, 2006 through June 30, 2016. For additional information, please see item III. Eligibility in the 2018 YSP Guidelines.
Q2. What are the eligibility requirements of my host institution?
The affiliated private non-profit organization must have a minimum operating budget of $2.5 million and a minimum three-year track record in conducting multi-year research projects (at least three over the last three years). For additional information, please see item III. Eligibility in the 2018 YSP Guidelines.
Q3. What are the requirements of my host institution that I should be aware of at the LOI stage?
If your LOI is approved and you are invited to submit a full Application, your host institution will be required to submit a letter of support. For Research universities or other higher education institutions, the letter is usually written from the Dean/Chair of the department where the PI holds their position. For all organizations, the letter of support will:
- Confirm the PI is a full-time employee of the host organization that can receive and administer the funds. Please note that if funded, the host organization will be asked to confirm the PI’s full-time status for the duration of the two- or three-year grant period.
- Confirm the organization’s commitment to the PI’s proposed percentage of paid time as stated in the full application.
- Describe the capacity/plans of the host organization to support (e.g., expertise, material, in-kind, etc.) the applicant and project including its attendant public policy outreach. Letters that describe more than the basic supports provided to all employees will likely positively affect the application’s rating.
Q4. Is there an expectation that the awardees be relieved of teaching at any point during this award?
There is no expectation that the awardees be relieved of teaching, but if the letter of intent is approved, applicants will need to explain their time commitments (i.e., teaching, research, service to the field, etc.) for the duration of the grant period in the application. The Advisory Committee will evaluate whether the described amount of time dedicated to the project is appropriate and reasonable, especially in relation to other applicant responsibilities.
- May 2, 2017, 1:00 PM EST: Online webinar to review the LOI process. Click here to register.
- June 5, 2017 (Deadline): Online LOI closes at 3:00pm EST.
- Two additional webinars are planned for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply through the full application process. Recordings of these webinars will be posted. Yet, in the interim please view the previous 2017 webinars below for reference:
- October 10, 2017 (Deadline): Online full application process for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply will close at 3:00 PM ET.
- Early April 2017: Latest notification date of full application status.
IV. FULL APPLICATION BUDGET
Q1. What is the maximum grant award?
For proposed research projects involving either primary data collection or a combination of primary data collection and secondary data analysis, the maximum grant award including indirect costs is $225,000 to be used over a two- to three-year period. Grant funds are intended to support the Principal Investigator’s salary, research assistance, and direct research expenses.
For proposed research projects solely focused on secondary data analysis, the maximum grant award including indirect costs is $180,000 to be used over a two- to three-year period. Grant funds are intended to support the Principal Investigator’s salary and direct research expenses.
Q2. Is there a maximum overhead or indirect rate stipulation?
For all proposed research projects, the indirect and overhead costs are limited to 15% of total personnel costs (salary and fringe).
Q3. What are other budget stipulations that I should be aware of?
The maximum grant award is to be used over a two- to three-year period. Grant funds are intended to support the PI’s salary and direct research expenses. In general, up to 10% of direct personnel costs may be used towards senior advisors and consultants.
Q4. How do I submit the full application budget?
The budget template (in Excel) can be downloaded in the online full Application process. Please complete the template, including the narrative for each line-item, and then upload the budget as part of your full Application.
Q5. Should we receive a grant award, will the funds be provided upfront or will they be reimbursed after expenses have occurred?
In the event that the PI is awarded a grant, the first payment is provided upfront based on the approved budget. Subsequent grant payments are also made up front after review and approval of interim narrative and financial reports and if 75% of the previous installments have been expended.
V. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
How can I get additional information?
Please send all questions about the application including technical questions about the online system to firstname.lastname@example.org.