Frequently Asked Questions
I. INFORMATION ON THE LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) AND FULL APPLICATION
Q1. How do I submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)?
The first step is to create an account. 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 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, e.g., University of Texas at Austin.
Q2. How long is the LOI?
Once the account is created, the PI will then be asked to answer brief 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 approximately two-pages.
- What are the research questions?
- What is the policy-relevance and/or program implementation practice-relevance of the proposed study?
- What is the proposed methodology and what are the proposed measures?
- What are the proposed data analysis approaches?
- Describe your experience relevant to the proposed research project.
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.
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. Brevity is appreciated and entering the maximum character limits is not necessary. 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 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
Q6. What are the review criteria for the LOI and full Application?
Please see item VI. Criteria for Selection in the YSP 2017 Guidelines.
Q7. 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?
Unfortunately, the Foundation does not have the capacity to share written reviews with applicants. Your understanding is appreciated.
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, 2008 through June 30, 2015. For those with medical degrees (M.D.s), the earliest and latest possible dates are January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2015. For additional information, please see item III. Eligibility in the YSP 2017 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 YSP 2017 Guidelines.
Q3. What are the requirements of my host institution that I should be aware of now 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 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.
- May 3, 2016, 3PM EDT: Online webinar to review the LOI process. View a recording of the webinar here.
- June 1, 2016: Online LOI close at 3:00pm ET.
- August 1, 2016: Latest notification date of LOI status.
- Two additional webinars are planned for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply to the full application process. Recordings of these webinars will be posted.
- October 19, 2016: Online full application process for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply will close at 3PM ET.
- April 1, 2017: Latest notification date of full application status.
IV. FULL APPLICATION BUDGET
Q1. Is there a maximum overhead stipulation?
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. Indirect and overhead costs are limited to 15% of direct personnel costs.
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. Indirect and overhead costs are limited to 15% of direct personnel costs.
Q2. 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.
Q3. 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.
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.