Annual reports are submitted to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees and highlight the impact that the Research Reinvestment Fund has had on research, development, and commercialization in the state of Maine.
UMS Research Reinvestment Funds
The objective of the UMS Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF) is to strengthen research, development and commercialization activities that are tied to Maine businesses and to industries that are critical to the future of Maine. The UMS Board of Trustees (BOT) has committed funding for this initiative through FY 2019.
Competitive grant funding competitions for UMS researchers are overseen by the RRF Advisory Board (see below for membership listing). The Advisory Board develops and implements the specific policies, processes, and criteria for RRF allocation for this fund. In addition the Advisory Board oversees the distribution of funds to ensure the greatest impact on research and economic development for the state.
The University of Maine System’s Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF) Advisory Board has updated the guidelines for the RRF Planning Grant program for applications received in FY 2019. The purpose of the RRF Planning Grant program is to encourage the formation of new collaborative research teams spanning UMS campuses to develop and advance initiatives that expand UMS research, development, and commercialization capacity. Faculty creative input and participation is highly valued in the planning grant process, particularly those of a “high-risk or boundary-stretching” nature.
The RRF Planning Grant Program is designed to provide support for the following planning activities:
- Researchers meet to discuss common research, development and commercialization interests, and develop an implementation agenda;
- Plan a research, development, and commercialization initiative building on identified areas of strength at the participating UMS institutions; and
- Initiate efforts to seek extramural funding.
Groups of faculty and researchers at the intersections of disciplines are encouraged to apply for planning grant support to advance R, D, & C initiatives. The Research Reinvestment Funds Advisory Board has set aside a limited pool of funds that are available for the RRF Planning Grants Program.
Funding preference will be given to projects that lead to follow-on work that can deliver commercialization outputs. A competitive process will be employed to identify the highest quality and most viable groups to be funded. Teams are encouraged to collaborate across UMS campuses, and to include external partners in order to form competitive teams. Eligible projects will propose research and economic development activities that directly benefit Maine industries and enhance Maine’s economic well-being.
Interested UMS faculty/researchers should submit the grant application package (including a 2-page concept paper) via this portal using the guidelines provided in the Competition Files.
Proposed projects will be funded for up to 6 months. Funds must be expended in the proposed 6 month project period. Project budgets of up to $5,000 may be requested and should be well justified. Allowable expenses include travel, food, lodging, and other reasonable meeting and planning costs. No-cost extensions will only be considered with sufficient justification and project teams should plan their 6 month performance period carefully to reduce any need for extending the planning project. Unused funds at the end of the performance period will be returned to the RRF program.
Funded proposals must submit a final report to the RRF Advisory Board documenting the outcomes of supported RRF Planning grant activities. This report should detail outcomes during the funded period as well as 6-months post-funding.
Yearly Activity Reports
Since June 2015, the RRF Program has received 234 proposals from UMS researchers spanning all seven campuses. Of these, 76 projects have been competitively selected for awards totaling $2,609,674 in grant funding. Highlights of the report include details about the progress of the funded projects and noteworthy partnerships with private sector stakeholders.
RRF Advisory Board Members
- Brian Beal; Professor of Marine Ecology; University of Maine at Machias
- Martha Bentley; Director of Innovation Infrastructure; Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
- Seth Berry; Vice President for International Business Development; Kennebec River Biosciences
- Jason Charland (ex-officio); Director of Office of Research Development; University of Maine
- Doug Gardner; Professor of Forest Operations, Bioproducts and Bioenergy; University of Maine
- Kody Varahramyan (Operations Committee); Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School; University of Maine
- Mike Kinnison; Professor of Evolutionary Applications, School of Biology and Ecology; University of Maine
- Kris Sahonchik; Director, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy; University of Southern Maine
- Terry Shehata; Senior Policy Associate: Research and Economic Development/MEIF Coordinator; University of Southern Maine
- Rebecca Van Beneden; Director of the School of Marine Sciences; University of Maine
- James Ward (Operations Committee); Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development; University of Maine
RRF Grants in The News
New program combines medicine, arts
Team attends ‘Arctic Futures Workshop’ in Greenland
Students, community, industry benefit from collaborative business opportunities
Western Passage project aims to inform future renewable energy development in Maine