University Partnership with Industry Research: UPAIR

07.02.2018 - We do not have any news to share about UPAIR at this time. An update is anticipated in August.
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Lexington, KY - April 3, 2018: KSTC announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) opening April 27, 2018 -- a new University Partnership with Industry Research Program (UPAIR). This initial round of funding is for a program intended to stimulate university-industry pre-competitive R&D partnerships. KSEF welcomes applications from faculty who have a regular tenured or tenure-track appointment, or independent investigators with their own research lines and assigned laboratory space and funding, employed at any accredited Kentucky college or university. The proposed work should be beneficial for, and of interest to, Kentucky. 
UPAIR program guidelines, submission instructions, and RFP details are posted below. Grant awards will be selected based on external peer review. The RFP opens April 27, 2018 and the window for submission will be short, as awards will be made before June 28, 2018. Feel free to share this announcement with any interested colleagues. Questions may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This program is managed by the Kentucky Science & Engineering Foundation (KSEF) at the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC), in partnership with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE). KSEF competitively funds research and development activity, and is an initiative of KSTC. Applicants must be up-to-date (i.e. not past due or in default) with all reporting requirements and deliverables for all KSTC-managed programs. 
Webinar Sessions

KSEF will host a webinar with multiple sessions. The presentation will include program guidelines and how to apply, followed by a live Q&A. 

Program Information and Solicitations

Be sure to read both the "Program Description, Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions" (this describes the full scope of the program) and the "Request for Proposals" (this sets the specific limits for this current round):

1. Click Here - Request for Proposals: RFP for KSEF-18-UPAIR-001 -- Updated 04.26.2018 PM

2. Click Here - Program Description, Proposal Preparation & Submission Instructions (aka Guidelines) -- Updated 04.27.2018 PM

3. DOWNLOAD the Proposal Budget Page -- Updated 05.01.2018 PM

4. Click Here - Webinar Q&A. Read the document containing questions raised at the UPAIR webinar broadcasts and received via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -- Updated 04.19.2018 PM -- Also see the "additional frequently asked questions" and answers below.

5. Click Here - Webinar Slides.

6. Log In to the Online Application System -- 

  • In addition to the webinar Q&A above, below are some frequently asked questions that we've received via email and the KSEF responses.
  • Please do NOT call the KSEF team with questions. Instead submit all questions via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view no later than May 8 (Noon ET)


Additional Frequently Asked Questions  -- Updated 05.04.2018 Noon

Q1: Is the amount on the project information request for the full 24 months or just the amount for the IDEATE phase on the budget page? Are the budget narrative and Gantt for all 24 months or just the IDEATE phase?
A1: The budget page upload, budget narrative write-up, and Gantt entries you insert are for the IDEATE phase only. The project information request (tab 2) is for the full $150,000 (maximum) and the project duration is for 24 months.

Q2: Are the R&D activities in the narrative for all 24 months or just the IDEATE phase?
A2: The R&D activities described in the narrative will be for the IDEATE phase; however, it will be VERY important to provide a strong vision on how you are going to get through PARTNER. Describe the industry, what they need, and what their workforce needs look like (if you know it). Remember, we are looking for your industry partner to come play in our backyards, help us train Kentucky students, and eventually buy into the process and put money into it. Don't forget to think in terms of returns. (See section 4.5.5 of the guidelines for more details)

Q3: What is the flexibility that exists for deadlines between phases? Can we submit a phase one report early and apply for phase two immediately if we have an established industry partner who is willing to commit?
A3: The schedule has no flexibility. ENGAGE phase must be submitted together with the six-month technical progress (~ December 2018).

Q4: The program guidelines stipulate "An ideal PARTNER proposal would consider leveraging KSEF funding with the academic partner providing research infrastructure, human capital and expertise, and the industry partner providing in-kind support such as expertise relevant to industry R&D, opportunities for undergraduate and graduate workforce training, skill development and potential job placement." Does the industry partner need to commit funding of the project beyond 24 months for such to be considered a partner?
A4: We have posted the webinar slides (no audio) to make this a little clearer. Although industrial funding support at the time of PARTNER proposal is not required (that is, PARTNER plans will be acceptable without funding commitment), the most competitive proposals will naturally be those whose industrial partners agree to financially support the partnership during and beyond the PARTNER phase.

Q5: Please clarify the page limitations on biographical sketches. I am concerned that, if I am PI and have multiple Co-PIs, then our bios will exceed the allowed pages. On the other hand, if I am the sole applicant (i.e. no Co-PIs), then can I expand my bio to two pages?
A5: The biosketch section has two limitations: a limit of one page per person and a total maximum of two pages for the section if there are bios for multiple people. In other words, if you are the sole applicant (i.e. no Co-PIs), the bio is limited to one page; if 
the application has more than two people, you will need to include the most significant highlights and stay within the two-page total limit.

Q6: Will no-cost extensions be granted after 24 months?
A6: That is a long time from today! No extensions are guaranteed and, as per all KSEF-managed awards, it will depend on the circumstances for the request.

Q7: Are the signed documents from grants management due the same day as the application and what does "high-quality" mean?
Q7: The signed document file must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by grants management within two working days after the application submission deadline. Therefore, the signed document deadline for this UPAIR round is May 10, 2018. "High-quality" refers to a PDF scan that is in color and high resolution, is clear and easy to read, does not have crooked pages or dark gutters, is not blurry, and includes all text and figures (i.e. no information is cut off). The maximum file size is 15 MB. Once received by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the sender will be sent a "received" email confirming the email has reached the KSEF team.

Important Dates

April 27, 2018 -- Request for Proposal (RFP) Application Period Opens
May 8, 2018 at 12:00 Noon ET -- Questions Period Closes
May 8, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET -- Submission DEADLINE: Application Period Closes
May 10, 2018 -- Signed Document Deadline (cover & budget by grants management to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

07.02.2018 - We do not have any news to share about UPAIR at this time. An update is anticipated in August.

Updates and KSEF news -- If you are not already on our Constant Contact "funding...opportunities subscribers" email list, consider signing up (click here) to receive the latest news via email from the KSEF team.

Before Submitting an Application...

  1. Double-check your application for completeness; you are solely responsible for completeness of each required field and upload, even if not prompted by the online application system.
  2. Carefully review your proposal for compliance with all content and formatting requirements, and instructions in the Request for Proposals (RFP) and Program Description, Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions (aka Guidelines).
    • Examples include but are not limited to: abstract maximum 300 words and impact statement maximum 150 words, a minimum of five key words and a minimum of five other/distinctly different reviewer areas of expertise, budget narrative maximum one page, technical narrative maximum four pages (with a minimum 1.25 line spacing and other strict formatting requirements), references maximum one page, facilities and collaborations maximum one page, current/pending support maximum one page, biosketches maximum one page if PI only or maximum two pages if PI and Co-PI(s), attachments maximum three pages, and a total maximum of 18 pages including all auto-generated and uploaded files.
    • Do not rely on the online application system for warnings regarding exceeding word counts or page limits, formatting noncompliance, or blank fields or other missing information.
  3. PDF Files -- File names for PDF uploads are limited to a maximum of 20 characters and must NOT include spaces or special characters such as [email protected]#$%^&*(){}[]:;<>
  4. Proposal Budget Page -- Confirm that you have manually entered your proposal number in the bright yellow box, upper right, on your budget page XLS upload to the online application.
  5. CRITICAL -- The full proposal must comply with ALL required formats including document stipulations (e.g. font size, line spacing, margins, NO manually entered page numbers or footers or headers on your application sections), content, and section and page limitations.
  6. Use CHROME for completing and submitting the full proposal.
  7. Deadlines are auto-cutoff and are not flexible. No changes can be made to the application after the submission deadline.