I did not submit a White Paper before the deadline but still hope to submit a full proposal. Is this allowed?
If you missed the deadline for the white paper competition or were not sent an invitation for proposal, it is possible--but discouraged--to submit a full proposal for consideration. Please reach out to the relevant topic chief to explain why the deadline was missed and to succinctly describe the research concept (a few sentences at most), and the topic chief will let you know if there is adequate program interest for you to submit.
Is it a problem if my full proposal budget is dramatically different from the budget given in my submitted white paper?
A budget estimate different than that given in the white paper will not be an issue, as the full proposal review will really be a clean slate judgment by an expanded set of reviewers.The more effectively you justify your budget, of course, the better.
Is there a specific required format or page limit for CVs or biographical sketches?
There is not a format or page limit required for biographical sketches attached to the "Research and Related - Senior/Key Person Profile Form".
Are the budget and justification part of the 25-page limit on the project narrative?
No, these are separate and should be uploaded at field 12 of the grants.gov submission form.
How much should I budget for travel for meetings and program reviews?
In additional to an annual two-day Minerva-wide program review held in the Washington, DC area, individual program reviews between the Service sponsor and the performer may be held as necessary. Program status reviews may also be held to provide a forum for reviews of the latest results from experiments and any other incremental progress towards the major demonstrations. These meetings will be held at various sites throughout the country. For costing purposes, offerors should assume that 40% of these meetings will be at or near the appropriate Service Headquarters in the Washington, DC area and 60% at other contractor or government facilities. Interim meetings are likely, but efforts will be made to accomplish these via video telephone conferences, telephone conferences, or via web-based collaboration tools.
Aside from this, we suggest planning for travel to one additional meeting in the Washington DC area each year beginning with the second project year until the final project year. This would allow the PI to provide briefings, if appropriate, to key policymakers in Washington. This need not necessarily involve all the project personnel, however. The proposer should decide what would be the best balance in developing the project activities and budget.
Should we include letters of support in our full proposal?
Letters of support are supplementary: neither required nor will they necessarily impact selection decisions. There is no standard format.
Circumstances in which they might be particularly useful might include:
- If you plan to work with any consultants or other third party organizations (e.g. a survey firm or country consultants), confirming their qualifications and intent to work with you;
- If you will need any foreign IRBs or country approvals (i.e. letters demonstrating that you already have connections in a given country or otherwise have made connections, thus reassuring reviewers that you will be able to get all approvals through);
- If your publication record/CV is thinner than might be expected for one reason or another (or perhaps your institution's academic reputation is less well known) but a respected academic with a strong reputation is willing to vouch for you.
How much money will Minerva be allocating this year? Is there a sense of the break-down of the likely sizes of different grants?
We're expecting to have around $10 M to allocate to new proposals. Project sizes vary widely so it is hard to predict the distribution of awards.
Does the 25-page limit for the technical summary include or exclude the Project Schedule, Milestones and Deliverables, Management Approach, and Facilities? If these sections are excluded, should any page limitations be followed for these sections?
The 25 page limit includes schedule/deliverables/management/facilities (if applicable).
Is there a preferred format for either the CV or biographical sketches? If not, would the use of an NSF or NIH style biosketch be compliant?
There is no preferred format, and the NSF/NIH biosketch model would be fine.
How is "engagement" defined in the "8 years of engagement history with the DoD" provided in the CV/biosketches, and what should be included in this section?
It is adequate to list funding, but including briefings or meetings is also appropriate.
Should funding from an internal university source (e.g. seed funding from a department or university center) be included in the current and pending funding section, and is there a specified format for this section?
For the current and pending funding section, we recommend you include prior funding for each award, the title, sponsor, award amount, whether the researcher serves as the PI, period of performance/award period, and person-months per year committed to the project. Including internal institutional support is optional.
Who reviews Minerva proposals?
At the topic-level, full proposals submitted to the Minerva program will be reviewed both by technical experts and by individuals more expert in OSD and Governmental policy priorities. The proposal should be pitched to both these groups. In particular, it is important to define ideas and measures in a way that can be appreciated by technical non-experts. Do not assume all reviewers will appreciate the significance or contribution of particular instruments, techniques, analytical tools and the like.
Once topic-level recommendations are made, the Minerva Steering Committee will consider a number of factors in determining the final slate of awards, including portfolio balance (topical,regional, and methodological) and funds available.