The Presidential Investment Fund will operate much like a venture capital pool. Overall, $250,000 will be available for investment in projects that have:
- long-term benefits for the university and
- have the capacity to replace at least the sum of funds drawn from the pool.
The Fund will provide grants of up to $25,000 to faculty and/or staff to assist in the development of major projects that will, in turn, secure funds that will replenish the pool. Hence, these grants should be viewed as unique university 'investments' that promote major research, service and/or advancement objectives and also contribute to an on-going stream of revenue to be used to fund future projects. Some examples of supported expenditures may include:
- Special consultants and technical experts, grant writers and/or editorial assistance.
- Specialized equipment, supplies or specialized laboratory preparation.
- License, permit and/or certification fees.
- Release time for faculty and staff.
- Part-time, or temporary, personnel or post-doctoral assistance.
- Matching funds.
Criteria for Awards
- Proposed projects should meet the following criteria:
- The request must receive approval from the appropriate dean or vice president.
- The project should fit the stated mission, vision, and long-term goals of the university.
- The impact of the project should be such that it provides benefits to the university without jeopardizing existing relationships with agencies, governments, foundations, and/or any other university partner.
- The project should generate overhead (indirect) or 5 percent advancement funds that can be used to replenish the PI Fund. Generated indirect or 5 percent advancement funding will replenish the PI pool by up to twice the amount granted if funds are available after actual overhead charges have been paid.
Submission and Award Process
Unlike standard university grant programs, the Fund will operate as a venture capital pool. Those awarded funds will provide interim reports on the progress of the projects, as well as budgetary reports. A final report and evaluation will also be provided.
Decisions regarding grant awards will be made by a committee of faculty and staff chosen on the basis of their interest and their own past success in developing projects that provide a financial return to the university. Committee members will not be eligible for funding.
- Assessment Criteria -Proposals will be assessed with emphasis on:
- Clarity -The proposal will clearly and concisely describe the project as a whole using non-specialist language wherever possible.
- Objectives -The proposal will describe the objectives of the project and elaborate on the following:
- The reasons for undertaking the project
- The anticipated results of the project
- How the results fit with the university's overall mission
- How -and which -university units will benefit
- Methods - The proposal will describe the activities, including methods and procedures, to be undertaken.
- Feasibility -The proposal will present an organized plan of action, including a budget that demonstrates that the project can be conducted effectively within the resources requested.
- Results -The proposal will elaborate on the expected end product, how the outcome will provide overall benefits to the university, and how success will contribute to replenishing the PI fund for future investments.
- Budget -The proposal will clearly outline why the requested funds are necessary and how much other units are contributing to the overall expenditures.
- Qualifications of the Proposer(s) -The proposal will include the proposer's prior record or experience in the subject matter as well as in securing extramural funds.
- Relevant Partners -The proposal will show how the project will interface with agencies, governments, foundations, and others that are university partners.
- Long-term Benefit Projections -If relevant, the proposal will show how future projects of benefit to the university can be spun off of the proposal.
Fund Oversight and Administration
The University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Foundation for CSUSB will administer the program. Overall responsibility for Fund investment recommendations and oversight of investment programs will be vested in a special 11-person committee drawn from individuals who have been successful in funding projects that have a financial return to the university, e.g., in overhead or 5% advancement funding. The chair and members will be chosen by the President from nominees representing each of the following:
- The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- The Foundation for CSUSB
- Each of the 5 academic colleges
- The Division of Advancement
- The Division of Information Resources and Technology
- The Division of Student Affairs
- The President's Office
Formal Proposal Submission Deadline Dates
Submission deadlines will be the first Monday of February, 2004, and thereafter the first Monday of April, October and January of each year.