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U-M-SJTU Proposal Guidelines

University of Michigan Office of Research and Shanghai Jiao Tong University
tive Research Projects: Data Science
Proposal Guidelines


5 p.m. (EST), May 8, 2017


The University of Michigan (U-M) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have jointly developed a research program that provides seed funding for collaborative research that brings together scientists and engineers with the aim of confronting global challenges. As such, each proposal must include researchers from both institutions. To express interest in collaborating, faculty may choose to post their profile on a website, maintained by the University of Michigan Office of Research. To post to this site, please complete the faculty profile form.

U-M and SJTU expect to fund up to five proposals with a maximum of $50,000 USD/year from each institution per award. Thus, the total funds available per project is $100,000 USD/year. The project period may not exceed two years. Projects exceeding one year will have a progress review at the close of the first year, details below.


Proposals must include researchers from both U-M and SJTU. Each site should identify a Project Director.  The University of Michigan requires the U-M Project Director to have an Instructional or Research Faculty appointment. Post-doctoral students are not eligible to apply.

Project Directors (PDs) may only submit one proposal to this CFP. PDs that currently hold another ongoing U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Project are not eligible. PDs that have completed a previously funded U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Project may apply again, provided a different topic is pursued.

Proposals must have a strong potential for significant follow-on funding (future external support), and this must be demonstrated in a post-project plan. Successful proposals must be consistent with all regulations governing the participating institutions. As such, documentation of necessary research compliance approvals is necessary prior to the release of funds, but is not needed at the time of application.


All proposals must be written in English. The Executive Summary, Research Plan, Rationale for Collaboration, Plans for Personnel Exchange, Post-Project Plan and Statement of Previous U-M/SJTU Funding should not exceed 10 pages in total. The following sections must be included in this order:

  1. Cover Page
    1. All signatures must be obtained, but may be electronic or ink.
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Research Plan
    1. Objectives
    2. Existing State-of-the-Art and Challenges
    3. Technical Approach
    4. Description of Major Tasks (including identification of task leaders)
    5. Proposed Timeline (for major tasks and project completion)
    6. Intellectual Property Implications (if applicable), including project-relevant background intellectual property and any anticipated.
  4. Rationale for Collaboration
  5. Plans for Personnel Exchange*
    *U-M faculty may wish to consider combining an extended research visit to SJTU with a summer teaching assignment at the U-M/SJTU Joint Institute.
  6. Post-Project Plan
    1. Successful collaborative teams will seek resources made available by both U.S. and Chinese industry and governments to form lasting international partnerships of researchers specializing in solving challenging societal problems. As such, opportunities for follow-on funding (future external support), commercialization and other long-term plans should be described in detail.
  7. Statement of Previous U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Project Funding (if applicable)
    1. PDs that have completed a previously funded U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Project must provide a statement on the outcome of the prior project and explain how it differs from this proposed project.
  8. Budget and Justification
    1. Each institution prepares their respective budget not to exceed $50,000 USD/year ($100,000 USD/year when the U-M and SJTU budgets are combined). U-M should use the budget template provided. SJTU may use another format if they choose. Each budget, as well as the summary provided in the U-M budget template, should be provided in the proposal application.
    2. Proposed projects may not exceed two years.
    3. Funds may not be exchanged between institutions.
    4. Travel to support the exchange of personnel is required. These travel expenses (i.e. airfare, lodging, per diems) should be borne by the home institutions of the visitors.
    5. Cost sharing or matching from other internal or external sources demonstrates interest and is encouraged, but not required. Internal U-M commitments would need to be transferred to the chartfields established upon award.
    6. Each expense must be described in the budget justification. The budget justification is a narrative explaining the expenses proposed and the basis for the cost estimates.  Descriptions of personnel should include their project role (what they will be doing as a part of this project team).
    7. U-M tenured and tenure-track faculty are NOT permitted salary support on this program.
  9. Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Biosketch for Key Personnel (3 page maximum each)
  10. References Cited


The submission deadline is 5 p.m. (EST), May 8, 2017. One complete PDF (containing all required elements as detailed above) should be emailed to Please ensure that the subject line of the email is in English and reads, “UM-SJTU Proposal” and the PI names. A notice of receipt in the form of a reply will be issued to the submitter.


Proposals will be reviewed and ranked by a panel comprised of at least three representatives from each institution. These individuals may be Vice Presidents, Associate/Assistant Vice Presidents or others designated by the Vice President for Research (or similar role) at each institution.

Proposals will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Rationale for collaboration between U-M and SJTU
  • Plan for interaction between institutions, including exchange of personnel
  • Strength of the proposed synergy
  • Originality and innovation of the proposed research plan
  • Potential for scientific or engineering impact
  • Potential for impact beyond academic publication, such as commercialization, policy impact, etc.
  • Potential for follow-on funding (or future external support)
  • Cost-effectiveness

Subject to the availability of funds, proposals with the highest rankings will be presented to the governing board at U-M and SJTU for final, unanimous approval. The announcement of awards is expected by June 2017.


A panel of experts will review each funded project midway through the project period. The review will include scientific progress; progress toward technology implementation and toward potential commercialization. Advice will be provided for enhancing the broader objectives of the work after each review. Continued funding is contingent on the progress made.


A final report will be required upon completion of the project. The report will include a listing of all publications and presentations, submitted applications for follow-on funding, personnel exchanges, developed IP and plans for continuing collaboration.