UC MEXUS-CONACYT Grants for Collaborative Projects

Grants for Collaborative Projects

$25,000 Maximum for up to 1.5 years
Deadline for receipt of proposals: March 2, 2015

A Program Established Under the UC-CONACYT Agreement of Cooperation in Higher Education and Research, July 25, 1997

The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) are pleased to announce a call for proposals to provide seed funding to teams of UC and Mexican researchers with beginning projects in basic and applied collaborative research, instructional development, and public service and education projects that apply research to public issues. The primary objective of the program is to enable the establishment of new collaborative initiatives with the potential for creating permanent ties between UC campuses and Mexican institutions that will grow and continue with the support of other institutional and extramural funds. Therefore, proposals for expansion or continuation of ongoing projects, as well as dissemination of research results of earlier work through binational conferences and publications, will be considered a lower priority.

Projects funded are expected to lead to development of major, long-term collaborations; significant advancement of scholarship in the natural sciences, physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences, social sciences, or humanities; strengthening of academic and research capabilities of the participating UC and Mexican institutions, especially in Mexican regional universities and institutions outside of the traditional Mexican research centers; the development of innovative binational instruction or new courses or degree programs; and/or public service and education programs addressing critical issues in Mexico or in the United States. The program also favors projects that enhance institutional collaboration in terms of student training and researcher exchange. Grant recipients are expected to use the seed funds to undertake the preliminary research necessary to develop proposals for extramural funding.


Each proposal must be co-directed by an eligible Principal Investigator from a UC campus and an eligible Principal Investigator from a Mexican institution of higher education and/or research center that is part of the Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas (RENIECYT). Recipients of two or more awards from any UC MEXUS or UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants program (excluding small grants) within the previous five years (2010-2014) are not eligible to apply. Postdoctoral researchers and students are not eligible. Principal Investigators are encouraged to submit proposals that include additional academic participants from U.S. and Mexican institutions other than their own.

Principal Investigators may submit only one proposal to this competition, and the same proposal may not be submitted to concurrent UC MEXUS or CONACYT grants competitions. The project may be connected to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT postdoctoral fellowship program. However the grant proposal must be unique, i.e., it may not be a copy of the proposal submitted to the fellowship program.

University of California Principal Investigators must meet eligibility criteria specified in theUniversity of California Policy on Eligibility to Submit Proposals, Office of the President, Contract and Grant Manual, 1-530, Issued January 1, 1996. The criteria authorize the submission of proposals for research or training contracts and grants by academic appointees in the following title groups: (1) Members of the Academic Senate, including emeriti; (2) Appointees in the Agronomist series, including emeriti; (3) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Adjunct Professor series; (4) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Clinical Professor series; (5) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Professional Research series; (6) Appointees at 50 percent or more of full time in the Cooperative Extension Specialist series.

Principal Investigators from Mexican institutions must meet eligibility criteria set forth by CONACYT, which specify that they must hold full time academic/research appointments in a Mexican institution of higher education and/or research that is part of the Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas (RENIECYT) referred to in article 25, section II of the Law of Science and Tecnology (LCYT).

Conditions of Award

Because of the collaborative component of these awards, a single final narrative report indicating full concurrence by both Co-Principal Investigators and financial reports from each institution must be submitted at the end of the project. The support of UC MEXUS and CONACYT shall be acknowledged in proposals, publications, conference materials, exhibitions, videotapes, or other products of the grant. A copy of each such product must be provided to UC MEXUS as the Office of Record for the UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants program. During the project period, grant recipients may be asked to participate in seminars, conferences, and educational activities organized by UC MEXUS-CONACYT as part of this program. Prior to funding of new proposals, Co-Principal Investigators must complete previous awards in this program, and final financial and narrative reports must be filed and accepted by UC MEXUS.

Any selected project that uses human subjects, including pilot surveys or interviews, will be required to provide a copy of a UC campus IRB Human Subjects approval or exemption before the grant can be awarded. Applicants who are conducting research in Mexico are expected to acquire all required permits for sampling or fieldwork in Mexico, as well as export and import permits as appropriate. Copies of human subject review approvals or necessary research permits that have been obtained already should be included in the proposal as an attachment.


Awards of up to $25,000 will be provided for the 18-month period, July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016. The budget must specify the planned distribution of costs and funds at both the UC and Mexican institutions. All budgets are subject to strict administrative review. The appropriateness of the budget to the project and to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT program is considered within the criteria for the peer review process. No project will be funded until all the appropriate items have been approved.

Allowable expenses include:

  • Domestic and international travel—including transportation, lodging, and meal expenses —for the purpose of meetings for project planning; collaborative research and training; field, laboratory and archival research; and data collection. Keep in mind that the program is intended to support the seed research phase of a project. As a result, conference attendance is given lower priority in the review process. If included, it should be limited to one meeting, no more than $500 per Co-P.I., and clearly directly related to the development of the project or the reporting of results.
  • Student research assistance for UC or Mexico students.
  • Supplies and services, including laboratory analyses and computing.

Items which will not be funded include:

  • Salary payments to Co-Principal Investigators or any other academic salaries, except student research assistants.
  • Student fees or tuition for student assistants.
  • Equipment purchases in excess of $500 per item.
  • Indirect costs or institutional overhead assessments.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be jointly submitted by eligible UC and Mexican collaborators using the on-line application site. The items required in a complete application are listed below and are also on the website. Each of the items must be completed before you will be allowed to submit the entire application online.

In addition, two hard copy sets of one complete proposal packet (original plus one copy), including the Institutional Approval Forms with original signatures and letters of intent from additional academic participants, must be submitted to UC MEXUS at the address listed below within 10 days following the electronic submission deadline of March 2, 2015, for the application to be considered complete (i.e., by March 13, 2015). The proposal packets must include hard copies of all files uploaded to the on-line application site.

Links to the Institutional Approval Forms are available below and also at the end of the Call for Proposals. Each Co-Principal Investigator is responsible for securing all appropriate approvals from their home institution or campus prior to submission of the proposal. Please note that earlier local deadlines may be in place at each institution and the approval process should be undertaken well before the deadline for receipt of the proposal by UC MEXUS. UC investigators should contact their campus research office or office of contracts and grants administration. (A list of UC campus offices is provided on the UC MEXUS Resources page.) Following the usual CONACYT procedures, Mexican investigators should consult with the office responsible for approval of proposals in order to obtain the endorsement of the legal representative of their institution.

All proposals must include a complete original set of the following items:

  • Application Cover Sheet, providing summary information in English and Spanishabout the project and project personnel. For the hard copies to be sent after the electronic submission, the cover sheet can be printed out directly from the on-line application, where it says “print application.” Keep in mind that the abstract should be understandable to a review committee of diverse academic expertise.
  • Project Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet, University of California, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying institutional approvals, i.e., a signature from the UC P.I.’s campus sponsored research or contracts and grants office. The form can be downloaded from the on-line application site (or as a pdf here) and the signed form should be sent with the hard copies.
  • Project Co-Principal Investigator/Institutional Approval Sheet, Mexican Institution, completed and signed by all appropriate personnel and carrying the signature of the legal representative of the Co-Principal Investigator’s institution. The form can be downloaded from the on-line application site (or as a pdf here) and the signed form should be sent with the hard copies.
  • Budget Request, in English or Spanish, specifying the cost to support activities at each of the participating institutions, along with a detailed explanation of all requested items. Indicate all amounts in U.S. currency. For the hard copies to be sent after the electronic submission, the cover sheet can be printed out directly from the on-line application site, where it says “print application.”
  • Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae, in English or Spanish, for each Co-Principal Investigator and academic participant (except for students) in the project. Do not exceed five pages for each individual; list only current and/or most relevant publications. The c.v. is uploaded to the on-line application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS.
  • Letters of intent to participate from all academic participants, written in English or Spanish. (Letters of intent are not required from the Co-Principal Investigators or students.) The letters are uploaded to the on-line application site and the paper versions with signatures included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS. Faxes and e-mail messages will not be accepted.
  • Project Plan, in English or Spanish. Do not exceed 10 pages. The meaningful participation of both Co-Principal Investigators must be evident in the project plan. Provide background information about the project; summarize relevant academic or scientific issues and literature, and state the specific objectives of the project. Describe the work to be performed, including information about who will perform each task and the timeline governing the work; discuss plans for continuation of the project beyond the UC MEXUS-CONACYT grant period, including plans to seek additional funding from outside agencies and foundations. Explain the significance of the work, both its potential for advancement of science, scholarship, or technology and its possible importance in regional, environmental, economic, social, or other terms. If graduate students are to be involved in the project, describe the work they will undertake, its relevance to their graduate study, and the supervision planned for their participation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a paragraph on the project’s fit to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT program goals and objectives as described on page D-1. Note any previous UC MEXUS-CONACYT funding, including a description of the project results and the current status of the award. The project plan is uploaded to the on-line application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS.
  • Bibliography. Provide a list of key resources, cited in the language in which they were published. The bibliography is uploaded to the on-line application site and also included in the hard copies sent to UC MEXUS.
  • Attachments. These should be kept to a minimum. Attach only critical documents in the on-line submission, such as maps or sample survey instruments. If these items cannot be incorporated into the on-line application site, please provide 10 copies for reviewers. Items that are not uploaded must be included with the hard copy set (they cannot be added in after the deadline) and should not exceed 10 pages in length. We will not forward lengthy reports, BOOKS, and articles to reviewers.
  • Retain a copy of all application materials submitted.

UC MEXUS and CONACYT provide no pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition. However, proposal writing suggestions specific to this program can be found on the UC MEXUS website under “Resources.”

Within 10 days following the on-line submission deadline of March 2, 2015, send two hard copies (original plus one copy) of a complete application set with all required materials listed above, including the signed institutional approval sheets, in one package to the following address:

UC MEXUS – Grants Programs
3324 Olmsted Hall
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521 U.S.A.
Attn: Martha Ponce; tel. (951) 827-4773

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals

To be considered, proposals must be submitted to the on-line application site not later than5:00 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2015, and the three hard copies of the complete proposal packet must be received by Friday, March 13, 2015. Hard copies of proposals not previously submitted electronically will not be accepted, nor will late submissions, faxes, e-mail attachments, incomplete, or subsequently revised proposals. The copies sent to UC MEXUS must match the text and information submitted in the on-line version of the proposal. The proposal will not be entered into the competition unless the hard copies and required institutional approval forms are received. We strongly suggest that applicants get the required institutional signatures well before the proposal is submitted electronically.

Review Process and Criteria

UC MEXUS and CONACYT are committed to the principles of peer review and parity in the review and selection processes. Each proposal will be reviewed, evaluated, and rated by a committee of faculty members and/or researchers from Mexican and UC institutions representing expertise in relevant topics. Proposals should be written for a committee of broadly based expertise and interests. Appropriate bibliographies and supporting documents should be provided.

In addition to standard review criteria such as clarity, quality, and feasibility of the proposal, the Committee will assign great importance to the character of the proposed collaboration and the binational unity of the work. Reviewers will seek evidence of meaningful participation among collaborators and will look for project design that leads to development of new research programs and resources in UC or Mexican institutions. The potential for establishment of long-term collaborative activities between the Co-Principal Investigators, their students, and their institutions is a critical factor. Committees will evaluate the significance of the proposed work for society and for the advancement of science and scholarship. The involvement of graduate students is an important factor and will be evaluated in terms of the students’ participation in ways that advance their training.

Applicants are expected to exercise sound environmental protection standards when conducting research in Mexico and be particularly attentive to the risk of introducing or spreading pathogens or invasive exotics in native ecosystems or agricultural systems. In addition, participants are expected to follow research protocols that demonstrate sensitivity to cultural factors affecting human subjects and non-academic participants. In the proposal narrative, particular attention should be given to research methodology, including how samples will be drawn, how control groups will be used, how questionnaires will be constructed and administered, and, in general, how cooperation will be elicited from local informants and subjects. Co-Principal Investigators must provide evidence of the appropriate permits, human subject reviews, and other documents required for research in either Mexico or the United States.

In addition, reviewers consider whether the budget is in keeping with the methodology, appropriate to the program goals, and within the allowable criteria set forth by UC MEXUS and CONACYT (see the Budgets section). In keeping with the intention of the program to provide seed funding, review committee members will also look for plans for future work beyond the project period and the intention of the researchers to develop applications for extramural funding from other agencies and foundations that can provide substantial long-term support. All proposals should discuss any UC MEXUS-CONACYT funding received by the Co-Principal Investigators in the past five years, including a description of the project results and the current status of the award.

The program does not offer any pre-review of proposals nor will reviewer comments be provided following the competition.

Administration of Awards

All funds will be administered in accordance with University of California policies and procedures and in observance with CONACYT’s institutional requirements. The portion of the grant awarded to the Principal Investigator at UC will be transferred directly to their respective campus, and the portion of the grant awarded to the Mexican Principal Investigator will be transferred directly to their respective institution under terms previously determined and agreed upon by UC MEXUS and the institution.

Each Principal Investigator is responsible for accurate and appropriate administration of funds, accounting of expenditures, and completion of accurate and timely financial reports. Principal Investigators are equally responsible for preparation of the required final narrative report and for acknowledgment of UC MEXUS and CONACYT support in products resulting from the grant. Final reports and accounting of funds are to be submitted jointly by both Co-Principal Investigators within the established deadlines to UC MEXUS as the Office of Record for the program. No indirect costs or institutional overhead may be charged against funds awarded under this program.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Andrea Kaus
Director of Research Programs, UC MEXUS, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521
tel: (951) 827-3586; e-mail: andrea.kaus@ucr.edu
Dr. Luis Humberto Fabila Castillo
Director de Investigación Científica Básica, CONACYT
tel: (55) 53-22-7700 ext. 6100; e-mail: lfabila@conacyt.mx

Consult the UC MEXUS website
Consult the CONACYT website