Specialized Presentations to Enhance Awareness and Knowledge (SPEAK) Program
2020-2021 Inaugural Solicitation
Issue Date: August 4, 2021
The SPEAK program provides funding to bring nationally and internationally recognized visitors to our college for presentations and discussions with our faculty, staff, and students, and the wider community. The goal of SPEAK is to enhance research and scholarship at our college through direct exposure to leading experts addressing academically salient topics of interest across multiple disciplines. A successful SPEAK project is one that inspires new research questions, approaches, or collaborations that lead to submission of a competitive research proposal to a federal science agency or other external research sponsor. Faculty members considering submitting an SPEAK proposal should contact the Office of Research and Outreach for assistance refining proposal concepts and identifying potential external sponsors for their research.
Proposal Due Dates
September 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. ET
January 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET
One year from date of award
Only full-time Penn State Harrisburg faculty members may serve as the Principal Investigator on a proposal for SPEAK funding. Faculty members may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on no more than one proposal. Faculty members may serve as a Co-Investigator on up to two proposals. Penn State Harrisburg faculty members serving as a PI on one proposal may serve as a Co-Investigator on no more than one other proposal. Proposals may include up to four Co-Investigators in addition to the PI. Any number of additional faculty members may be included as Senior Investigators. SPEAK proposals identifying large, interdisciplinary teams of faculty members as Co-Investigators and Senior Investigators are highly preferred.
Approximately $25,000-$50,000 of Office of Research and Outreach (ORO) funds are available to support this solicitation in 2020-2021. The amount of SPEAK funds that may be requested from the ORO for a single project may range anywhere from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000. Each grant must be matched on at least a one-to-one ratio from discretionary research development funds of the Principal Investigator’s school, or from any combination of Penn State Harrisburg schools. Sources of matching funds may include salary savings, non-restricted gift funds, proceeds from endowments, research incentive funds (RIF), departmental allotments, Penn State research seed funds, and others. All proposals must include signed letters from one or more school directors committing these matching funds. Proposals lacking such letters of commitment for matching funds from school directors will not be considered.
SPEAK funds may be used to support direct costs associated with bringing the identified speaker to our campus for presentations and meetings. In general, SPEAK funds should not be used for direct support faculty or staff. Eligible costs may include:
- Speaker honoraria or fees
- Speaker travel expenses
- Meeting and event costs
- Promotional activities
- Publishing costs
SPEAK proposals are limited to seven single spaced typed pages using font no smaller than Times New Roman 12. Proposals may not exceed seven pages in length, plus attachments as specified below. The proposal components are a cover page, a narrative section, one page of references, a one-page budget and a one-page budget justification. Required attachments are bio-sketches for the PI and any Co-Investigators in standard NSF format, plus letters of commitment for matching funds from school directors. No other attachments are permitted. Specific requirements are:
- Cover page (one page): The cover page should provide the name, title, and affiliations of the proposed speaker and the title of his or her talk, and the names of the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators and Senior Investigators, along with their titles, Penn State Harrisburg schools or other affiliations, email addresses, and phone numbers.
- Project Narrative (three pages):A three-page (maximum) project narrative should explain how the proposed invited speaker will advance research and scholarly activity at Penn Stater Harrisburg, and how the event might realistically lead to submission of a competitive research proposal to a federal science agency or other external research sponsor. The narrative should also provide the planned dates for the proposed speaker visit, the status of negotiations with the proposed speaker, the planned venues and agenda for presentations and meetings with the speaker during their visit and plans for promotion of the visit and the expected audience to be engaged.
- References (one page):References must be provided as end notes and are limited to one page, in APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian style.
- Budget (one page):Proposals must include a one-page SIMS budget developed with assistance from the Office of Research and Outreach. The budgets must include the SPEAK funds being requested plus an amount equal to or greater than the SPEAK funds committed by one or more schools.
- Budget Justification (one page): A budget justification should explain how the funds in each line within the SIMS budget will be utilized to advance the project.
- NSF Bio-sketches (Attachment 1): Provide bio-sketches for the proposed speaker, the PI, and any Co-Investigators and Senior Investigators using standard NSF format (NSF formatting guidelines).
- Commitment of Matching Funds (Attachment 2): Letters signed by Penn State Harrisburg school directors committing funding from the schools equal to or greater than the amount of SPEAK funds requested are required.
Proposals must be submitted electronically to the Penn State Harrisburg Office of Research and Outreach as an email attachment in PDF format to [email protected]. The deadlines for submission of proposals are September 15, 2020 and January 15, 2021. The maximum funding request is $5,000. Proposals requesting funds in excess of that amount will be considered unresponsive.
Proposals will be reviewed by independent experts with expertise in relevant disciplines and in sponsored research development. Criteria for review of proposals and the respective weights of each factor are:
- Scientific and scholarly merit (25%)
- Soundness of the plan (25%)
- Breadth of interest in the topic (25%)
- Likelihood of resulting research (25%)
Based on the independent reviews, the Office of Research and Outreach, in consultation with the Research Committee of the Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisors, will make final recommendations to the Senior Associate Dean and the Chancellor.