(Revised) FY 2009 Call for Director's Research and Development Fund Concept Papers

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
On September 9, 2008, we sent out a FY09 Call for Director's Research and Development Fund Concept Papers. We call your attention to an important change in the original Call.

Programmatic preference will no longer be assigned to concepts and proposals with JPL's strategic university partners. Strategic university partners will receive preference only in the SURP program.


This is a Call to solicit Concept Papers to the Director's Research and Development Fund (DRDF) program. The program builds and strengthens strategic relationships with domestic universities and other external organizations in collaboration with the Laboratory staff through funding research in innovative science and breakthrough technology of strategic value to JPL and the partnership. Since space missions are fundamentally limited by technology, technological breakthrough offers a possibility of bypassing today's limitations leading to revolutionary, highly innovative improvements in Earth and Space science missions (including lunar missions). The total amount of funding available in this DRDF program is approximately $2.5M - $3.0M and will support about 12 to 17 awards. These awards are highly competitive. In FY08, 134 concepts were submitted and only 19 awards were made. In order to stimulate strategic collaborations between external institutions and JPL, the DRDF program requires external participation at domestic universities, companies, NASA Centers, or government laboratories. Participation of faculty on sabbatical at JPL is possible. Proposals teaming JPL PIs with strategic university partners will have a programmatic preference during the evaluation process. The JPL strategic university partners are as follows: Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Stanford, University of Arizona, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Michigan, and University of Southern California. Submission Overview: The submission of new concept papers is the first step in a two-step procedure. In this first step, principal investigators must submit a one-page concept paper to an online submission site by Monday, October 13, 2008 at 4 PM PDT. (The concept paper submission process is described below.) Each concept will be reviewed by the Divisions, and the Program Directorates or the Strategic University Research Partnership Office. Each review board will prioritize their top 2 concepts and then submit their priorities to the Office of the Chief Scientist and Chief Technologist (OCSCT). The Chief Scientist and Chief Technologist will then evaluate the results of the all the reviews and approve which concepts will go forward to full proposals. In the second step, which will occur during a later Call for Proposals, the authors of the approved new concepts will then be asked to submit a proposal. The reason for the two step process is to reduce the number of concepts that will go forward to full proposals and as a result reduce the amount of unnecessary work by the authors and reviewers. The odds of winning an award in the proposal phase increases to one out of three. Renewals: Proposals that receive an award will not be eligible to receive renewal funding. Therefore the concepts that are submitted should be written as complete one-year seed funding activities. Concept Submission: Principal investigators may only submit one concept paper. Your concept paper must be submitted by 4 PM PDT on Monday, October 13, 2008 in accordance with the following procedure: # The downloadable electronic copy of the concept template, Attachment A can be found in the Concepts Guidelines on the DRDF website, http://drdf.jpl.nasa.gov/guidelines/guidelines-cp.cfm. The completed Attachment A concept paper file must be electronically submitted into the website. Instructions for obtaining your assigned concept number and electronically submitting the completed Attachment A Concept Paper file can be found at http://drdf.jpl.nasa.gov/submissions/. We strongly recommend you submit the electronic copy early. # After having submitted your Attachment A file electronically into the website, seven (7) copies of the completed concept paper (printout of the electronic copy of Attachment A) must be received by Vivian Molina no later than 4 PM PDT on Monday, October 13, 2008, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 180/600, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 (or hand deliver them to office 180/600C). Please make sure that your assigned concept number is on your Attachment A before you make the required copies. LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED - NO EXCEPTIONS This Call, the associated guidelines, the details regarding the concept template, and the downloadable version of the required Attachment can be found on the DRDF website found at http://drdf.jpl.nasa.gov. NOTE: All submissions need to be readable in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. (Please make sure that the uploaded file name is no longer than 28 characters and it ends with the extension .doc or .pdf) The author is responsible for assuring the readability of the document. Documents that are unreadable will not be accepted.