Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - General
- I have a great project that fits within UC MEXUS' areas of interest. Am I eligible for any funding opportunities?
- I do not have a host faculty or research collaborator at the University of California (or in Mexico). Can UC MEXUS put me in contact or place me with someone appropriate to my field of study?
- May I apply to more than one grant competition?
- I have received previous grants from UC MEXUS. May I still apply?
- May I apply for a continuation of my current project?
- Whom can I contact for additional information about UC MEXUS programs and UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants and/or fellowships?
- Who should send a letter of intent? How many should I have? What should the letter include? Why do you need it?
- The IRB for Human Subjects Review approvals or exemptions on my campus will not meet before the UC MEXUS proposal deadline. Can I still apply?
- If I am selected to receive a grant, may I use the funds for project-related activities that occurred before the official project period started?
- How do I finalize my project, that is, how do I report to UC MEXUS?
- Does UC MEXUS fund projects in the sciences?
- Does UC MEXUS fund projects in the Arts?
- Does UC MEXUS fund conferences?
- Does UC MEXUS fund publications?
- How does UC MEXUS proportion funding among the UC campuses?
1. I have a great project that fits within UC MEXUS’ areas of interest. Am I eligible for any funding opportunities?
The eligibility requirements for each program are included in the descriptions of each Call for Proposals under "Eligibility." This section is usually on the first or second page of each program description. All the program descriptions are available under Funding Opportunities.
Keep in mind that the UC MEXUS mandate involves linking the University of California to the Mexican academic community and Mexico-related research. Thus, all projects must have a link to the University of California and Mexico, and the programs are, for the most part, open only to researchers and scholars from the University of California or Mexican academic institutions.
Eligibility for University of California faculty and researchers is determined by the UC systemwide policy for Principal Investigator status and individual campus policies and procedures. Please check with your department administrator and/or campus research office (or sponsored projects office) if you have any questions regarding your eligibility.
For the UC MEXUS-CONACYT programs, check the eligibility requirements for each program to determine which one would be most appropriate. Faculty or researchers with full-time positions at Mexican institutions of higher education and/or research that are part of the Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas (RENIECYT) are eligible to apply in partnership with eligible UC researchers or faculty to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT grant and fellowships programs. Please note that many NGOs (ONGs) are not recognized as eligible institutions by CONACYT, even if they have a research component coupled with the advocacy role. If you are eligible, check the requirements for each program to determine which one would be appropriate. Please note that for the postdoctoral fellowships, applicants from Mexico must be Mexican citizens.
Ph.D. graduates from the University of California or Mexico are eligible to apply for UC MEXUS-CONACYT postdoctoral fellowships. Please note that you may not apply to this program if your graduate studies were supported via the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellowship Program.
If you are a graduate student enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of California, you may be eligible to apply for a UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grants, provided you will have advanced to candidacy by December 31 of the competition year (i.e., December 31, 2016 for a grant that would begin on January 1, 2017). UC graduate students who have not yet advanced to candidacy are eligible for the Small Grant program. In addition, faculty submissions are encouraged to include student participation as part of the proposed projects.
If you are a Mexican student interested in graduate studies at the University of California, please consider the information found in the UC MEXUS website: UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellowships for Mexican Students.
UC postdoctoral researchers are eligible to apply for a Small Grant as well.
If you do not meet any of these criteria, i.e., you are not an eligible UC or Mexican researcher, you can still participate in a grant project as an "Additional Academic Participant." The budget can support your participation as long as the items are part of the allowable expenses outlined in the Call for Proposals (e.g., no equipment and no academic salaries).
2. I do not have a host faculty or research collaborator at the University of California (or in Mexico). Can UC MEXUS put me in contact or place me with someone appropriate to my field of study?
UC MEXUS cannot be involved in proposal preparation, including setting up the initial collaborative connections. As the funding organization and office responsible for overseeing the peer review process, any participation in individual proposal development represents a conflict of interest. The fellowship competitions are open to all fields of study that relate to our basic mandate. UC MEXUS does not push for specific research emphases or disciplines in these competitions and any individual guidance would create an unfair advantage or unrealistic expectation of funding.
The following suggestions may help to find colleagues, contacts, and potential collaborators in the UC system and Mexico. The most direct, though labor-intensive, way is to go through the results of our past fellowship and grant competitions, and search for previously funded projects in your area. The titles of all the funded projects are on-line, along with the Principal Investigators' departments and home institutions. Please consult the Results page on our website as well as the Grants Results Database to access this information.
Once you have identified potential hosts, you may contact the researchers directly to ask for their suggestions of potential collaborators in your area of research. The quickest way to find previous fellows' and grantees' contact information is to use Google or any other type of on-line search engine and type in the name and institution/campus. Use the department name as well, if a finer search is needed.
For researchers seeking colleagues in the UC system, there are several useful and searchable sites:
- www.universityofcalifornia.edu/campuses/welcome.html - go to any individual campus site and search either by area (e.g., shrimp, forests, indigenous migration, modern dance, etc.) or discipline (e.g., neurology, botany, anthropology, theatre, etc.) or college/school (e.g., medicine, social sciences, humanities, arts, etc.).
- http://ucmexicoinitiative.ucr.edu/directory.html - this is an interactive database that showcases UC faculty with expertise or interests in Mexico
And in more specific areas of expertise:
- Binational Directory of Researchers in Migration and Health - this directory is published by the California-Mexico Health Initiative (CMHI) at the UCOP California Policy Research Center.
- www.nceas.ucsb.edu/exp/ - a database for anyone with an interest in water resources.
For researchers interested in finding colleagues in Mexico, beyond using the search engines noted above and searching for a specific institution, the best way is to go through the CONACYT main website, and look at the directory of research centers, groups, and networks or the directory for institutions enrolled in RENIECYT. The website for ANUIES (the National Association for Universities and Institutions of Higher Education) also has a page for affiliated institutions which is searchable by state.
3. May I apply to more than one competition?
You may submit separate proposals to any of the programs for which you are eligible, provided they are different proposals for separate projects or distinctly separate parts of an overarching program. You may not submit more than one proposal to the same competition. However, eligible researchers may submit a project to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Grant Program that is connected to a postdoctoral researcher who is applying to the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (and vice versa). Connected proposals may share some overall aspects, but they need to be written to address the individual goals of each separate program. That is, the proposal plans cannot be identical; instead they should be geared toward the research and collaboration for the grants and toward academic development and research training for the fellowships. The UC MEXUS-CONACYT proposals are evaluated together by the same review committee, but selection of one proposal for funding does not necessarily guarantee funding for the other.
4. I have received previous grants from UC MEXUS. May I still apply?
Most likely the answer to this question is yes, although you must have completed the final report for a previous grant before applying to the same program. We do have some restrictions for the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Grant Program in that you may not apply to that program if you have received two or more collaborative grant awards in the previous 5 years. We encourage you to wait for a future award cycle. These grants, in particular, are intended for seed funding, and repeated submissions for the next step of the same project or collaboration are given lower priority by the reviewers. For this reason, we also discourage successive submission of sequential steps of the same project or submission of the same project to multiple programs.
However, this restriction does not affect your eligibility to be a faculty host for a postdoctoral researcher or student small grant applicant. There is no restriction on your mentorship.
5. May I apply for a continuation of my current project?
UC MEXUS-CONACYT postdoctoral fellows who wish to extend their fellowship may apply for a second year continuation of the research fellowship. However, continuation proposals will compete against new proposals for the same limited pool of awards and are not guaranteed funding. Applicants seeking a second year of funding should consult the current Call for Proposals for updated deadlines under “Submission of Continuation Applications” and also contact Dr. Wendy DeBoer, Director of Academic Programs (email@example.com).
If you are asking for an extension of your current grant project with no increase or change to the budget, you may ask for a no-cost extension. Please request the extension at least 30 days before the end of your current project period. Email a pdf attachment or send a letter of request to:
Dr. Andrea Kaus
Director of Research Programs, UC MEXUS
3324 Olmsted Hall
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
Provide a brief explanation of why the project needs more time and an estimated date for completion. The letter must include the P.I.’s or both Co-P.I.s (for collaborative grants) signatures and should be on department or institution letterhead. Digital or electronic signatures are accepted. The instructions are also included in your copy of the conditions of award.
The grant programs are intended to provide seed funds for pilot project activities, and additional UC MEXUS awards for previously funded projects are given lower priority by the reviewers. Projects are expected to develop beyond the UC MEXUS grant project period to compete for larger, long-term support from extramural sources. We provide some suggestions of where to look for additional funding here.
6. Whom can I contact for additional information about UC MEXUS programs and UC MEXUS-CONACYT grants and/or fellowships?
7. Who should send a letter of intent for the grant proposals? How many should we have? What should the letter include? Why do you need it?
Anybody, except for students, who is listed as an "additional academic participant" on your proposal must include a letter of intent and a short curriculum vitae or biography. Only include people who are involved in the conceptualization and/or execution of the project, who are providing intellectual contributions, or whose participation would be key to the success of the project. For instance, every speaker at a conference does not need to be listed. However, if the funds are requested for the travel of a specific speaker, then that person would be considered an additional academic participant and would need to provide a letter and c.v. Principal Investigators do not need to include letters of intent, since the proposal itself requires a signature and c.v., and that is considered to be sufficient indication of intent!
A proposal may also include letters of support from people who are not listed as participants, such as the director of an institute that will host the project, for instance. Such letters are helpful for the review committees to understand the commitment of all the people and institutions involved. However, they are not required.
The letters of intent provide two purposes. First, they let UC MEXUS know that the people named as additional participants know about and agree to participate in the project. Second, if the letters include more than a perfunctory agreement to participate, they let the reviewers know the singular role of the participants in the project and their interest and dedication to it.
8. The IRB for Human Subjects Review approvals or exemptions on my campus will not meet before the UC MEXUS proposal deadline. May I still apply?
Yes. The IRB schedules vary from campus to campus and are in no way coordinated with or connected to UC MEXUS deadlines. Simply indicate in your proposal that you are aware of the requirement for projects that involve human subjects and that you will be submitting your project to the appropriate committee for approval. If UC MEXUS selects your project for funding, the grant would be contingent upon a copy of the IRB Human Subjects Review approval or exemption.
9. If I am selected to receive a grant, may I use the funds for project-related activities that occurred before the official project period started?
No. Funds may not be allocated to any expenses before the beginning of the project period.
10. How do I finalize my project, that is, how do I report to UC MEXUS?
The reporting forms for final grant reports are linked to the Resources page and can be found here. They are intended as guidelines for the information we need for our own reporting purposes. If you have any trouble with the pdf format or submitting the forms, you may send us the report as an email attachment, as a Word document or a pdf. We require the information, not the form itself. Final grant reports should go to Dr. Andrea Kaus (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Martha Ponce (email@example.com).
11. Does UC MEXUS fund projects in natural and physical sciences?
Yes. Such projects may not address issues relevant specifically to Mexico or U.S.-Mexico relations but rather have a more global significance. In such cases, what may be emphasized is the collaboration between the University of California and Mexican scientific communities. Proposals should elaborate on the parity, synergy, and complementarity of the collaboration and how that will lead to greater advances in the field than either party working alone.
12. Does UC MEXUS fund projects in the Arts?
Yes, except for the UC MEXUS-CONACYT programs. CONACYT's national mandate is specific to science and technology, and its funding cannot cover funding for the arts.
For an idea of the range of projects in the arts supported by UC MEXUS, please look at the Spotlight on Research and Program Results pages, particularly for the Faculty Grants, Small Grants, and Dissertation Grants Programs, as well as the Grant Results Database. The Dissertation Grants Program is also open to MFA students.
13. Does UC MEXUS fund conferences?
The small grant programs may be used for support of a portion of a conference or workshop, such as bringing a speaker from Mexico or supporting a session specific to UC MEXUS’ areas of interest within a larger conference. The small grants can be used for conference travel for the P.I. only if it is to present the results of a UC MEXUS funded project. The UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Grant Program may support a workshop or symposium, but only if the meeting will provide a springboard for a more long-term and well-defined research or academic agenda. Conferences are given lower priority by the reviewers.
14. Does UC MEXUS fund publications?
You may include preparation and reprint costs for a publication in a grant project budget, provided that the publication is for the results of the UC MEXUS funded research. We also do not allow for publishers’ costs in the budget. If the project itself is solely for a publication, you need to make the case that it would be to start a research program or academic discourse, in keeping with the seed funding goals of the grant programs.
15. How does UC MEXUS proportion funding among the UC campuses?
There is no preset amount allocated to each campus or any intended priority for any one campus. The funding distribution is a direct reflection of the number of proposals we receive from the different campuses to each competition and which ones are subsequently recommended for funding by the review committees. The home campus of a project is not a factor in the review process.