AGeS-DiG

Program Overview

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Typical amount of award: $12,000 to $15,000

Estimated number of awards: 2 to 3 awards are expected in 2022

Deadline: 1 February 2022, 11:59 p.m. MST (Partner Letter deadline is 8 February 2022, 11:59 p.m. MST))

DiG (Diversity on Geochronology) is a pilot program of AGeS aimed at expanding access to geochronology for those underrepresented in the Earth sciences. AGeS-DiG seeks creative geochronology projects or initiatives designed to engage, train, and educate students at all levels (including undergraduate and community college) who have not traditionally had equal access to opportunities to be trained in geochronology methods. The goal of AGeS-DiG is to generate and test innovative ideas to expand geochronology access, which may position the PIs of the most impactful projects to successfully seek future support from funding agencies to continue and/or broaden their project’s scope.

Examples of possible AGeS-DiG projects include but are not limited to: opportunities for underserved groups to visit labs in person to acquire data for project(s); training of an underrepresented cohort in geochronology methods and remote data acquisition for a project; or other innovative concepts. Priority will be given to projects that emphasize authentic research experiences for the students.

Proposals should focus on participant(s) who have not traditionally had equal access to geochronology resources. Proposals should state the underrepresented group(s) to be targeted, make the case that students of this group are underrepresented in geochronology and therefore are appropriate to target with an AGeS-DiG project, and outline how these students will be recruited to the project.

Proposed projects should be one year in duration. Funded projects will be required to administer pre- and post-project AGeS surveys to student participants, to submit a final project report, and to construct a concise project blog-post to be posted on the AGeS website. We anticipate making 2 to 3 awards of $12-15k during the 2022 proposal cycle. Awards will not be grants to institutions. Awards will be paid to support travel or other appropriate purchases or directly to laboratory invoices for services.

How to Apply

Eligibility

Proposals can be submitted by scientists anywhere in the U.S., including by those at the senior, postdoc, and graduate levels. The proponent(s) will be responsible for managing the project, coordinating with AGeS leadership on planning and funds disbursal, and reporting. AGeS labs are eligible to apply directly for this funding and may otherwise be engaged in DiG proposals, but it is not a requirement that a lab be involved in DiG projects. If applicants wish to interact with a lab as part of the project, they are encouraged to initiate contact with an AGeS lab using the contact information listed on the lab profile. As of 2021, there are >60 labs and >100 senior geochronologists associated with AGeS. If you are interested in working with a lab who is not yet part of the AGeS lab network, please encourage the lab to join the program by submitting a lab profile to AGeS. (GSA membership is required.)

Proposal Preparation

Proposals must include the following, use the following format, and fit within the stated character limits (character limits include spaces). Incomplete or late proposals will not be considered.

Project Description

  • Project Title (up to 150 characters)
  • State the underrepresented group to be targeted with the project. Explain why this group is underrepresented in geochronology and thus why it is appropriate to target students of this group with an AGeS-DiG project (up to 1000 characters).
  • Do you or any other persons on this proposal identify as an underrepresented group? This is not a requirement for funding.
  • Explain how the target group will be recruited and retained in the project. Note that for undergraduate and community college students, a stipend may be important to enable participation (up to 1200 characters).
  • Describe the proposed AGeS-DiG project (up to 3000 characters).
    • Explain the science project or science questions to be addressed, which may include geoscience education research. The scope of the science should be feasible within the proposed time frame.
    • Explain how this project will engage, train, and educate students from underrepresented group in geochronology, how the project will be a successful and positive experience for the students, and how students will be mentored in the project. Priority will be given to projects that emphasize authentic research experiences for the student group.
  • Please explain the extent to which you and any other project partners have experience in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and in developing welcoming environments for underrepresented individuals. If you have limited experience, please explain how you will create a safe and welcoming space for the recruited group (up to 500 characters).
  • Brief timeline. Proposed projects should be no more than year in duration (up to 500 characters).
  • References cited.
  • Available funds. Please explain if you currently have any funds available for the proposed project. Is the project that you propose likely to occur without AGeS-DiG support? Although not a requirement, AGeS-DiG encourages PIs to leverage opportunities to obtain some amount of matching funds (e.g., a match of 10%, 25%, 50% from the University or other source) if an AGeS-DiG award is obtained in order to magnify their project impacts.
  • Detailed budget and justification. Budgets may include travel funds, meeting costs, food and lodging, analytical and training fees, equipment or consumables required for the project, and sample preparation fees. Underrepresented student stipends, or some form of credit for participation (such as credit hours at an institution), are encouraged. Postdoc and graduate student proposers may request a stipend of up to $1,500 for their time. Requested budgets may not exceed $15,000 per proposal. The funding is not a grant to an institution but is paid directly to individuals, labs, or other vendors from AGeS funds at Arizona State University.

Additional Required Documents

  • Although it is not a requirement that a lab be involved in an AGeS-DiG project, if a lab is engaged, provide the URL to the lab profile of the collaborating AGeS lab.
  • If additional partners are involved in the project, upload a one page maximum letter of support from the partner. AGeS labs are considered partners if the lab is involved as a collaborator in the project but is not the primary proposer. Partner letters should address: the partner’s engagement in the project, the project feasibility, and the partner’s level of interest in the project.
  • If the primary proposer is a graduate student, the student is strongly encouraged to upload a one page maximum letter of support from the student’s home institution supervisor to confirm the supervisor’s support of the student proposer’s efforts as outlined in the proposal, even if the supervisor is not directly engaged in the proposed AGeS-DiG project.
  • Although not a requirement, as stated above, AGeS-DiG encourages PIs to seek opportunities to obtain some amount of matching funds if an AGeS-DiG grant is obtained. If such commitments are obtained, upload a letter from the source of the match that clearly states the commitment.

Assessment, Final Report, and Blog-posts for Funded Projects

  • All funded AGeS-DiG projects will be required to administer pre- and post-program AGeS surveys to student participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the project at achieving the goals of AGeS-DiG.
  • Organizers of funded AGeS-DiG projects will additionally be requested to respond to surveys that will enable evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the AGeS-DiG program and identification of steps that can be taken to improve AGeS-DiG in the future.
  • All funded AGeS-DiG projects will be required to submit a final report that summarizes the project activity. They also will be required to construct a concise AGeS-DiG blog-post to be posted on the AGeS website.

Review Criteria

Reviewers will use a point system that weights the relative importance of each category and allows for direct comparison of multiple proposals. All proposals must satisfactorily address all of the following requirements and must include all of the requested application materials to be considered for funding. The panel may decide to partially fund proposals.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their:

1) Potential to expand access (35 points)
Extent to which the project provides new opportunities for underrepresented students to engage, and be trained and educated in, geochronology. This includes a viable recruitment and retention plan.

2) Project design (35 points)
General likelihood that the project will be able to achieve the project goals. This includes the strength of the project’s proposed support plan for the students (e.g., interaction with mentor/PI, professional development). Priority will be given to projects that emphasize authentic research experiences for the student group.

3) Science motivations (15 points)
How compelling is the science motivation and how well is it aligned with NSF Earth Sciences priorities (https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25761/a-vision-for-nsf-earth-sciences-2020-2030-earth-in)? This may include geoscience education motivation questions. The feasibility of the proposed science within the project timeframe will be considered.

4) Coordination, timeline, and budget (15 points)
Evaluation of the proposed timeline and budget, specifically considering the time required for project implementation and completion. This criterion relies partially on good coordination between the proponent and any partners, evaluated based on the proposal and any support letters.

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