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Overview
Eligibility
Award Criteria
Application Process
Application Proposal Requirements
Award Administration
URA Visiting Scholar Awardees
All Fellowships & Awards

Overview

The URA Visiting Scholars Program at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory was established in 2007 as a five-year program to support visits by researchers from the Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) institutions to work at Fermilab for periods of up to one year. URA renewed the program for an additional five years. Resources for this program are made available by the 89 URA member institutions, each of which contributes $5,000 a year.

Visits can range from attendance at Fermilab conferences and summer schools to year-long stays at the Lab. Proposals may be submitted twice a year, in February and August. Support provided by the program may include the following: travel and local lodging expenses during a series of short visits OR salary support and round trip travel expenses for an extended visit.

Because these funds are provided by URA and come solely from contributions by URA member institutions, the visitorís home institution must agree to waive indirect costs, tuition fees, and other administrative expenses.

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Eligibility

Individual proposals may be submitted by researchers who are faculty, postdocs, or graduate students at URA member institutions.

Researchers are defined as graduate students, postdocs, or faculty doing research in areas such as high energy physics experiments, astrophysics, theory, accelerator physics, materials science, and computer science, related to the Fermilab mission. Applicants must be employed by or, in the case of graduate students, enrolled at URA member institutions during the course of the award.

Proposals may be submitted for an individual award or, in limited circumstances, researchers in residence at Fermilab may submit a proposal for a laboratory- sponsored group activity (e.g., conferences, workshops, summer schools). Specific application requirements for the two types of proposals are described in the Application Proposal Requirements section.

A proposal must be written and submitted by the intended awardee. Proposals developed or submitted by faculty on behalf of a student or colleague are not accepted.

Individual awards may be up to a maximum of $50,000 in any twelve-month period with a lifetime maximum award total of $50,000 per individual.

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Award Criteria

Applications are judged on the scientific merit of the proposed activity and on the cost-effectiveness of the proposal. As all URA institutions contribute to this program, over time, some consideration is given to the balance among URA institutions, both by region and type. Consideration is also given to the total amount of funds awarded to individual applicants and to institutions in past cycles.

The allocation of awards is limited to funds contributed by member universities. Therefore, the URA review panel may deny or reduce some meritorious requests, particularly if they are deemed substantially more costly and/or less cost effective than the norm. For example, it is expected that most salary requests include some contribution from the home institution and most successful travel requests are kept low and cost effective. Use of onsite Fermilab housing is encouraged where possible.

Awards may not exceed one year duration and are to begin on the approved start date of the award activity, or in the absence of such a date, with date of the award letter. (See Award Terms and Conditions for additional detail.)

  • Fall awards are assumed to begin no later than March 31 of the following year.
  • Spring awards are assumed to begin no later than September 30 in the year of application.

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Limitations

  • Visiting Scholar funds are intended for scholarship. Requests to visit the laboratory solely for the purpose of operation of Fermilab facilities are discouraged.
  • Funding is strictly for individuals and activities approved in award.
  • No awards will be made to faculty or postdocs in the terminal year of their appointment.
  • The Visiting Scholars award may not be used for travel away from Fermilab (e.g., to visit another facility or attend a conference) or solely for the purpose of operating Fermilab facilities.
  • Awards may not be used for household moving expenses or in support of accompanying family members (e.g., family member travel to Fermilab).
  • Support provided by the program may include the following: travel and local lodging expenses for a series of short visits OR salary support and round trip travel expenses for an extended visit, but not for both.
  • Summer salary support is limited to two months.
  • Awards may not fund activities occurring prior to the date of the award letter. Please plan the submission of proposals accordingly.
  • Maximum award limit of $50,000 in a twelve month period and a lifetime limit of $50,000 per awardee.

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Application Process

Written applications for support are considered twice a year by a review panel composed of scientists drawn from URA-appointed universities. Laboratory representatives may serve in an advisory capacity. Award decisions are announced generally within six weeks of the closing date for applications. Awards may not fund activities occurring prior to the date of the award letter.

Application Deadlines


Fall 2015 Fall Awards:

The application deadline for the fall round of awards is the last Monday in August. Funding decisions will be announced at the end of September.

Spring 2016 Awards:

The application deadline for the spring round of awards is the last Monday in February. Funding decisions will be announced at the end of March.

Submission of Applications:

Application materials must be submitted in text or PDF format to: URA-SCHOLARS-PROGRAM@fnal.gov

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Application Proposal Requirements

Individual Applications

Page limit: 12 pages, plus supporting materials (see below)

Format: 1 inch margins, font minimum 11 or 12 pt., common typeface (e.g., Arial, Palatino, Georgia), pages numbered.

Proposals MUST include the following:

A. Cover Sheet (one page, the form at the link provided MUST accompany the application; substitutes not accepted) doc pdf, including the following information:

  • Applicant(s) information (home institution and full contact information)
  • Title (objective) of proposed activity
  • Fermilab sponsor/collaborator
  • Grants officer information
  • Amount requested and start date
  • Other sources of support for proposed work
  • Year of prior VS award support (if any)

B. Proposal Content (11 pages)

  • Project Description – 8 pages maximum: The project proposal should describe the proposed activity and its scientific and/or educational merit, and explain how URA funding will facilitate the proposed activity.
  • Recipients of previous URA Visiting Scholars awards are expected to discuss accomplishments under the earlier award in their new proposal and include a copy of the URA VSP Project Report submitted at the close of the previously funded project.
  • Budget – 1 page
  • Bio sketch – 2 pages maximum

C. Letters of Support

Required:

  • Letter from Fermilab sponsor/collaborator.
  • In the case of a graduate student applicant: a letter from the faculty adviser supporting the application and detailing provisions for supervision of the student during the visit.
  • In the case of postdocs: a letter from the faculty adviser supporting the application.
  • Letter from Grants or Sponsored Research Office of the home university waiving indirect costs.

Optional:

  • Additional letters of support may be included, but are not required.

Application Proposal Requirements

Fermilab-Sponsored Visits for Group Activity (e.g., conferences, workshops, summer schools)

Page limit: 12 pages, plus supporting materials (see below)

Format: 1 inch margins, font minimum 11 or 12 pt., common typeface (e.g., Arial, Palatino, Georgia), pages numbered

Group proposals are to be fully developed with all of the required documentation which MUST include the following:

Cover Sheet (1 page, use the form at link provided MUST accompany the application; substitutes not accepted) doc pdf, with the following information:

  • Fermilab Applicant(s) information (full contact information)
  • Title (objective) of proposed activity
  • Fermilab Grants Manager
  • Amount requested and start date
  • Other sources of support for proposed work
  • Year of prior VS award support (if any)

B. Proposal Content (11 pages)

  • Project Description – 8 pages maximum: The project proposal should describe the proposed activity and its scientific and/or educational merit, and explain how URA funding will facilitate the proposed activity.
  • Recipients of previous URA Visiting Scholars awards, including group awards, are expected to discuss accomplishments under the earlier award in their new proposal and include a copy of the URA VSP Project Report submitted at the close of the previously funded project.
  • Budget – 1 page
  • Biosketch – 2 pages maximum

C. Letters of Support

Required:

  • Endorsement of Chief Research Officer, Chief Information Officer or Chief Accelerator Officer, depending on focus of proposed activity.

Optional:

  • Additional letters of support may be included, but are not required.

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Award Administration

This program is administered by Universities Research Association, Inc., through reimbursement of expenses covered under the award to the researcherís home institution.

Award payments from URA will be made through the home institution of the awardee on receipt from the home institution of an invoice detailing actual costs incurred. Invoices for expenses covered by an award are to be submitted by the home institutionís grants officer (or equivalent) to the URA Corporate Office in Washington, DC for payment. Final invoices are to be submitted to URA no later than 90 days after expiration of the award. All covered expenses must have been incurred after the initiation of the award and prior to the expiration of the award.

Awardees are expected to submit a brief report on the completion of their project. (See VS Project Report Form)

Visitors do not become Fermilab employees. They therefore must have a home institution and, if a visa is necessary, must obtain that visa through that institution. If needed, the Fermilab Visa Office can provide additional information.

In cases where institutional health coverage from the home institution does not meet the requirements for longer stays at Fermilab, additional health coverage for the time at Fermilab must be obtained by the visitor or his/her institution. The cost of such supplemental coverage may be included in the budget.

The full details of the administration of the award and submission of invoices are provided in ďURA Visiting Scholars Program at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: Award Terms and Conditions.”

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Fermilab Visitor Information

For general information on visiting and working at the Laboratory, please contact the Fermilab Users Office at 630-840-3111 or visit them on the website at http://wdrs.fnal.gov/users/.

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URA Visiting Scholar Awardees

Previous recipients of a URA Visiting Scholars award may be viewed at the following link:

List of Awardees