"Environment" research area

2019 MnDRIVE Environment Demonstration Grants

July 26, 2019
The deadline for this funding opportunity has passed.

Link to Application: Application

The MnDRIVE initiative in Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment is now requesting proposals for new Field-Scale Demonstration projects in the area of microbial-based systems for bioremediation.

Background and Goals of the MnDRIVE Environment Initiative

The goal of this initiative is to improve the environment and enhance industrial applications through the use, augmentation, or alteration of microorganisms or microbial communities. Proposed research areas can span from basic to applied sciences, with an emphasis on translational research involving the use of microorganisms to clean the environment. Applicants will be selected based on proposal quality and alignment with the initiative’s goals. Below are some examples of demonstration projects previously supported by this initiative:

1. Use of an enzymatic anti-fouling coating to reduce corrosion. The system was installed at scale in Duluth Harbor.

2. Use of a novel electrochemical-microbial system to enhance food waste treatment. A large-scale system is installed at a warehouse in cooperation with Second Harvest Heartland.

3. Instrumentation and monitoring of a large (300 foot long) edge-of-field woodchip bioreactor to treat agricultural runoff.

Application Criteria for Environment Demonstration Grant RFP

  • Research teams should include two or more principal investigators and sufficient support staff (postdocs, technicians, other staff) to accomplish the proposed research.
  • Awards can be for up to $500,000 for a two-year period.
  • Applications must emphasize relevance to Minnesota’s industry or environment.
  • The scientific feasibility and proof of concept for the project should already be demonstrated by prior laboratory work and/or peer-reviewed publications.
  • Additional consideration will be given to projects that can be extended beyond their initial proposed implementation period and could be used as a platform for future research and funding.
  • A substantial partnership with a clearly identified Minnesota industry or state agency is a core requirement for this grant. Please indicate which company/agency will be partnering with you, how you plan to collaborate with them, how they are important in translating the research to the demonstration scale, and why that partnership is an integral part of this research.

University of Minnesota faculty on all UMN campuses are invited to apply. A faculty member may serve as PI on only one proposal. A PI may have only 1 active demonstration project at a time. You are eligible to apply for a demonstration grant regardless of whether you previously applied for or received support through the MnDRIVE Seed Grant program.  

If faculty/researchers have any questions about this RFP, please email Michael Sadowsky, Paige Novak, or Jeff Standish for clarification. Note: The next Demonstration Grant RFP will occur in summer 2020 and be annual thereafter.

To Apply

Please submit your proposal as a single merged PDF to our online application system by July 26, 2019, 5 p.m. CST.

Proposal Format:

  • Submit a single PDF document

  • 1-inch margins, 12 pt. font

Proposal Structure:

Section 1. Title and summary (300 words maximum) on a single page.

Section 2. Main proposal  – 5 pages maximum, which includes the following sections in no particular order:

a. Project description, including a brief background, objectives, and approach, with sufficient technical detail to pass an external review. In accordance with our above-stated goals, your description must clearly indicate the bioremediation aspect(s) of the proposed work.

b. Description of the importance of the project to the state of Minnesota, and how the project aligns with the MnDRIVE Environment’s goals (http://mndrive.umn.edu/environment).

c. Description of the research team, including the roles and qualifications of the PIs and Co-PIs, postdocs, technicians and other support staff, and other personnel involved (including industry partners). This description should also demonstrate how members of the team have experience implementing field-scale research.

d. Project timeline and activity schedule (small table or graphic).

Section 3. Literature cited.

Section 4. Budget summary (<1 page) and justification (1 page), including salaries, supplies, equipment, etc.

Section 5. PI and Co-PI CV – Please limit each PI and Co-PI CV to 2 pages.

Section 6. Detailed letter(s) of collaboration or support from industry/agency partner.