Proposals for post-doctoral funding program due Nov. 15

The UND Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development (VPRED) is organizing a fourth round of post-doctoral seed funding in collaboration with colleges/schools and research units across the University. The program will provide salary (up to $45,000), plus benefits, for a number of post-doctoral associates for a period of two years to enhance our research efforts in the Grand Challenge areas articulated in the One UND Strategic Plan.

This program is designed to achieve three goals that, together, will help the University increase research activity and enhance UND’s broader impact. First, it is expected that supporting post-doctoral personnel will increase the capacity of investigators to compete more effectively for additional grant funding and to convert this additional funding more quickly and successfully into impactful results. Second, it is expected that the post-doctoral funding will be directed toward research related to the Grand Challenges, set out by the One UND Strategic Plan and, thus, further success in developing a profile in those key areas. Third, we will create a more vibrant post-doctoral culture, which we view as a natural extension to our graduate research programs, and an important step in raising our reputation as a research university. Across the previous three rounds of the program, a total of 30 post-doctoral fellows were recruited, representing $3.8 million in financial support.

Program Information

  • Principal Investigators must be University of North Dakota faculty or full time staff researchers.
  • Teams of PIs who are working in interdisciplinary areas are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.
  • Teams of PIs are strongly encouraged to submit proposals related to the Grand Challenges.
  • Previous awardees are eligible for this competition.
  • PIs may submit or participate in more than one proposal.
  • Proposals may request post-doctoral support for a period of up to two years each.
  • Support is designated for new post-doctoral associates, i.e., those persons who do not currently have an appointment at UND and have not had an appointment at UND in the previous three years.
  • Support will include an annual salary up to $45,000 each year. Additional support will be provided to cover benefits.
  • No ancillary costs will be supported (e.g., materials and supplies, travel, recruiting costs, PI compensation, etc.).
  • Post-doctoral associates will submit multiple external research proposals during the lifetime of the award, both for their own support, as well as for the support of their research group.
  • PIs will submit at least one major research proposal for each year of the award.
  • PIs will develop and utilize a post-doctoral mentoring plan.

 Proposal Preparation and Submission

All proposals must include the following information, in the order indicated, and conform to the page limits and other noted restrictions. If this information is not provided and clearly indicated, proposals will be returned without further review.

  • PI, Co-PI, names, and departmental affiliations.
  • 100 word abstract.
  • Technical Description. Describe the research idea/concept and the specific tasks that the post-doctoral associate will carry out (maximum 3 pages, including figures, minimum 10-point font. References should take up no more than 1 additional page).
  • Describe the impact that post-doctoral support will have on the capacity of the PI/PIs to increase external funding (1/2 page maximum).
  • List and describe the specific additional funding opportunities that will be enabled by post-doctoral support, including funding agencies and specific programs. Provide this information in table format (1 page maximum). If relevant, describe how this support will help improve a previously unsuccessful external proposal (1 additional page maximum).
  • Describe how the proposed research is synergistic with the Grand Challenges in the One UND Strategic Plan (1 page maximum).
  • Summarize PIs’ and Co-PIs’ external funding track record, current funding, and proposals submitted and awaiting a funding decision (no page limit).
  • Describe the source and amount of current resources that can be used to support the post-doctoral research (e.g., materials and supplies, travel, etc.) (1/2 page maximum).
  • Describe previous PI’s and Co-PI’s institutional support and the purpose and the research outcomes of this support (if proposals for extramural funding were submitted/awarded, include this information) (1 page maximum).
  • Provide an NIH-style, NSF-style or equivalent biographical sketch of the PI(s)/Co-PI(s).
  • Provide an NIH-style, NSF-style post-doctoral mentoring plan (1 page maximum).

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a PDF file to the Vice President for Research & Economic Development at

Proposals will be due on or before November 15, 2019, and funding decisions will be made no later than December 16, 2019. Awards may begin immediately upon notification.

For questions, please contact Justin Berg at or (701) 777-6737.

 Proposal Review

Proposals will first receive an administrative review for adherence to the proposal requirements. Following this review, a group of internal and/or external reviewers will be assembled to evaluate the proposals.

All reasonable attempts will be made to ensure wide domain expertise among the reviewers. Reviewers will be recused in cases of conflicts of interest. Reviewers will rank all proposals received. Reviews and rankings will be forwarded to the Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development and evaluated by the deans of the colleges and/or directors of research units. Highly ranked proposals will also be reviewed by the Grand Challenge Champions for relevance to these challenges. Awards will be made dependent on funding available in the Division of Research & Economic Development and the colleges or research units.


If funded, PIs will report regularly on their progress. This includes reporting on recruitment efforts, appointment of the post-doctoral associate, and semi-annual reports of research and funding progress (including proposals prepared and submitted). Progress toward proposed goals will be reviewed after nine months, and funding for the second year of the award will be contingent on adequate progress. In addition, awardees and their post-doctoral associates will attend periodic meetings designed to enhance the post-doctoral culture at UND and to facilitate collaborative research. As there is a requirement that PIs and post-doctoral associates will submit external proposals (at least one major proposal per year of support from PIs), copies of the external proposals should be sent to the Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development.