The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust will be putting up to $1.4 million in grants to help scientists complete federal grant funding applications and to attract new talent to local universities, Interim Executive Director Iván Ríos-Mena said Wednesday.
The call will remain open year-round and applicants will be able to start their programs Feb. 1. The first assignment of funds, coming from the grant pool created by the Science Trust’s board, is for small grants intended to help support scientists who have received high marks on large federal grants, but have not been approved.
The Trust grants will help researchers complete phases or address remarks by entities that approve high-level federal funding.
“The Trust is providing $500,000 in small grants to give support to our scientists to have a better chance of achieving higher proposals. Those eligible are those who have already submitted federal R&D proposals and although they have obtained high scores, have failed to obtain the funds,” Ríos-Mena said.
“The results expected from these small grants are to achieve approval from federal proposals for high-level research benefiting economic development through science, technology and the knowledge economy,” he added.
The second round of grants, also available all year, is of $900,000 aimed to attract and recruit top scientists who are well established in their respective fields of research and wish to relocate to Puerto Rico.
Ríos-Mena said candidates must have an outstanding record of original contributions, support by matching funds of any institute or center, and should be have pre-reviewed backing of a grant at the time of application.
The idea is that these funds serve as additional assistance, support and incentives for these top scientists, to come and continue their research in Puerto Rico universities, where we will match the grants they already have with additional funds.
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust created a $4.7 million grant fund to promote advanced projects to make the island a research and development center of patents.