Request for Proposal
Texas A&M Semiconductor Institute
Research and Development Program
Facilities and Programs Enhancements in Preparation for Semiconductor R&D
Request for Proposal Release Date: 8/31/2023
Submission Deadline: 9/29/2023
Anticipated Initial Award Date: Oct. 2023
Anticipated Award Size: Individual awards ranging from $10k to $300k, up to $3M total
The Texas A&M Semiconductor Institute (TSI) was established in May 2023 as a unit within the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. TSI is a multidisciplinary research organization focusing on advancing R&D in semiconductor manufacturing technology and promoting workforce development for the semiconductor industry. TSI represents the collective semiconductor-related research and workforce development of the 11 Universities and 8 state agencies of The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS).
TSI invites proposals to strengthen and enrich the research and development (R&D) environment, as well as the laboratory teaching and training experiences for
semiconductor manufacturing-related programs. Our primary objectives are twofold: (1) to establish an advanced learning and research environment that nurtures practical skills, fosters collaboration, and equips undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in the rapidly evolving semiconductor industry, addressing its present and future needs; and (2) to bolster our research infrastructure capabilities, increasing the impact of our research and our competitiveness for external funding opportunities. TSI programs and topics of interest are designed to align with the mission and priorities of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s CHIPS Program Office. TSI is deeply committed to expanding access to semiconductor workforce development and R&D opportunities within the entire Texas A&M University System.
We invite proposals that align with TSI’s objectives and vision. Appropriate proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following categories:
- Course Equipment Upgrades and Enrollment: Proposals to upgrade laboratory equipment and facilities, ensuring cutting-edge technology is available for handson learning experiences. Additionally, proposals to expand enrollment capacity for existing courses, preparing students for TAMUS R&D programs and transitions to industry.
- Course Content, Certificates, and Degree Programs: Support for developing and updating course content that aligns with the latest advancements in
semiconductor manufacturing. Proposals for support to establish specialized certificates and degree programs that cater to industry demands and career pathways are also encouraged. These should also enhance the R&D capabilities of TAMUS.
- New Multi-University/Agency Research and Training Facilities: Collaborative proposals that plan for or establish training facilities involving multiple universities or agencies, promoting cross-institutional collaboration and resource sharing between research and instruction.
- Shared User Facility Equipment: Proposals for acquiring shared user facility equipment accessible to students and researchers from various universities and departments, enhancing capabilities and collaboration.
- Programs that Enhance Research: Research programs that align with TSI and DOC CHIPS Program Office goals and have near term strategic investments that make our system research more impactful and more competitive for additional funding.
- Cost Shares for Aligned Funding: Proposals that leverage cost-sharing opportunities toward other funding sources. Total awards for this category may exceed the award size listed above as appropriate.
A. Proposal Package Contents: Interested parties are invited to submit proposals addressing the following details (please check Section D for additional guidelines).
- Descriptive Title: Clearly indicate the title of your research project.
- Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators: Provide the names, contact information, and affiliations of the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators
involved in the project.
- Proposal Routing Number: Include the unique proposal routing number assigned to your submission by your sponsored research office.
- Summary: Offer a brief and concise summary (less than 150 words).
- Objectives: Clearly define the proposed objectives and demonstrate how they align with the goals of the TSI R&D Program.
- Methodology: Offer a description of the proposed approach, including personnel, strategies, and activities that will be implemented to accomplish the stated objectives. Highlight innovative and practical elements that will significantly enhance the program. Additionally, please address the sustainability of the program beyond the TSI investment, ensuring that plans are in place for long-term viability.
- Budget: Present a summary budget that covers necessary costs associated with the proposed program enhancements. Ensure transparency and provide a summary breakdown of expenses, including equipment cost estimates. Justify the budget by demonstrating the anticipated impact of the expenditures. The budget should consider various categories, such as capital improvements, personnel, equipment, supplies, conferences, and travel, as appropriate to the proposal. Allowable expenses follow the rules for state general revenue funds. Indirect costs
are not allowed.
- Partnership: All proposed projects requesting over $25k should involve alignment with external and industry needs in workforce development and R&D activities. This should be accomplished by having an appropriate external representative as a consultant, co-PI, or collaborator on the proposed work.
- Timeline: Include an implementation timeline of the proposed enhancements, outlining key milestones, construction and procurement timelines, deliverables, and any dependencies or critical paths. Durations of up to 24 months are acceptable. Proposals with a nearer-term implementation are preferred.
B. Review Process: The proposal review process will follow the following steps.
- Proposal Evaluation: Each submitted proposal will be evaluated based on predetermined criteria, including feasibility, alignment with objectives, costeffectiveness, potential impact, timeline, and alignment with TSI’s mission and strategy. The review panel may work with submitters to strategically modify or combine proposals.
- Review Panel: A dedicated review panel, consisting of representatives from relevant subject matter experts and stakeholders, will assess and score each proposal based on the evaluation criteria.
- Selection and Notification: Proposals demonstrating the greatest potential to enhance the targeted programs will be selected based on their scores and alignment with the objectives of this RFP. Successful proposers will be notified in writing of their selection for further negotiations or subsequent steps.
C. Awardee Expectations: Awards will be made by interagency agreements through institution’s sponsored research office. Awardees are expected to work closely with TSI on implementing their proposal and strategically leverage these activities toward other TSI initiatives. Awardees are expected to acknowledge TSI funding of their facilities and programs.
D. Submission Guidelines:
- Proposal Format: Proposals should be prepared clearly and concisely, addressing the objective, methodology, budget, and timeline. A minimum font size of 11, with a 1-inch margin all around, and a 5-page limit – with additional backup material available upon request of the review panel.
- Submission: Proposal should be routed through your institution’s sponsored research office. PDF format of the proposals must be submitted electronically to email@example.com with the subject line containing TSI_RFP_LeadPI Last Name. Submission should be made by the academic or programmatic department head or directors.
- Eligible Applicants: All Principal Investigator (PI) eligible faculty and staff can serve as proposal leads. All universities and state agencies within the A&M system are eligible for funding.
- Inquiries: Any inquiries or requests for clarification regarding this RFP should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line containing TSI_RFP.