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Guidelines for SURA Sponsorship and Support of New Projects

SURA continues to encourage collaboration among its member universities in science and engineering--beyond its current focus on Jefferson Lab programs, IT and coastal research-- that meet SURA criteria for support*. It urges SURA university presidents and trustees or faculty members, who have ideas for major new collaborative initiatives that SURA might undertake to support, to bring these ideas to the attention of the President of SURA. Arrangements will be made by SURA, as appropriate, for documentation and initial consideration of such new ideas, e.g. the preparation and evaluation of white papers.

Other than special consideration of major new collaborative projects as noted above SURA support will, as a rule, be limited to

  • funding of workshops, planning meetings, etc. associated with fostering collaborative projects or programs among SURA universities and their faculty members.
  • assisting in the identification and tapping of possible sources of project funding


SURA, a consortium of over sixty universities throughout the Southeast, seeks to foster collaboration among its member institutions in science and engineering and to encourage new ideas for SURA collaborative programs that meet SURA criteria for support*.

It was a "new idea" for an accelerator from a faculty member that led to the creation of SURA twenty years ago and to Department of Energy support for the building of what is now the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA. It was a "new idea" from faculty at three SURA universities that led to the creation in the mid-80's of SURAnet, the first regional IT network, initially funded by the National Science Foundation and sold to the private sector in 1995. And it is the "new idea" and foresight of several Presidents of SURA member universities that has sparked a major new SURA initiative in coastal research beginning in 2001.

SURA efforts and financial support are currently focused on Jefferson Lab programs, post-SURAnet IT initiatives in networking and applications, and in coastal research.

The funding of actual projects developed through workshops, planning sessions, etc. will normally have to come from organizations other than SURA Corporate, e.g. universities or federal agencies. SURA does not have the resources to provide, for example, matching funds--as it has on occasion in the past--for proposals submitted for Federal support in other areas of science and engineering.

*Criteria for SURA support: SURA supported collaborative projects or programs should

  • Meet high standards of excellence
  • Contribute significantly to the advancement of science or technology
  • Function best through involvement of a consortium, not one or a very few universities
  • Draw on dedicated, effective leadership from academia

Submission of proposals for SURA support of workshops, planning meetings, etc.

A letter proposal to SURA from the responsible PI with appendices will suffice for considering and evaluating requests for SURA support of workshops, planning meetings , etc. The letter and appendices should:

  • Indicate why and for what purpose SURA support is requested and how SURA criteria as are expected to be met if a project/s materialize from the workshops or meetings.
  • Provide a budget that displays the itemized total cost of the workshop, planning session and the amount requested from SURA. (Cost sharing is encouraged but not required.)

Coverage of SURA Support

  • SURA does not cover support for travel of participants to workshops, planning meetings since it is assumed that participants stand to benefit from their involvement.
  • SURA will cover such items as the costs of meeting rooms, rental of audio-visual equipment, supplies and materials, mailings, and breakfasts/lunches integral to meetings. SURA support may cover travel of outside experts necessary to the success of a workshop, planning meeting if appropriately justified in the proposal.
  • SURA will only support workshops, planning meetings, etc. that are open to a reasonably wide participation from SURA member universities.
  • SURA will not cover any university indirect costs for workshops or meetings it sponsors.

As a rule SURA does not expect to provide more that $10,000 for individual workshops, planning meetings. The level of the requested support will affect the extent of SURA scrutiny of requests.

Process for SURA evaluation and notification of action on proposals

Proposals for workshops, planning meetings, etc will normally be evaluated by the SURA President in consultation with the Chair of the SURA New and On-going Projects Committee. The evaluation of proposals generally should not take more than two weeks following which proposers will be notified as to whether SURA will or will not provide support and at what level. Proposers may expect to be called within the two-week period for any additional information needed to complete SURA evaluation of a proposal.

Report to SURA on results of workshops, planning meetings, etc.

Within 30 days of a SURA supported workshop, planning meeting, etc., the responsible PI should submit a report on the results, including a list of attendees and any follow-on collaborative projects and activities planned as a result of the workshop or meeting.


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