Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Project

The UF faculty have close to 60 combined years of experience in the design and execution of experimental wind research. This includes the creation, commissioning, maintaining and troubleshooting of unique major facilities. Collaboration with researchers, stakeholders, and outreach and technology transfer entities has been a critical component to the success of UF’s wind hazard program. These experiences have been coalesced into a strategic plan that provides the complete suite of services necessary to ensure the successful inception, planning, proposal development, execution, management and dissemination of transformative and impactful research. Both seasoned leaders and beginning researchers will find a support network appropriate for their experience level, anchored by accessible and collegial UF faculty with skills, experience and a passionate interest in their success.

A comprehensive suite of services are offered and managed by faculty and staff. These include: refinement of problem statements through stakeholder and research community input; recruitment of appropriate partners for projects, proposal planning and development; project management; facility staffing and training; safety compliance; risk management; data archival and curation; progress assessment and course corrections; and outreach and dissemination.

The guide below outlines the process of working with our faculty and staff to construct and refine a project from concept through submission to a sponsor.

 

Defining the Project

The user will contact UF faculty for an initial discussion on the project scope, objectives, needed resources, intended duration and scheduling. The project may be either a preliminary or well-formed concept. UF faculty will work with the user to refine the details as appropriate for the available facilities.

Entering Project Information

Project information includes the scope, objectives, facilities being requested, potential sponsoring agencies, target budget and time frame. Incorporate structural design calculations including assumptions, material properties, and boundary conditions. Sufficient detail provided to allow specimen construction planning.

Selecting Hardware

An early understanding of these needs is required for preliminary scheduling. Hardware includes the apparatus, instrumentation and data acquisition needs.

Selecting Computing Resources

In addition to data collection related computer hardware, available computing resources include the High Performance Computing Center, tools for remote participation and data archival and curation. Details on the cybersecurity can be found at this link.

Selecting Preparation Needs

Clearly indicate consumable items (materials and supplies used to construct specimen or one-time use instruments such and surface bonded strain gages) and whether these will be purchased directly by the Project personnel or by the EF. List machine shop equipment, welding equipment, hand tools, etc. that might be needed. Specimens that need to be moved are required to have a rigging plan including appropriate lifting locations, structural calculations showing that lifting inserts have an adequate factor of safety, special rigging requirements, and instructions for lifting and landing if the specimen needs to be rotated during lifting.

Scheduling

Project schedule will define the key project activities and milestones including Design, Procurement, Construction, Instrumentation, Telepresence, Testing, Demolition, Data Management, and Closeout. Project schedule will include kick-off and close-out meetings along with meetings prior to the start of key activities such as specimen construction, instrumentation and data acquisition, and testing. Periodic meetings will also be scheduled. Video conferencing facilities are available to help offset travel costs.

Requesting Project Enhancements

Stakeholder Engagement Process

UF PIs have successfully employed stakeholder participation on a large scale. This model will be offered to users to help define the landscape, develop specific project concepts, identify potential collaborators, and provide oversight and technology transfer. UF staff will notify appropriate stakeholders from an existing database created through the 10 + years of stakeholder involvement in UF wind hazard research. Users will then be then linked to these stakeholders to pursue collaboration, oversight, enhancement, technology transfer, and other partnering activities.

Layering

In addition to potential stakeholder collaborators, the user may choose to benefit from layering their project with other existing or proposed projects will complementary objectives. UF will initiate this match-making service at the request of the user, enforcing proprietary restrictions on information sharing as needed. Layering candidates extend beyond other users of the UF facility, and may include current or proposed users of other facilities within the UF network of collaborators, as well as computational or analytical modeling experts.

Generating Proposal Forms

Budget, Budget Justification, Facilities Description, Data Management Plan

It is anticipated that many users will be requesting resources through the standard NSF grant submission process. UF will provide assistance in the preparation of the required forms associated with facility usage. This includes budget templates, work sheets with UF facility usage fees, budget justification language, a facilities description tailored to the users selected hardware, and a data management plan describing the UF Cyberinfrastructure that will archive and curate the experimental data. Each form will require additional input from the user prior to submission.

Submitting Your Project for Internal Review and Approval

The UF PIs will conduct an internal project proposal review. The goals are to classify the nature of the project (e.g. applied, product testing, multi-disciplinary, high-risk high-reward), and evaluate the feasibility of the goals within the context of the facility capabilities and availability, desired usage schedule and budget. The outcomes of this internal review will likely result in requests for additional information as well as iterations with the user to refine scope, goals and budget.

Finalizing Project Details

Revisions to Proposal Forms, UF Commitment Letter

Upon completion of the iterations resulting from the internal review, the final steps for UF are to provide revisions to all required forms as needed (Budget, Budget Justification, Facilities Description, Data Management Plan) and prepare a UF Commitment letter.

Submitting Your Proposal to the Sponsor

Submission will be executed by the user following the protocol required by the user’s institution. UF will not participate in this process beyond supplying the necessary documentation regarding facility resources and commitment forms.

If Your Project Is Successful

UF is now your partner and dedicated to the successful execution of your project. The immediate next steps are to set up the necessary contracts between the user, UF and the sponsor. The user and UF will then proceed to the creation of the detailed experimental research plan, including final scheduling, facilities and equipment use, procurement, fabrication, staging, operations, clean up and close out details, data management, archiving and curation, and a risk management strategy. At this stage the UF team (faculty and staff) will schedule a kick-off meeting with the user to secure the short and long-term action items. This meeting may be remote or in person as convenient.

If Your Project is Unsuccessful

If the project is not funded, the user may wish to revise and resubmit the proposal, or seek an alternative funding agency. In either case the user may stay in queue with the UF facility. UF will work with the user to expedite the internal review of the revised proposal, focusing on the impacts of any proposal changes on scheduling, budget, equipment use, required forms, etc.

Alternatively, the user may wish to de-queue from the facility use request. All documentation regarding the user project will either be secured or removed and destroyed per user request.