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Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program

The Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program (ML-RCP) enables faculty and researchers at UTA to present research ideas to AFRL for funding. The ML-RCP will also work to provide a unique educational experience for students participating in funded research. Students and faculty alike that participate in the program will obtain mentorship by outside parties (e.g. AFRL researchers), will become familiar with AFRL research and federal research procedures and have increased opportunities for research and work experience outside of their academic setting with AFRL.

This program is being managed by Ohio State University (OSU), who will be responsible for assisting UTA faculty and researchers to submit their concepts and engage with appropriate AFRL personnel. Currently OSU is accepting white papers for funding consideration. Awards are expected to be between $50,000 and $250,000 and will range from 1 to 2 year projects, with the option of an extension of that effort. Proposals will be considered as they are received, and it is ML-RCP's intention to award funds as soon as possible. By submitting white papers now, there will be fewer proposals to compete against and faculty will be able to directly propose ideas instead of submitting against a directed request for proposal (RFP). 

Proposal Process

After receipt of the white paper, Ohio State will ensure that it is reviewed by technical experts at AFRL. If AFRL is interested in considering the project for funding, they will request a full proposal for consideration. The AFRL independently reviews and selects all projects.

UTA faculty are welcome to reach out to ML-RCP staff at OSU directly to discuss research ideas or to submit white papers (without budget information). Full proposals and white papers that contain a budget need to be reviewed by pre-award prior to submission.

OSU Points of Contact

Brooke Lynn Felts, MPA
Assistant Director, AFRL Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program
College of Engineering Office of Graduate Education
0061 Page Hall, 1810 College Rd N., Columbus, OH 43210
614-688-2818 Office

Michael Groeber, PhD
Faculty Director, Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (AIMS) Laboratory
Research Director, Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program
Associate Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering
Associate Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
The Ohio State University
College of Engineering Integrated Systems Engineering
252 Baker Systems, 1971 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-0471 Office / 614-203-1403 Mobile

Air Force Research Areas of Interest

Structural Materials and Applications
Functional Materials and Applications
Support for Operations
Manufacturing Technology
Radio Frequency Sensing
Electro Optical Sensing
Spectrum Warfare
Layered Sensing Exploitation and Enabling Sensor Devices/Components
High Speed Systems
Control, Power and Thermal Management Systems
Rocket Propulsion
Turbine Engines
Aerospace Vehicles
Human Centered Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Bio Effects
Training and Decision Making

These are an example of some, but not all research areas of interest.

Program Background

The Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program was created in 2005 by the Air Force Research Laboratory. ML-RCP enables collaborative research partnerships between AFRL and Academia that engage a diverse pool of talent in addressing foundational research challenges in support of the nation's air, space and cyberspace technology needs. The objective of the program is to enable, enhance and expand the research capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions through collaborative research efforts with AFRL.

Faculty and Student Benefits

ML-RCP member institutions and faculty have equal access to funding for single or multi-year projects ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. These funds are accessible only to ML-RCP members. Additional faculty benefits include:

  • Leverage to acquire additional funding from AFRL and other Department of Defense agencies
  • Network of AFRL and faculty researchers, connection to AFRL researchers in your research area
  • Webinars and info sessions with AFRL researchers
  • Support for proposal submissions including examples of successful submissions and best practices
  • Administrative technical assistance from proposal development to final report
  • Best practices for student mentoring and development
  • Funding for student researchers and summer internships at AFRL
  • Access to AFRL equipment and laboratories
  • Guidance, support and best practices in export control and compliance

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or part of an NSF I-Corps Team looking to develop your technology into a prototype or proof of concept? Consider applying for an NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) grant. Receive up to $250,000 for a PFI Technology Translation grant or up to $550,000 for a PFI Research Partnership grant.