Pre Proposals Due: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by 12:00PM

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The William W. “Bill” Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management is responsible for coordinating the State of Florida’s solid and hazardous waste research program. The Center sponsors research projects at accredited public and private universities in Florida that address Florida’s critical solid and hazardous waste management issues. The Florida Legislature created the Center in 1988 as a statewide research center. The host institution for the Hinkley Center is the University of Florida, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

The core mission of the Hinkley Center is to sponsor, conduct, and coordinate research that is pragmatic, applied, and timely.  The sponsored research projects that the Hinkley Center sponsors should focus on important issues and problems related to Florida’s solid and hazardous waste management. The sponsored research should provide important information and assistance to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), local governments, and the private sector.

 Important components of the Hinkley Center’s mission are:

  • To establish research priorities that are important to the FDEP, local governments, and the private sector;
  • To conduct and coordinate a fair, open, and transparent research selection process using input from staff from state and local government and members of the waste management community;
  • To conduct a selection process where faculty from public and private universities in Florida can compete on an equal basis for research funding;
  • To coordinate, sponsor, and conduct practical and meaningful research that has a timely and beneficial impact to the waste management community including the FDEP, county solid waste regulatory staff, county solid waste directors, county solid waste recycling directors, landfill operators, waste haulers, private waste management companies, the USEPA and consulting engineers and scientists;
  • To provide information that supports sound waste management decision-making processes;
  • To distribute research results to a wide variety of stakeholders;
  • To provide a forum for the free and open exchange of information and ideas;
  • To respond to requests for information and technical assistance;
  • To develop, through research and demonstration projects, innovative, cost effective, and environmentally sound methods and strategies for the management of solid and hazardous wastes;
  • To facilitate technology transfer and information dissemination efforts regarding information generated by the faculty at the academic institutions to members of the solid waste community;
  • To train solid and hazardous waste management personnel;
  • To identify and pursue sources of support for research and other programs;
  • To provide research opportunities on “real-world problems” for graduate students pursuing advanced degrees related to waste management;
  • To provide funding to faculty for graduate assistantships and tuition waivers as part of the sponsored research project.
  • To provide the opportunity for faculty to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.

The Center sponsors research at public and private universities and colleges in Florida accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Center has provided funding for more than two hundred research projects at Florida’s private and public universities since 1988.    Faculty members from 11 universities in Florida have received funding for research projects.  These universities include the University of West Florida (UWF), Florida State University (FSU), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), the University of Florida (UF), the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF), the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida International University (FIU), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), and the University of Miami (UM).

The Hinkley Center encourages all faculty from accredited public and private universities and colleges in Florida to participate in the Center’s research program by responding to this Annual Request for Proposals and to seek funding from the Hinkley Center. Large numbers of graduate students have received their master’s or doctorate degrees while conducting research that was sponsored by the Hinkley Center. Many of these graduate students have found employment in Florida in the private sector in consulting firms, government, industry, and manufacturing.  Hinkley Center graduate students have also found employment in local, state and federal regulatory agencies.  Several Hinkley Center graduate students currently hold faculty positions at distinguished universities in the United States and abroad.

This announcement solicits brief research pre-proposals (a maximum of five pages) from faculty currently employed at Florida’s private and public colleges and universities who wish to apply their expertise to innovate and to develop solutions for Florida's solid and hazardous waste management issues. The Center anticipates having approximately $470,000 available for sponsored research as an appropriation from the 2018 Legislature Session for FY 2018-2019. The availability of this funding is contingent upon an appropriation by the Florida Legislature. These funds will be available for initiating new research projects and possible continuation of existing research projects.

Review Process

In response to this RFP, interested researchers are invited to submit a pre-proposal to the Hinkley Center. Researchers may contact the Hinkley Center Staff to discuss their ideas for pre-proposals. The Hinkley Center Staff may be able to provide the researcher with additional background information and expert contacts in the regulatory community and waste management industry regarding the research topic being considering. The Hinkley Center Staff may also be able to provide the researcher with ideas for seeking additional sources of funding for their proposal. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your proposal with the Hinkley Center Staff, you can call the Center at 352-392-6264 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  John Schert is the Executive Director and Wester Henderson is the Research Coordinator.

After an evaluation of all of the submitted pre-proposals by the Hinkley Center’s Research Selection Committee (RSC), selected researchers will be invited to submit full proposals for funding consideration. The RSC will review all of the full proposals and select researchers to make presentations to the RSC. Finally, after hearing presentations from the invited researchers, the RSC will develop recommendations for funding selected research projects. After being reviewed by the Center’s Advisory Board, the Executive Director of the Hinkley Center will make a final decision regarding funding. Researchers who do not submit a pre-proposal adhering to the guidelines included in this RFP will not be eligible to participate in the full proposal selection process.

Researchers who submit pre-proposals or subsequent full proposals are responsible for making sure that their submissions are received by the Hinkley Center. If you submit a pre-proposal or full proposal and you do not receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission within 24 hours, it is your responsibility to follow up with the Hinkley Center staff to advise them that a pre-proposal or full proposal was submitted by the deadline date.


Friday, October 20, 2017 – Release of this RFP

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 – Deadline for receipt of pre-proposals, noon 12:00 PM

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 – Notification of selected researchers who are invited to submit a full proposal

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 – Deadline for receipt of full proposals noon 12:00 PM

Wednesday and Thursday, May 30, 2018- May 31, 2018 – Proposal presentation to the RSC (tentative)

Friday, June 22, 2018 – Notification of awards (June 22 is tentative date)

The important dates for the Center's current selection cycle for funding of projects in Fiscal Year 2017-2018 are as follows:

Awards for projects selected for funding will be made after the Center receives its appropriation from the 2018 Legislative Session for FY 2018-2019. The start date of the research projects will be tailored to meet the researcher’s academic schedule and state funding guidelines, typically August or September 2018.


Faculty at private and public universities and colleges located in the State of Florida that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools may submit pre-proposals.

The current Research Agenda (as part of this RFP) provides a list of research ideas for faculty to consider in submitting pre-proposals to the Hinkley Center. Researchers are encouraged to view the Center’s web site, ( to become familiar with research ideas on Research Agendas from previous years, and to also become familiar with the research projects that have been previously funded and the research projects that are currently being funded by the Hinkley Center.

The Center also considers research proposals on topics that are not on this list. Please note that the Hinkley Center will not fund a proposed research project simply because the pre-proposal focuses on a research topic that was included on the Research Agenda.

The Hinkley Center evaluates the proposals received each year and then determines whether, and the extent to which, funds will be provided for proposed projects. The decision to approve or reject a proposal depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: (a) the practical relevance, timeliness, and scientific merits of the proposed research; (b) the amount of funds available for funding new and continuing projects; (c) the number and cost of the research projects that have been proposed; (d) the research projects that already are underway or have been completed; and (e) whether the research project will help the Hinkley Center advance its overall mission. The Hinkley Center has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to evaluate and weigh each of these factors in light of the facts known at the time when the proposals are evaluated and funding decisions are made.  The Executive Director has the exclusive authority to make funding decisions.

Consequently, the Hinkley Center may provide funds for research topics that are not included in this Research Agenda and may reject proposals that are based on one or more of the Research Agenda topics.

The Hinkley Center awards funds appropriated by the Florida Legislature for research projects. The projects are to be conducted by faculty members of the state’s public and private universities through the use of University resources including students and laboratories. The state funds distributed by the Hinkley Center typically will not be awarded for projects primarily conducted by out-of-state faculty, consultants, or other private entities. Pursuant to the policies adopted by the Hinkley Center, “private sector subcontracting of any portion of a contract supported by state funds should be kept to a minimum, be justified, and be approved by the Executive Director of the Center.” An example of a possible exception includes payment for the use of specialized equipment or testing which is not available at the funded university, but is accessible through a consultant or subcontractor. Even for such cases, the Executive Director of the Center should be contacted for approval prior to submission of a pre-proposal or a full proposal.

Direct and Indirect Costs

The Center provides support for “direct” research costs. Direct research costs include, but are not limited to salaries of faculty conducting the research, requisite fringe benefits, student support, tuition waivers, supplies, travel, communications, and equipment essential to conduct the proposed scope of work. Center funds may not be used to pay “indirect” costs.

Leveraging Other Funds

Researchers are encouraged to leverage the Center's funds by obtaining supplemental funding from external sources and real-dollar contributions from public and private sources. Researchers should specify potential sources of funds and identify how they will seek external funding.  Researchers should indicate, if applicable, how they have used previous funding from the Hinkley Center to leverage other sources of funding for their research.

 Contents of Pre-Proposal and Full Proposal

 The Hinkley Center requires that the pre-proposal be submitted electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as an email attachment (as a pdf), by noon 12:00 P.M., Wednesday, December 20, 2017. The body of the pre-proposal should contain no more than five (5) numbered pages in a 12-point font and at a minimum contain the following:

  •  Abstract
  • Project title
  • Name(s) and contact information of the Principal Investigator(s)
  • Methodology/scientific approach with a timeline
  • Practical, specific benefits for end users
  • Deliverables
  • Budget outline
  • Identification of Pertinent Literature
  • A plan for seeking funding from other sources
  • A one-page curriculum vita for each investigator on the proposed project (CVs are not included as part of the 5-page limit)

Invited Full Proposals

The Center requires that the invited full proposal, due at noon 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, be no more than twenty (20) pages in length and, in addition to information listed above, it must include the following:

  • A detailed budget, justification and scope of work approved by their institution
  • A list of individuals knowledgeable in the specific subject of the research who are willing to serve as advisors or peer reviewers to the researcher(s) to ensure project success (Technical Awareness Group - TAG). The TAG list should include contact information for these individuals.
  • A project timeline with milestones
  • A plan that describes how the information obtained from this project will be communicated to others, i.e. the waste management sector, regulators, waste haulers, and landfill owners/operators.

Duration of Project

Projects are funded for a one-year period. Full proposals for projects that require multiple years to complete should include specified yearly completion goals with corresponding annual budgets. Funding for an additional year of a currently funded project is considered a competitive renewal. Funding for an additional year is dependent on receipt of a Year 2 pre-proposal, an invitation to submit a full proposal, relevancy of the project to the current Hinkley Center Research Agenda, a positive recommendation by the RSC and the Advisory Board, and approval for funding by the Center's Executive Director.


The Hinkley Center sponsors research that provides practical solutions and answers to current solid waste management problems. Information and data are needed for waste management issues that can be applied immediately. Center-funded researchers are required to submit Metrics, Quarterly Progress Reports and Draft and Final Technical Reports. Researchers are also required to form a Technical Awareness Group (TAG) for their projects and to hold a minimum of two TAG meetings. TAG meetings are held to encourage information exchange between the investigators and interested parties in the public and private sectors. Each proposed research project should identify a minimum of five persons external to the project university who are willing to serve on the project TAG. TAG members should be persons in the public or private sector who are interested in the proposed research project, are willing to attend TAG meetings, give advice and suggestions to the Principal Investigator regarding the proposed research project, and are willing to lend their expertise to the research project by reviewing and providing comments and suggestions for the Draft Final Report.

Other contractual requirements include:

  • Development and submittal of the following:
  1. Abstract (description of the project for the general public)
  2. Quarterly Reports (work accomplished during the period, information dissemination activities, additional funding secured, etc.)
  3. Progress in meeting the Metrics that the Hinkley Center has adopted (routine updates of the project including publications, presentations, collaborations, etc.) An example of this is provided on Page 8.
  4. Draft Final and a Final Report – The Draft Final Report must be reviewed by the project’s TAG members, edited to address their comments, and submitted as a Final Report to the Center. The Final Report is posted on the Center’s web site and is also distributed to solid and hazardous waste stakeholders.
  5. Other periodic updates as requested
  • Development and maintenance of a project website.
  1. The website is to include the project abstract, the Full Proposal (minus financial information regarding salaries, etc.), the names of TAG members and meeting information, digital photos of investigators and students associated with the project, and acknowledgment of sponsorship and funding from the Hinkley Center.
  2. The website is to be updated regularly by posting Quarterly Reports as the project progresses, TAG meeting minutes, videos of TAG meetings, and digital photographs of investigators and students engaged in activities related to the research project throughout the course of the project.
  3. Remain active for 18-months following the project’s completion
  • Coordination of at least two Technical Awareness Group (TAG) Meetings
  1. Remote participation in the TAG Meeting must be made available via videoconferencing on the Web using software such as “Go To Meeting”.
  2. A video recording and typed meeting minutes of all TAG Meetings are required.  Investigators are responsible for the video recording of their TAG Meetings. These video links and meeting minutes are to be posted on the project website so interested persons can watch the TAG meeting at a later point in time.
  • In-state travel availability as needed or requested by the Center Staff
  1. This includes possible project meetings with the Center staff, FDEP or other solid waste stakeholders. This may also include presentation of the Hinkley Center sponsored research at relevant conferences or seminars.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria serve as guidelines to the Research Selection Committee for evaluating and ranking pre-proposals and full proposals.

  • Practical relevance of the proposed research project to the Hinkley Center’s Research Agenda.
  • Scientific merit of the research approach.
  • Expectation of end user benefit.
  • Experience and resources of the applicant.
  • Appropriateness of the proposed budget to the research objectives and the availability of external funds to help support the project.
  • Timeliness of the submission of deliverables from previous projects sponsored by the Hinkley Center (if applicable).

Student Tracking

The Hinkley Center maintains a web page called “Student Tracker” recognizing current and past students supported by or involved in Center-funded research projects. In your proposal, please identify former students who have worked on previous Center-funded projects. Also, please identify where the students are currently employed with their contact information.

Please note that if you have received funding previously from the Hinkley Center, please be sure that the information posted by the Hinkley Center staff on the Hinkley Center “Student Tracker” is up to date and complete by the time of submission of your pre-proposal.

Full Proposal Submission

The electronic copy of the institutionally endorsed full proposal full proposal must be received by the Hinkley Center ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 12:00 PM. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Please send the full proposal as an email attachment.

Researchers who submit proposals are responsible for making sure that their submissions are received by the Hinkley Center. If you submit a pre-proposal or full proposal and you do not receive an email acknowledging receipt of your pre-proposal or full proposal within 24 hours of the time that you emailed it to the Hinkley Center, it is your responsibility to follow up with the Hinkley Center staff to advise them of your submission by the deadline date.

The Center Staff will be pleased to answer any questions applicants have about the Research Agenda or the Center's research selection process.  Phone: 352-392-6264

Metrics Guideline

  1. List graduate student or postdoctoral researchers funded by this Hinkley Center project


Rank (grad or postdoc)




  1. List undergraduate student researchers working on this Hinkley Center project





  1. List research publications resulting from this Hinkley Center project (use format for publications as outlined in this Report Guide)


  1. List research presentations resulting from this Hinkley Center project (use format for presentations as outlined in this Report Guide)


  1. List who has referenced or cited your publications from this project.


  1. Provide an explanation of how the research results from this Hinkley Center project and previous projects have been leveraged to secure additional research funding.


  1. List new collaborations that were initiated based on this Hinkley Center project.


  1. Provide an explanation of how have the results from this Hinkley Center funded project have been used (not will be used) by the FDEP or other stakeholders? (1 paragraph maximum)
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