Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R856. Science Technology and Research Governing Authority (Utah), Administration.

Rule R856-6. Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) Energy Research Triangle Scholars (ERT-S) Grant.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R856-6-1. Authority.

Subsection 63M-2-503(2) requires the USTAR governing authority to make rules establishing the eligibility criteria, award process, and reporting requirements for each grant program administered by USTAR.

R856-6-2. Purpose and Goals.

(1) USTAR's Energy Research Triangle Scholars grant program is a collaborative effort between USTAR and The Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development and will be administered according to these rules.

(2) Grants provide funding to university faculty research professors for student-led projects that seek to address technical challenges related to energy issues important to economic growth in the state of Utah.

R856-6-3. Definitions.

(1) "Applicant" means the researcher for a particular project.

(2) "Awardee" means a researcher that has been awarded an Energy Research Triangle Scholars grant.

(3) "Governing authority" means the Utah Science, Technology and Research Governing Authority.

(4) "ERT-S" and "ERT-S grant" mean the Energy Research Triangle Scholar grant program, a competitive grant program administered by USTAR.

(5) "OED" means the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development.

(6) "Technology" includes applications of scientific research such as inventions, methods, processes, or other material, virtual, or intellectual property.

(7) Technology Readiness Level" or "TRL" level means the method of estimating technology maturity used by the Federal Government and is available on the USTAR website.

(9) "University" means any public or not-for-profit institution of higher education with its primary location in Utah.

(10) "USTAR" means the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative.

(11) "ERT-P" and "ERT-P grant" mean the Energy Research Triangle - Professor grant program, a competitive grant program administered by USTAR.

(12) "UTAG" means the University Technology Acceleration Grants administered by the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative.

R856-6-4. Eligibility Criteria.

(1) The ERT-S grant is restricted to university-affiliated researchers for student-lead projects meeting the following guidelines:

(a) Project must be led by currently matriculated students in good standing.

(b) Project must be led by student enrolled in a nonprofit Utah university.

(c) Student project must be overseen by a research professor at a nonprofit Utah university.

(2) Student researcher must be developing a technology with applications that can address Utah-specific energy and natural resource issues.

(a) USTAR/OED may specify a specific subsector of Utah's energy and natural resource industry as a priority for grant funding in the ERT-S application materials.

(b) ERT-S grants are targeted at energy and natural resource innovation and development.

(c) In selecting targeted energy and natural resource subsectors eligible to receive support from ERT-S, the governing authority may consider any or all of the following factors:

(A) statewide or regional importance of the subsector to Utah's economy;

(B) relative size of the subsector, its stability, and growth potential;

(C) characteristics of the state's existing workforce, including education and training;

(D) the current availability of other sources of funding or risk capital (public or private) for early-stage companies in the technology sector;

(E) the potential for the subsector to develop new jobs and business opportunities in the state; and,

(F) the likelihood that research in this subsector will result in the creation of a company in Utah or IP transfer to an existing Utah company.

(G) any other factor USTAR/OED deems relevant, considering the mission of USTAR and the purpose of ERT-S.

(3) Student researcher must be developing a technology assessed at the start of the project to be between a TRL of 2 and 5.

(4) ERT-S, ERT-P funding and UTAG funding cannot be requested for the same technology in the same fiscal year.

(4) If Applicant is a current recipient of any other USTAR grant, that project must be verified as complete by USTAR before the application deadline in order for the awardee to be eligible to apply, unless expressly exempted by USTAR.

R856-6-5. Application Form and Submission Guidelines.

(1) For each round of grants, USTAR/OED will provide a program announcement and make applications and instructions available on USTAR and/or OED's website and in paper form upon request.

(2) Completed applications must be received on or before the specified deadline in the application instructions.

(3) The instructions will include the following:

(a) A general procedure for submitting an application.

(b) Requirements for a letter of intent;

(c) Instructions for application content which includes:

(i) description of the technology;

(ii) commercialization plan;

(iii) description of technical milestones and qualifications of team to meet milestones;

(iv) potential market;

(v) potential economic impact on Utah economy; and,

(vi) timeline for completion.

(d) Instructions for the required budget outline, including:

(i) total project cost;

(ii) a description of funds already secured for activities related to this project;

(iii) an itemized budget detailing planned use of grant funds; and,

(iv) breakdown of costs to complete each milestone.

(e) Description of the application evaluation process and scoring system.

(f) Instructions for reporting project results and completing annual follow-up surveys.

(4) All complete applications will be reviewed and awardees selected via the criteria and method outlined in Sections R856-6-6 and R856-4-7 herein.

R856-6-6. Application Review Procedure.

(1) Pre-screening

(a) Applicants will submit a letter of intent before the specified deadline.

(b) Letter of intent will be reviewed by USTAR staff to determine eligibility to apply.

(2) University Pre-screening.

(a) Universities may perform an initial analysis and assessment of the project to be submitted with the application.

(3) Initial eligibility screening.

(a) USTAR/OED will conduct an initial eligibility screening for each application to ensure:

(i) Completeness; and,

(ii) Verification of minimum eligibility requirements.

(b) Any application that fails to meet the criteria in Section R856-6-6(3) will be rejected.

(4) Panel Review.

(a) Accepted applications will be reviewed by subject-matter experts ("expert panel") who will evaluate and score the applicant's proposed research project using the criteria in Section R856-6-7.

(i) USTAR/OED will have discretion to select the experts for the review panels and shall consider, as applicable:

(A) academic qualifications including whether the expert has a terminal degree in a relevant field;

(B) relevant work experience and practical training in the field;

(C) knowledge of the commercial/industrial energy sector or sub-sector in Utah;

(D) experience evaluating grant proposals; and,

(E) any other factors USTAR/OED deems important.

(ii) USTAR/OED will screen the experts for conflicts of interest before reviews are initiated using the conflict of interest policy available on USTAR's website.

(5) Governing authority review.

(a) A subcommittee of the governing authority will convene to review the expert panel's scores and develop recommendations.

(b) The GA subcommittee will consider prior performance of applicant in its evaluation.

(c) The subcommittee will recommend projects for award and award amounts to the full governing authority for final approval.

R856-6-7. Evaluation and Award Criteria.

(1) Letter of Intent

(a) The Administrative criteria to review of letters of intent will be published in advance.

(2) The review panel will use a scoring system to evaluate and rank grant applications and recommend grant amounts.

(a) The scoring criteria will be made available during the application period;

(b) The scoring system will be designed to assess and compare each applicant across several categories, which may include:

(i) Technical merit of proposal;

(ii) Strength and maturity of research or management team, as applicable;

(iii) Appropriate technology readiness level (TRL 2- 5);

(iv) Potential economic impact, as measured by:

(A) Job creation;

(B) Product sales;

(C) Potential revenue due to expansion of current business or development of a new business; and/or,

(D) Projected time to revenue or job creation;

(E) Other measures of economic impact such as natural resource impacts.

(v) Market need, technical and management experience and qualifications;

(vi) Reasonableness of cost proposal (i.e. size and allocation of budget is appropriate for the work proposed);

(vii) Reasonableness of proposed milestones and timelines; and,

(ix) Potential for positive impact on student's professional development goals and,

(x) Any other factor indicative of applicant's ability to produce measurable and timely impacts on the state in areas related to the economic development performance metrics used to evaluate USTAR's activities.

(3) ERT-S Grants must be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of a technology and project proposals must identify specific technical milestones leading to the proposed outcome.

(4) Examples of acceptable milestones must be specific to the project may include:

(a) research and development activities;

(b) proof of concept;

(c) product validation; and,

(d) product development.

R856-6-8. Grant Amount, Award, and Required Contract.

(1) USTAR/OED will have the discretion to limit the amount of funding that may be awarded for each ERT-S grant based on available funds, scope of project, and quality of proposal.

(2) USTAR/OED reserves the right to award funding for any proposal in full or in part, to request additional information, or to reject any or all applications based on the eligibility and evaluation criteria set forth in these rules and according to the judgment and discretion of the governing authority.

(3) Upon award of a ERT-S grant, and prior to any disbursement of funds, each university must enter into a contract with USTAR governing the use of grant funding.

(4) Unless addressed in the terms and conditions of the contract between university and USTAR, the following provisions shall apply:

(a) grant funding may not be used to provide a primary benefit to any state other than Utah; and,

(b) for all other eligibility requirements, awardee must maintain eligibility status for the ERT-S program until the project is complete, all milestones have been met, final disbursement of funding has been made, and first year reporting has been completed.

(5) Violations of Section R856-6-8(4) may result in forfeiture of ERT-S grant funding and may require repayment of all or a portion of the funding received as part of the ERT-S grant.

R856-6-9. Contract Modifications.

University may request a modification to the terms of an ERT-S contract.

(1) USTAR may deny a modification request for any reason.

(2) USTAR shall have discretion to agree to reasonable, nonsubstantive changes.

(a) Nonsubstantive changes may include the following:

(i) changes to timelines within the scope of work;

(ii) corrections to clerical errors in the application materials;

(iii) technical changes that do not alter the budget, company's eligibility status, or violate any state or federal law;

(3) Substantive changes must be approved by the USTAR governing authority.

(4) All approved changes shall be made in writing and through an amendment modifying the terms of the grant contract.

R856-6-10. Funding Distribution.

(1) Award funding shall be made to the university faculty research professor mentoring the student. The professor will then distribute funds to the student researcher to engage in research under the professor's direction.

(2) USTAR shall reimburse University for no more than the total amount specified in the contract.

(3) Payment will only be made for those costs authorized and approved by USTAR and submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions provided in the contract.

(4) Failure to successfully complete the milestones may result in a recapture of all or part of the grant funding and will be grounds to terminate the contract and any future funding.

R856-6-11. Milestones and Reporting.

(1) University is required to provide reporting for researchers, as applicable, specified in Section 63M-2-702 and 704.

(2) USTAR Executive Director can modify or waive reporting if grant is less than 50k.


Energy Research Triangle Scholars Grant (ERT-S), technology readiness level (TRL), Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR)

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

January 23, 2018

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law


Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R856, please contact the promulgating agency (Science Technology and Research Governing Authority (Utah), Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.