ISTVS Newswire | New research grants program for 2015

[Time-sensitive] Call for submissions — new research proposal support

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** ISTVS-supported collaborative research proposals framework

Dear ISTVS Members,

As approved by the ISTVS Board of Directors at the meeting in Seoul in September 2014, I am pleased to announce that we are inaugurating a new ISTVS Research Grants Program for 2016.

The objectives of the ISTVS Research Grants Program are to encourage: 1. Interaction among our members 2. International collaborations 3. Progress toward ISTVS goals 4. Active terramechanics participation from our young members

Two-page proposals are due by email to ISTVS General Secretary Dr. Lutz Richter ( by 15 March 2015. The evaluation committee will make recommendations for funding to the Board of Directors by 15 May 2015 and the award will be announced on 15 September 2015.

The proposal guidelines and background information are included below and are also posted to our ISTVS Awards page (

Happy holidays to all and best wishes for the new year and for all your future terramechanics endeavors.

Warmest wishes, Sally Shoop

-- Sally A. Shoop, PE, PhD Deputy General Secretary for Americas, ISTVS

p.s. We encourage you to share this announcement with colleagues by forwarding this email!

** Call for proposals

The ISTVS Board of Directors invites researchers to apply for student support funding to sponsor activities where members will make a contribution in areas such as the following: 1. Develop and validate ISTVS standards (currently the highest ISTVS priority) 2. Addressing specific research challenges that hinder the progress in terramechanics and off-road vehicle dynamics. These can include tires, case studies for model development, and testing procedures. 3. Compiling a database of resources (test equipment, facilities, expertise, capabilities and interests) from all universities and agencies represented in ISTVS. 4. Developing curriculum or course materials for Terramechanics and Off-Road Vehicle Dynamics. 5. Conference travel grants for students or young professionals at underserved universities or countries, or others as benefits ISTVS. 6. Other topics and ideas of benefit to ISTVS and the field of Terramechanics.

The funding should be used to facilitate collaboration between multiple institutions so that real, tangible progress can be made on the chosen topic for the benefit of ISTVS.

The call for proposals will be advertised on the ISTVS website, ISTVS newsletter, and email. All investigators must be active ISTVS members.

** Background

The ISTVS Board of Directors has been discussing ways to grow the society and attract new members for several years now. During the 2012 Conference in South Africa, a panel discussion was held in which all conference attendees participated. The following important topics resulted from the discussion: 1) There is a universal need in the science community to create a uniform course in Terramechanics and Off-Road Vehicle Dynamics. No such course is currently being offered as a full-course in the U.S. universities. Several examples exist worldwide, but ISTVS can and should play a pivotal role in establishing a curriculum and course material to reach more students who will become tomorrow’s professionals in these areas. 2) It is proposed that a list of resources (test equipment, facilities, expertise, capabilities and interests) from all universities and agencies are investigated and compiled, for the ISTVS community to have a better understanding of our collective infrastructure and expertise. This can be used to facilitate more efficient use of resources and less duplication of facilities and staff/student exchange. 3) There are several research challenges that hinder the progress in terramechanics and off-road vehicle dynamics. Specific challenges mentioned are tires (tire parameters, standards for testing modeling techniques, and validation), a soil properties database, case studies for model development and testing procedures. 4) There is positive interest in collaboration among ISTVS members, which should be explored. It is important to mention the uniqueness of ISTVS in the sense that it is truly an international society, with tight connections among its members. More often than not, it is very difficult to obtain research funding that will support long-term projects for international cooperation. 5) People need to know if there is an ultimate authority on a certain topic. If ISTVS is that organization, people should know about it. This includes the work on proposed ISTVS standards that haven't momentum. This is hindering fundamental developments in terramechanics and off-road vehicle dynamics, as researchers either have to rely on SAE or other accepted standards that may not necessarily fit the ISTVS problem, or, as it often happens, develop their own set of testing and model validation procedures, using a diverse range of tires, soil conditions, etc.

** Proposal action dates for 2015

The proposals will be reviewed for decisions in the following process: 1. Proposals must be submitted to the General Secretary, Dr. Lutz Richter by 15 March 2015: ( 2. Proposals will be assembled and sent to the ISTVS Research Grant Awards Committee by 30 March 2015. The evaluation committee will consist of 3-4 active ISTVS members to consist of the GS and DGS for each region, or their designee. 3. The committee will present their recommendation to the BoD by 15 May 2015. 4. Funding will be made available by 15 Sept 2015. 5. Awardees will be announced at the next ISTVS regional and International Conferences and advertised in the ISTVS web site. 6. Each project funded will be assigned a Project Technical Adviser (PTA) who will be responsible for technical evaluation of results according to the proposal and to act as a contact point between ISTVS and the granted Institution/Individual 7. Request for renewal/extension of proposals for years 2 and 3 should be received, together with the appropriate progress report and deliverables promised in the previous year, by 1 year after the receipt of funding. 8. Renewals/extensions can be decided by the BoD, by e-mail ballot, with a qualified majority decision of 2/3rds based on the evaluation of the contents of the application and evaluation of the PTA in charge.

** Proposal guidelines

Keep the proposal short and concise (2 pages). A one-page bio for each principal investigator (PI) must be attached as an appendix. The bio should highlight work of interest to ISTVS and note service and involvement to the organization. Full and Student members are eligible.

** Content of proposal

1. Goal/scope of the proposal. 2. Significance of the work proposed for ISTVS (both technically and in terms of professional training/education of future generations). 3. Work proposed (clear tasks identified with expected outcomes for each). 4. Project development/management (where will the work be conducted, who does what, travel planned, etc.). 5. Funding requested and how it will be spent. 6. The plan should be for 1 to 3 years, with year 1 tasks detailed, and funding for years 2 and 3 depending on the outcomes of year 1. The deliverables should include at least one ISTVS conference paper presentation or poster, and/or one Journal of Terramechanics publication, unless otherwise agreed upon, and a significant contribution to ISTVS goals and mission. 7. Clarify the cost per region for multi-region proposals. 8. Proposals are estimated to be in the range of 1000 to 5000 USD, although these are only guidelines.

Proposals must be submitted via email by 15 March 2015 to the ISTVS General Secretary Dr. Lutz Richter at

** Proposal evaluation

1. The proposals will be reviewed by the ISTVS Research Grant Awards Committee. 2. The committee will provide the following to the BoD: 1) a list of title and author for all proposals received, 2) the full proposals recommended for funding, and 3) the proposed amount of funding that should be contributed from each region. 3. The BoD will make the final approval through e-mail voting.

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