The researcher would prepare the proposal as usual for submission directly to CONACYT since MPS is registered with RENIECYT. MPS will be the name of the organization listed in the proposal, providing all necessary information for the corporation (for example bylaws, legal representatives, physical address, etc.), and letters for and obtain the signature of the legal representative of MPS. MPS can assist researchers in the assembly and submission of the proposal if requested.
Many Mexican corporations cannot send money outside Mexico but are eager to fund research in Mexico; in these cases, MPS is an ideal platform through which to apply for funding. However, our recommendation is to review the call for proposals and see what organization may be the strongest competitor. For example, MPS is classified as a “private company dedicated to research” in the CONACYT system, but sometimes another designation like “institution of higher education and research” are the only entities eligible to apply. Also, for CONACYT only, there are several types of calls for proposals: National, International and Open International. MPS and other Mexican institutions can apply for national calls. Texas A&M University could apply for potentially apply for both International and Open International calls for proposals. Using MPS, Texas A&M University can apply with a Mexican partner for a national call as well.
It depends on the call for proposals. Each call for proposals must be read carefully to determine whether participant institutions of the teams are able to submit proposals individually or linked with Higher Education Institutes, Research Centers, or both.
If MPS is the lead institution in the proposal, MPS could be submitting the proposal on behalf of both entities instead of submitting through one or both organizations/universities of the team members (or in the case of a national call as Texas A&M University’s representative with the Mexican partner institution). If MPS is the primary responding institution, the team’s organizations/universities may be seen as “providers” subcontracted by MPS to perform services. This is maybe less an issue for Texas A&M because MPS is Texas A&M University’s representation in Mexico. This distinction of who is a participant and who is a subcontracted provider may make a difference (depending on how the call is written) in such things as how funding may be spent, how the institutional curriculum is written, and how the results will be presented.
As long as it is not restricted by the grant agency, MPS can subcontract with other organizations (including ones in the U.S. such as Texas A&M University) to provide services required in the grant. What amount can be sent to the U.S. depends entirely on the grant.
Goods - For CONACYT and other federal national calls for proposals, at least 50% of the goods to be purchased should be produced in Mexico and have Mexican content (e.g., labor, supplies, etc.). The % changes depending on the type of call - national, international, international open. For some, 100% could be sent to the U.S. Every grant is different, and this would need to be researched in the process of applying for the grant.
Services - It is important to note that the law governing federal calls for national proposals mentions that for services, participants responding to the call must be Mexican (e.g. MPS qualifies), but it depends on the individual proposal as to whether all or a percentage of people providing the services need to be Mexican.
Mexican researchers or graduate students – Yes, these researchers could be hired by MPS as independent professionals or as employees in the summer periods. However, employees in Mexico must be “indemnified”, which means that when the work relationship ends, there is a mandatory type of severance pay that must be provided per Mexican labor law. This amount is approximately 3 months of salary, plus 12 days per worked year and so should be figured into the overall cost. Independent professionals whose services do not need to be indemnified, are independent contractors with special skills hired for a specific period and purpose.
US researchers or graduate students – These researchers cannot be paid salaries as employees because they do not have the legal status to work in Mexico, and they are not listed as employees of MPS. However, they could be paid as independent professionals because they have taxpayer ID numbers in the US and can sign letters indicating they will pay taxes in the U.S. on these funds. Essentially, they could be hired as independent contractors.
Another option for either nationality is to pay the cost of services provided to conduct the work (such as analysis of data, laboratory or other fees, etc.). Costs of performing the work can be rolled up into the overall cost of the services. In such cases, a contract for this service would need to be created and an invoice presented to MPS for payment. As already noted, some grants will have limits to the percentage of services that can be conducted outside Mexico.