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WENJIN ZHOU, PH.D. COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WHAT I LEARNED FROM NSF CONFERENCE.

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Presentation on theme: "WENJIN ZHOU, PH.D. COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WHAT I LEARNED FROM NSF CONFERENCE."— Presentation transcript:

1 WENJIN ZHOU, PH.D. COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WHAT I LEARNED FROM NSF CONFERENCE

2 DISCLAIMER Merely my personal take-home message Everyone’s opinion is different Discussions and questions

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4 THREE SUGGESTIONS Talk to Program Director [Sayeef Salahuddin, NSF CAREER WORKSHOP 2013]

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6 HOW TO TALK TO PD? Contact SOON Avoid busy spring panel season (April - June) Good time: Jan – Feb How? Pitch your idea 1 page proposal abstract Mention to talk on the phone soon 2-3 slides if meeting in person one PD and CC all, DO NOT send separate s

7 THE POWER OF PD

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9 PROPOSAL REVIEWERS DO suggest reviewers Help the program officers, ease their job Higher chances that your proposal is reviewed by proper experts DO exclude reviewers that have “conflict of interest” with you Names only No reasons needed

10 “DISEASE” Very sensitive to NSF, especially NSF BIO NSF do not fund any disease related research NIH does Focus on clarifying that the interest is not for the “disease”, but the fundamental understanding of biology

11 BUDGET Budget justification is VERY important Too high : 3-year proposal vs. 5-year Too low : PI don’t know what they are actually getting into Ex. If you are proposing a massive project but asking for only 3 Ph.D. students, reviewers will think that you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t get points for low budget Aim for REALISTIC budget

12 COMPETE WITH R1 INSTITUTES What helps? Teaching release “Does the PI have time to do this?” Smaller institutes often lose the competition by over-commitment to teaching Waived overhead Graduate support Matching fund Important : Should NOT go into budget, violating “cost sharing” Put into “facilities, equipment, and others” Considered as “volunteering uncommitted cost-sharing”

13 LETTERS/SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS Reviewers are not required to read these DO NOT put any information related to merits Letter of support from Chair/Dean are not needed AND not preferred Story: PI gets asked the question by PD Except for NSF CAREER, chair letter required, not the dean

14 BECOME A REVIEWER! Introduce yourself and your research experience Express that you want to become a reviewer for their program Ask them when the next panel will be held Offer to send 2-page CV with current contact info Stay in touch if you don’t hear right back.

15 NSF CAREER NSF encourage transformative proposals BUT, in reality, it is hard for a transformative proposal to get funded! Risk factor too high Most people don’t believe it Most people will argue about it REALITY: NSF CAREER closer to be a career achievement award  you need to build up a body of work before writing the CAREER [Sayeef Salahuddin, UC Berkeley, CAREER 2012]

16 NSF CAREER What’s really different? Comprehensive education/outreach plan Go beyond what is expected from any Assistant Professor in your field Must NOT eat up all the research time Don’t be naïve! Change something in high school education system? Big turn down, unless you have already done so Must have assessment plans Use data to show current involvements and results

17 NSF CAREER Keep trying! Sayeef Salahuddin, UC Berkely 2 submissions (2 years apart) Nate Foster, Cornell University 1 submissions (actual 3 trials. 1 last-min, 1 withdraw, 3 years apart) Ani Hsieh, Drexel University 3 submissions (4 years apart) Tommaso Melodia, SUNY Buffalo 3 submissions (4 years apart)

18 RESOURCES Award Search see what has been funded and who was the program officers Research.gov many useful information, outcome report PAPPG Proposal and award policies and procedures guide GPG NSF Grant Proposal Guide Program solicitations especially important b/c they include instructions to follow; collaborative funding opportunities Dear colleague letter Notifications of opportunities or special competitions for supplements to existing NSF awards

19 GOOD LUCK!!! ASK EARLY, ASK OFTEN!


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