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Applying to the National Science Foundation OSP Awareness Oct 2011

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Presentation on theme: "Applying to the National Science Foundation OSP Awareness Oct 2011"— Presentation transcript:

1 Applying to the National Science Foundation OSP Awareness Oct 2011,

2 NSF’s Mission To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.

3 NSF organization..… Supports all fields of fundamental science & engineering (except medical (bioengineering okay)) A.Directorates Biosciences; Computer & Information Science & Engineering; Education & Human Resources; Engineering; Geosciences; Math & Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences B.Offices Cyberinfrastructure; Integrative Activities; International Science & Engineering; Polar Programs

4 Programs & Opportunities Four Basic Categories Announcements and Funding Opportunities: Dear Colleague Letter Program Description Program Announcement Program Solicitation

5 Dear Colleague Letter Provides general information to the research community Clarifies existing policy or document Inform NSF proposer community about upcoming opportunities or special competitions for supplements

6 Program Description Broad general descriptions of programs or activities in NSF Directorates, Offices, and Divisions to encourage proposal submission in specific areas of interest to NSF

7 Program Announcement Refers to formal NSF publications announcing NSF program Primary mechanism to communicate research opportunities PA’s use generic eligibility and proposal guidelines specified in the Grant Proposal Guide, incorporate NSF Merit Review Criteria

8 Program Solicitation Encourage proposal submission in specific NSF program areas of interest Generally more focused than Program Announcements Normally apply for a limited time period Typically include supplemental proposal preparation guidance May contain specifically crafted review criteria

9 Program Solicitation (cont’d) Require Letter of Intent or Preliminary Proposal May limit number of proposals submitted by SU Typically require additional award conditions/reporting requirements

10 Types of Submissions - currently all thru FASTLANE - –Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) –EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) –Facilitation awards for sci. & eng /c disabilities –Supplemental requests (REUs, RETs) –Collaborative proposals –Equipment –Conferences, Symposia & Workshops –International Travel –Doctoral Dissertation Letter of Intent Preliminary Proposal Full Proposal Variations on the theme:

11 Types of Submissions (cont’d) Letter of Intent Required in advance of full proposal submission Used by NSF staff to gauge size and range of interest in the completion Avoid potential conflicts of interests by reviewers

12 Types of Submissions (cont’d) Preliminary Proposal Reduce proposers’ unnecessary effort in proposal preparation when likelihood of success small Increase overall quality at full submission Proposers will receive an “Invite/Not Invite” or “Encourage/Discourage”

13 Submission “Deadlines” Target Dates – “soft” Program Officer approval required for submission after Target Date Deadline Dates – “hard” (5:00 p.m. local) Submission windows – time frame; end date “hard” (5:00 p.m. local)

14 NSF Proposals Convey 1) the project’s objectives and significance to science, engineering or education; It’s a great idea that’s important to NSF Project Description, Summary 2) the suitability of the methods proposed; The approach used is the best path to take; work is feasible and risks are reasonable relative to benefits. Project Description

15 NSF Proposals Convey cont’d 3) The qualifications of the investigator, project team and grantee organization to perform the proposed work Biosketches The investigator and the team possess the necessary expertise to assure project success. Also used by PO to assess possible conflicts of interest

16 NSF Proposals Convey cont’d Facilities and Other Resources Are all necessary resources and facilities available to assure project success Describe only those resources directly applicable to the research Use a narrative format Do NOT include quantifiable financial information

17 NSF Proposals Convey cont’d 4) the impact of the activity on the infrastructure of science, engineering and education; and Broader impacts may include enabling the next generation of scientists, engineers & educators. Project Description 5) the cost of the project. There’s value for the investment; the cost is “in line” with similar projects. Budget & Justification

18 Review Criteria What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

19 Intellectual Merit Significance & impact - Importance to advancing knowledge and understanding within and across fields Significance & innovation - Suggest and explore creative & original concepts? Approach – Conception & organization of the activity? Qualifications – Qualifications of PI/team (prior work) Capability - Access to resources?

20 Broader Impacts Is discovery & understanding advanced while teaching, training, and learning is promoted? Broaden the participation of underrepresented groups Enhance the infrastructure for research and education, e.g., facilities, instrumentation, networks and partnerships Broad dissemination of results to enhance scientific and technology understanding How will society benefit? Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available at

21 In addition… NSF staff consider… Integration of research and education Efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

22 Integrating diversity into NSF programs, projects & activities Further NSF’s mission to broaden opportunities for & enable participation of all men and women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering.

23 Types of Review Panel, Mail Review, Combination Minimum 3 peer reviewers per proposal Panel review = jointly conducted by peer reviewers with broad scientific knowledge Mail review (a.k.a. “ad hoc review”) = reviewers with specific expertise in related fields; PO may use List of Suggested Reviewers in the application Reviewers remain anonymous throughout 8% = ad hoc; 55% = panel; 32% = combination panel/ad hoc

24 What’s new in 2011? Data Management Plan What’s produced : the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials; Standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);

25 What’s new in 2011? – DMP con’t Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements; Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.  Include costs for DMP in budget!

26 What’s new in 2011- DMP con’t Visit the OSP website for more information about NSF Directorate, Division, & Program Specific Guidance and a data management plan template: s/nsf---data-management-plan.html

27 What’s new in 2011? Cont’d Voluntarily committed cost sharing is prohibited No voluntary committed effort. PIs and key personnel are expected to devote some measurable effort on all sponsored projects. Organizational Resources necessary and available for the project should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section (II.C.2.i).

28 What’s new in 2011? Cont’d The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information financial information.

29 What’s continuing from 2010 Responsible Conduct of Research All undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs compensated by NSF must complete training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

30 What’s continuing from 2010 Cont’d WhoWhatWhen Undergraduates who receive hourly wages or stipends from NSF award (SU prime or subcontract)  CITI* – Undergraduate in applicable discipline Within 60 days of start of compensation Graduate Students who receive hourly wages, salaries or stipends 1.CITI – GRADUATE in applicable discipline 2.Face-to-face training or approved alternate Within 60 days of start of compensation Postdoctoral researchers who receive salaries or stipends directly from NSF 1.CITI – POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER in applicable discipline 2.Face-to-face training or approved alternate Within 60 days of start of compensation *Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative

31 What’s continuing from 2010 Cont’d For more information on RCR visit Management/compliance---post- award1/responsible-conduct-of-research-rcr.pdf

32 Getting Started Review Directorate/program’s web site Review announcement or solicitation carefully Review what’s been funded in the past – Contact Program manager EARLY –You want to do what… might they be interested? Would there be other programs interested?

33 Writing… Start early (2 weeks before the deadline not recommended…) Write for the reviewers –Ask program manager how reviewed? Panel, mail, both? –Make proposal a delight to read! –Use meaningful/informative headers –Don’t use full justification –White space helps!!

34 Writing …. Have others review your narrative –Clear? Are review criteria addressed? –Any obvious holes to be filled? –Broader impacts meaningfully addressed? –Scientific experts and “generalist experts”. Write project summary last. –Two separate sections  Int. Merit & Broader Imp.

35 Project Description Possible Outline (GPG) NOTE: Program solicitations may specify organization and content; these guidelines should be followed. 1.Introduction to project and its purpose (Introduce objectives in first page or two) 2.Context in which project fits a.State of Knowledge – what is known, what’s not b.Preliminary/foundational data c.Significance of Project… So what? 3.Project Objectives – brief list of what you will do & their significance

36 Possible Outline cont’d 4.Approach/Experimental Design/Methods a.What will you do, how will you analyze and interpret data and results? b.How do you know your methods work? (What does “success look like? Controls? Evaluation process?) c.What challenges might you encounter and how will you work around them? d.Dissemination plan (including Data Management Plan) e.Time line/project management 5.Broader Impacts & integration of research & education 6.Prior NSF results

37 Fastlane and other issues –Register (contact your OSP Research Administrator) –OSP can reset passwords if you’ve forgotten yours. Formatting – Must follow GPG unless solicitation says otherwise… – –OSP does get proposals returned for non-compliance Biosketches, font too small, publications non-compliance, collaborators not complete Project summary in first person, intellectual merit / broader impacts not separately presented.

38 OSP resources… **NSF proposal checklist ( / forms) Amy Deppa (e - apps) Amy Graves (CAS, FALK) Meghan MacBlane (iSchool) Caroline McMullin (Maxwell, SoE) Stuart Taub (LCSmith)

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