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1 Taking Advantage of NSF Funding Opportunities Daniel Udovic Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Taking Advantage of NSF Funding Opportunities Daniel Udovic Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Taking Advantage of NSF Funding Opportunities Daniel Udovic Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation

2 2 Presentation Outline  NSF Organization  DUE Programs  The Proposal Review Process  Using the NSF Web Page (  Tips for Writing Successful Proposals

3 3

4 4 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION With an annual budget of over $6.0 billion, NSF is the funding source for about 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by U.S. colleges and universities. (NSF at a Glance – NSF Home page – FY 2008)

5 5 The NSF Structure

6 6 Organization of Education & Human Resources

7 7 Stimulating students through Inquiry-based learning Strengthening teacher preparation NSF-wide Education Themes Directorate for Education and Human Resources FY 2009 Budget Rollout Broadening participation in the S&E workforce Integrating research and education Reaching a broader public through informal education

8 8 The Division of Undergraduate Education and its Programs

9 9 DUE Mission: To promote excellence in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all students. DUE is an agent of change that leads the NSF efforts to achieve excellent STEM undergraduate education for all students. It creates, develops, and manages programs that enable institutions to expand the professional Science and Engineering workforce and to strengthen the scientific literacy for citizens through undergraduate curricula and related activities.

10 10 Some DUE Programs  Advanced Technological Education (ATE)  Course, Curriculum, & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)  Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological & Mathematical Sciences (UBM): EHR, BIO, MPS  Math and Science Partnership (MSP)  NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)  Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP)  Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

11 11 Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Vision  Excellent STEM education for all undergraduate students Goal  Stimulate, evaluate, and disseminate innovative developments in STEM education through the production of knowledge about learning and the improvement of practice.

12 12 Supports efforts to:  Create new learning materials and teaching strategies  Develop faculty expertise  Implement educational innovations  Assess learning and evaluate innovations  Conduct research on STEM teaching and learning Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)

13 13  Projects should address a recognized need and describe exemplary work addressing at least one component of this cycle: Research on Teaching and Learning Implementing Innovations Producing New Learning Materials Developing Faculty Expertise Assessing Learning Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)  Projects vary in scope and scale

14 14  Phase 1: Exploratory Projects Involves exploratory, initial investigation or adaptation in one of the component areas  Phase 2: Expansion Projects Builds on small scale projects with proven innovations, refine and test innovations on diverse users  Phase 3: Comprehensive Projects Several diverse institutions, evaluation or assessment activities, deep and broad, combine proven results and mature innovations from several component areas, sustainablity, national dissemination, etc. Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) -- Three “Phases”

15 15 Phase 1 (exploratory projects) **** Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)  Total budget up to $150 K (1-3 years)  or $200K when 4-year schools collaborate with 2-year schools  893 proposals submitted in 2007, representing 829 projects (down slightly in 2008)  About 100 biology proposals per year  Expected funding rate for 2008: 10-15%  Dates:  Due: May 2009 (but see below!) **** PLEASE NOTE -- There may be some significant changes in next year’s solicitation!! Look for it in January or February 2009!!

16 16  Institutional Awards and Group Awards  Student involvement in innovative research at the forefront of the biological and mathematical sciences  Students working and learning together in interdisciplinary teams  Long-term involvement of each student with project activities to provide:  intense involvement in research  mutual reinforcement between research and classroom activities; Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM)

17 17 Required for All Projects:  Extensive, interdisciplinary mentoring from senior faculty in both disciplines;  A diversity of students with attention to ethnic and gender diversity; For Institutional Projects:  Use of program models to motivate curriculum changes and faculty development;  The ability to affect programs and students beyond those directly involved in the project. Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM)

18 18 Group Projects:  Up to 3 years;  Budget: Average <= $80,000 per year Institutional Projects:  Up to 5 years;  Budget: Average <= $200,000 per year Proposal Deadline: February 12, 2009 (2nd Thursday in Feb) Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM)

19 19 UBM: Undergraduate Research in Metapopulation Ecology College of William and Mary  Establishes an undergraduate training program in mathematical biology based on a core of 6 faculty (3 math, 3 biology)  Uses paired undergraduate mentoring with each student being mentored by a mathematician and a biologist on a multi-year research project studying dynamics and viability of animal metapopulations  Blends theoretical mathematical and field based biological techniques  Develops new bio-math courses  Hosts a regional bio-math conferences  Partners with a local community college with a focus on recruiting underrepresented minorities

20 20 UBM: Research-Based Interdisciplinary Training for Mathematics and Biology Majors University of Vermont  Integrates interdisciplinary courses in mathematics and biology with multi-year research projects  Involves 8 faculty mentors from the Departments of Biology and Mathematics and Statistics  Involves equal number of math and biology (or joint math/biology) majors working on teams with joint mentors from both departments  Includes Calculus for Life Science Students, College Biology, Mathematical Biology and Ecology, and a Seminar series  Provides a capstone course that ensures students have the opportunity to analyze data, prepare manuscripts, and present papers at annual symposia

21 21 NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)  Goal: Provide scholarships to academically talented, financially needy students pursuing associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees  Deadlines:  Letter of Intent: July 10, 2008  Full proposal: August 12, 2008  2009 dates should be around the same time; look for new solicitation in Spring 2009

22 22 S-STEM  Eligible disciplines include almost all NSF-supported areas (see solicitation for guidance)  Maximum scholarships -- $10,000 (based on financial need)  Awards can be for up to 5 years  Grant size increased to $600,000 with 7% allowed for administration and 8% for student support  Maximum of $225,000 in any one year, but can ramp up  One proposal per constituent school or college that awards degrees (also schools within institutions)

23 23 STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) Type 1 projects  Seek to increase the number of students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)  Awards up to $2.5 million (depending on size of the institution) over a 5-year period. Type 2 projects  Support educational research on associate or baccalaureate degree attainment in STEM Deadline: September 30, 2008 Typical Funding Rate: ~15% (~140 proposals; ~20 awards)

24 24 STEP Implementation Strategies Efforts might include:  Bridge programs that enable additional preparation for students  Programs that focus on the quality of student learning  high-caliber teaching in smaller classes  new pedagogical approaches  training of teaching assistants  Programs to encourage undergraduate research  Programs that provide financial incentives to students  Many others

25 25 Proposals should include:  The specific strategies to be used during the grant period to increase the number of STEM graduates  An explanation of why the proposed activities are not expected to cause decreases in enrollments in other STEM fields  The benchmarks that will be used to measure progress as the project moves forward  A clear statement of which of the proposed activities, if successful, would be expected to be institutionalized by the end of the grant period

26 26 The Proposal Review Process

27 27 How the Proposal Review & Decision Process Works Investigator/ Institution FastLane: Central Processing Program Manager Division Director Declination Award (Via DGA) Withdrawal Mail Reviews Panel Review Not appropriate

28 28 Merit Review “NSF’s merit review process is the keystone for award selection … NSF uses merit review to select about 10,000 new awards each year from more than 35,000 competitive proposals submitted … annually …”  NSF Strategic Plan FY , p. 4, 21, 26  Credit: Garie Fordyce, National Science Foundation

29 29 Navigating the NSF Web Page

30 30 NSF web site (

31 31 Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)

32 32 Division of Undergraduate Education

33 33 Searching the Awards Database

34 34 Searching the Awards Database

35 35 Tips for Writing Successful Proposals

36 36 The core of a successful proposal is a good idea (s)* * But that is just the beginning

37 37  What problem are you addressing?  What do you intend to do?  Why is the work important?  Intellectual Merit  Broader Impact  What has already been done?  How are you going to do the work?  How will you know if it worked?  How will you get the word out? Questions for the Prospective PI

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39 39 Writing Effective Proposals What Makes a Proposal Competitive?  Original and/or good ideas  Succinct, focused project plan  Realistic amount of work  Sufficient detail provided  Cost effective  High impact  Knowledge and experience  Evidence of potential effectiveness  Likelihood project will be sustained  Solid evaluation plan

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41 41 Things to Remember  Read (and follow!) the Program Solicitation and the GPG (Grant Proposal Guide) !!!  Address both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts  Address additional program criteria  Solicit help of colleagues – e.g., mock review panels  Get started early!

42 42 Final Thoughts Start with a good idea: Embed it within a larger context with measurable objectives Relate the idea to the literature Evaluate progress and outcomes Disseminate findings and results Be persistent! Often it is the person who reworks and resubmits that is funded.

43 43 Ways for you to participate  Grant Holder  PI  Project Team Member, or Coalition, or Advisory Board  Test Site  User of Products  Workshop and Symposium Participant  Review Proposals  Rotating Program Officer

44 44 Information and Inquiries  DUE o o Phone o Fax o Snail Mail:  Division of Undergraduate Education,  NSF  4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 835  Arlington, VA  DUE Project Information Resource System

45 45 THANKS!

46 46

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