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Introduction and NSF Overview September 2006. Main Topics Origins of NSF The National Science Foundation The NSF FY 2007 Budget Request  NSF Initiatives.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction and NSF Overview September 2006. Main Topics Origins of NSF The National Science Foundation The NSF FY 2007 Budget Request  NSF Initiatives."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction and NSF Overview September 2006

2 Main Topics Origins of NSF The National Science Foundation The NSF FY 2007 Budget Request  NSF Initiatives Current Proposal, Award and Funding Trends The New NSF Web Site

3 Origins of NSF

4 “The Government should accept new responsibilities for promoting the flow of scientific knowledge and the development of scientific talent in our youth.”  Science, The Endless Frontier, 1945 1947: Congress Approves, Truman Vetoes: Agencies created in the meantime 1950: Compromise Bill Approved & Signed by Truman

5 NSF Act of 1950 “ To promote the progress of science…” NSB (24) and 1 Director, appointed by the President Encourage & develop a national policy for the promotion of basic research and education in the math, physical, medical,biological, engineering and other sciences Initiate & support basic scientific research in the sciences Evaluate the science research programs undertaken by agencies of the Federal government Provide information for S&E policy formation

6 NSF Vision Enabling the nation’s future through discovery, learning and innovation. NSF-3

7 NSF in a Nutshell Independent Agency Supports basic research & education Uses grant mechanism Low overhead; highly automated Discipline-based structure Cross-disciplinary mechanisms Use of Rotators/IPAs National Science Board

8 National Science Foundation Inspector General National Science Board Director Deputy Director Staff Offices Computer & Information Science & Engineering Engineering Geosciences Mathematical & Physical Sciences Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences Education & Human Resources Budget, Finance & Award Management Information Resource Management Biological Sciences

9 SOURCE: Science and Engineering Indicators - 2004 National R&D funding, by source

10 NSF Budget Cycle NSF President Submits Budget to Congress House Budget Committee Authorization Committees Appropriations Subcommittee Appropriations Committee Full House Version Senate Budget Committee Authorization Committees Appropriations Subcommittee Appropriations Committee Full Senate Version Develop Conference Report Each Chamber Passes Conference Report President Signs OMB OLPA-8

11 NSF’s Congressional Players Budget Committee Committee on Science Subcommittee on Research Subcommittee on Science, Justice, and Commerce and Related Agencies Budget Committee Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science HouseSenate Authorization Appropriations OLPA-9 Budget

12 SOURCE: Science and Engineering Indicators - 2004 Federal R&D budget authority, by budget function

13 Trends in Research by Agency FY 1976-2007 billions of constant FY 2006 dollars Source: AAAS analyses of R&D in annual AAAS R&D reports. FY 2007 figures are President’s request. Research includes basic and applied research. 1976-1994 figures are NSF data on obligations in the Federal Funds survey. March ’06 © 2006 AAAS. OLPA-25

14 NIHNIH NSF Role in Research and Development Fiscal Year 2002

15 NSF Support as a Percentage of Total Federal Support of Academic Basic Research Percentage (excluding NIH) OLPA-29

16 NSF Support for Basic Research at Academic Institutions Share of Total Federal Support - FY 2003 Preliminary

17 President’s Comp Initiative President’s American Competitiveness Initiative Double the NSF budget over 10 years Cover image credit: Eric J. Heller, Harvard University


19 $6.02 billion (Increase from FY 2006: $439 million, 7.9%) Big Picture

20 NSF FY 2007 Budget NSF Funding by Account

21 NSF FY 2007 Budget R&RA by Directorate

22 NSF FY 2007 Budget EHR by Division

23 NSF FY 2007 Budget MREFC Account

24 NSF FY 2007 Budget NSTC Crosscuts

25 Sensors Explosives Sensors for the Detection of Explosives $20 million Credit: Mete Sozen and Julio Ramirez, Purdue University School of Civil Engineering

26 International Polar Year IPY Michael Van Woert, NOAA 2007-2008 $62 million

27 Science Metrics Science Met Rev $6.8 million

28 Cyberinfrastructure Cyberinfrastructure $597 million Petascale Computing $50 million Credit: NCSA, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and NOAA. Credit: Bob Wilhelmson, NCSA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Lou Wicker, National Severe Storms Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Matt Gilmore, Lee Cronce, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois. Visualization by Donna Cox, Robert Patterson, Stuart Levy, Matt Hall, Alex Betts, NCSA.

29 Sunflower blank Bolstering K-12 Education Discovery Research K-12 $104 M Grand Challenges Developing effective science and mathematics assessments for K-12 Improving science teaching and learning in the elementary grades Introducing cutting-edge discoveries into K-12 classrooms Credit: Barry Myers

30 Current Proposal, Award and Funding Trends

31 NSF Recent Trends: FY 2002 to FY 2005 Obligations Incurred (Millions of Dollars) $4,954 $5,579 Organizational Excellence FTE # of Competitive Proposals # of Competitive Awards Aver. Annual Res. Grant Size Aver. Research Grant Duration (years) 14% 59% 3% 19% -7% 24% - $5,871 2.9 $115,666 Change from FY02 to FY05 FY04 FY03 FY02 $135,609$139,637 10,406 10,844 10,380 35,164 40,07543,851 1,2391,242 1,274 $184$196$268 $5,654 $292 1,279 41,722 9,757 $143,669 2.9


33 Old Site New Site

34 Key Documents FY 2007 NSF Budget Request  Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 04-23)  Science and Engineering Indicators  When in doubt – 

35 Outline Proposal review process  Submission  Administrative Review  Scientific Review  Decisions Research proposal preparation  Getting started  The proposal  Proposal writing tips

36 Scientific Review Administrative Review Research & Education Communities Proposal Preparation and Submission Organization submits via FastLane OR NSF Program Director Program Director Analysis &. Recom. Division Director Concur Via DGA Organization Minimum of 3 Reviews Required DGA Review & Processing of Award Proposal Review and Decisions NSF Proposal Generating Document Returned As Inappropriate/Withdrawn Mail Panel Both Award NSF Proposal & Award Process & Timeline Decline 90 Days6 Months 30Days Proposal Receipt at NSF DD ConcurAward Proposal Processing Unit NSF

37 Life of a Proposal 1. Preparation 2. Submission 3. Administrative Review  Printed, checked for print problems, transferred to Division/Office  Assigned to program, cluster, section, etc.  Checked for compliance  Both review criteria  Format  Appropriateness 4. Scientific Review  ad hoc reviews  Panel review 5. Decisions  Award or decline recommendation by Program Director  Concurrence by Division Director  Non-award notifications by Division/Office  Award notifications by Division of Grants and Agreements

38 Proposal Submission How?  Via FastLane ( ) or ( ) Who? To whom?  Selecting a program What?  Basics of Proposal Types When?  Target date, deadline and window

39 Proposal Submission - Who? Universities and colleges Non-profit, non-academic organizations For-profit organizations State and local governments Small Businesses – SBIR Program Unaffiliated individuals Foreign organizations

40 Proposal Submission – To whom? Categories of Funding Opportunities Dear Colleague Letter  provides general information to community, clarifies or amends existing policy or document, or informs community about upcoming opportunities or special competitions for supplements to existing awards Program Description  broad, general descriptions of programs Program Announcement  similar to Program Descriptions Program Solicitation  encourage submission of proposals in specific program areas of interest to NSF  more focused; normally apply for limited period of time  may include additional review criteria and reporting requirements, budgetary and eligibility limits, require letters of intent or pre-proposals, etc.

41 My NSF

42 Proposal Submission - What? Letters of Intent  Only if needed by the program  Intent: to help NSF program staff to gauge size and range of competition  Contents: PI's and co-PI's names, proposed title, list of possible participating organizations, and synopsis  Not externally evaluated or used to decide on funding Preliminary Proposal  Only if needed by the program  Intent: to reduce unnecessary effort in proposal preparation and to increase the overall quality of full submission  Contents: based on the program  Review and decisions: peer review to aid decisions oInvite or Not invite oEncourage or Not encourage Full Proposal  Typical submission to NSF

43 Proposal Submission - When? Published in specific program descriptions, announcements, and solicitations Target dates  dates after which proposals still accepted, but may miss a particular panel Deadline dates  dates after which proposals will not be accepted for review Submission Windows  designated periods of time during which proposals accepted for review Accepted any time  e.g. SGER (Small Grants for Exploratory Research), conference/workshop proposals, supplements

44 Submission and afterwards Submission  Check before you submit  Print out from FastLane to ensure pdf conversion is correct  Work with your Sponsored Projects Office After submission  Acknowledgment and FastLane proposal status page  FastLane Proposal File Update module  Parts of a proposal may be replaced after submission

45 Administrative Review Compliance Check  Print problems, format, page limits, etc.  Return without review  DOES NOT ADDRESS BOTH REVIEW CRITERIA IN PROJECT SUMMARY  inappropriate for funding by NSF  insufficient lead-time before the activity’s start  received after announced proposal deadline date  full proposal submitted when preliminary proposal "not invited"  duplicate of, or substantially similar to, proposal already under consideration by NSF from same submitter  does not meet NSF proposal preparation requirements  not responsive to GPG (Grant Proposal Guide) or program announcement/solicitation  previously reviewed and declined and has not been substantially revised  duplicates another proposal already funded

46 Merit Review Criteria Intellectual merit of proposed activity  Creativity and originality  Advance knowledge and understanding within and across fields  Conceptualization and organization  Qualifications of investigators  Access to resources Broader impacts of proposed activity  Advance discovery while promoting teaching, training, & learning  Broaden participation of underrepresented groups  Enhance infrastructure for research and education  Disseminate results to enhance scientific and technological understanding  Benefits to society  Examples:

47 Scientific Review Mail Reviews (aka ad hoc)  Identifying reviewers:  Reviewer suggestions by the principal investigator (PI)  Program Director’s knowledge of the research area  References listed in proposal  Recent technical programs from professional societies  Recent authors in scientific and engineering journals  Reviewer recommendations Panel Review  Panelists may be asked to provide written reviews  Panelists discuss and rank proposals  Panelists usually write a panel summary

48 Reviewer Conflicts of Interest Remove or limit influence of ties to an applicant institution or investigator that could affect reviewer advice Preserve trust of scientific community, Congress, and general public in integrity, effectiveness, and evenhandedness of NSF’s peer review process

49 Reviewer Conflicts of Interest Affiliations with applicant institutions  Current (e.g. faculty) or other (e.g. consultant) employment at the institution  Being considered for employment or any formal or informal reemployment arrangement at the institution  Any office, governing board membership or relevant committee membership at the institution Relationships with investigator or project director  Known family or marital relationship  Business partner  Past or present thesis advisor or thesis student  Collaboration on a project, book, article, or paper within the last 48 months  Co-edited a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings within the last 24 months

50 Basis for Decisions: Reviews Peer Review  Content of review is more important than the rating  Program Director analyzes reviews for  Fairness  Substance  Technical problems  Reasons for the reviewer concerns or enthusiasm  Program Director sometimes obtains additional reviews or requests comments from PI Panel recommendation

51 Basis for Decisions: A Balanced Portfolio Innovation and Creativity Breadth of research areas Priority areas and systems Demographics and Diversity Broadening participation Institution/State impact - RUI, EPSCoR, etc. Integration of research and education International collaboration PI situation - career point, other support

52 Why do some proposals fail? Absence of innovative ideas or hypothesis  Will provide only an incremental advance  Not exciting or cutting edge Errors  Unclear or incomplete expression of aims  Faulty logic or experimental design  Less than rigorous presentation Unrealistic, sloppy or incomplete Resources and facilities not in place  PI qualifications/expertise not evident  Necessary collaborations not documented

53 Funding and afterwards Funding  Budget and scope negotiations Afterwards  Do what you promised  Notifications & Requests via FastLane  Supplement opportunities  REU - Research Experience for Undergraduates  ROA - Research Opportunity Awards  RET - Research Experience for Teachers  Submit annual and final reports

54 Outline Proposal review process Research proposal preparation A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed, with a clear indication of methods for pursuing the idea, evaluating the findings, making them known to all who need to know, and indicating the broader impacts of the activity.  Getting started  The proposal  Proposal writing tips

55 Step 1: Getting started Idea: There is no substitute!  Have a cutting edge idea Find the right program   Program Directors (phone, email)  Events like this!

56 Develop your brilliant idea Key Questions What do you intend to do? Why is the work important? What has already been done? How are you going to do the work? Make sure it is innovative and exciting  Survey the literature  Talk with others in the field Can you convince people that you can do the project?  Obtain preliminary data  Develop arguments to support feasibility  Determine available facilities and resources  What you have  What collaborators can help with

57 Step 2: Grant Proposal Guide Get it - Read it - Follow it Proposal preparation and submission Submission of collaborative proposals via  Subaward  Separate, yet linked, proposals Small Grants for Exploratory Research Review criteria and process Return without review criteria Withdrawal, declination, and award processes Significant award administration procedures

58 Beyond the GPG What to look for in a program solicitation/announcement/description:  Goal  Special proposal preparation instructions and/or other requirements (e.g., preproposals, letters of intent, etc.)  Deviations from the GPG  Additional review criteria or reporting requirements  Eligibility or budgetary limitations  Deadlines or target dates

59 Parts of a Proposal Cover sheet and certifications Project summary  Both intellectual merit and broader impacts described Table of contents Project description References cited Biographical sketches Budgets and justification Current and pending support Facilities, equipment and other resources Special information/documentation  NO reprints, preprints, letters of endorsement Single Copy Documents  Reviewer suggestions, deviation authority, confidential information, etc.

60 Project Summary Include both review criteria  Proposals that do not separately address both criteria within the one-page Project Summary will be returned without review. Intellectual Merit  Describe the scientific problem and why it is important  State the overall objective of the project  State the specific aims  Describe how the aims will be achieved Broader Impacts  Educational & outreach activities; infrastructure; dissemination of results; underrepresented groups; benefit to society

61 Project Description The key to a strong proposal Overall concept / rationale Hypothesis-driven or Data-driven Execution  Careful  Thorough  Appropriate

62 Project Description Results from prior NSF support (required if applicable) Objectives and expected significance Relation to the PI’s longer term goals Relation to present state of knowledge Experimental methods and procedures Sections optional:  preface, background, preliminary studies, specific objectives, significance, experimental plan

63 Project Description Know your audience Think about the reviewers  Write accurately, concisely, and clearly  Make it easy for reviewers to like your proposal  You never get a second chance to make a first impression  First page tells it all  Figures and tables get your point across clearly  The reviewers may not be an expert in your specific field

64 Biographical Sketch Professional Preparation Appointments Publications  5 closely related  5 other significant publications Synergistic activities Collaborators & other affiliations  Collaborators (last 4 yrs) & co-editors (last 2yrs)  Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors  Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor

65 Budget Budgets should be  reasonable, but ask for what you need  for personnel, equipment, travel, participant support, & other direct costs (subaward, consultant, computer services, publication costs)  for cost of educational activities associated with research, where appropriate Unless solicitation specifies otherwise, do not :  include cost-sharing on Line M in budget  exceed cost-sharing level or amount specified in solicitation Justification

66 Current and Pending Support List everything  current, pending and anticipated Be careful of overlap  Perception of overlap could be detrimental in the review. Dual submissions  when they are allowed

67 Proposal Writing Tips

68 1. Get help with proposal writing Read:  NSF publications  Successful proposals Look before you leap:  Serve as a reviewer or panelist Talk with people:  Program officers  Current or former “rotators”  Successful colleagues  Sponsored projects office

69 2. Start early and don’t be shy Write:  Rewrite and rewrite again Get critiques from:  Mentors and colleagues  Previous members of review panels

70 3. Be reasonable Be aware of the scope:  “Too ambitious” vs. “Too narrow” Be honest and up-front:  Address issues instead of trying to hide them  Acknowledge possible experimental problems and have alternatives

71 4. Make it easy for the reviewers Simplify and streamline:  Make sure you get your overall idea across! Pay attention to details:  Run the spell checker and proof-read  Prepare clear photos, graphs, etc.  Make the font size as big as you can

72 5. If you have to resubmit Stay calm!  Take ten… breaths, hours, days  Examine the criticisms carefully Keep in touch:  Call, email or visit your program director Rapid resubmission does not help!  Take time to self-evaluate the proposal and the project

73 Getting Support in Proposal Writing NSF Publications  Program Solicitations  Grant Proposal Guide  Web Pages  Funded Project Abstracts  Reports, Special Publications Program Directors  Incumbent  Former “Rotators” Mentors on Campus Previous Panelists Serving As A Reviewer Sponsored Research Office Successful Proposals

74 Reorganizations & Initiatives & New Offices

75 Engineering Directorate Engineering Directorate

76 Engineering Reorganization

77 Office of Cyber Infrastructure Acquisition of CI resources for Science Acquisition of general CI Training of future generations of researchers and educators in use of CI FY 2007 Request $187 Million + CI investments of R&RA and Education Directorates

78 CI Programs Petascale Acquisition Mid-scale Acquisition CI Team

79 Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Environments Combines ESIE and REC Three Clusters DRK12 + ITEST + … REESE + ALT ISE + ITEST + … Reflects one of the NSF-wide Initiatives

80 Selected NSF Programs CPATH – CISE Undergraduate Program ALT – Advanced Learning Technologies DRK12 – Discovery Research K-12 SBIR BiotechnologyBiotechnology (BT) ElectronicsElectronics (EL) Emerging OpportunitiesEmerging Opportunities (EO) Information TechnologyInformation Technology (IT)

81 SBIR Review SBIR and STTR Phase 1 – 100K and 150K Phase 2 – 500K Matchmaker Opportunities


83 Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) PURPOSE  Build in security and robustness;  Enable the vision of pervasive computing and bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds by including mobile, wireless and sensor networks;  Enable control and management of other critical infrastructures;  Include ease of operation and usability; and  Enable new classes of societal-level services and applications. The GENI Initiative includes:  A research program; and  A global experimental facility designed to explore new architectures at scale.

84 Major Research Instrumentation Support the acquisition, through purchase, upgrade, or development, of major state-of-the-art instrumentation for research, research training, and integrated research/education activities at organizations; Improve access to and increase use of modern research and research training instrumentation by scientists, engineers, and graduate and undergraduate students; Enable academic departments or cross-departmental units to create well-equipped learning environments that integrate research with education; Foster the development of the next generation of instrumentation for research and research training; Promote partnerships between academic researchers and private sector instrument developers.

85 MRI – Amounts Normally $100,000 to $2,000,000 PUIs – may be less than $100,000 Success rate for PUIs high Success rate for $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 fairly low (e.g. 8-10/year) Check on cost-sharing in upcoming PA

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