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Introduction and NSF Overview September 2006

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

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

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

10 President Submits Budget to Congress Develop Conference Report
NSF Budget Cycle NSF OMB 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 OLPA-8

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

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

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 figures are NSF data on obligations in the Federal Funds survey. March ’06 © 2006 AAAS. OLPA-25

14 NSF Role in Research and Development
Fiscal Year 2002 N I H

15 NSF Support as a Percentage of Total Federal Support of Academic Basic Research
(excluding NIH) Percentage 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 Cover image credit: Eric J. Heller, Harvard University


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

20 NSF Funding by Account NSF FY 2007 Budget

21 R&RA by Directorate NSF FY 2007 Budget

22 EHR by Division NSF FY 2007 Budget

23 MREFC Account NSF FY 2007 Budget

24 NSTC Crosscuts NSF FY 2007 Budget

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 International Polar Year $62 million Credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA Marnie’s notes From KO/Norway speech Iceberg photo for International Polar Year Slide image: Photograph of an iceberg floating in water Iceberg Michael Van Woert, NOAA From NOAA photo library, no permission needed Michael Van Woert, NOAA

27 Science Met Rev Science Metrics $6.8 million

28 Cyberinfrastructure Cyberinfrastructure $597 million
Petascale Computing $50 million 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. Marnie’s notes From KO/Norway speech Iceberg photo for International Polar Year Slide image: Photograph of an iceberg floating in water Credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA Iceberg 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. Credit: NCSA, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and NOAA.

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
Change from FY02 to FY05 FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05 Obligations Incurred (Millions of Dollars) $4,954 $5,579 $5,871 $5,654 14% Organizational Excellence $184 $196 $268 $292 59% FTE 1,239 1,242 1,274 1,279 3% # of Competitive Proposals 35,164 40,075 43,851 41,722 19% # of Competitive Awards 10,406 10,844 10,380 9,757 -7% Aver. Annual Res. Grant Size $115,666 $135,609 $139,637 $143,669 24% Aver. Research Grant Duration (years) - 2.9 2.9 2.9 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 Research proposal preparation
Submission Administrative Review Scientific Review Decisions Research proposal preparation Getting started The proposal Proposal writing tips

36 NSF Proposal & Award Process & Timeline
Returned As Inappropriate/Withdrawn NSF Proposal Generating Document Administrative Review Scientific Review NSF Minimum of 3 Reviews Required Award Via DGA Organization submits via FastLane OR Proposal Processing Unit Program Director Analysis & Recom. Mail Division Director Concur Panel NSF Program Director Both Organization Research & Education Communities Decline Proposal Receipt at NSF DD Concur Award 90 Days 6 Months 30Days Proposal Preparation and Submission DGA Review & Processing of Award Proposal Review and Decisions

37 Life of a Proposal Preparation Submission 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 Scientific Review ad hoc reviews Panel review 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 2 How? Who? To whom? What? When?
Via FastLane ( or ( Who? To whom? Selecting a program What? Basics of Proposal Types When? Target date, deadline and window

39 Proposal Submission - Who?
2 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
2 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
2 My NSF

42 Proposal Submission - What?
2 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 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 Invite or Not invite Encourage or Not encourage Full Proposal Typical submission to NSF

43 Proposal Submission - When?
2 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
2 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
3 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 4 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 4 Mail Reviews (aka ad hoc) Panel Review
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
4 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
4 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
5 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
5 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
5 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 Find the right program
Idea: There is no substitute! Have a cutting edge idea Find the right program Program Directors (phone, ) 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 Intellectual Merit
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: Be honest and up-front:
“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! Keep in touch:
Take ten… breaths, hours, days Examine the criticisms carefully Keep in touch: Call, 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

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 Biotechnology (BT) Electronics (EL) Emerging Opportunities (EO) Information 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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