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National Science Foundation & Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Celeste M. Rohlfing Head, Office of Multidisciplinary Activities

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Presentation on theme: "National Science Foundation & Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Celeste M. Rohlfing Head, Office of Multidisciplinary Activities"— Presentation transcript:

1 National Science Foundation & Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Celeste M. Rohlfing Head, Office of Multidisciplinary Activities

2 NSF Vision To enable America’s future through discovery, learning and innovation NSF Mission Promote the progress of science; Advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; Secure the national defense.

3 Independent agency Supports basic research and education Uses grant mechanism in two forms Unsolicited: curiosity-driven Solicited: more focused Review criteria: intellectual merit & broader impact No intramural laboratories Supports large facilities Discipline-based structure Supports all fields of science & engineering Cross-disciplinary mechanisms (e.g., nanotechnology, cyber-enabled discovery & innovation, climate) NSF in a Nutshell

4 Source: AAAS analyses of R&D in AAAS Reports I-XXXI. FY 2007 figures are President’s request. Basic research only. March ’06 © 2006 AAAS. Billions of constant FY 2006 dollars Trends in Basic Research by Agency: FY


6 FY 2010 NSF Budget Request FY 2010 Request Change over FY 2009 Research & Related Activities$5,733.24$ % Education & Human Resources % MREFC % Agency Operations & Award Management % National Science Board % Office of Inspector General % Total, National Science Foundation$7, %



9 Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Assistant Director Division of Chemistry Division of Chemistry Division of Materials Research Division of Materials Research Division of Mathematical Sciences Division of Mathematical Sciences Division of Physics Division of Physics Division of Astronomical Sciences Office of Multidisciplinary Activities In FY2008, MPS provided 44% of federal funding for basic research at academic institutions in the mathematical & physical sciences, ranging from 34% for physics to 60% for mathematical sciences

10 5 Main Features of MPS Largest directorate Supports over 8,000 university-based PIs, 2,200 post-docs, and nearly 14,000 students Broad portfolio from individual PI grants, to centers/institutes, to over a dozen major facilities Spectrum of research from fundamental discoveries to marketable technologies Strong international ties throughout programs

11 MPS Funding Modality in FY 2009

12 Number of People Involved in MPS Activities FY 2007FY 2008FY 2009 Estimate Senior Researchers8,2128,3259,900 Other Professionals2,0002,0252,400 Post-Doctorates2,1712,2002,600 Graduate Students7,7207,8009,300 Undergraduate Students6,0916,1507,300 K - 12 Students K - 12 Teachers Total Number of People27,28727,61032,800 MPS spends at least $300 million annually on Graduate and Postdoctoral training!


14 Future MPS Facilities Facilities under Construction:  ALMA: Atacama Large Millimeter Array, site construction  IceCube: neutrino telescope, operations initiated  Advanced LIGO: construction began FY 2008  LHC: Large Hadron Collider, operations initiated Design and Development: DUSEL: R&D GSMT: R&D LSST: R&D ATST: in “readiness” stage 4 th Generation Coherent Light Source

15 Astronomical Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Grants –Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology –Galactic Astronomy –Planetary Astronomy –Stellar Astronomy and Astrophysics Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation University Radio Observatories Program for Research and Education with Small Telescopes Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships Education and Special Programs

16 Division of Chemistry Mission To support innovative research in chemical sciences, integrated with education, through strategic investment in a globally engaged workforce reflecting the diversity of America Topic areas –Chemical Synthesis –Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms –Chemical Measurement and Imaging –Theory, Models and Computational Methods –Environmental Chemical Sciences –Chemistry of Life Processes –Chemical Catalysis –Macromolecular/Supramolecular/Nanochemistry Other Instrumentation, centers, REU, ACC Fellows Creating molecules and instruments that are transforming the 21st century

17 Solid-State & Materials Chemistry Condensed Matter Physics Polymers Metallic Materials and Nanostructures Ceramics Electronic and Photonic Materials National Facilities and Instrumentation Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Condensed Matter & Materials Theory Special Programs Division of Materials Research Biomaterials Experimental, may include Theory Experimental and/or Theory >90% Theory

18 Division of Mathematical Sciences “Core business”: single investigator & group proposals through targeted solicitations - Covers the entire mathematical spectrum Institutes: - Visitors to long-term programs, workshops Workforce: - Training grants - Postdoctoral fellowships - Research for undergraduates Advancing the Frontier 74% Workforce 16% Institutes/ Centers 10%

19 Division of Physics Facilities: LHC, LIGO, IceCube, NSCL Programs: Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Plasma Physics Biological Physics Elementary Particle Physics Gravitational Physics Nuclear Physics Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics Physics at the Information Frontier Physics Frontiers Centers Theoretical Physics Education and Interdisciplinary Programs Facilities/ Instrumentation 35% Advancing the Frontier 58% Centers/ Institutes 4% Education/ Workforce 3%

20 Writing Competitive Proposals Sign up for NSF newsletters Contact the program officer(s) to discuss your project, and learn of relevant, current opportunities Be familiar with projects that have succeeded – search award abstracts at Know and follow the current Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) - it changes at least annually Know the audience for your proposal’s review - it is a competition

21 Writing Competitive Proposals Explicitly address Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact in both the Project Summary and Project Description Match and justify the budget to the scope of the proposed work – ask for what you need! Special programs/consideration exist for Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), e.g., RUI and ROA

22 Reasons For Funding A Competitive Proposal Special Programmatic Considerations (CAREER/RUI/EPSCoR) Broadening Participation Educational Impact Impact on Institution/State Likely High Impact PI Career Point (“established” or “young”) “Launching” versus “Maintaining” Areas Place in Program Portfolio Other Support for PI

23 Merit Review Criteria Intellectual Merit How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

24 Merit Review Criteria Broader Impact How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

25 Supporting Multidisciplinary Research: Solicitation Mechanism NSF –STC (not targeted) –CDI –Climate (*expected FY10) MPS (targeted topics) –SOLAR (CHE, DMR, DMS) –Complexity (DMS, ENG) –Cultural Heritage (CHE, DMR) (*expected FY10)

26 Supporting Multidisciplinary Research: MPS Divisional Mechanisms Institutes & Centers (solicited) –DMS, CHE, DMR, PHY Focused Research Groups (unsolicited) –DMS, DMR, CHE Cross Review –Joint panels, joint program officers

27  International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)  East Asia Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI)  Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Projects (DDEP)  International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP)  Pan American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) OISE Programs National Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering

28 Partnerships for International Research & Education (PIRE)  Research excellence through international collaboration  Development of a diverse, globally engaged US science and engineering workforce  Strengthened international engagement by U.S. institutions  Five year awards, no budget ceiling  PIRE budget FY10-14: $40,000,000

29 Planning Visits:  Supports travel by small teams of U.S. researchers to plan a new collaboration, up to $20,000 Planning Workshops:  Co-organized by U.S and foreign investigator to identify areas of joint research interest and to develop new collaborations, up to $60,000 Intended Outcomes:  Proposals to NSF Research Directorate with strong international collaboration National Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering

30 Thank You!

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