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Elements of an NSF Proposal. Presented by Dr. Joan K. West and Patty Q. Flowers. Registration. In order to submit a proposal to NSF, a PI must be registered with the NSF database. This should be done several days or weeks before the proposal is due.

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Elements of an NSF Proposal

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Elements of an nsf proposal l.jpg

Elements of an NSFProposal

Presented by

Dr. Joan K. West and

Patty Q. Flowers


Registration l.jpg

Registration

  • In order to submit a proposal to NSF, a PI must be registered with the NSF database.

  • This should be done several days or weeks before the proposal is due.

  • Dr. West must enter your registration information. You cannot register yourself.

  • NSF will assign you an ID.

  • It is important that you keep your ID and password accessible.


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General considerations

  • Is your proposal responsive to the RFP?

  • Electronic submission via FastLane or Grants.gov

  • Minimum 1-inch margins all around

  • No more than 6 lines of type per vertical inch

  • Types of Arial, Courier New, or Palantino Linotype 10 points or larger; Times New Roman 11 points or larger


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Required forms

  • Certifications (dealing with lobbying, drug-free workplace, debarment, etc.)

  • Cover sheet

  • Table of content (generated by FastLane)

  • Info about PI and senior personnel


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Project Summary

  • One page summary of activities, suitable for publication (not an abstract)

  • Written in 3rd person

  • Includes a statement of objectives and methods

  • Must address in separate statements: intellectual merit and broader impact


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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(s)?

  • 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?


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Broader impact

  • Does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning?

  • Does the activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups?

  • Will it enhance the infrastructure of research and education (facilities, instrumentation, networks, partnerships)?

  • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?

  • What may be the benefits to society?


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Integrating diversity

  • NSF is committed to the idea of broadening the opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens, women and men, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities

  • You may want to include a plan to recruit such individuals


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Project Description

  • Limited to 15 pages

  • Intellectual merit and broader impact must be integral parts of narrative

  • Postdoc mentoring activities must also be described (if Postdocs are included)

  • Should be self-contained (no URLs)

  • Results from prior NSF support (5 years)

  • HR info for renewals


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Project Description, continued

  • Should include a clear statement of the work and must include:

    • Objectives for the proposed work and expected significance

    • Relation to long-term goals

    • Relation to present state of knowledge in the field, to work in progress under the PI, and to work in progress elsewhere


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Project Description, continued

  • Should include:

    • The broad design of activities

    • Clear descriptions of experimental methods and procedures

    • Plans for preserving, documenting and sharing data samples, physical collections, curriculum materials, and other related research and educational products


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Project Description, continued

  • Should also include:

    • How project will integrate research and education by advancing discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning

    • Ways to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups

    • How project will enhance the infrastructure of research and education

    • How results will be disseminated and benefit society


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Considerations

  • NSF is interested in activities that have potential for national impact or significance

  • NSF is interested in replicable models

  • NSF does not require matching funds but is looking for institutional commitment

  • NSF is looking for sustainability beyond the end of funding

  • How will you disseminate your results?


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What NSF wants to know

  • Reviewers want to know:

    • What is your research objective?

    • How will you accomplish it?

    • Can you do it (you and your facilities)?

    • Is it worth doing?

    • Why is your activity important to the research community?

    • Why is it important to society?


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References cited

  • No page limit

  • Bibliographic citations only

  • Specified format

  • Not a place to include additional parenthetical information


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Biographical sketches

  • Required for all senior personnel

  • Limited to 2 pages per individual

  • Must be provided in order and specified format


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Budget (cumulative and annual)

  • The ORGC MUST be involved in the development of your budget

  • Must comply with BOTH NSF and UT Martin guidelines

  • FastLane and Grants.gov have required budget forms

  • Narrative is limited to 3 pages


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Budget, continued

  • NSF regards research as one of the normal functions of faculty members at IHEs

  • NSF limits salary compensation to no more than 2 months of the regular salary for one year (this includes salary from all NSF funds)

  • Time and effort must be documented


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Budget, continued

  • Administrative and clerical wages are considered part of indirect costs

  • These may be requested as a direct cost only when an extensive amount of administrative and clerical support is required and it can be readily and specifically identified with a high degree of accuracy

  • We have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate


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Current and Pending Support

  • Required for all senior personnel


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Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

  • Descriptions of the facilities, resources, and equipment already in place that you plan to utilize


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Special Information and Supplementary Documentation

  • There are very specific guidelines for what may be included and these may vary according to the RFP


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More information

  • The NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide is available online at www.nsf.gov

  • The ORGC is eager to assist you in preparing your proposal

  • The ORGC must be involved in the development of the budget for any proposal

  • Please contact our office early in your proposal development


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