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Applying to the National Science Foundation. OSP Awareness Oct 2010 , NSF’s Mission. To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense. Annual budget: $7 billion (FY10 request).

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applying to the national science foundation

Applying to the National Science Foundation

OSP Awareness

Oct 2010,

nsf s mission
NSF’s Mission
  • To promote the progress of science;
  • to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare;
  • and to secure the national defense.
  • Annual budget: $7 billion (FY10 request)
nsf organization
NSF organization..…

Supports all fields of fundamental science & engineering (except medical (bioengineering okay))

  • Directorates

Biosciences; Computer & Information Science & Engineering; Education & Human Resources; Engineering; Geosciences; Math & Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

  • Offices

Cyberinfrastructure; Integrative Activities; International Science & Engineering; Polar Programs

programs opportunities
Programs & Opportunities
  • Dear Colleague Letter
  • Program Description
  • Program Announcement
  • Program Solicitation
types of submissions currently all thru fastlane
Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID)

EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)

Facilitation awards for sci. & eng /c disabilities

Supplemental requests (REUs, RETs)

Collaborative proposals


Conferences, Symposia & Workshops

International Travel

Doctoral Dissertation

Types of Submissions- currently all thru FASTLANE -
  • Letter of Intent
  • Preliminary Proposal
  • Full Proposal
  • Variations on the theme:
submission deadlines
Submission “Deadlines”
  • Target Dates – “soft”
  • Deadline Dates – “hard” (5:00 p.m. local)
  • Submission windows – time frame; end date “hard” (5:00 p.m. local)
nsf proposals convey
NSF Proposals Convey
  • 1) the project’s objectives and significance to science, engineering or education;
      • It’s a great idea that’s important to NSF Project Description, Summary
  • 2) the suitability of the methods proposed;
      • The approach used is the best path to take; work is feasible and risks are reasonable relative to benefits. Project Description
nsf proposals convey cont d
NSF Proposals Convey cont’d
  • 3) The qualifications of the investigator, project team and grantee organization to perform the proposed work;
      • The investigator and the team possess the necessary expertise to assure project success. Biosketches
      • All necessary resources and facilities are available to assure project success. Facilities, Equipment, & Other Resources
nsf proposals convey cont d1
NSF Proposals Convey cont’d
  • 4) the impact of the activity on the infrastructure of science, engineering and education; and
      • Broader impacts may include enabling the next generation of scientists, engineers & educators. Project Description
  • 5) the cost of the project.
      • There’s value for the investment; the cost is “in line” with similar projects. Budget & Justification
review criteria
Review Criteria
  • What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
  • What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
  • Panel, mail review, combination
intellectual merit
Intellectual Merit
  • Significance & impact - Importance to advancing knowledge and understanding within and across fields
  • Significance & innovation - Suggest and explore creative & original concepts?
  • Approach – Conception & organization of the activity?
  • Qualifications – Qualifications of PI/team (prior work)
  • Capability - Access to resources?
broader impacts
Broader Impacts
  • Is discovery & understanding advanced while teaching, training, and learning is promoted?
  • Broaden the participation of underrepresented groups
  • Enhance the infrastructure for research and education, e.g., facilities, instrumentation, networks and partnerships
  • Broad dissemination of results to enhance scientific and technology understanding
  • How will society benefit?

in addition
In addition…
  • NSF staff consider…
  • Integration of research and education
    • … efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.
  • Integrating diversity into NSF programs, projects & activities
what s new in 2011
What’s new in 2011?
  • Data management plan and sharing award products – Supplemental Doc. May include:
    • What’s produced: the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials;
    • Standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
what s new in 2011 dmp con t
What’s new in 2011? – DMPcon’t
  • Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.
    • Include costs for DMP in budget!
what s new in 2011 cont d
What’s new in 2011? Cont’d
  • No cost sharing.
    • No voluntary committed effort.
  • Cover page:
    • Performing/Research Organization changing to Project/Performance Site Primary Location information.
      • Why? To comply with FFATA
what s continuing from 2010
What’s continuing from 2010
  • Responsible conduct of research
    • All undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs compensated by NSF must complete:
      • CITIRCR training (all groups)
      • Face-to-face or other approved training (Graduate students / postdocs)
possible outline gpg
Possible Outline (GPG)

NOTE: Program solicitations may specify organization and content; these guidelines should be followed.

  • Introduction to project and it’s purpose (Introduce objectives in first page or two)
  • Context in which project fits
    • State of Knowledge – what is known, what’s not
    • Preliminary/foundational data
    • Significance of Project… So what?
  • Project Objectives– brief list of what you will do & their significance
possible outline cont d
Possible Outline cont’d
  • Approach/Experimental Design/Methods
    • What will you do, how will you analyze and interpret data and results?
    • How do you know your methods work? (What does “success look like? Controls? Evaluation process?)
    • What challenges might you encounter and how will you work around them?
    • Dissemination plan (including Data Management Plan)
    • Time line/project management
  • Broader Impacts & integration of research & education
  • Prior NSF results
getting started
Getting Started
  • Review Directorate/program’s web site
  • Review announcement or solicitation carefully
  • Review what’s been funded in the past
  • Contact Program manager EARLY
    • You want to do what… might they be interested? Would there be other programs interested?
  • Start early (2 weeks before the deadline not recommended…)
  • Write for the reviewers
    • Ask program manager how reviewed? Panel, mail, both?
    • Make proposal a delight to read!
    • Use meaningful/informative headers
    • Don’t use full justification
    • White space helps!!
Writing ….
  • Have others review your narrative
    • Clear? Are review criteria addressed?
    • Any obvious holes to be filled?
    • Broader impacts meaningfully addressed?
    • Scientific experts and “generalist experts”.
  • Write project summary last.
    • Two separate sections  Int. Merit & Broader Imp.
fastlane and other issues
Fastlane and other issues
    • Register…
    • OSP can reset passwords if you’ve forgotten yours.
  • Formatting – Must follow GPG unless solicitation says otherwise…
    • OSP does get proposals returned for non-compliance
      • Biosketches, font too small, publications non-compliance, collaborators not complete
      • Project summary in first person, intellectual merit / broader impacts not separately presented.
  • is coming…(yeh – right).
osp resources
OSP resources…

**NSF proposal checklist ( / forms)

  • Amy Deppa (e- apps)
  • Amy Graves (CAS)
  • Meghan MacBlane (iSchool)
  • Caroline McMullin (Maxwell, SoE)
  • Stuart Taub (LCSmith)
  • Trish Lowney (narratives)