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  1. Introduction and NSF Overview University of Texas at San Antonio December 12, 2003 Hosted by: Professor Pantic-Tanner

  2. National Science Foundation • Is an Independent Agency of the Federal Government. • Was established in 1950 to promote and advance scientific progress in the United States by sponsoring scientific research and by supporting selected activities in science and engineering. • Does not conduct research itself. NSF-1

  3. NSF’s Vision Enabling the nation’s future through discovery, learningand innovation. NSF-3

  4. SCIENCES Astronomy Atmospheric Sciences Biological Sciences Behavioral Sciences Physical Sciences Computer Science Earth Sciences Materials Research Mathematical Sciences Oceanography Social Sciences etc ENGINEERING Aeronautical Chemical Civil Electrical etc. NSF Considers Proposals for Research In All Fields of Science and Engineering NSF-7

  5. NSF: Special Responsibilities • Polar Programs • U.S. Antarctic Program • Interagency Arctic Research PolicyCommittee • Science Resources Statistics • Data collection and analysis • Science and Engineering Indicators • International Programs NSF-8

  6. National Science Foundation • Supports science, math, engineering, and technological education and training at all levels. • Promotes public understanding of science, engineering, and mathematics. • Ensures a world-class science, engineering, and technology workforce for the U.S. NSF-5

  7. National Science FoundationProposal Statistics • 32,000 proposal actions • 250,000 reviews • 55,000 reviewers • 10,000 awards • 31% funding rate (Fiscal Year 2001) NSF-9

  8. NSF Research Grant Profile • Competitive awards: 9,925 • Average annual award: $113,601 • Median annual award: $84,612 • Average duration: 2.9 years (Fiscal Year 2001) NSF-10

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

  10. What’sHappening... • FY 2002 Budget Emphases • Math & Science Partnership • Increase Graduate Fellowship Stipends • Core Research: Math • Priority Areas: BE, ITR, Nano, Learning for the 21st Century

  11. Additional Priorities for Fiscal 2003 • Mathematical Sciences • Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences

  12. NSF Budget Request By Appropriation Millions of Dollars

  13. Senate FY 2003 Appropriations Bill Millions of Dollars

  14. Biocomplexity in the Environment 58.1 79.2 36.3% Information Technology Research 277.5 285.8 3.0% Nanoscale S&T 198.7 221.3 11.3% Learning for the 21st Century 144.8 184.7 27.5% Mathematical Sciences 30.0 60.1 100% Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences 0.0 10.0 NA Total, Priority Areas 709.1 841.1 18.6% 2003 Priority Areas Millions of Dollars FY 2002 Plan FY 2003 Request Percent Change

  15. Proposal Preparation

  16. Ask Us Early, Ask Us Often!! The Prime Directive

  17. Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) • Provides guidance for preparation of proposals • Specifies process for deviations including: • individual program announcements; and • by written approval of cognizant AD or designee • Describes process -- and criteria --by which proposals will be reviewed http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg

  18. Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) • Describes process for withdrawals, returns, and declinations • Describes the award process and procedures for requesting continued support • Identifies significant grant administrative highlights http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg

  19. What to Look for in a Program Announcement • Goal of program • Eligibility • Special requirements

  20. A Good Proposal A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed, with a clear indication of methods for pursuing the idea, evaluating the findings, and making them known to all who need to know.

  21. Key Questions for the Prospective Investigator • What do you intend to do? • Why is the work important? • What has already been done? • How are you going to do the work?

  22. Budgetary Guidelines • Amounts • Reasonable for work - Realistic • Well Justified - Need established • In-line with program guidelines

  23. Budgetary Guidelines • Eligible costs • Personnel • Equipment • Travel • Other Direct Costs, Subawards • Facilities & Administrative Costs

  24. NSF Publications Program Announcements Grant Proposal Guide Web Pages Funded Project Abstracts Reports, Special Publications Program Officers Incumbent Former “Rotators” Mentors on Campus Previous Panelists Serve As Reviewer Sponsored Research Office Successful Proposals Getting Support in Proposal Writing

  25. The NSF Merit Review Process

  26. NSF Announces Opportunity NSF Proposal & Award Process & Timeline Returned As Inappropriate/Withdrawn GPG P.A. P.S Min. 3 Revs. Req. Award Via DGA N S F Org. submits via: FastLane Mail Prog, Off. Anal. & Recom. Mail NSF Prog. Off. DD Concur Panel Both Organization Research & Education Communities Decline Proposal Receipt at NSF DD Concur Award 90 Days 6 Months 30 Days Proposal Receipt to Division Director Concurrence of Program Officer Recommendation Proposal Preparation Time DGA Review & Processing of Award

  27. NSF Merit Review Criteria • Intellectual Merit Criterion • Broader Impacts Criterion

  28. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? • Potential Considerations: • 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 and original concepts? • How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? • Is there sufficient access to resources?

  29. What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? • Potential Considerations: • How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning? • How well does the activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? • 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?

  30. Role of the Review Panel • Quality Control • Budget Constraints • Balancing Priorities • Taking Risks

  31. Funding Decisions • Feedback to PI • Informal and formal notification • Scope of work and budget discussions

  32. NSF Reconsideration Process • Explanation from Program Officer • Written request for reconsideration to Assistant Director within 90 days of decline • Request from organization to Deputy Director

  33. AlwaysRemember: ContactUs http://www.nsf.gov/