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NSF Grant Writing Strategy. John R. Regalbuto Director Catalysis and Biocatalysis Program NSF and Professor Dept. of Chemical Engineering University of Illinois at Chicago. NSF Grant Writing Strategy. James M. Lee Professor School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

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nsf grant writing strategy

NSF Grant Writing Strategy

John R. Regalbuto

Director

Catalysis and Biocatalysis Program

NSF

and

Professor

Dept. of Chemical Engineering

University of Illinois at Chicago

nsf grant writing strategy2

NSF Grant Writing Strategy

James M. Lee

Professor

School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Washington State University

program directors
Program Directors
  • play an important role in the funding decision making process.
  • can be a great help to you.
  • also need your help to achieve their goals.
    • Review process
    • Post-award research accomplishments
how to find about your competitors
How to find about your competitors

Visit NSF web site.

Current grant search

PIs: Who are they?

Title: What are hot areas?

Abstracts: How to focus your research?

Budget: Guide for your budget.

Visit current grantees’ web sites for more details of their research progress.

nsf sources of reviewers or panelists
NSF Sources of Reviewers or Panelists
  • Current or past NSF awardees
  • PIs who submit competitive proposals
  • Technical meeting programs
  • Computer Search
most successful awardees are active reviewers
Most successful awardees are active reviewers.
  • How can you be an active reviewer when you are not an awardee?
    • Submit proposals
    • Volunteer
    • Be a good reviewer or panelist
nsf merit review criteria
NSF Merit Review Criteria
  • What is the intellectual merit and quality of the proposed activity?
  • What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
competitive proposals
Competitive Proposals
  • New ideas in cutting-edge areas with sound scientific rationale
  • Focused project plan – sufficient details
  • Critical approach
  • Realistic amount of work
  • Adequate budget
try to do a perfect job
Try to do a perfect job

without being a perfectionist

  • Follow guidelines
  • Good writing
  • Good looking
  • No mistakes
  • Every details
  • Start early
if your proposal is declined do not take it too personally
If your proposal is declined, do not take it too personally.
  • It is the reviewer’s job to criticize.
  • Even top researchers get criticized, got low ratings, and declined.
  • If the criticisms are wrong, ignore them.
  • Resubmit your proposal after thorough revision.
competitive proposals23
Competitive Proposals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of field
    • ≥ 75 literature citations
  • Demonstrate competence
    • Prior work
    • Letters of support where appropriate
  • Postulate a clear, well defined hypothesis
    • Be as specific as possible
  • Propose a well thought out plan of work
    • Judicious calculations or experiments to test your hypothesis
    • Compelling preliminary data
    • Reasonable scope and budget

Project

description

Intro and

prior work

Hypothesis

and objective

Proposed

work

competitive proposals24
Competitive Proposals
  • Pay attention to broader impacts
    • Technical impact
    • Educational/outreach activities
      • Involvement of underrepresented groups
      • K-12 education programs
      • Broad dissemination of results
  • Work hard on the summary
    • Explicit statement of scientific merit
    • Explicit statement of broader impact
    • Don’t overcrowd or undercrowd

Broader

impacts

Project

summary

pop quiz reviewing exercise
Pop Quiz: Reviewing Exercise!
  • Critique of Project Summaries
    • Is it all in there?
      • Background
      • PI competence
      • Hypothesis
      • Proposed work
      • Compelling data
      • High impact
      • Outreach/education
pop quiz reviewing exercise26
Pop Quiz: Reviewing Exercise!
  • “model” summary:
slide27

background

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

competence

hypothesis

prop’d work

prelim res.

sci. impact

outreach

slide28

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

pop quiz reviewing exercise29
Pop Quiz: Reviewing Exercise!
  • What’s wrong with this picture?
slide30

Project Summary: Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve s method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective elective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synth Thorough prelim Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synth Thorough preliminary inary results are presented and a comprehensive method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

slide31

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

slide33

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

In the current work our approach will be extended to the preparation of bimetallic catalysts. In past studies we have learned that ionic strength, pH, and the oxide point of zero charge are the most important impregnation parameters. We will systematically vary these parameters to optimize the preparation of bimetallic catalysts. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I have firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. Of the 10 REU students who have worked with me so far, 100% are from underrepresented groups (8 are women of which one is African-American, and the other two are Hispanic). The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this has become a feature of our research program. Through an REU supplement we will be able to continue this fine tradition.

slide34

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

With the advent of nanoscience, there have been many attempts in the field of catalysis to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” A number of researchers have proposed a simple electrostatic mechanism in which there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. While this appears to be a promising avenue of preparing catalysts, the work published in the literature today has numerous and critical shortcomings and can be vastly improved with the proper and most modern nanoscientific approaches.

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. A comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts will be directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

On educational and diversity impact, I will firmly integrated the REU programs into the operation of our laboratory. The third research thrust of the proposed work has been formulated specifically for REU students; this work will be relatively easy to undertake, exciting to do, and will get noticed in peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. I will seek from underrepresented. The diversity of Chicago is amply reflected in our student body, and this will become a feature of our research program.

slide35

Project Summary

Simple, Scientific Syntheses of Bimetallic and Mixed Oxide Catalysts

Intellectual Merit

Through the past dozen years of studying the fundamental phenomena that occur during noble metal catalyst impregnation, my research group has striven to “transform the art of catalyst preparation into a science.” With past support from NSF we have been able to describe the uptake of noble metal coordination complexes over many oxides and carbons during impregnation in terms of a simple electrostatic mechanism; our work has been the first to show that there is an optimal pH at which the precursor-surface interaction is strongest, and we have further demonstrated that in many cases the high dispersion of the monolayer-adsorbed complexes is retained during reduction and yields highly dispersed metals. We have termed the method of adsorbing a metal complex at the optimal pH, and reducing to retain high dispersion “strong electrostatic adsorption” (SEA).

Our working hypothesis in the current proposal is that electrostatic control of metal adsorption can be achieved at the nanoscale over surfaces containing two oxide fractions. The SEA method can be extended to provide a simple, scientific, effective method to prepare a wide range of bimetallic catalysts and promoted catalysts using cheap, common precursors. Over promoter/support surfaces, pH will be controlled to achieve selective adsorption of the metal complex onto the promoter and not the support. Bimetallics will be synthesized by adsorbing a second metal complex selectively onto a precursor oxide phase of the first metal and then reducing the intimately contacted metals. Thorough preliminary results are presented and a comprehensive demonstration is planned for both cases.

Broad Impact

Our efforts have always been directed toward getting the most out of common precursors and methods by understanding them better. It is hoped that successful demonstrations of the proposed work will lead to great leaps forward in the understanding and practice of bimetallic and promoted catalyst preparation. The potential scientific impact is extremely broad, affecting all facets of the chemical industry which employ bimetallic and oxide promoted catalysts.

These studies will provide the means to mentor a graduate student through their Ph. D. research. Not only will the student learn in the lab, he or she will present talks at national and international meetings and publish in peer reviewed journals. The results of the research will be brought into the graduate and undergraduate courses I teach in catalysis and will be featured on our website.

competitive proposals36
Competitive Proposals
  • The next window for unsolicited proposals is February 1 - March 1, 2010
  • Good Luck!