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Improving Research Competitiveness for NSF Funding Opportunities: Computer & Information Science Engineering (CISE) and Related Areas. City University of New York (CUNY) February 1, 2007. Dr. Melvyn Ciment CS Cubed Group, LLC Founder, Managing Member

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Improving Research Competitiveness for NSF Funding Opportunities: Computer & Information Science Engineering (CISE) and Related Areas

City University of New York (CUNY)

February 1, 2007

Dr. Melvyn Ciment

CS Cubed Group, LLC

Founder, Managing Member

Tel: 301-622-5984

Computer - Computational - CommunicationsScience - Strategy - Success

my background
My Background
  • Courant Institute, NYU, PhD, Applied Mathematics
  • Taught, conducted research at NYU, University of Michigan
  • Government research scientist Navy, NBS/NIST
  • Senate Commerce Science & Transportation Committee, Fellow
  • NSF Program Director: Applied/Computational Mathematics
  • NSF Senior Management: Advanced Scientific Computing
  • NSF High Performance Computing Coordinator
  • Deputy Assistant Director, CISE
  • Early retirement  second career
  • PI/ASCEND, NSF Project to Improve Research Competitiveness in the EPSCoR states
  • Consultant: The Implementation Group, Inc.
  • Consultant: CS Cubed Group, LLC
outline of talk
Outline of Talk
  • Improving Research Competitiveness
  • Overview of Specific NSF Funding Opportunities
    • Computer & Information Science Engineering (CISE)
    • Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI)
    • CISE Cross-Cutting Programs
    • Select NSF-wide Programs: Cross-cutting with CISE
improving research competitiveness
Improving Research Competitiveness
  • Read NSF Program Announcements Very Carefully for Content
    • Throw away “fluff” that justifies the program - concentrate on deliverables
    • Try to talk and meet with Program Directors to better understand program priorities and community/reviewer biases
  • Don’t be ashamed to ask for help!
    • Approach colleagues, well-known researchers, writers, editors ...
  • Involve consultants/ disciplinary experts early to help inform and focus process
  • NSF has actually funded “Technical Assistance” (consulting) to Institutions and PIs competing for “Large-Scale” funding
    • EPSCoR Foundation: ASCEND/CDI
  • Read Paul G. Chapin’s book
    • Research projects and Research Proposals: A Guide for Scientists Seeking Funding, Cambridge University Press, 2004
    • Technical Assistance Writing Proposals
getting started
Getting Started
  • Develop White Paper and circulate
  • Draft Proposal and circulate
  • Bear in Mind: Implications of NSF Panel Review
    • Lots of smart people trying to show how much they know about a subject that is mostly foreign to them.
    • Make Summary and Introduction generally understandable
    • Don’t give them any excuse to decline your proposal!
  • Writing Actual Proposal -- Spend lots of time on:
    • Technical content – write for an expert, but remember panelists may not really qualify so don’t over do it!
    • Follow structure and layout guidelines from NSF program announcement
      • If they ask for a major component on “education and outreach” then title a section “Education and Outreach”
    • Clarity, conciseness and grammar
    • Title appropriately, Executive Summary
    • Project Schematic; GANTT chart, Figures, Tables, Font size, …
computer information science engineering cise
Computer & Information Science Engineering (CISE)
  • CISE is organized into three divisions
    • Each organized into a small number of clusters.
  • Divisions:
    • Computing & Communication Foundations (CCF)
    • Computer & Network Systems (CNS)
    • Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)  
  • CISE Cross-Cutting Programs (Examples)
    • Advanced Learning Technologies (ALT)
    • Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Program
    • CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH)
    • CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI)
  • Select NSF-wide Programs: Cross-Cutting with CISE (Examples)
    • CAREER
    • MRI
    • PIRE
div computing communication foundations ccf
Div. Computing & Communication Foundations (CCF)
  • Each Cluster has its own solicitation
    • Theoretical Foundations Cluster
      • Theoretical Foundations 2007
      • (TF07) Program Solicitation NSF 07-525
    • Foundations of Computing Processes & Artifacts Cluster
      • Foundations of Computing Processes and Artifacts
      • Program Solicitation: NSF 06-585
    • Emerging Models & Technologies for Computation Cluster
      • Emerging Models and Technologies for Computation (EMT) Program Solicitation NSF 07-523
div computer network systems cns
Div. Computer & Network Systems (CNS)
  • Each Cluster has its own solicitation
    • Computer Systems Cluster
      • Computer Systems Research
    • Computing Research Infrastructure Cluster
      • CISE Computing Research Infrastructure
    • Network Systems Cluster
      • Networking Technology and Systems
div information and intelligent systems iis
Div. Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
  • Each Cluster has its own solicitation
    • Human-Centered Computing Cluster
    • Information Integration and Informatics Cluster
    • Robust Intelligence Cluster
cise cross cutting programs selected
CISE Cross-Cutting Programs: Selected
  • Advanced Learning Technologies (ALT)
  • Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Program
  • CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH)
  • CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI)
advanced learning technologies alt
Advanced Learning Technologies (ALT)
  • Program Solicitation NSF 06-535: Deadline(s) April 25, 2007; April 25, 2008
  • Synopsis: .. CISE and EHR Directorates of NSF support research that (1) enables radical improvements in learning through innovative computer and information technologies, and (2) advances research in computer science, information technology, learning, and cognitive science through the unique challenges posed by learning environments and learning technology platforms. Integrative research approaches that build across disciplines and establish tight linkages among theory, experiment, and design are strongly encouraged. Technology goalsmay include systems for tutoring or assessment, modeling and sensing of cognitive or emotional states, context awareness, natural language interfaces, collaboration, knowledge management, and non-traditional goals that redefine the roles of technology in learning. Educational foci for ALT projects must include an area of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), or general cross-cutting skills directly relevant to STEM.
  • Budgets: … most projects ~$100K- $200K/yr over 3 years.
    • Estimated number of awards 6 to 10 standard or continuing grants.
    • Anticipated funding $2,800,000
broadening participation in computing bpc program
Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Program
  • Solicitation NSF 06-540; Full Proposal Deadline:May 16, 2007
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 20
  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $14,000,000 in FY2007.
  • Synopsis: : … aims to significantly increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving post secondary degrees in the computing disciplines. Initially, its emphasis will be on students from communities with longstanding underrepresentation in computing: women, persons with disabilities, and minorities…. The BPC program seeks to engage the computing community in developing and implementing innovative methods to improve recruitment and retention of these students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Because the lack of role models in the professoriate can be a barrier to participation, the BPC program also aims to develop effective strategies for identifying and supporting members of the targeted groups who want to pursue academic careers in computing. … it is expected that the resulting types of interventions will improve research and education opportunities for all students in computing.
three components of bpc program
Three Components of BPC program:
  • Alliances.Broad Alliances of institutions and organizations … in the computing disciplines … will join academic institutions of higher learning with secondary (and possibly middle) schools, government, industry, professional societies, and other not-for-profit organizations. In most cases, Alliances will involve multiple academic institutions of higher learning. Together, the participants will (1) develop and implement interventions that support students, (2) create sustainable changes in culture and practices at the institutional, departmental, and organizational levels, and (3) serve as models and repositories for effective practices to broaden participation. The emphasis will be on activities that have significant impact both in the quality of opportunities afforded to students and in the number of students potentially served. While the focus is on implementations, an Alliance may include complementary research that informs the design of its activities. The leveraging of existing efforts both across and within the targeted communities is strongly encouraged.
  • Demonstration Projects (DPs) …are smaller in scope and narrower in focus than Alliance projects. Typically DPs will be pilots of innovative programs that, once fully developed, could be incorporated into the activities of an Alliance. Projects might, for example, be proposed by a single institution or might focus on a specific underrepresented community, a specific point in the academic pipeline, or on a specific impediment to full participation in computing. ….
  • Supplements. … to existing CISE grants … to engage more members of the computing research community ….
cise pathways to revitalized undergraduate computing education cpath
CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH)
  • Program Solicitation NSF 06-608; Deadline; January 23, 2007
  • Synopsis: .. . to transform undergraduate computing educationon a national scale, .. The CPATH vision is of a U.S. workforce with the computing competencies and skills imperative to the Nation’s health, security and prosperity in the 21st century. …. leadership in computing in a wide range of application domains and career fields, and a broader professional workforce with knowledge and understanding of critical computing concepts, methodologies and techniques.
  • To achieve this vision, CISE is calling forcolleges and universities to work together, and with other stakeholders in undergraduate computing education including industry, professional societies and other types of organizations,to formulate and implement plans to revitalize undergraduate computing education in the United States.The full engagement of faculty and other individuals in CISE disciplines will be critical to success. Common challenges - such as fluctuating enrollments in traditional computer science programs, changes and trends in workforce demographics, the imperativeto integrate fast-paced computing innovations into the curriculum, and the need to integrate computing concepts and methodologies into the undergraduate curriculum at large – must be identified, and goals and strategies developed to address them.
successful cpath projects
Successful CPATH Projects
  • … will be systemic in nature, address a broad range of issues, and have significant potential to contribute to the transformation and revitalization of undergraduate computing education on a national scale.
  • CPATH will support four types of projects:
    • Community Building (CB) Grants;
    • Evaluation, Adoption, and Extension (EAE) Grants;
    • Transformation (T) Grants; and
    • CISE Distinguished Education Fellow (CDEF) Grants.
cise computing research infrastructure cri not mri
CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI) - Not MRI
  • Program Solicitation NSF 06-597; Proposal Deadline 1st Tuesday August, Annually
  • Synopsis: supports the acquisition, development, enhancement, and operation of research infrastructure that enables discovery, learning, and innovation in all computing fields supported by CISE.  Supported infrastructure includes instrumentation needed by research or research and education projects, major experimental facilities for an entire department or for multi-institutional projects, and testbeds or data archives for an entire subfield of CISE researchers.
  • The CRI program aims at providing infrastructure that enables high-quality computing research and education and extending the set of individuals and departments that are able to conduct such activities. The CRI program is committed to maintaining a broad portfolio that supports research and education across a diverse population and lessens the digital divide. The program encourages proposals that are from or that include minority-serving institutions.
  • The CRI program is designed to complement the funding available in CISE research programs: Infrastructure Acquisition/Development awards support infrastructure that is used for the proposing team's research; and, Community Resource Development awards support the development of resources that serve broad research communities.
  • The CRI program will support a variety of infrastructure needs, such as general or specialized research equipment, technical support, and/or software. CRI will also support the development of infrastructure that can be used by others, such as data archives or libraries of software tools. The infrastructure must facilitate high-quality research and related education, and cannot be acquired or developed without funding resources beyond those available from individual research and education grants and the host institution.
cise computing research infrastructure cri three kinds of awards
CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI)- Three Kinds of Awards.
  • Infrastructure Acquisition/Development. $50,000 and up to $2,000,000.
  • Community Resource Development. $300,000 to $2,000,000.  … create a resource for an entire CISE research community, such as a testbed for evaluating research results or a large data resource for use by a research community
  • Planning. These awards facilitate the preparation of a proposal for a medium or large Infrastructure Acquisition/Development or Community Resource Development grant. They have budgets up to $50,000 for one institution or up to $100,000 if more than one institution is involved.
  • The program supports projects in four size categories: 
    • large projects have budget requests from $800,000 and  up to $2,000,000;
    • medium projects have budget requests from $300,000 and up to $799,999;
    • small projects have budgets from $50,000 and up to $299,999;
    • Planning proposals may request budgets up to $50,000 for one institution or $100,000 for two or more institutions.  Project sizes affect page limits, review processes, and eligibility.
  • The CRI program replaces and expands upon three previous CISE programs: Minority Institutional Infrastructure (MII), Research Infrastructure (RI), and Research Resources (RR). The most significant changes from the former programs are that CRI will support Community Resource Development grants in addition to Infrastructure Acquisition/Development grants.
nsf office of cyberinfrastructure
NSF: Office of Cyberinfrastructure
  • Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure   (SDCI) NSF 07-503
  • Full Proposal Deadline (s) January 22, 2007
  • Synopsis of Program:
    • The purpose of the Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program  is to develop, deploy, and sustain a set of reusable and expandable software components and systems that benefit a broad set of science and engineering applications.  SDCI is a continuation of the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) in an expanded context appropriate to the current expanded vision of cyberinfrastructure.
    • This program supports software development across three major sectors: system software and tools for High Performance Computing (HPC) environments; software promoting NSF's strategic vision for digital data; and software in the form of middleware capabilities and services to support distributed resource sharing and virtual organizations. SDCI funds software activities for enhancing scientific productivity and for facilitating research and education collaborations through sharing of data, instruments, and computing and storage resources. The program requires open source software development.
  • Estimated Number of Awards:    10 to  20  
  • Anticipated Funding Amount:   $14,000,000   in FY 2007
select nsf wide programs cross cutting with cise
Select NSF-wide Programs:Cross-cutting with CISE
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
  • Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
  • Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
nsf wide faculty early career development career program
NSF-wide: Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
  • Program Solicitation NSF 05-579
    • Full Proposal Deadlines: 2007 ; July 17: BIO, CISE, HER; July 18: ENG; July 19: GEO, MPS, SBE, OPP
  • Synopsis of Program: NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who mosteffectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. … from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.
  • Award Information:
    • Duration.  5 years.
    • Amount: The minimum CAREER award, including indirect costs, will total $400,000 for the 5-year duration with the following exception. Proposers to the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) must submit budget requests for a minimum of $500,000 for the 5-year duration. 
major research instrumentation program mri
Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
  • Program Solicitation NSF 07-510
  • Full Proposal Deadline 4th Thursday in January, annually
  • Synopsis of Program: MRI is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in our Nation's organizations of higher education, research museums and non-profit research organizations. This program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, and to foster the integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments.  The MRI program encourages the development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use and in concert with private sector partners. 
  • The MRI program assists in the acquisition or development of majorresearch instrumentation by organizations that is, in general, too costly for support through other NSF programs. Proposals may be for a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus.
  • Awards: .. will range from $100,000 to $2 million.
    • Proposals requesting less than $100,000 will be considered only from non-Ph.D. granting organizations or from the disciplines of mathematical science or social, behavioral, and economic science at any eligible organization.
partnerships for international research and education pire
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
  • Program Solicitation: NSF 06-589
    • Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required): October 30, 2006; Full Proposal Deadline(s) February 28, 2007 BY INVITATION ONLY
  • Synopsis of Program: .. establishing innovative models for international collaborativeresearch and education. … The program supports forward-looking research whose successful outcome results from all partners – U.S. and foreign – providing unique contributions to the research endeavor. It is also intended to facilitate greater student preparation for and participation in international research collaboration, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce.
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 14 to 17  
    • Anticipated Funding Amount: $7,000,000  per year for five years
backup slides technical assistance otherwise called consulting
Backup Slides: “Technical Assistance”Otherwise called “consulting”
  • An NSF Model for providing technical assistance to PIs and organizations competing for large-scale support from NSF.
  • Created to serve the EPSCoR states
  • Proof of concept that consulting assistance improves research competitiveness
epscor centers development initiative cdi
EPSCoR Centers Development Initiative (CDI)
  • CDI, funded by NSF, initiative aimed at increasing the participation of EPSCoR researchers in NSF’s centers and other large-scale programs.
  • CDI provided direct technical assistance to university research teams competing for NSF centers and other large-scale NSF projects.
  • Results:
    • In 4½ years, CDI helped university research teams from EPSCoR states compete successfully for 20 NSF centers or large-scale projects, representing over $140 million in NSF funding.
  • In addition, CDI organized 15 centers development workshops, hosted an informative website, and conducted outreach activities.
  • Results:
    • Workshops attracted over 500 participants from over 60 universities across all EPSCoR jurisdictions and included participation from approximately 50 NSF program managers and 60 outside experts.
  • A network of over 100 nationally-recognized science, engineering, and education discipline experts was developed and provided assistance to EPSCoR researchers.
selected nsf centers and large scale programs
Science and Technology Centers (STC)

Engineering Research Centers (ERC)

Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers (MRSEC)

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC)

Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams (NIRT)

Integrated Graduate Education & Research Traineeships (IGERT)

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC)

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST)

Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)

Information Technology Research (ITR)

Cyber Trust

Research in Networking Technology & Systems (NeTS)

Computer Systems Research (CSR)

Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI)

Plant Genome Research (PGR)

Biological Databases & Informatics (BDI)

Frontiers in Integrative Biology (FIBR)

Assembling the Tree of Life (ATOL)

Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE)

2010 Project: Arabidopsis thaliana

Microbial Genome Sequencing Program

Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)

Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research (CLEANER)

Center for Synthesis in Biological Evolution (CSBE)

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)

Math & Science Partnership (MSP)

Science of Learning Centers (SLC)

Centers for Learning &Teaching (CLT)


Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12)

Selected NSF Centers and Large-Scale Programs
introducing ascend
Introducing ASCEND
  • ASCEND: Assistance Strategies for Centers Development
  • Two-year, NSF-funded project
  • Builds off the success of the EPSCoR Centers Development Initiative (CDI)
    • 2001-2006; NSF-funded project
    • Worked with researchers and research teams from EPSCoR universities to help them better compete for NSF centers and other large-scale research and education projects
    • Maintained a portfolio of consulting and direct technical assistance and centers development workshops
ascend team

ASCEND Senior Associates

Edwin Abbot (MSU) MPS

Mel Ciment (EIF) CISE/CI

Dan Edie (CU) ENG

Phillip Harriman BIO/GEO