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National Science Foundation Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) Programs & Activities. Dr. Joan M. Frye Senior Staff Associate 703-292-8040

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National Science Foundation Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) Programs & Activities

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national science foundation office of integrative activities oia programs activities

National Science FoundationOffice of Integrative Activities (OIA) Programs & Activities

Dr. Joan M. Frye

Senior Staff Associate



"The Office of Integrative Activities has a key role in working across organizational boundaries as well as providing policy support to the Director's Office. Developing effective ways to transcend traditional boundaries, and bring very different scientific cultures together for the benefit of science and society, without compromising excellence, is a critically important challenge for the Foundation."

- NSF Director Arden Bement (December, 2007)

oia programs
OIA Programs
  • Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships (STC)
  • Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
  • Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
  • Cyber-Enabled Discovery & Innovation (CDI)
stc vision
STC Vision

The STC Program supports innovation in the integrative conduct of research, education and knowledge transfer through partnerships.

Dr. Joan M. Frye

stc history
STC History
  • First Competition - 1987
  • Currently - 17 STCs operational
  • NSB approved STC Program for competitions every 2-3 years
  • 2008/2009 competition for $25M currently underway
stc objectives
STC Objectives
  • Support research & education of the highest quality;
  • Exploit opportunities in science, engineering & technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the advantages of scope, scale, flexibility, duration, equipment & facilities that a Center can provide;
  • Support innovative frontier investigations at the interfaces of disciplines, and/or investigations that will lead to fresh approaches within disciplines;
  • Engage the Nation's intellectual talent, including underrepresented groups, in the conduct of research & education activities;
stc objectives1
STC Objectives
  • Promote organizational connections & linkages within & between campuses, schools and/or the world beyond, capitalizing upon cyberinfra-structure to facilitate linkages;
  • Focus on integrative learning & discovery and the preparation of U.S. students for a broad set of career paths; and
  • Foster science & engineering in service to society especially with respect to new research areas, promising new instrumentation & potential new technologies.
stc evaluation criteria
STC Evaluation Criteria
  • NSB-approved merit review criteria
    • Intellectual merit of the proposal activity
    • Broader impacts of the proposed activities, including
      • Integration of Research and Education
      • Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
  • Program-specific criteria
    • Value-added of funding the activity as a Center
    • Proposed Leadership and Management Plan
    • Integrative nature of the Proposed Center


Profiles in Team Science: http:/


Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)

Randy Phelps, Ph.D.Staff

mri purpose
MRI: Purpose
  • Increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in U.S. academic institutions.
  • 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.
  • Encourage the development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared use across academic departments, among research institutions, and in concert with private sector partners.
mri overview
MRI Overview
  • Instrumentation Acquisition or Development
  • Two proposals for acquisition or development; a third for development. Award size--$100,000 to $4 Million
    • exceptions for non-Ph.D. granting institutions or for mathematical and social, behavioral and economic sciences
  • Cost sharing--None required for non-Ph.D. granting institutions; otherwise 30%
  • Deadline for proposal submission: 4th Thursday in January
mri eligible institutions
MRI: Eligible Institutions
  • Ph.D. granting institutions
    • academic institutions that have produced more than 20 Ph.D.s or D. Sci.’s in all NSF supported disciplines during the previous two academic years
  • Non-Ph.D. granting institutions
    • two and four year colleges and universities that have produced fewer than 20 Ph.D.s or D.Sci.’s in all NSF supported disciplines during the previous two academic years
  • Non-degree granting institutions
    • independent non-profit research institutions, research museums, and legally incorporated consortia of eligible institutions
mri evaluation criteria
MRI: Evaluation Criteria
  • NSB Approved Merit Review Criteria:
    • Intellectual merit of the proposed activity
    • Broader impacts of the proposed activity, including
      • integration of research and education
      • integrating diversity into the proposed activities
  • Program-specific criteria:
    • Plans for using the new or enhanced research capability in teaching, training or learning.
mri evaluation criteria1
MRI: Evaluation Criteria
  • Acquisition: reviewers will evaluate whether the management plan
    • includes sufficient infrastructure and technical expertise to allow effective usage of the instrument
    • provides institutional commitments for operations and maintenance.
  • Development: reviewers will evaluate
    • whether the management plan has a realistic schedule and mechanisms to deal with potential risks
    • the availability of appropriate technical expertise to design and construct the instrument
    • the cost of the new technology
    • the rationale for development of a new instrument.
mri 2008 award snapshot overall

2008 Award Snapshot - Overall

Data omit 1 MRI award that was made but not using MRI funds



2008 Award Snapshot by Institution Type



2008 Award Snapshot - EPSCoR



1998-2008 Award Snapshot1

1includes only awards submitted directly to MRI program

*includes MRI funds and contributions from Directorates and Offices

cyber enabled discovery and innovation cdi
Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI)

Thomas Russell, Ph.D.

Senior Staff Associate


From Data to Knowledge

Understanding Complexity in Natural, Built and Social Systems

Building Virtual Organizations








Multidisciplinary, transformative research; not business as usual

Innovation in, or innovative use of, computational thinking

Five-year initiative; $48M in FY08; requested $100M in FY09; projected $250M in FY12

experimental program to stimulate competitive research

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

Denise Barnes, Ph.D.

Program Director

epscor s origins
EPSCoR’s Origins
  • Have historically received little federal research and development funding; and
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to develop their research bases and improve science and engineering research and education programs at their universities and colleges.
epscor objectives
EPSCoR Objectives
  • To catalyze key research themes and related activities within EPSCoR jurisdictions that empower knowledge generation, dissemination, and application.
  • To activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government, and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation, and provide multiple societal benefits.
epscor s objectives
EPSCoR’s Objectives
  • To broaden participation in science & engineering by institutions, organizations, and people within EPSCoR jurisdictions.
  • To use EPSCoR for development, implementation, and evaluation of future programmatic experiments that motivate positive change and progression.
nsf epscor cohorts

FY 1980

FY 2000

NSF EPSCoR Cohorts




South Carolina

West Virginia


FY 2001


New Mexico

FY 1985

FY 2002




North Dakota


Puerto Rico



U.S. Virgin Islands

FY 2003


FY 2004

New Hampshire

Rhode Island


FY 1987




South Dakota

FY 1992



investment strategies
Investment Strategies
  • Research Infrastructure Improvement Awards
  • Track-1:Up to 5 years and $20M to jurisdictions to improve physical and human infrastructure critical to R&D competitiveness in priority research areas.
  • Track-2: Up to 3 years and $6M to consortia
  • of jurisdictions to support innovation-
  • enabling cyberinfrastructure of regional,
  • thematic, or technological importance.
investment strategies1
Investment Strategies
  • Co-funding – Joint support of proposals submitted by EPSCoR researchers to NSF’s regular grant programs
  • Outreach/Workshops - Supportof outreach visits by NSF program and professional staff and the conduct of workshops to acquaint EPSCoR researchers with NSF programs, priorities and policies
oia activities

OIA Activities

Summer Scholars Internship Program

Developing undergraduate & graduate student potential through exposure to science & engineering policy, issues & programs:

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows

Providing opportunities for learning, & input on issues relating to NSF's mission to support fundamental science & engineering research & education.

Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE)

Encouraging full participation of women, underrepresented minorities, & persons with disabilities in scientific, engineering, & professional fields:

Committee of Visitors (COV)

Advising the Foundation to ensure improvement of NSF performance, & openness to the research & education community:

oia activities1

OIA Activities

  • Waterman Award
  • Recognizing outstanding young researchers in any field of science or engineering supported by the

National Medal of Science

For individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences.”

Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Providing the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government for early career scientists and engineers