NSF Grants Writing and Management Workshop Directorate for
NSF Grants Writing and Management Workshop Directorate for Education and Human Resources Division of Undergraduate Education Division of Human Resource Development Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings Division of Grants and Agreements 2017-2018 1 NSF by the Numbers $7.5
billion FY 2016 96% Research, education and related activities 49,300
All STEM disciplines STEM Education Research 214 Nobel Prize winners 2
Education & Human Resource Directorate Office of the Assistant Director Dr. France Crdova NSF Director Division of Research on Learning (DRL)
Division of Graduate Education (DGE) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
Dr. Jim Lewis EHR Assistant Director Education & Human Resources (EHR) Goals 1. Prepare the next generation of STEM professionals and attract/retain more Americans to STEM careers 2. Develop a robust research community that can conduct rigorous research and evaluation to support excellence in STEM education 3. Increase the technological, scientific and quantitative literacy of all Americans
4. Broaden participation and close achievement gaps in all STEM fields. Workshop Structure 1. Presentations/discussions Proposal and Award Timeline Proposal Preparation and Submission Proposal Review and Processing Award Process 2. Break out sessions: Review Panel Simulation Q & A with Division of Grants & Agreements
3. Report Out and Debrief 4. Q&A NSF Proposal & Award Process Timeline How to Find Out About Funding Opportunities Subscribe to National Science Foundation Update https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new?qsp=823 Choose your subscription topics Change your topics at any time
Program announcements and solicitations no less than 90 days before target date/deadline Watch for Dear Colleague Letters in areas of interest 7 Reminders: Preparing Proposals Read the funding opportunity; ask a Program Officer for clarifications if needed. Remember to address NSFs two merit review criteria. Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts
Address all program- & solicitation-specific criteria. Avoid omissions and mistakes Check your proposal to verify that it is complete! Address these Fundamental Questions What are you trying to accomplish? What will be the outcomes? Why do you believe that you have a good idea? Why is the problem important? How does your idea tie into previous efforts? }
Goals } Rationale } Evaluation Why is your approach promising?
How will you manage the project to ensure success? How will you know if you succeed? How will others find out about your work? DIRECTORATE FOR EDUCATION How will you interest / excite them? AND Human resources }
Dissemination Writing the 1-Page Project Summary 1st descriptive paragraph What will you do? Why is it important? What has already been done? How are you going to do it and how is your approach special (innovative, creative)? 2nd paragraph Intellectual Merit (technical, scientific contributions)
3rd paragraph Broader Impacts (benefit to society) 10 Proposal Review and Processing Program Officer Review 1. Upon receipt at NSF, proposals are routed to the appropriate program officer. 2. NSF staff conducts a preliminary review to ensure they are:
a) Complete; b) Timely; and c) Conform to proposal preparation requirements. 3. NSF may not accept a proposal or may return it without review if it does not meet the requirements above. Proposals Not Accepted or Returned Without Revie Project Summary: Proposals that do not contain the Project Summary, including an overview and separate statements on intellectual merit and broader impacts will not be accepted by FastLane or will be returned without review
Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan (If applicable): Proposals that include postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. The mentoring plan must not exceed one page per project. Data management plan : A plan for the security of the project data and how it will be shared with others must be included as a supplementary document. Reasons for Return of Proposals Without Review It is inappropriate for funding by the National Science
Foundation. It is submitted with insufficient lead time before the activity is scheduled to begin. It is a full proposal that was submitted by a proposer that has received a not invited response to the submission of a preliminary proposal. It is a duplicate of, or substantially similar to, a proposal already under consideration by NSF from the same submitter. NSFs Automated Compliance Checking Page Reasons for Return of Proposals Without Review Continued
It does not meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, such as page limitations, formatting instructions, and electronic submission, as specified in the PAPPG or program solicitation. It is not responsive to the PAPPG or program announcement/solicitation. It does not meet an announced proposal deadline date (and time, where specified). It was previously reviewed and declined and has not been substantially revised. It duplicates another proposal that was already awarded.
The Merit Review Process Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) NSF 18-001 https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg18_1/index.jsp 16 Proposal Review and Processing NSF has TWO Merit Review Criteria
Intellectual Merit What will we learn? How will it advance knowledge? Broader Impacts What will the impact be on society? How will it make the nation a better place? Educationally-focused projects often have a hard time disentangling these, but you need to separate them in your proposal. 18 Elements of the Merit Review Criteria 1) What is the potential for the proposed activity to make a
difference? IM: By advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields; and BI: By benefitting society or advancing desired societal outcomes? 2) To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? 3) Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities wellreasoned, well organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success? 4) How qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct the proposed activities? 19
5) Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the Types of Reviews Panel: Face-to-face sessions conducted by reviewers mainly at NSF but also in other settings (or virtual/hybrid panels) Panel reviewers usually have a broader scientific knowledge. Some proposals may undergo only a panel review. Some proposals may undergo reviews by multiple panels (especially for those proposals with cross-cutting themes). Ad hoc: proposals sent out for review Ad hoc reviewers usually have specific expertise in a field related to the proposal.
Some proposals may undergo ad hoc review only. Combination: some proposals may undergo supplemental ad hoc reviews before or after a panel review. Types of Reviews Continued Internal: review by NSF Program Officers only Examples of internally reviewed proposals: Proposals submitted to Rapid Response Research Grants (RAPID) Proposals submitted to EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) Proposals for conferences or workshops Budget ($50 K-$100 K)
Typical Format of a Review General summary of project (2-3 sentences) Intellectual merit Strengths Weaknesses/concerns Broader impacts Strengths Weaknesses/concerns Summary statement (2-3 sentences) Overall Rating (Excellent to Poor)
22 Proposal Review and Processing Funding Decisions The merit review panel summary provides: Review of the proposal and a recommendation on funding. Feedback (strengths and weaknesses) to the proposers. NSF Program Officers make funding recommendations guided by program goals and portfolio considerations.
NSF Division Directors either concur or reject the Program Officers funding recommendations. Feedback from Merit Review Reviewer ratings (such as: E, VG, G, F, P) Analysis of how well proposal addresses both review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts Proposal strengths and weaknesses Reasons for a declination (if applicable) If you have any questions, contact the cognizant Program Officer.
Documentation from Merit Review Verbatim copies of individual reviews, excluding reviewer identities Context Statement (usually) Panel Summary or Summaries (if panel review was used) PO to PI comments (formal or informal, written, email or verbal) as necessary to explain a decision Examples of Reasons for Declines
The proposal was not considered to be competitive based on the merit review criteria and the program office concurred. The proposal had flaws or issues identified by the program office. The program funds were not adequate to fund all competitive proposals. Award Processing Issuing the Award NSFs Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) reviews the
recommendation from the program office for business, financial, and policy implications. DGA typically makes awards within 30 days of receiving a recommendation. NSFs grants and agreements officers make the official award as long as: The institution has an adequate grants management capacity. The PI/Co-PIs do not have overdue annual or final reports. There are no other outstanding issues with the institution or PI. Grants Administration
Keys to Success 30 The Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) The Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) is a division within the Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management. DGA is responsible for the award of NSF grants and agreements recommended for support by NSF program offices. As a customer-service oriented organization, DGA's team of
dedicated grants officers, which is divided into three operational branches, are assigned an award portfolio under each of the Foundation's science Directorates and Offices. 31 NSF AWARD PROCESS Awards Issued by DGA Assistance Awards - the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value from NSF to the grantee for them to carry out a public purpose; and not to acquire property or services for NSFs direct benefit or use. Grants (Standard and Continuing)
Cooperative Agreements Fellowships DGA typically approves approximately 17,000 funded actions, and 4,000 32 non-funded actions each year. SCHEMATIC NSF AWARD PROCESS 33 GRANTEE RESPONSIBILITES NSFs legal relationship is with the grantee institution.
The grantee institution is responsible for proposals submitted to NSF. The grantee institution is also responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of an NSF award. This includes establishing appropriate policies and procedures, oversight, internal controls, and training to ensure that award expenditures are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary. This also includes complying with all relevant federal regulations and national policy requirements. 34 PI RESPONSIBILITES Adheres to all terms and conditions of award.
Submits any technical/annual reports required. Submits all annual reports in a timely manner. Lines of Communication. 35 Technical Reporting Requirements Annual Reports are due no later than 90 days prior to end of the current budget period to allow adequate time for cognizant Program Officer to review and approve the report.
Final Project Reports are due no later than 120 days following the end of the grant. Project Outcomes Reports are due no later than 120 days following the expiration of the grant. Failure to submit any report can delay funding and administrative actions for approval. 36 FASTLANE / RESEARCH.GOV All grantee requests must be submitted through Fastlane or Research.gov unless otherwise stated.
Proposed Grantee Organizations Register with Fastlane Work on Fastlane Demonstration site As a Principal Investigator Prepare a Letter of Intent in response to NSF Solicitation Prepare, edit and submit proposals to Office of Sponsored Programs Check on proposal status Post-Award Activities Post-Award Requests and Notifications 37 Annual and Final Project Reports
Collaborative Proposal Submissions Submission of a collaborative proposal from one organization The single proposal method allows investigators from two or more organizations who have developed an integrated research project to submit a single, focused proposal. Submission of a collaborative proposal from multiple organizations Simultaneous submission of proposals allows multiple organizations to submit a unified set of certain proposal sections, as well as information unique to each organization. 38
New Performers New Performer: Any grantee organization that has never received any funding from NSF. Updated Performer: Any grantee that has not had an active NSF award within the last five years. Process of New Awardee Package Program Officer Roles Grants Officer Roles Grantee Institution Roles 39
Other Resources nsf.gov/awards/managing/ Links to the Award & Administration Guide( AAG) Find Award Conditions Find how to get assistance with your award from the Division of
Grants & Agreements Questions? Ask Early, Ask Often! https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dga For More Information Go to NSFs Home Page (http://www.nsf.gov) Become and Stay Connected
Contact NSF Program Officers if you have questions about a program Submit proposals dont give up after the first decline Be active as workshop participants and organizers Serve as ad hoc reviewers and panelists Consider being a rotator http://www.nsf.gov/about/career_opps/rotators/index.jsp Go to NSFs Home Page (http://www.nsf.gov) Useful Resources NSF: www.nsf.gov PAPPG: www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/index.jsp
Guide to Programs: www.nsf.gov/funding/browse_all_funding.jsp Award Information: www.nsf.gov/awardsearch FastLane: www.fastlane.nsf.gov Broader Impacts: www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf Data Management Plan: www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp Funding Opportunities: www.nsf.gov/funding WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Think, Pair, Share Think by yourself (prior to the workshop) Read the proposal. Write down your individual analysis of the Intellectual Merit & Broader Impacts,
citing specific strengths and weaknesses. Give the proposal a rating. Pair with your panel for 30 minutes. Discuss the proposal. Write down your collective analysis of strengths and weaknesses in the Intellectual Merit & Broader Impacts. Consider modifying your rating in light of the discussion. Share with everyone for 30 minutes.
45 Intellectual Merit Debrief Key Questions: What will we learn? How will it advance knowledge? Strengths Weaknesses 46 Broader Impacts Debrief
Key Questions: How will the project impact society? How will it make the nation a better place? Strengths Weaknesses 47
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