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Elements of an NSF Proposal

Elements of an NSF Proposal

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Elements of an NSF Proposal

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  1. Elements of an NSFProposal Presented by Dr. Joan K. West and Patty Q. Flowers

  2. Registration • In order to submit a proposal to NSF, a PI must be registered with the NSF database. • This should be done several days or weeks before the proposal is due. • Dr. West must enter your registration information. You cannot register yourself. • NSF will assign you an ID. • It is important that you keep your ID and password accessible.

  3. General considerations • Is your proposal responsive to the RFP? • Electronic submission via FastLane or • Minimum 1-inch margins all around • No more than 6 lines of type per vertical inch • Types of Arial, Courier New, or Palantino Linotype 10 points or larger; Times New Roman 11 points or larger

  4. Required forms • Certifications (dealing with lobbying, drug-free workplace, debarment, etc.) • Cover sheet • Table of content (generated by FastLane) • Info about PI and senior personnel

  5. Project Summary • One page summary of activities, suitable for publication (not an abstract) • Written in 3rd person • Includes a statement of objectives and methods • Must address in separate statements: intellectual merit and broader impact

  6. Intellectual Merit • 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(s)? • To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? • How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? • Is there sufficient access to resources?

  7. Broader impact • Does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? • Does the activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups? • Will it enhance the infrastructure of research and education (facilities, instrumentation, networks, partnerships)? • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? • What may be the benefits to society?

  8. Integrating diversity • NSF is committed to the idea of broadening the opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens, women and men, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities • You may want to include a plan to recruit such individuals

  9. Project Description • Limited to 15 pages • Intellectual merit and broader impact must be integral parts of narrative • Postdoc mentoring activities must also be described (if Postdocs are included) • Should be self-contained (no URLs) • Results from prior NSF support (5 years) • HR info for renewals

  10. Project Description, continued • Should include a clear statement of the work and must include: • Objectives for the proposed work and expected significance • Relation to long-term goals • Relation to present state of knowledge in the field, to work in progress under the PI, and to work in progress elsewhere

  11. Project Description, continued • Should include: • The broad design of activities • Clear descriptions of experimental methods and procedures • Plans for preserving, documenting and sharing data samples, physical collections, curriculum materials, and other related research and educational products

  12. Project Description, continued • Should also include: • How project will integrate research and education by advancing discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning • Ways to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups • How project will enhance the infrastructure of research and education • How results will be disseminated and benefit society

  13. Considerations • NSF is interested in activities that have potential for national impact or significance • NSF is interested in replicable models • NSF does not require matching funds but is looking for institutional commitment • NSF is looking for sustainability beyond the end of funding • How will you disseminate your results?

  14. What NSF wants to know • Reviewers want to know: • What is your research objective? • How will you accomplish it? • Can you do it (you and your facilities)? • Is it worth doing? • Why is your activity important to the research community? • Why is it important to society?

  15. References cited • No page limit • Bibliographic citations only • Specified format • Not a place to include additional parenthetical information

  16. Biographical sketches • Required for all senior personnel • Limited to 2 pages per individual • Must be provided in order and specified format

  17. Budget (cumulative and annual) • The ORGC MUST be involved in the development of your budget • Must comply with BOTH NSF and UT Martin guidelines • FastLane and have required budget forms • Narrative is limited to 3 pages

  18. Budget, continued • NSF regards research as one of the normal functions of faculty members at IHEs • NSF limits salary compensation to no more than 2 months of the regular salary for one year (this includes salary from all NSF funds) • Time and effort must be documented

  19. Budget, continued • Administrative and clerical wages are considered part of indirect costs • These may be requested as a direct cost only when an extensive amount of administrative and clerical support is required and it can be readily and specifically identified with a high degree of accuracy • We have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate

  20. Current and Pending Support • Required for all senior personnel

  21. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources • Descriptions of the facilities, resources, and equipment already in place that you plan to utilize

  22. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation • There are very specific guidelines for what may be included and these may vary according to the RFP

  23. More information • The NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide is available online at • The ORGC is eager to assist you in preparing your proposal • The ORGC must be involved in the development of the budget for any proposal • Please contact our office early in your proposal development