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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATON

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Hawaii Grant Writing Workshop. NSF Merit Review Criteria ... Hawaii Grant Writing Workshop. Reasons For Funding A Competitive Proposal. Likely high impact ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATON


1
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATON
2
The NSF Merit Review Process

3
NSF Proposal Award Process Timeline
NSF Announces Opportunity
Returned Without Review/Withdrawn
GPG Announcement Solicitation
Min. 3 Revs. Req.
Via DGA
Award
N S F
NSF Program. Office
Program Office Analysis Recomm.
  • Org.
  • submits
  • via
  • FastLane

Mail
DD Concur
Panel
Both
Organization
Research Education Communities
Decline
Proposal Receipt at NSF
DD Concur
Award
90 Days
6 Months
30 Days
Proposal Receipt to Division Director Concurrence
of Program Officer Recommendation
DGA Review Processing of Award
Proposal Preparation Time
4
NSF Merit Review Criteria
  • NSB Approved Criteria include
  • Intellectual Merit
  • Broader Impacts of the Proposed Effort

5
Proposal Review Criterion Intellectual Merit
  • Potential to advance knowledge and understanding
    within and across fields
  • Qualifications of investigators
  • Creativity and originality
  • Conceptualization and organization
  • Access to resources

6
Proposal Review Criterion Broader Impact
  • Advances discovery while promoting teaching,
    training and learning
  • Broadens the participation of underrepresented
    groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability,
    geographic, etc.)
  • Enhances the infrastructure for research and
    education, such as facilities, instrumentation,
    networks and partnerships

7
Proposal Review Criterion Broader Impact
(contd)
  • Results disseminated broadly
  • Potential benefits to society

8
NSF Merit Review Criteria
Any proposal that does NOT address both merit
criteria in the Project Summary will be
RETURNED WITHOUT REVIEW.
9
Return Without Review
  • Does not meet NSF proposal preparation
    requirements, such as page limitations,
    formatting, etc.
  • Is inappropriate for funding by the NSF
  • Is not responsive to the GPG or program
    announcement or solicitation
  • Does not meet an announced proposal deadline date

10
Return Without Review (contd)
  • Is submitted with insufficient lead-time to a
    target date
  • Is a duplicate of, or substantially similar to, a
    proposal already under consideration
  • Was previously reviewed and declined and has not
    been substantially revised.

11
NSF Sources of Reviewers
  • Program Officers knowledge of what is being done
    and whos doing what in the research area
  • References listed in proposal
  • Recent technical programs from professional
    societies
  • Recent authors in Scientific and Engineering
    journals

12
NSF Sources of Reviewers (contd)
  • Reviewer recommendations
  • Investigators suggestions
  • Volunteers to Program Officer

13
Reasons For Funding A Competitive Proposal
  • Likely high impact
  • PI Career Point (tenured/established/
    beginning)
  • Place in Program Portfolio
  • Other Support for PI
  • Impact on Institution/State
  • Special Programmatic Considerations
    (CAREER/RUI/EPSCoR)
  • Diversity
  • Educational Impact
  • Launching versus Maintaining

14
The Proposal Cycle
Funded!
Declined
Revise
What next?
Write
Try again
Conceptualize
15
Summary
  • A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed,
    with a clear indication of methods for pursuing
    the idea, evaluating the findings, making them
    known to all who need to know, and indicating the
    broader impacts of the activity.

16
Proposal Preparation

17
Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)
  • Provides guidance for preparation of proposals
  • Describes process -- and criteria --by which
    proposals will be reviewed
  • Describes process for withdrawals, returns and
    declinations
  • Describes the award process and procedures for
    requesting continued support
  • Identifies significant grant administrative
    highlights

18
A Good Proposal
  • A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed,
    with a clear indication of methods for pursuing
    the idea, evaluating the findings, and making
    them known to all who need to know.

A Competitive Proposal is…
All of the above Appropriate for the
Program Responsive to the Program Announcement
19
What Makes a Proposal Competitive?
  • Likely high impact
  • New and original ideas
  • Succinct, focused project plan
  • Knowledge of subject area or published, relevant
    work
  • Experience in essential methodology
  • Clarity concerning future direction
  • Sound scientific rationale
  • Realistic amount of work
  • Sufficient detail
  • Critical approach

20
Simple tips for a better proposal
  • Follow formatting requirements carefully
  • (1 inch margins, lt15 characters per inch)
  • Compliance check before submitting
  • (FastLane wont do it for you!)
  • Be available by email to fix compliance problems
  • (proposals may be returned if NSF cant
    contact you)
  • Suggest reviewers
  • Include all conflicts of interest in your CV
  • Respond explicitly to previous reviews
  • (Panels are asked to comment on this)
  • Emphasize readability avoid verbiage
  • Talk to your Program Director!

21
Advice
  • Learn to love rejection
  • Contact the program officer with specific
    questions
  • Revise and resubmit
  • Collaboration is good, if appropriate
  • Discover alternative funding sources

22
Myths about NSF
  • Only funds researchers from elite institutions
  • Once declined…always declined
  • Only funds normal science
  • Advisory committees make funding decisions

23
Dos and Donts
  • Talk to your Program Officer
  • Less verbiage, more readability
  • Anticipate objections or criticisms
  • Justify your budget
  • Dont be greedy
  • Follow the rules
  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Study reviews carefully

24
Ask Us Early, Ask Us Often!!
The Prime Directive

25
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26
  • Policy Office


27
Ask Early, Ask Often!
28
Proposal Preparation Basics
29
What to Look for in a Program Announcement/Solicit
ation
  • Goal of program
  • Eligibility
  • Special proposal preparation and/or award
    requirements

30
Program Announcement vs. Solicitation
Program Announcement
Program Solicitation
  • Unsolicited proposals
  • Follow GPG guidelines
  • NSF merit review criteria
  • Often use target dates instead of deadline dates
  • Solicited proposals
  • May deviate from GPG
  • May include additional merit review criteria or
    reporting requirements
  • Established proposal due date

31
Types of Proposal Submission
  • No deadlines
  • Deadlines
  • Target dates
  • Submission Windows
  • Preliminary proposals
  • Letters of Intent

32
Budgetary Guidelines
  • Amounts
  • Reasonable for work - Realistic
  • Well Justified - Need established
  • In-line with program guidelines
  • Eligible costs
  • Personnel
  • Equipment
  • Travel
  • Participant Support
  • Other Direct Costs (including subawards,
    consultant services, computer services,
    publication costs)

33
Budgetary Guidelines (contd)
  • General Suggestions
  • All funding sources noted in Current and Pending
    Support
  • Help from Sponsored Projects Office

34
Getting Support in Proposal Writing
  • NSF Publications
  • Program Announcements/
  • Solicitations
  • Grant Proposal Guide
  • Web Pages
  • Funded Project Abstracts
  • Reports, Special Publications
  • Program Officers
  • Incumbent
  • Former Rotators
  • Mentors on Campus
  • Previous Panelists
  • Serve As Reviewer
  • Sponsored Projects Office
  • Successful Proposals

35
How to Submit a Proposal
  • FastLane
  • Grants.gov

36
An eGovernment Success Story FY 05 Stats
  • Over 42,000 Electronic Proposals Received
  • 250,000 Reviews Submitted
  • 26,000 Electronic Grantee Progress Reports
  • 9,000 Graduate Research Fellowship Submissions
  • 15,000 Electronic Cash Requests
  • 4.22 Billion Distribution of Funds

100
37
Grants.gov
  • Presidents Management Agenda
  • Applicants for federal grants apply for and
    manage grant funds through a common site, to
    simplify grant management and eliminate
    redundancy.

38
Submitting an Application to NSF through
Grants.gov
7. NSF downloads submitted application packages
and validates and inserts the information into
FastLane
2. Applicant searches for program announcements
1. Applicant navigates to Grants.gov website
5. AOR submits application package to Grants.gov
3. Applicant finds a program announcement and
downloads application package (PureEdge forms)
and instructions
4. Applicant completes application package
6,8. Confirmations are sent by both Grants.gov
and NSF
Applicant or Researcher
39
NSF Grants.gov Application Guide
  • Intended to serve as the primary document for use
    in preparation of NSF applications via Grants.gov
  • Includes step-by-step instructions for completion
    of each of the SF 424 (RR) forms as well as the
    NSF specific forms
  • Provides specific instructions for inclusion and
    conversion of pdf files

40
Grants.gov Implementation
  • In FY 06, 75 of all funding opportunities
    authorized or required use of Grants.gov
  • In FY 07, 100 of all funding opportunities
    posted in Grants.gov FIND, will be posted in
    Grant.gov APPLY (that is the goal)

41
Implementation
  • Collaborative proposals submitted as separate
    submissions from multiple organizations must be
    submitted via FastLane
  • Collaborative proposals submitted by one
    organization (which include one or more
    subawards), may be submitted via FastLane or
    Grants.gov

42
Implementation
  • NSF does not accept applications through
    Grants.gov for
  • Submission of Letters of Intent and Preliminary
    Proposals
  • Changed/Corrected Applications
  • Revisions
  • Continuations
  • Supplemental Funding Requests

43
Important Dates
  • Release Date Date funding opportunity is posted
    on Grants.gov. Applicants may download
    application package and start working on
    application.
  • Opening Date - the first date the completed
    application can be submitted to Grants.gov.
  • Deadline Date the date which application is
    due.

44
NSF Reconsideration Process
  • Explanation from Program Officer
  • Written request for reconsideration to Assistant
    Director within 90 days of decline
  • Request from organization to Deputy Director

45
NSF Outreach/Learning Opportunities
  • NSF Regional Grants Conference
  • Two-day, bi-annual conference
  • NSF Representatives from
  • All NSF Directorates
  • Office of Budget, Finance Award Management
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/outreach.jsp
  • SRA NCURA conferences
  • Annual and regional conference participation
  • NSF-Updates and Workshops
  • Focused Outreach
  • Tribal Colleges, HBCUs, HSIs, MSIs

46
Accessing Documents on the NSF Website
  • www.nsf.gov
  • Click
  • How to Prepare Your Proposal
  • Grant Proposal Guide
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Award Administration
  • Award Administration Guide
  • Grant Agreement Conditions
  • Frequently Asked Questions

47
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48
  • Division of Grants and Agreements

49
Ask Early, Ask Often!!
  • Ilonka Karasz
  • Grant Agreement Specialist
  • Division of Grants and Agreements
  • ikarasz_at_nsf.gov
  • Tel 703-292-4831
  • Denise Martin
  • Grant Agreement Specialist
  • Division of Grants and Agreements
  • dmartin_at_nsf.gov
  • Tel 703-292-4808

50
The Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA)
  • handles approximately 35,000 active awards in any
    given year
  • reviews, negotiates obligates funding for
    around 11,000 new awards each year
  • is responsible for monitoring the business
    practices of all of our awardees
  • With this in mind, DGA
  • is focusing on portfolio management and
    post-award administration

51
The NSF Award
  • Grants
  • Grant letter Grant General Conditions (GC-1) or
    FDP, occasional special award conditions, and
    other documents incorporated by reference
  • Cooperative Agreements
  • Financial Administrative Terms and Conditions
  • Programmatic Terms and Condition
  • Award Transmission
  • Electronic dissemination of award letter and
    subsequent amendments
  • Award letter and amendments can be accessed
    electronically via FastLane

52
Grants versus Cooperative Agreements
  • Grants - NSF Role
  • Hands Off Project
  • Minimal Monitoring
  • Cooperative Agreements - NSF Role
  • Substantial Monitoring Some Degree of Shared
    Responsibility
  • NSF Technical Managerial Responsibilities
    Specified in the Agreement

53
Awardee and PI Responsibilities
  • Knowledge of Federal Cost Principles,
    Administrative and Audit Requirements
  • See Office of Management and Budgets (OMB)
    circulars www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/gran
    ts_circulars.html
  • Familiarity with NSF policies
  • See How to Manage Your Award
    http//www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/
  • Attention to specific award conditions
  • See award letter on FastLane

54
Pre-award Review of Sub-recipients
  • Financial Capability
  • Accounting System
  • Cost or Price Analysis
  • Indirect Cost Rate
  • Debarment Suspension List
  • http//www.epls.gov

55
Subawards
  • Description of work and duties
  • Provide adequate information to sub-recipient
  • source of Federal funds including CFDA number,
    and
  • any special program requirements
  • Budgets signed by authorized organizational
    representative

56
Equipment
  • Budget should list dollar amount for each item
    exceeding 5,000 (awardee may have lower
    threshold)
  • NSF does not pay indirect costs (FA) on
    equipment
  • Further guidance Equipment (GPM 612) Property
    Standards (GPM 540), GC-1 Article 6, A-110
    Property Standards, A-21

57
Participant Support Costs
  • DEFINITION Costs for participants or trainees
    (not employees) in connection with NSF-sponsored
    conferences, meetings, symposia, training
    activities and workshops.
  • Costs can include Stipends, subsistence
    allowances, travel, registration fees, etc.
  • Awardee organizations must be able to account for
    participant support costs and need to have
    written policies regarding the accounting
    treatment of these costs.

58
Participant Support Costs (contd)
  • Cannot be re-budgeted without prior written
    approval of the cognizant NSF Program Officer.
  • Such requests must be submitted electronically
    via the NSF FastLane system.
  • No indirect costs (FA) may be charged against
    participant support costs.

59
Cost Sharing
  • Participation in the cost of a project
  • Statutory requirement of 1 for unsolicited
    research and education projects (GPG), will be
    eliminated effective with awards made on or after
    June 1, 2007.
  • There is no expectation by NSF that proposals
    submitted for funding will include a cost sharing
    component.

60
Cost Sharing (contd)
  • Cost-sharing listed on Line M. of the budget form
    is at the discretion of the proposing
    institution, and subject to NSF acceptance. If
    awarded, the Line M. amount becomes legally
    binding and is auditable.
  • Program Officers may not negotiate or impose cost
    sharing requirements.
  • If budget is reduced by 10 or more, the scope
    must be adjusted accordingly.

61
Indirect Costs (FA)
  • NSF Guidelines GPM 630
  • Awardee entitled to full reimbursement of
    indirect costs
  • Basic Exceptions - limited or no indirect cost
  • Equipment
  • Participant support
  • Foreign awardees
  • REU
  • Include rate, base and brief explanation in
    budget justification

62
Human Subjects
  • A proposal can be reviewed without IRB approval,
    however, projects involving human subjects can
    not be funded until this certification is filed
    in the proposal jacket.
  • Researchers should file their proposal with their
    local IRB at the same time they submit it to NSF,
    so that the approval procedure will not delay the
    award processing.
  • See www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/human.jsp

63
Project Reporting
  • Annual Reports
  • Due 90-days prior to yearly anniversary date
  • Required for ALL standard continuing grants and
    cooperative agreements
  • Final Reports
  • Due within 90-days after the expiration of an
    award
  • Required for ALL standard continuing grants and
    cooperative agreements
  • Required for individual research fellowships per
    program solicitation

64
The Division of Institution and Award Support
(DIAS)
  • Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution
  • (CAAR Branch)
  • Policy
  • Systems Office

65
CAAR Branch
  • Responsibilities
  • Award Monitoring
  • Accounting Systems Reviews including Pre-award
    and Indirect Rate negotiations
  • Audit Resolution

66
Time and Effort Reporting
  • Labor Distribution System
  • Not the same as a Payroll System
  • Personnel Activity Report must
  • Reflect an after-the-fact distribution
  • Account for total (100) activity for which the
    employee is compensated
  • Must be signed by the employee or supervisor
    having first hand knowledge of work performed by
    the employee

67
Keys to Success
  • Know the requirements Federal rules and
    regulations, NSF policies, and specific terms and
    conditions of the award
  • Implement and follow good accounting practices
  • Document communications with NSF Program and
    Grant Officials

68
Accessing Documents on the NSF Web Site
  • Web Address http//www.nsf.gov
  • DGA program liaison listing
  • http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dga/docs/liaison307.pdf
  • CAAR home page www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/caar/index.j
    sp

69
New NSF Proposal Award Policies Procedures
Guide (NSF 07-140)
  • The Guide consolidates two previous NSF policy
    documents the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and
    the Grant Policy Manual (GPM) and combines them
    into a single electronic policy framework. The
    PAPP Guide will be effective for proposals
    submitted on or after June 1, 2007.
  • See www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key
    nsf07140

70
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