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Merit Review and Proposal Preparation

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Was previously reviewed and declined and has not been substantially revised. ... Describes process -- and criteria --by which proposals will be reviewed ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Merit Review and Proposal Preparation


1
Merit Review and Proposal Preparation
Mark Courtney Division of Environmental
Biology mcourtne_at_nsf.gov
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Returned Without Review/Withdrawn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
  • Results disseminated broadly
  • Potential benefits to society

7
NSF Merit Review Criteria
Any proposal that does NOT address both merit
criteria in the Project Summary will be
RETURNED WITHOUT REVIEW.
8
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
  • 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.

9
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
  • Reviewer recommendations
  • Investigators suggestions
  • Volunteers to Program Officer

10
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

11
The Proposal Cycle
Funded!
Declined
Revise
What next?
Write
Try again
Conceptualize
12
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.

13
Proposal Preparation

14
Call Your Program Director!
15
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

16
What to Look for in a Program Announcement
  • goal of program
  • eligibility
  • special requirements

17
Types of Proposal Submission
  • No deadlines
  • Deadlines
  • Target dates
  • Submission Windows
  • Preliminary proposals

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

21
Simple tips for a better proposal
  • Follow formatting requirements carefully
  • (Use eligible fonts as in GPG)
  • 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!

22
Advice
  • Learn to love rejection
  • Contact the program officer with specific
    questions
  • Revise and resubmit
  • Collaboration is good, if appropriate
  • Discover alternative funding sources

23
Myths about NSF
  • Only funds researchers from elite institutions
  • Once declinedalways declined
  • Only funds normal science
  • Advisory committees make funding decisions

24
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

25
Ask Us Early, Ask Us Often!!
The Prime Directive


26
Merit Review and Proposal Preparation
QUESTIONS? Mark Courtney Division of
Environmental Biology mcourtne_at_nsf.gov
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