Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)
____________________________________________________________________
Program Solicitation

NSF 00-82

DIRECTORATES FOR:
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
ENGINEERING
GEOSCIENCES
MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
SOCIAL, BEHAVIORAL AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES
OFFICE OF POLAR PROGRAMS

 

NOTICE OF INTENT:   June 1, 2000 (E-mail Submission ONLY)
PROPOSAL DEADLINE:   July 6, 2000, 5:00 p.m. local time (FastLane Submission Required)

 

  NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

 


 

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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

 *

GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title:  Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)

Short Description/Synopsis of Program:  The Partnerships for Innovation Program is focused on connections between new knowledge created in the discovery process to learning and innovation. Concurrently, it addresses NSF's strategic intention to broaden participation of people and institutions in NSF activities. The goals of the Program are to: catalyze Partnerships for Innovation that will enable the transformation of knowledge created by the national research and education enterprise into innovations that create new wealth, build strong local, regional and national economies and improve the national well-being; broaden the participation of all types of academic institutions and all citizens in NSF activities to more fully meet the broad workforce needs of the national innovation enterprise; and create enabling infrastructure necessary to foster and sustain innovation in the long-term. To develop a set of ideas for pursuing these goals, this competition will support 15-25 promising partnerships among academe, government and the private sector; partnerships that will explore new approaches to support and sustain innovation.

Cognizant Program Officer:  

John C. Hurt, Program Director, telephone: (703) 306-1625 extension 6811, email: jhurt@nsf.gov. He will refer topic-specific matters to the appropriate member of the NSF-wide working group for the program.

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 

  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.041 --- Engineering Grants
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.078 --- Polar Programs
  • 47.075 --- Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

 

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

  • Limitation on the categories of organizations that are eligible to submit proposals:  Proposals may be submitted by degree-granting academic institutions of higher learning. The submitting institution must serve as the lead institution or partner in the proposed Partnership, that is, as the institution responsible for overall management of the Partnership activity with administrative responsibility for the proposed effort. Partners may include, but are not limited to, other academic institutions, not-for-profit institutions, private sector firms, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, state and local government entities, trade and professional associations, and federal laboratories. At a minimum, proposed Partnerships must include academic institution(s) and private sector organization(s) or academic institution(s) and state/local government entities. A Partnership proposal must be submitted as a single administrative package by the lead institution.
  • PI Eligibility Limit:  A senior institutional administrator (Dean or higher) in the lead institution must serve as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator.
  • Limit on Number of Proposals:  Degree-granting academic institutions of higher learning may participate in no more than two Partnership proposals. Such institutions may submit only one Partnership proposal as the lead institution.
  • Budget Limitations:  Proposed Partnerships may request from NSF total budgets ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 for award durations of two or three years. Proposals requesting budgets outside this range will be ineligible and will be returned without review.
  • Cost Sharing:  For eligibility purposes, cost sharing is required at a level of 10% of the requested NSF budget. Cost sharing is defined in OMB Circular A-110, Section 23, and may be cash or in-kind. This cost sharing must be shown on line M of the budget.

 

AWARD INFORMATION

  • Anticipated Type of Award:  Standard Grant.
  • Estimated Number of Awards:  15-25 awards.
  • Amount of Funds Available:  Approximately $8 million will be available for the competition.
  • Anticipated Date of award:  November 2000.

 

PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A.  Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Proposal Preparation Instructions:  Deviations From Standard Preparation Guidelines

    • The program contains deviations from the standard Grants Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines regarding proposal content and page limitations, cost sharing requirements, PI and institutional eligibility limits.

B.  Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:  For eligibility purposes, cost sharing is required at a level of 10% of the requested NSF budget. Cost sharing is defined in OMB Circular A-110, Section 23, and may be cash or in-kind. This cost sharing must be shown on line M of the budget.
  • Indirect (F&A) limitations:   None
  • Other Budgetary Limitations:  Proposed Partnerships may request from NSF total budgets ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 for award durations of two or three years.

C.  Deadline/Target Dates

  • Notice of Intent Deadline:  June 1, 2000

    The Principal Investigator from lead institutions representing Partnerships intending to submit a proposal should submit a notice of intent via email ONLY to: jhurt@nsf.gov by June 1, 2000. The notice should briefly describe the proposed activity and the organizations and senior personnel involved in the partnership; this description must not exceed 300 words. The notice of intent allows NSF to prepare for the review process. The notice of intent is not mandatory and is non-binding.

  • Preproposal Deadline:  None
  • Full Proposal Deadline:   July 6, 2000, 5:00 p.m. local time

D.  FastLane Requirements

  • FastLane Submission:  Full Proposal Required
  • FastLane Contacts:

    Karen Geary, Joan Ahl, or Nicole Livingston:  telephone:  703/306-1040, e-mail:  pfifl@nsf.gov.

 

PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

  • Merit Review Criteria:  Standard National Science Board-approved criteria apply. Reviewers will also consider: the responsiveness of the proposal to the goals of the Partnerships for Innovation Program; potential of the proposed Partnership to foster and sustain innovation in the long-term; the degree to which the proposed activity will stimulate new innovation opportunities for the partner organizations; the degree to which the participation of institutions that serve groups currently underrepresented in the science, engineering and technological workforce are involved in the proposed innovation activity; and the degree to which institutions that serve regions and/or sectors not yet fully participating in the innovation enterprise contribute to the proposed activity.

    In addition, in making final award decisions NSF will consider: geographic distribution and diversity of lead institutions; likely distribution of societal impacts; and distribution of technology or industry sectors served.

 

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

  • Award Conditions:  GC-1 or FDP III

Reporting Requirements:   Standard NSF Reporting Requirements apply.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
  3. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  4. AWARD INFORMATION
  5. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. Fastlane/Requirements
  6. PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
  7. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements
  8. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  9. OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST

 


I.  INTRODUCTION

NSF seeks to stimulate Partnerships for Innovation among colleges and universities, state and local governments, the private sector and other relevant organizations, emphasizing productive links among relevant parties to enable innovation.

Innovation in science and technology has been the dominant source of productivity gains, and new enterprises in the U.S. economy, accounting for as much as fifty percent of U.S. economic growth over the last fifty years. Technological innovation is the transformation of knowledge into new products, processes, systems and services. It is grounded in science and technology, but has implications well beyond both, having created astonishing, tangible benefits to society through engineering and astute management, including improved healthcare, transportation and computer-communications capacities.

Key factors in the innovation enterprise include creation of and access to new knowledge; a scientifically and technologically literate workforce prepared to capitalize on new knowledge; and an infrastructure that enables innovation. For the purposes of this program, innovation explicitly extends both to developing the people and tools and to creating the necessary organizational conditions to foster the transformation of knowledge into the products, processes, systems and services that fuel economic development, create wealth and generate improvements in the national standard of living.

Academic institutions play an essential role in generating new knowledge, creating a scientifically and technologically literate workforce and providing an environment critical to nurture innovation. However, the presence and strength of these key factors varies dramatically by type and location of institution. For example, some of the nation's colleges and universities have a long tradition of active research and education programs and strong connections to the private sector, and many have offices responsible for enabling knowledge transfer and stimulating the growth of new businesses. Much of this capacity for innovation stems from federal funding provided for research activities. Institutions that have not participated as actively in federal R&D programs may not have capabilities and infrastructure that are as finely honed.

Likewise, many states have taken action to develop programs that facilitate innovation. Colleges and universities in some states have access to an infrastructure that allows them to tie their research emphases to areas the state regards as important. This infrastructure enables innovation at the state and local level where innovation generally happens; at the same time it enhances the institutions' ability to conduct research. States without this infrastructure may find it more difficult to take full advantage of innovation opportunities.

Partnerships are an important means for developing an innovation capability that links new knowledge and a knowledge-rich workforce to economic growth and other societal benefits. Partnerships involving various combinations of colleges and universities, private sector firms, and local, state, and federal government, have the potential to increase the value of each of the partners' portfolios, and to mobilize innovation in a systemic manner. For example, private sector firms gain access to new knowledge and a workforce that can capitalize on it; academe gains financial support, the ability to capitalize on intellectual property, and access to real-world problems for field training; and local and state governments gain sustainable regional and local economic development activities. The innovation process is facilitated by students moving into the workplace as the ultimate knowledge transfer mechanism.

For 50 years, NSF has enabled innovation through discovery and the production of a scientifically and technologically knowledgeable workforce second to none. Since businesses and industries today are more dependent on research and technology advances and since the product development cycle in all industry sectors is more rapid than before, NSF's traditional roles are more proximate and relevant to economic development than at any other time in our past.

 

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II.  PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Partnerships for Innovation Program is of considerable strategic importance to NSF, forging connections between new knowledge created in the discovery process to learning and innovation. At the same time, it addresses NSF's strategic intention to broaden the participation of people and institutions in NSF activities. The goals of the Program are to:

  • Catalyze Partnerships for Innovation that will enable the transformation of knowledge created by the national research and education enterprise into innovations that create new wealth, build strong local, regional and national economies and improve the national well-being;
  • Broaden the participation of all types of academic institutions and all citizens in NSF activities to more fully meet the broad workforce needs of the national innovation enterprise; and
  • Create enabling infrastructure necessary to foster and sustain innovation in the long-term.

Partnerships for Innovation might include the planning and/or implementation of new models for innovation that connect discovery to use through knowledge transfer; education and training activities that explicitly address the workforce needs of the innovation enterprise; and the development and deployment of new tools or mechanisms that support the innovation infrastructure. They may focus on creating a critical level of innovation activity in a technology area, in an industry sector, or in a geographical region.

Partnerships involving colleges and universities, private sector firms, and local, state, and federal government entities, have the potential to mobilize innovation in a systemic manner. In all Partnerships, NSF seeks to optimize the participation of the private sector both to ensure appropriate workforce development activities, as well as to foster innovation-driven growth per se. Since innovation occurs first as a localized phenomenon, partnerships involving regional, state or local governments are strongly encouraged. At a minimum, proposed Partnerships must include academic institution(s) and private sector organizations and/or academic institution(s) and state/local government entities.

Since innovation is critically dependent upon a diverse workforce poised to innovate, partnerships led by and involving academic institutions of all types are essential for the program's success. The participation of institutions that serve groups currently underrepresented in the science, engineering and technological workforce, as well as those institutions that serve regions and or sectors not yet fully participating in the innovation enterprise, is strongly encouraged. NSF seeks to enhance the roles such institutions play in contributing to and participating in innovation.

Partnerships for Innovation may:

  • capitalize upon the shared interests of regional academic institutions, local and state governments and the private sector to contribute to the innovation enterprise;
  • create new models that integrate research and education capacity to create a critical level of technological innovation in a state or a region;
  • enable small- and medium-sized businesses to utilize the resources and capabilities of academic institutions;
  • promote and enable innovation by increasing the scientific and technological capabilities of the workforce;
  • strengthen the capabilities of all academic institutions to contribute to the innovation process; and
  • enable technological innovation through the synergistic development, integration and transfer of new knowledge.

This competition will support the planning and early implementation of new activities designed to support and sustain innovation in the long-term; activities undertaken by promising partnerships among academe, government, and the private sector. Through a diverse set of awards, NSF seeks to identify best practices for enabling innovation that in the future might be replicated on a national scale. NSF will make 15-25 awards totaling $8 million. Proposed Partnerships may request from NSF total budgets ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 for award durations of two or three years.

 

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III.  ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Proposing Partnerships:  Each proposed Partnership must designate a lead organization; the lead organization must be a degree-granting academic institution of higher learning. Partners may include, but are not limited to, not-for-profit institutions, private sector firms, state and local government entities, trade and professional associations, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and federal laboratories. At a minimum, proposed Partnerships must also include private sector organizations or state/local government entities. Proposals must be submitted as a single administrative package by the lead institution, which is responsible for overall management of the Partnership activity and has administrative responsibility for the proposed effort.

PI Eligibility Limit:  A senior institutional administrator (Dean or higher) in the lead institution must serve as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator.

Limit on Number of Proposals:  Degree-granting academic institutions of higher learning may participate in no more than two Partnership proposals. Such institutions may submit only one Partnership proposal as the lead institution.

Budget Limitations:  Proposed Partnerships may request from NSF, total budgets ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 for award durations of two or three years. Proposals requesting budgets outside this range will be ineligible and will be returned without review.

Cost Sharing:  For eligibility purposes, cost sharing is required at a level of 10% of the requested NSF budget. Cost sharing is defined in OMB Circular A-110, Section 23, and may be cash or in-kind. This cost sharing must be shown on line M of the budget.

 

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IV.  AWARD INFORMATION

NSF will make 15-25 awards totaling $8 million. Proposed Partnerships may request from NSF total budgets ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 for award durations of two or three years. It is anticipated that award decisions will be announced by November 2000.

 

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V.  PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A.  Proposal Preparation Instructions

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (NSF 00-2). The complete text of the GPG (including electronic forms) is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf002/start.htm. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone 301.947.2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF 00-82) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207). Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

Proposal Content

Partnerships for Innovation proposals must include the following information:

1) Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207):   The signed proposal Cover Sheet must be postmarked within five working days after the proposal is submitted and forwarded to the attention of PFI, Office of Integrative Activities, Room 1270, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230

2) Information about Principal Investigators/Project Directors (NSF Form 1225):  FastLane automatically generates this form. (Note, NSF limits the number of Principal Investigators to one PI and four co-PIs. Additional Partner personnel can be listed as Senior Personnel in the Project Description. Senior Personnel must provide biographical sketches and list current and pending support.)

3) Project Summary (one-page limit):  Provide the title of the proposed Partnership for Innovation and the name of the PI. Identify the lead institution as well as other partner organizations vital to the success of the Partnership. Provide a summary of the proposed Partnership including its rationale, vision, distinguishing features and proposed activities to enable innovation.

4) Table of Contents (NSF Form 1359 cannot be edited and is automatically generated by FastLane)

The Project Description must contain the following sections, incorporating items (5) through (9)

5) Narrative Description (five-page limit):  Describe the Partnership's rationale, goals, and implementation plans to enable innovation. This section must be sufficiently detailed to allow assessment of its merit to enable innovation. Clearly describe how all partner organizations are necessary to the innovation goals of the Partnership. The narrative must also describe how the proposed activity will contribute toward realization of the goals of the Partnerships for Innovation Program. Proposals based on existing partnerships must describe how the proposed effort will add value, change or enhance ongoing activities.

6) Management Plan (three-page limit):  Describe the respective roles and responsibilities of each partner organization, the resources each partner will bring to the Partnership, and how the partners will work together to realize the Partnership goals.

7) Innovation Outcomes (three-page limit):  Describe plans to monitor and assess progress toward realizing the Partnership goals and related innovation outcomes.

8) Lists of Partnership Organizations and Personnel (two-page limit):

This information is necessary for the NSF to avoid potential conflict-of-interest in selection of reviewers.

Provide a list of Partnership organizations subdivided into the following categories: academic institutions; national laboratories; state and local governments; private sector organizations; and others. In each category, list participating organizations alphabetically. Provide a list of each organization's senior personnel participating in the Partnership. First, subdivide the Partnership organizations into the categories listed above. For each organization, list alphabetically, senior personnel participating in the Partnership. For personnel representing academic institutions, include the department(s) and/or school(s) with which the person is associated.

Provide an alphabetical list of persons who will have a conflict of interest with any of the project's senior personnel. Conflict of interest is defined in Section ll.D.6.e.i-iii of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 00-2).

9) Intellectual Property Rights (one-page limit):   Provide a concise statement on the proposed Partnership's policies on Intellectual Property Rights. The Partnership policies must be consistent with the NSF policy found in section 730 of the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26).

10) Optional - List of Suggested Reviewers (one-page limit):  Provide a list of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers for the proposed Partnership for Innovation.

11) Budget and Budget Justification:  Provide a budget (NSF Form 1030) for each of the years for which NSF support is requested (FastLane will automatically fill out a cumulative budget for your proposal).

Submit a separate budget in FastLane for each participating partner (hard copy signed budgets will be required only for those being recommended for award and will be requested prior to the award recommendation). Identify items of equipment costing more than $10,000; full justification for such equipment must be provided. A budget justification (three-page limit) must be provided.

Cost sharing at a level of 10% of the requested NSF support is required for all proposals submitted. This cost sharing must be shown on line M of the budget. Cost sharing is defined in OMB Circular A-110, Section 23, and may be cash or in-kind. Proposals without the mandated amount of cost sharing will be ineligible and will be returned without review.

NSF will not provide salary support for personnel employed by Federal agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.

12) References Cited:  Section not to exceed two pages.

13) Biographical Sketches (two-page limit per person):  For the PI and other Senior Personnel, provide a brief biographical sketch or curriculum vitae. Any information that is deemed pertinent may be provided as long as the two-page limit per person is not exceeded.

14) Current and Pending Support (NSF Form 1239).   Provide a complete listing of current and pending support (where applicable) for the Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigators and other Senior Personnel.

15) Facilities and Equipment (NSF Form 1363) If Applicable.

16) Partner Commitment (two-page limit):  A list of the partner organizations and their respective commitments to the proposed Partnership must be provided and must be signed by the appropriate representative for each partner organization. The source of cost-sharing funds must be indicated in this document. The document should be scanned into the supplementary documents section of the FastLane submission. Hard copies should NOT be mailed to NSF.

B.  Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing at a level of 10% percent of the requested total amount of NSF funds is required for all proposals submitted in response to this solicitation. This cost sharing must be shown on line M on the proposal budget (NSF Form 1030).

Documentation of availability of cost sharing must be included in the proposal.

Only items that would be allowable under the applicable cost principles, if charged to the project, may be included in the awardee's contribution to cost sharing. Contributions may be made from any non-Federal source, including non-Federal grants or contracts, and may be cash or in kind (see OMB Circular A-110, Section 23). It should be noted that contributions counted as cost sharing toward projects of another Federal agency may not be counted towards meeting the specific cost sharing requirements of the NSF award.

All cost sharing amounts are subject to audit. Failure to provide the level of cost sharing reflected in the approved award budget may result in termination of the NSF award, disallowance of award costs and/or refund of award funds to NSF.

Travel

Cost for travel for the PI for 1 trip to Washington DC per year to report on progress or participate in workshops should be included in the requested budget.

C.  Deadline/Target Dates

The Principal investigator at the lead institutions representing Partnerships intending to submit a proposal should submit a notice of intent via email ONLY to: jhurt@nsf.gov by June 1, 2000. The notice should briefly describe the proposed activity, the organizations and senior personnel involved in the partnership; this description must not exceed 300 words. The notice of intent allows NSF to prepare for the review process. The notice of intent is not mandatory and is non-binding.

Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation must be submitted by 5:00 PM, local time: July 6, 2000.

D.  FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm.

 

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VI.  PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

A.  NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed innovation activity. For the purposes of this solicitation, reviewers will be selected by the Program Officer charged with the oversight of the review process, in cooperation with an NSF staff working group on Partnerships for Innovation. The names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers may be provided in the proposal submission. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposers. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from a diversity of academic institution types and minority-serving institutions, as well as non-academic organizations.

Proposals will be reviewed against the following general review criteria established by the National Science Board. Following each criterion are potential considerations that the reviewer may employ in the evaluation. These are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. Each reviewer will be asked to address only those that are relevant to the proposal and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?

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 (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Principal Investigators should address the following elements in their proposal to provide reviewers with the information necessary to respond fully to both of the above-described NSF merit review criteria. NSF staff will give these elements careful consideration in making funding decisions.

Integration of Research and Education

One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities

Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens - women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities - is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports

Special Factors for this Competition

In addition to the two NSB-approved criteria, reviewers will also consider the following factors:

  • responsiveness of the proposal to the goals of the Partnerships for Innovation Program;
  • potential of the proposed Partnership to foster and sustain innovation in the long-term;
  • the degree to which the proposed activity will stimulate new innovation opportunities for the partner rganizations;
  • the degree to which the participation of institutions that serve groups currently underrepresented in the science, engineering and technological workforce are involved in the proposed innovation activity; and,
  • the degree to which institutions that serve regions and/or sectors not yet fully participating in the innovation enterprise contribute to the proposed activity.

In making the final award decisions, NSF will also consider:

  • Geographic distribution and diversity of lead institutions;
  • Likely distribution of societal impacts; and

  • Distribution of technology or industry sectors served.

B.  Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals will be carefully reviewed by panels of experts. Review panels will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the review process, working an NSF staff working group on Partnerships for Innovation, will consider the advice of the review panels in making recommendations for award.

For each proposal, a summary rating and accompanying narrative of the panel deliberations (panel summary) will be completed and signed by the panel. An individual rating and accompanying narrative will also be completed and signed by at least three reviewers on the panel assigned to provide a written review of the proposal. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of the individual reviews and panel summary, excluding the names of the reviewers, are mailed to the applicant. In addition, the applicant will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

It is anticipated that award decisions will be announced by November 2000.

After programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Applicants are cautioned that only a Grants Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants Officer does so at its own risk.

 

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VII.  AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A.  Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the lead institution by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Officer. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI. A, for additional information on the review process).

B.  Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any NSF brochure, program guide, announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/grants/grants_gac.htm. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone 301.947.2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, (NSF 95-26) available electronically on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpm. The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is 202.512.1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO web site at http://www.gpo.gov.

C.  Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants, the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on: project participants (individual and organizational); activities and findings; publications; and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.

 

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VIII.  CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

General inquiries should be made to the Partnerships for Innovation Program: John C. Hurt, Program Director, Room 881, telephone: (703) 306-1625 extension 6811, e-mail: jhurt@nsf.gov. He will refer topic-specific matters to the appropriate member of the NSF-wide working group for the program.

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact,

Karen Geary, Joan Ahl, or Nicole Livingston: telephone: 703/306-1040, e-mail: pfifl@nsf.gov

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IX.  OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST

The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gp. General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices listed in Appendix A of the GPG. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF Bulletin, available monthly (except July and August), and in individual program announcements/solicitations. The Bulletin is available electronically via the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin/. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service (http://www.nsf.gov/home/cns/start.htm) to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

 

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Grantees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation regarding NSF programs, employment, or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 306-0090 or through FIRS on 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at plainlanguage@nsf.gov.

 

PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(b), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Information Dissemination Branch, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation (3145-0058), 725 - 17th Street, N.W. Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

OMB control number:  3145-0058