NSF 01-107



General Eligibility Supportable Activities Budgets Award Information


Q. I am a little unsure about the difference between the Leadership and the Institutional Transformation Awards. Could you give me some clarification?

A. The Institutional Transformation awards require cost sharing, evaluation mechanisms, and negotiation with NSF. The expectation is that institutions receiving these awards will initiate and sustain organizational change. These are likely to be large, complex efforts. The Leadership awards are probably most appropriate for smaller-scale efforts, or for use by an individual or organization that has developed some "home grown" programs that need funding to scale-up and institutionalize. Leadership awards are also designed to provide support for individuals to maintain an active research program and/or laboratory while the individual is working on activities that target increased participation and advancement of women faculty members.

Q. Do you know where I could locate some information on programs/institutions that have previously received the NSF/ADVANCE Leadership Award grant?

A. This is the first year of the ADVANCE program, so there are no prior grantees.

Q. I am a new faculty member in a tenure track position. As a graduate student and postdoc, I was part of an active group of women examining issues of advancement in academia for women and working with the university administration to effect change. I would like to develop a similar group within my current institution, connecting the ideas and practices to which I have been exposed in the past with present experience. I believe this can have a positive impact on the environment for women in this institution. I recognize that this will take time from either my teaching or my research. Would partial salary support for such an activity be a supportable activity?

A. Yes, you may request partial salary support to allow you to pursue programs to encourage the adoption of best practices for advancing women in science or engineering.


Q. I read the rules and descriptions of the new program ADVANCE. It seems to me that I don't fit in any of the categories there. I am a new faculty in a tenure track position, so I do not fit the Fellows category. How about the leadership category? Can I submit a proposal to continue funding my current research and keep working as a tenure track faculty?

A. Leadership Awards are intended to recognize the contributions made to date by organizations and/or individuals who have enabled the increased participation and advancement of women in academic and engineering careers, as well as to enable awardees to sustain, intensify and initiate new activities designed to make further progress. Leadership Awards are not intended to be a substitute for seeking core research funding from NSF's research programs to fund an individual's current research. The NSF has long-established methods to allow applicants to seek funds via competitive proposal submission; one of these would be the appropriate avenue for obtaining research support.

Q. I am conducting research on enhancing the retention of women in academic careers. I would like to take the results of my research and work with my college to put in place policies and practices that have been shown to influence retention positively. Would I be eligible to apply for a leadership award? Would support for part of my salary be appropriate, given that this implementation would contribute to my research work while at the same time providing leadership for my institution on approaches to retaining women scientists and engineers as faculty?

A. Yes, you would be eligible to apply for a leadership award. Since these awards recognize the time and work involved in efforts to enable the increased participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, partial salary support is an appropriate request. In your proposal, describe in detail the activities upon which the Leadership Award funds will be spent and submit a plan of action, including a description of methodology and specific measurements for assessing progress.

Q. I am a member of a professional society that has been active in defining and encouraging practices in our discipline that have a positive impact on retaining women in academic positions in the field. Can we submit a leadership proposal to support the work we do through the professional society on this issue?

A. Yes, leadership awards are intended to enable awardees to sustain, intensify, and initiate new activities designed to increase the participation and advancement of women scientists and engineers in academe. Professional societies that have defined approaches to improving the climate for women in U.S. academic institutions and to facilitate women's advancement to the highest ranks of academic leadership can submit proposals to support their work on this issue.

Supportable Activities

Q. I am a founding member of a program that assists women to achieve their research and professional goals. Its current focus is on the recruitment, training, retention and advancement of women faculty. Since this program was publicly announced two years ago, the positive response from women faculty in the community has been overwhelming. I am finding that the time needed to run the organization is far more than I had estimated, taking valuable time away from my research program and from my work with students and postdocs Can I request funding for a leadership award to release me from a portion of my teaching and service in the department so that I can focus my time and energy on the program for women without the effort having a detrimental effect on my research?

A. Yes, the Leadership awards provide flexibility to applicants to define how best to use the funds, including maintenance of an active research program and/or laboratory for an individual who is devoting time to activities that target increased participation and advancement of women faculty members

Q. I am conducting research on what enhances the performance of females in science and engineering. Can I submit a proposal through the middle school where I am employed, or the school district in which it is located, for an ADVANCE Leadership award to support this research?

A. Leadership awards are intended to support academic institutions of higher learning that award degrees in a field supported by NSF, professional societies, or other not-for-profit organizations. Please refer to the Program Solicitation Section III, Eligibility Information. NSF does support research on learning and on the issues that affect the participation of girls in science and engineering. In the Division of Human Resources Development, the Program for Gender Equity (http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/pge.asp) supports research and intervention programs focused on the participation of females in science and engineering. Some programs in the Division of Social and Economic Sciences (http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ses/) and in the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences ( http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/bcs/) support research on what accelerates or impedes the participation of females in science and engineering. You may also wish to consider the Research on Learning and Education (ROLE) Program, which supports research on science, mathematics, engineering and technological (SMET) learning in formal and informal educational settings (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0017/nsf0017.html).


Q. Is salary support an allowable component of the Leadership awards?

A. Yes, provided it is integral to the activities described in the proposal.

Q. Are institutional matching funds required for this program?

A. There is no matching funds requirement for the Leadership awards.

Award Information

Q. The ADVANCE guidelines state that the notification date for awards is January 31, 2002. What would be the start date for a grant?

A. The January notification date is only for the Fellows part of ADVANCE.

NSF expects to notify Leadership and Institutional Transformation awardees during the summer of 2001. NSF anticipates start dates of September-October 2001 for these awards.


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