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Biomedical Engineering Program and Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities Program (BME/RAPD)

Announcements of Programs


Program Announcement

NSF 01-12

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      DIVISION OF BIOENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS




DEADLINE(S) :
October 12, 2001Unsolicited proposals will be accepted annually between September 1st and the second Friday in October. There are no deadlines for Undergraduate Design Projects' proposals.

 




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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS



GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title: Biomedical Engineering Program and Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities Program (BME/RAPD)

Synopsis of Program: The BME/RAPD programs encompass (a) the Biomedical Engineering program (BME) and (b) the Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities program (RAPD). Biomedical Engineering supports research that, often with diagnosis or treatment-related goals, applies engineering principles to problems in biology and medicine while advancing the engineering knowledge base. Integration of engineering expertise with life science principles is an essential requirement for advances in this field. The RAPD program supports the development of technologies for new and improved devices or software for persons with disabilities. Current areas of particular interest in BME/RAPD are biomedical photonics; novel tissue characterization schemes; new cellular and tissue engineering concepts; the innovative integration of multi-disciplinary technologies for new imaging and biosensing systems; and, home care technologies related to chronic illness, persons with disabilities, and the aging. Support is provided through submission of unsolicited proposals as well as through special initiatives. Additional information about BME/RAPD is found at http://www.eng.nsf.gov/bes/.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

AWARD INFORMATION

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements

PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION












TABLE OF CONTENTS



SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  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

The mission of the BME/RAPD is to provide opportunities to develop novel ideas into projects that integrate engineering and life science principles in solving biomedical problems to serve humanity. The program focuses on high impact transforming technologies for deriving information from cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems, extraction of useful information from complex biomedical signals, new approaches to the design of structures and materials for eventual medical use, and new methods of controlling living systems. BME/RAPD is also directed toward the characterization, restoration, and/or substitution of normal functions in humans. Emphasis is placed on significant advancement of fundamental engineering knowledge and not on incremental improvements. Undergraduate engineering design projects are also supported, especially those that provide prototype "custom-designed" devices or software for persons with mental and/or physical disabilities. The BME/RAPD programs do not support clinical studies but initial evaluation in a clinical setting is encouraged.

Continued growth of the field depends on the availability of highly skilled individuals needed for the next generation work force. Principal Investigators (PIs) of research projects are expected to include a strong educational component in their proposed work plan. The education of undergraduate engineering students is enhanced through Undergraduate Design Projects' awards supported by the BME/RAPD program. PIs are encouraged to apply for supplemental funding under the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program (NSF 00-107).

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

PROPOSAL CATEGORIES

A. Investigator-initiated Research Proposals:

Proposals from all areas of biomedical engineering and research to aid persons with disabilities are welcome. Since the field is characterized by its strong muli-disciplinary nature, priority will be given to projects that are dependent on fundamental knowledge of both engineering and the life sciences. An appropriate balance between theory and experiment is encouraged.

Typical annual funding for research projects with one or two investigators is in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. Since some projects require a higher level of funding, potential applicants whose projects include strong multi-disciplinary cooperation are urged to explore programmatic interest by other NSF programs. The BME/RAPD Programs support group and GOALI (NSF 98-142) awards.

The areas of interest include models and tools for understanding and control of biological systems; fundamental improvements in deriving information from cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems; new approaches to the design of structures and materials for eventual medical use; and, new methods of reducing health care costs through new technologies. BME/RAPD also supports research directed toward the characterization, restoration, and substitution of normal functions in humans. Emphasis is on the advancement of fundamental engineering knowledge that leads to the development of new technologies or to the novel application of existing technologies.

Areas of research interest include

B. Undergraduate Design Projects.

Proposals requesting support for undergraduate student engineers or engineering technology students to provide prototype "custom designed" devices and software to aid persons with disabilities are welcome. The primary goal of this thrust is to provide a meaningful design experience for the engineering student that will directly aid a specific disabled individual. The expectation is that this "real world" experience will give engineering students a sense of purpose and pride, help engineering schools serve the community, attract new students into engineering, and raise student interest in graduate education.

In addition to the guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 01-2), the following requirements apply to the proposals requesting support for Undergraduate Design Projects:

It is expected that each grantee will implement a high percentage of projects. It is also expected that the projects will contain appropriate levels of quantitative engineering analysis. Continued funding for years beyond an initial year of support will be based on the quality of projects, how well the design experience of the students is integrated with the rest of their academic program, the number of successfully implemented projects, and the availability of funds.


III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.

IV. AWARD INFORMATION

A. Research Awards: Typically 3 years. Mix of standard and continuing.
B. Undergraduate Design Projects: Typically 5 years. Continuing. Special report provision (see VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION. C. Reporting Requirements).


V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Instructions:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at: http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf012. 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 announcement/solicitation number (NSF 01-12 ) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the NSF Form 1207, Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

In accordance with Congressional requirements (see GPM 330), NSF requires that each awardee share in the cost of research projects resulting from unsolicited proposals. For purposes of NSF, proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation are considered unsolicited. The awardee may meet the statutory cost sharing requirement by choosing either of two alternatives: (1) by cost sharing a minimum of one percent on the project; or (2) by cost sharing a minimum of one percent on the aggregate costs of all NSF-supported projects requiring cost sharing.

The minimum one percent statutory cost sharing requirement discussed above need NOT be entered on Line M of the NSF Form 1030.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: None.

Other Budgetary Limitations: See II. Program Description B. Undergraduate Design Projects.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation must be submitted by 5:00 PM, local time on the following date(s):
October 12, 2001Unsolicited proposals will be accepted annually between September 1st and the second Friday in October.

There are no deadlines for Undergraduate Design Projects' proposals.


 
 

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Announcement through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call 1-800-673-6188.


Submission of Signed Cover Sheets. The signed copy of the proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207) must be postmarked (or contain a legible proof of mailing date assigned by the carrier) within five working days following proposal submission and be forwarded to the following address:




National Science Foundation
DIS FastLane Cover Sheet
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230

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 research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

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.

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.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and signed by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are mailed to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Mail and/or panel review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

NSF will be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months for 95 percent of proposals. The time interval begins on the proposal deadline or target date or from the date of receipt, if deadlines or target dates are not used by the program. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, 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. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements 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 and Agreements Officer does so at its own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization 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 Division administering the program. 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 announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). 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, 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.

Special Award Conditions
For Undergraduate Design Projects a report is due by July 1 of each grant year as described under Reporting Requirements below.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing 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.

Additional Requirements for Undergraduate Design Projects' awards:

In addition to the progress report requirements of FDP-III, ASR, Article 8 or GC-1, Article 15, the PI will provide by July 1st of each grant year, a two page report for each implemented project which includes the following:

Page 1
A photograph of the prototype device. Describe, in layman's terms, the device and its impact upon the individual who received the device.

Page 2
A technical description and the approximate cost of the device.

It is NSF's intention to compile the reports from all the grant recipients into a yearly report for general distribution. NSF expects that each grantee will actually implement a very high percentage of projects. Continued funding for years beyond the initial support of the grant will be based on the number and quality of the implemented devices in the previous years and the availability of funds.

For all awards:

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.

VIII. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

General inquiries regarding  Biomedical Engineering Program and Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities Program  should be made to:

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

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. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. 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.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees 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/solicitation for further information.

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 about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090, FIRS at 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 proposal 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.