MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MPS-DRF)


Program Announcement

NSF 01-154



DIRECTORATE FOR MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES




FULL PROPOSAL DEADLINE(S) :
November 21, 2001and 2nd Wednesday in October in subsequent years, until cancelled

 




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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS



GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title: MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MPS-DRF)

Synopsis of Program: The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a special opportunity for postdoctoral investigators to conduct research projects abroad as MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellows (MPS-DRF). The objective of this activity is to provide talented recent doctoral recipients in the mathematical and physical sciences an effective means of establishing international collaborations in the early stages of their careers, thereby facilitating and enhancing connections between the U.S. science and engineering community and its international counterparts. By providing the resources needed to establish collaborations with potential for long-term impact, this activity is aimed at recognizing and supporting future leaders. As the scientific enterprise becomes increasingly global, there is a growing need for scientists who will excel and provide leadership in such an environment.


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 Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a special opportunity for postdoctoral investigators to conduct research projects abroad as MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellows (MPS-DRF). The objective of this activity is to provide talented recent doctoral recipients in the mathematical and physical sciences an effective means of establishing international collaborations in the early stages of their careers, thereby facilitating and enhancing connections between the U.S. science and engineering community and its international counterparts. By providing the resources needed to establish collaborations with potential for long-term impact, this activity is aimed at recognizing and supporting future leaders. As the scientific enterprise becomes increasingly global, there is a growing need for scientists who will excel and provide leadership in such an environment.

MPS encourages applicants whose research would especially benefit from international collaboration to apply for an MPS-DRF award.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

MPS-DRF awards are available for research abroad in the mathematical and physical sciences. Science centers in all foreign geographical regions are eligible as host institutions. Appropriate establishments include institutions of higher education; industrial research institutions and laboratories; government research institutes, laboratories, and centers; and non-profit research organizations.

There are some similarities between this program and the International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP) managed by the National Science Foundation's Division of International Programs (see http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/int/9614rev.htm). Since the objectives and the guidelines of the two programs differ somewhat, prospective applicants should examine both programs to determine the best match.

A unique feature of this program is that resources are available during the fellowship period for awardees to travel in order to establish and to further international contacts and collaborations and to maintain a viable presence in the Fellow's research community in the United States. Thus, Fellows will be provided resources to visit other foreign sites as well as to return to the U.S. for short visits.

In addition to the standard National Science Board merit review criteria, proposals will be evaluated on their potential for furthering international cooperation. The location of the research site should be chosen for its appropriateness to the project and its potential for establishing long-term productive collaborations. However, the geographic location of the research site itself will not be a consideration in the review process.


III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Eligibility is limited to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who fulfill requirements for the doctoral degree in a field supported by a program in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (see http://www.nsf.gov/mps/) between June 1 of the year of submission and September 30 of the year following submission. Proposals are normally submitted by the applicants through their home institutions. However, proposals will be accepted from individuals who have no current institutional affiliation. Individuals with no current institutional affiliation will need to register for FastLane by following the directions located at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm#individualregistration


IV. AWARD INFORMATION

Support may be requested for residence abroad for funding up to $100,000 per year for up to 24 months. NSF expects to fund up to 20 awards, depending on the quality of the submissions and the availability of funds. Awards will include support for travel, living expenses (which vary according to the host country), dependent allowances (if needed), and other (possibly research-related) expenses. In addition, as mentioned above, resources will be available for travel to establish and to further international contacts and collaborations and to maintain a viable presence in the U.S. scientific community. For more information on allowable costs, see the relevant section of Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions below. Successful applicants will be notified by March 1. Awardees are expected to work full-time on their research projects. Support is not provided for teaching, writing textbooks, preparation of prior research results for publication, or similar activities.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal:

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?gpg. 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.

Before starting proposal preparation in FastLane, you must either be submitting through your home institution or, if you have no current institutional affiliation, you will need to register for FastLane by following the directions located at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm#individualregistration.

All proposals must be submitted via the FastLane Proposal Preparation and Submission System. Information regarding the FastLane system and instructions for electronic submission are available from the FastLane home page at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number in the program announcement/solicitation block on the NSF Form 1207, "Cover Sheet for Proposal to the National Science Foundation." The cover sheet will automatically identify the organizational unit to receive the proposal. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

Proposals must include all of the following items in the order given below. In cases where requirements given in this document differ from those given in Part II of the Grant Proposal Guide (see above), the former take precedent.

(a) Information about Principal Investigators/Project Directors - NSF Standard FastLane Form 1225. This form will be generated automatically by FastLane.

(b) NSF Cover Page - NSF Standard FastLane Form 1207.

(c) Project Summary, up to 250 words.

(d) Table of Contents - NSF FastLane Form 1359. This form will be generated automatically by FastLane.

(e) Project description, not to exceed ten single-spaced pages, which must include the following information:

i. A detailed research plan;

ii. A detailed justification for conducting the research abroad, identifying the collaborating scientist(s), relating the proposed research to current research efforts at the host institution, describing facilities and any other evidence of the suitability of the foreign collaborator and site;

iii. A description of the long-term career goals of the applicant and the role of this postdoctoral experience in achieving them, including future plans for collaborative activities.

(f) References Cited.

(g) Biographical sketch as described in the Grant Proposal Guide.

(h) NSF Budget Page - NSF Standard FastLane Form 1030 (see section below on allowable costs).

(i) Detailed budget justification:

(1) Provide a statement of financial resources anticipated during the award period, including earned income, and/or financial aid received or applied for;

(2) Provide justification for travel within the host country or other appropriate travel, if such travel is requested;

(3) Provide an estimated cost breakdown using the information below:

Allowable Costs.

MPS-DRF awards consist of several components, or allowable costs, including international airfare and living allowance, for example. These allowable costs are listed below. The section which follows provides specific instructions on how to request coverage of these costs by means of a standard NSF Form 1030 (Summary Proposal Budget) that must accompany the proposal.

 

Estimating Allowable Cost Items

Applicants are required to include a proposed budget on NSF Form 1030, 'Summary Proposal Budget,' as well as an estimated cost breakdown in the section on budget justification. The estimated cost breakdown should be prepared first, after which the information it contains can easily be summarized on the Form 1030, as described below. NSF may negotiate these estimates with successful candidates and revise them accordingly.

Since these awards support travel and research of an individual, all costs should be listed under the item F: Participant Support.

Refer to the previous section to determine allowable costs. Then prepare the estimated cost breakdown page, which should include the following items:

Total round-trip airfare: @ $ ........ = $.............

Excess baggage allowance = $300
(for awardee and each dependent for initial transportation to the foreign site and final trip back to the United States)

Living allowance for ... months @ $........ = $ ........

NOTE: Before deciding on the amount of the stipend, applicants should consult with their prospective hosts to determine how much is required to live in the country. If hosts cannot provide an answer, use the maximum monthly rate of $4,500. NSF will negotiate an acceptable rate with successful applicants based on the U.S. Government per diem prevailing at the time the award is made. The rate is found by computing the first month at 100% of the per diem rate and subsequent months at 50% of the per diem rate. These per diem rates may be found at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dfm/travpg.htm and clicking on per diem for foreign travel.

Dependent allowance for ...... months @ $ ........ = $...........

Health insurance @$50/month = $........
(for awardee and each dependent)

Airfare for return visits to the United States: = $........
(requires a two to three sentence justification)

In-country travel $........
(requires a two to three sentence justification related to research project)

Materials and supplies $........
(requires a two to three sentence justification)

Language training $ ........
(requires a two to three sentence justification and brief description of proposed site and method)

Other travel required to carry out the research project = $ .......

(This may include travel for necessary visits to other foreign sites in order to carry out the proposed research or to workshops and conferences related to the research. Other travel needs may become apparent during the Fellowship period and may be requested as long as the total award per year does not exceed $100,000.)

Other research-related costs $........
(requires a two to three sentence justification)

MPS-DRF proposals submitted through the applicant's home institution may request up to $5,000 (Form 1030, line I) for institutional administrative costs.

Completing NSF Standard Form 1030, 'Summary Proposal Budget,'

Under F. Participant Support Costs - enter, by category, the amount you are requesting for stipends, travel, subsistence, and other.

The following items (j and k) are considered to be Supplementary Documentation and are the only items permitted as supplementary documentation or appendices. Each of these can be saved as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and uploaded to FastLane as Supplementary Documentation. Use the NSF FastLane Form for Supplementary Documentation.

(j) A letter of invitation from the prospective host scientist stating the proposed interaction between the applicant's research plan and ongoing research efforts at the foreign site, and his/her curriculum vitae in English. This item should be uploaded as a file into Supplementary Docs.

(k) Letters of support for the collaboration/visit from collaborators at other foreign institutions. These items should be uploaded as files into Supplementary Docs.

Since this program relies upon reviewed proposals rather than applications, letters of recommendation will not be considered and should not be included

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF 01-154) 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.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Announcement.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: None

Other Budgetary Limitations: Award amounts are expected to be for up to $100,000 per year for up to 24 months.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):


Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time:
November 21, 2001and 2nd Wednesday in October in subsequent years, until cancelled

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 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov.

Submission of Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov.

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 sent 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 is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months for 70 percent of proposals. The time interval begins on the date of receipt. 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.

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.

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  MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships  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.

There are a number of other NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunities including the following:

NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering (Including Special Opportunities for Visiting Scientists from Partner Countries)

Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and Supporting Activities

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biological Informatics

CISE Postdoctoral Research Associates

International Research Fellowships

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Science and Technology Agency of Japan (STA) Postdoctoral Awards for U.S. Researchers

Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Microbial Biology

Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experience (RIDGE) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships


Information on the above activities may be found through the NSF Web site at
http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/DGE/postdoc.pdf

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.

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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.


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