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ADVANCE

Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers


Program Solicitation

 

NSF 02-121



FULL PROPOSAL DEADLINE(S) :

September 25, 2002Institutional Transformation Proposals

January 15, 2003Leadership Proposals

June 16, 2003

Fellows Proposals

 




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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS



GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title: ADVANCE

Synopsis of Program:
The pursuit of new scientific and engineering knowledge and its use in service to society requires the talent, perspectives and insight that can only be assured by increasing diversity in the science, engineering and technological workforce. Despite advances made in the proportion of women choosing to pursue science and engineering careers, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in almost all science and engineering fields, constituting only approximately 22% of the science and engineering workforce at large, and less than 20% of science and engineering faculty in 4-year colleges and universities. Women from minority groups underrepresented in science and engineering constitute only about 2% of science and engineering faculty in 4-year colleges and universities.

The goal of the ADVANCE program is to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce. Creative strategies to realize this goal are sought from men and women. Members of underrepresented minority groups and individuals with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. Proposals that address the participation and advancement of women from underrepresented minority groups are encouraged.


In 2002-2003, this program will offer the following awards:

2002

Institutional Transformation Awards support academic institutional transformation to promote the increased participation and advancement of women scientists and engineers in academe.

Deadline September 25, 2002

Leadership Awards build upon outstanding contributions of organizations and/or individuals who enable the increased participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, and support awardees' plans to sustain, intensify and initiate new activities designed to make further progress.

Deadline January 15, 2003.

2003

Fellows Awards enable promising individuals to establish or reestablish full-time independent academic research and education careers in institutions of higher learning.

Deadline: June 16, 2003

 

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 pursuit of new scientific and engineering knowledge and its use in service to society requires the talent, perspectives and insight that can only be assured by increasing diversity in the science, engineering and technological workforce. Despite advances made in the proportion of women choosing to pursue science and engineering careers, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in almost all science and engineering fields and constitute only approximately 22% of the science and engineering workforce at large. Women from minority groups underrepresented in science and engineering constitute only about 3% of the science and engineering workforce, and only 2% of science and engineering faculty in 4-year colleges and universities.

Academic institutions of higher learning play a pivotal role in preparing the science and engineering workforce of the 21st century. Faculty members and academic and administrative leadership at these institutions serve as intellectual, professional, personal and organizational role models that shape the expectations of many prospective scientists and engineers. The underrepresentation of senior women faculty members is likely to affect women students' critical relationships with mentors, full participation as members of research and education teams, and self-identification as potential researchers. Currently women make up less than 20% of science and engineering faculty in 4-year colleges and universities, and hold an even smaller percentage of high-ranked positions. This situation creates a minimizing effect on the number of women choosing to pursue science and engineering careers.

A number of factors have been hypothesized to account for the lower proportion of women in the senior ranks of science and engineering faculties, e.g. differential effects of conflicts between work and family demands, unequal access to resources such as space and supporting facilities, underrepresentation of women in important departmental decision-making processes, to name but a few. The cumulative effect of such diverse factors has been to create formidable barriers to the advancement of women in academic science and engineering.

To address these and other challenges, the ADVANCE Program provides award opportunities for both individuals and organizations: Fellows Awards, Institutional Transformation Awards, and Leadership Awards.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The goal of the ADVANCE Program is to increase the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce through the increased representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. With each of the three types of ADVANCE awards, NSF seeks to support new 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. Creative approaches to realize the goal of this pilot program are sought from men and women. Members of underrepresented minority groups and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Proposals that address the participation and advancement of women from underrepresented minority groups are encouraged.

A. Fellows Awards

The career development and advancement of scientists and engineers can be limited by various factors. Women particularly may experience career advancement limitations because of child-rearing or eldercare responsibilities, the relocation of a spouse, or extended postdoctoral status.

Fellows Awards are intended to serve individuals who experience such career limitations and who demonstrate high potential to develop or resume active, full-time, independent academic careers at institutions of higher learning in a science or engineering field supported by NSF. Fellows Awards are not intended to support the applicant's graduate training nor to support transitions from non-research to research careers for individuals without prior research training. Fellows proposals may be submitted directly to NSF by individuals (hereafter referred to as Unaffiliated PIs), or by institutions on behalf of individuals (hereafter referred to as Affiliated PIs). Individuals submitting Fellows proposals as Unaffiliated PIs must first register as a FastLane organization via NSF's FastLane system at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a0/about/registration.htm.

The Principal Investigator (PI) should consider the Fellows Award an opportunity to establish a strong, sustainable independent research and education career in academe. A PI seeking support through a Fellows Award is expected to provide a coherent career-development plan that describes specific research and education activities likely to improve his or her career status, such as a tenure-track position or other enhanced-status appointment. An Affiliated PI must describe the institutional resources available to realize the proposed career-development plan. An Unaffiliated PI, as part of the plan for affiliating with a host institution, must identify the institutional resources necessary for the proposed activities, at which institution(s) these resources are known/likely to be available, and how the resources will be accessed. Awards to Unaffiliated PIs will commence only when the PI affiliates with an academic host institution in the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that agrees to provide resources necessary to support the proposed career-development plan.

Fellows Awards will include salary support of up to 12-months and up to $60,000 per year plus applicable fringe benefits and a career-development allotment of up to $25,000 per year. The career-development allotment provides support for activities directly related to the proposed research and education activities in the Fellow's career-development plan, such as computing, travel to professional workshops, materials and supplies, publication charges, technical support, student support and other such needs. In addition, indirect costs will be included in the Fellows Awards at the host or home institution's standard rate. For Fellows Awards, host and home institutions must be willing to provide employee health insurance benefits for Fellows and families, and other fringe benefits as appropriate.

B. Institutional Transformation Awards

Despite some progress toward realizing gender-neutral attitudes, policies, and practices in academe, women scientists and engineers continue to be significantly underrepresented in some science and engineering fields and proportionately under-advanced in science and engineering in general in the Nation's colleges and universities. There is increasing recognition that the lack of women's full participation at the senior level of academe is often a systemic consequence of academic culture. To catalyze change that will transform academic environments in ways that enhance the participation and advancement of women in science and engineering, NSF seeks proposals for institutional transformation.

Institutional Transformation Awards provide flexibility to proposing institutions to define and implement effective approaches to increase the participation and advancement of women faculty members into the senior and leadership ranks of science and engineering, and to implement the changes necessary to institutionalize those approaches through changes to institutional policies and practices. By supporting the groundwork necessary to transform institutional practices systemically, the Institutional Transformation Awards seek to create positive, sustainable, and permanent change in academic climates.

These awards are designed to support several stages of institutional transformation, including data collection, analysis, and self-study necessary to clarify the problems and define solutions; and implementation of initiatives that bring about sustainable organizational change contributing to the advancement of women in science and engineering. Proposals must include a plan for credible assessment and evaluation to ascertain which of the activities implemented are more or less effective, and a plan for sharing best practices during and at the end of the award period. The Principal Investigator (PI) will be the director of the ADVANCE project and will have overall responsibility for managing the award, directing the project, and interacting with NSF. The PI and the lead institution are expected to develop an administrative and management structure for the ADVANCE project that enables faculty members and others involved to interact effectively in furthering the project's goals.

Proposals for Institutional Transformation Awards should show an integrated approach to addressing the complex institutional factors affecting the full participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. The project may be directed at review and transformation of one or more departments or schools of science or engineering, or of an entire institution or system. Applicants should focus on ways in which the institution can foster supportive organizational environments for women in science and engineering rather than focusing on ways to augment the skills and experience of women faculty. Proposals that address issues of organizational behavior and change as elements of institutional transformation are encouraged. Proposals must be well grounded in the research and practice on issues affecting women scientists and engineers in higher education. 

Activities focused on increasing the participation and advancement of women from particular underrepresented groups are encouraged. As indicated by the extremely low number of women of color in science and engineering, different strategies may be required to address their increased representation in science and engineering.

Activities that enhance the participation of women students in science and engineering may be included in proposals, but should not be the primary or major focus of proposals.

C. Leadership Awards

Leadership Awards recognize and encourage outstanding contributions with widespread impact on increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. The organization and implementation of activities with significant impact on increasing women's full representation and advancement in science and engineering can be time-consuming and unheralded work. With these awards, the efforts of individuals, small groups and organizations such as professional societies are recognized and supported as exhibiting leadership in advancing the diversity of the academic science and engineering workforce. Awards will enable awardees to sustain, intensify, and initiate new activities designed to increase the participation and advancement of women scientists and engineers in academe.

In general, Leadership Awards will support work that has systemic impact. Leadership in meeting the challenges of increasing the number of women in science and engineering takes many forms, including for example, development and implementation of new strategies and programs that enable women with advanced degrees or equivalent training to establish successful academic careers and advance into positions of academic leadership; programs to encourage the adoption of best practices for advancing faculty development among women in science or engineering, or programs for mentoring scientists through to senior professorships and senior academic administrative and leadership positions.

Activities that enhance the participation of women students in science and engineering may be included in proposals, but should not be the primary focus of proposals. The primary focus of activities under this category should be on faculty and leadership development.

Proposals must include letters of support (at least 1 but no more than 3) attesting to the proposer's leadership in contributing to increasing participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Fellows Awards

PIs must hold a Ph.D. in a field of science or engineering supported by NSF, be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident of the United States, and at the time of award be establishing or seeking to establish a full-time independent academic research and education career at an institution of higher learning in the U.S., its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, eligible PIs must:

either

1) have received their first doctoral degree in science and engineering between January 1998 and December 2001 and on the proposal due date:

a) be in a postdoctoral or equivalent status,
b) have never held a tenure-track or tenured position at a U.S. institution of higher learning, and
c) have not served as PI on any NSF award with the exception of doctoral dissertation, postdoctoral fellowship or research-planning grants

or

2) on the proposal due date, be out of the full-time science and engineering workforce and have been out of this workforce for 2 to 8 years to attend to family responsibilities

or

3) have resigned or plan to resign from a full-time science and engineering appointment in the 24 months preceding or the 12 months following the proposal due date because of the relocation of his or her spouse within this same time period. In order to qualify within this category, the PI must not have an offer for a tenure-track or tenured position at an institution of higher learning in the place of relocation.

Fellows proposals may be submitted directly to NSF by individuals (hereafter referred to as Unaffiliated PIs), or by institutions on behalf of individuals (hereafter referred to as Affiliated PIs).

Institutional Transformation Awards

Proposals may be submitted by academic institutions of higher learning in the U.S., its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, that award degrees in a field supported by NSF. Partnerships involving industry, government, professional societies and other not-for-profit organizations are encouraged but not required; however, in the case of partnerships, the lead partner organization must be an academic institution of higher learning and must accept overall management responsibility for the activity.

Leadership Awards

Proposals may be submitted by: academic institutions of higher learning that award degrees in a field supported by NSF; professional societies; or other not-for-profit organizations. Submitting institutions and organizations must be based in the U.S., its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Government organizations (other than academic institutions of higher learning) are not eligible to apply.

Limit on Number of Proposals: There is no limit on the number of proposals that an organization may submit. However, a Principal Investigator may submit only one Fellows proposal to the ADVANCE Program per competition.

IV. AWARD INFORMATION

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

A. Duration

Fellows Awards: up to 3 years
Institutional Transformation Awards: up to 5 years
Leadership Awards: up to 3 years

B. Amount

Fellows Awards: up to 12 months and $60,000 salary support per year plus applicable fringe benefits, an annual career-development allotment of up to $25,000, and indirect costs
Institutional Transformation Awards: up to $750,000 per year
Leadership Awards: up to $300,000 total

For Institutional Transformation Awards and for Leadership Awards, all amounts are total costs, including indirect costs and applicable allowances.

C. Notification

Fellows Awards: Fellows PIs will be notified within six months if their proposal has been selected for award. At that time, Unaffiliated PIs must seek to affiliate with institutional hosts in order to receive the award and must advise NSF of the institutional host affiliation by May 1, 2004.

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.

Step-by-step preparation and submission instructions for ADVANCE proposals are available on the ADVANCE Web page at http://www.nsf.gov/ advance/.  For ADVANCE Fellows proposals, the Principal Investigator may be the only investigator on the project. Individuals submitting Fellows proposals are encouraged to adhere to the timetable on the ADVANCE Web page. In addition, individuals submitting Fellows proposals as Unaffiliated PIs must first register as an organization via NSF's FastLane system. Detailed instructions are available on the ADVANCE Web page and on the FastLane Web site.

Deviations and or additions to GPG guidelines:

1. Proposal Content

a. Cover Sheet, NSF Form 1207:

(1) Program Announcement/Solicitation Number:

Select NSF 02-121 - ADVANCE

(2) NSF Unit of Consideration:

(a) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award (September 25, 2002):

Division: No PI selection required. Default will be automatically assigned.
Program: Select ADVANCE - Institutional Transformation.

(b) ADVANCE Leadership Award (January 15, 2003):

Division: No PI selection required. Default will be automatically assigned.
Program: Select ADVANCE - Leadership.

(c) ADVANCE Fellows Award (June 16, 2003):

Division: select the disciplinary division most closely related to the PI's research and education interests.
Program: Select ADVANCE or the disciplinary program most closely related to the PI's research and education interests.

(3) Proposal Title:

The project title should start with "ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award," "ADVANCE Leadership Award," or ADVANCE Fellows Award."

(4) Eligibility Information:

Fellows PIs must certify that they meet the eligibility criteria described in the Eligibility Information section of this announcement by checking the appropriate eligibility box.

b. Project Description Including Results from Prior NSF Support, (not to exceed 15 pages)

Provide the following materials, as appropriate:

(1) Fellows Awards

(a) Background information

- Provide a brief narrative of the PI's career history and accomplishments to date

- Describe career goals and the likely impact of a Fellows Award on achieving those goals

(b) Career-Development Plan

Provide a well argued and specific proposal for activities that will, over a 3-year period, enable the development of a strong, sustainable, independent academic career. The plan should include:

- the relation of the plan to the goal of ADVANCE;

- the objectives and significance of the proposed career-development strategy;

- the specific research and education activities to be undertaken; if those activities require redirection of current research or new skills, identify how those requirements will be met;

- the relation of the plan to the PI's career goals and to the goals of the host institution, if one has been identified;

- for Unaffiliated PIs, a description of the institutional resources necessary for the proposed activities, at which institution(s) these resources are known/likely to be available, how the resources will be accessed, and the PI's plans for affiliating with a host institution; or

- for Affiliated PIs, a description of the institutional resources available to enable the proposed career-development plans. If the PI plans to continue post-doctoral work at the host institution, explain how the ADVANCE award will advance the PI's academic standing and identify specific expectations of enhanced status at the institution. Documentation of the institution's commitment should be provided in the form of a statement from the PI's department head or equivalent confirming the institution's commitment to enabling the PI's proposed career-development plan (See Special Information and Supplementary Documentation, below.)

(2) Institutional Transformation Awards:

Provide a clear and concise plan to enable effective and sustainable institutional transformation designed to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. In the plan:

- Discuss the current status of women at the participating institution(s)/department(s) with supporting documents and data, including data on minority women from groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

- Describe the specific barriers to women's advancement that the project is intended to address; supply relevant data. Discuss the vision, goals, and anticipated impact of the proposed project. Be specific about what is new and innovative. Describe synergy among project components.

- Describe strategies for expanding the participation of women from minority groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

- Describe a performance plan and methodology that relates the project goals to indicators and specific measurements for assessing progress toward goal achievement. This assessment should involve evaluators who are external to the project, who can render an objective evaluation, and whose expertise is relevant to the issues affecting the participation and advancement of women in science and engineering.

- Describe a management/administrative structure for the project that enables project partners, faculty members and others involved to interact effectively in furthering the project's goals.

- Describe factors that support the sustainability of project results, including leadership involvement and commitment, participation of senior faculty and academic administrators, and institutional commitment to development of appropriate policies and practices and to long-term evaluation and intervention.

Proposals must include a plan for credible assessment and evaluation to ascertain which of the activities implemented are more or less effective, and a plan for sharing best practices during and at the end of the award period.


(3) Leadership Awards

- If not an academic institution, provide a brief discussion of the submitting organization, its mission and its relevance to the ADVANCE goal.

- Describe in detail activities upon which the Leadership Award funds will be spent. Describe extent of impact anticipated from proposed activities. NSF recognizes that leadership activities often require substantial commitments of time. PIs may request funds for released time and/or for support of graduate or undergraduate research assistants to help support maintenance of an active research program and/or laboratory while allowing the PI to devote more time to activities that target increased participation and advancement of women faculty members. Budget explanation notes should clarify how the funds will be allocated.

- Describe the qualifications and/or achievements of the PI and submitting organization in increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

- Describe strategies for expanding the participation of women from minority groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

- Submit a plan of action, including an assessment and evaluation component that incorporates indicators and other specific measurements for ascertaining progress in achieving the goals of the proposed activities.

c. Budget and Budget Justification:

For Fellows proposals, the budget may include:

- Salary of up to 12 months and up to $60,000 per year, plus applicable fringe benefits in accordance with host or home institution policy. Unaffiliated PIs should use 20% of the base salary as a placeholder for fringe benefits. This budget line item will be revised at the time of award to reflect the fringe benefits rate of the host institution. It is expected that fringe benefits at a minimum will include making health coverage available for the Fellow and eligible dependents.

- An allotment of up to $25,000 per year for use by the Fellow for expenses supporting the proposed research and education activities in the Fellow's career-development plan, such as computing, travel to professional workshops, materials and supplies, student support, publication charges and other such needs. A budget justification page should provide details of how these funds will be allocated.

- Unaffiliated PIs must include an indirect cost "placeholder" of $40,000 per year. This budget line item will be revised at the time of award to reflect the negotiated indirect cost rate of the host institution. Affiliated PIs should enter indirect costs corresponding to the home institution's negotiated rate.

d. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation: Original documents of the following kinds, if applicable.

Fellows Awards: Where appropriate, letters of commitment to proposed collaborations should be entered into the supplementary documents section as described in the step-by-step instructions on the ADVANCE Web page (http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/advance/).  For Affiliated PIs, the PI's department head should enter a statement describing the institution's commitment to the PI's proposed career-development plan or equivalent into the supplementary documents section as described in the step-by-step proposal preparation and submission instructions on the ADVANCE web page. The statement should include adequate information to allow assessment of the likelihood that the PI's career will be advanced through continued affiliation with the host institution, for example whether the PI will be granted status in the department that allows application for other grants and access to graduate students, whether the department is interested in considering the PI for employment in the department, and how the host department will contribute to the continued professional development of the PI.

Institutional Transformation and Leadership Awards: Where appropriate, letters of commitment to proposed collaborations, letters of support and letters to document institutional commitment to the project should be included in the supplementary documents module.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (Not Specified) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. 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 for a Fellows Award or for a Leadership Award.

Cost sharing of 20% of the requested total amount of NSF funds is required for Institutional Transformation Award proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation.

The proposed cost sharing must be shown on Line M on the proposal budget. Documentation of the availability of cost sharing must be included in the proposal. Only items which would be allowable under the applicable cost principles, if charged to the project, may be included as 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.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

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


Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time:
September 25, 2002Institutional Transformation Proposals

January 15, 2003Leadership Proposals
June 16, 2003Fellows Proposals

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: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this Program Solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.

Submission of Electronically 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 electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. 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.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the identities of 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. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation or the date of proposal receipt (whichever is later). 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 one's 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

Fellows PIs will be notified within 6 months of the deadline date if their proposal has been selected for award. At that time, Unaffiliated PIs must seek to affiliate with a host institution in order to receive the award. Unaffiliated PIs must advise NSF of the institutional host affiliation no later than May 1, 2004. A Fellows Award will not be finalized until a host institution provides to NSF a revised cover sheet and budget for the proposed activity signed by an authorized organizational representative, and a statement from the Fellow's new Department Head or equivalent endorsing the Fellow's proposed career-development plan, and committing the necessary institutional resources to it. Fellows Awards must be finalized by July 31, 2004. A Fellow who secures a tenure-track appointment that will begin after the start date and during the period of the Fellows Award must immediately notify the cognizant NSF Program Officer. NSF will request a revised budget for the grant that provides salary support consistent with the policies stated in the GPG, with the remaining funds allocated to support the Fellow's research and education activities. 

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.

For Fellows Awards, standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

For Institutional Transformation Awards, awardees will be required to submit annual reports on progress and plans that will be used as a basis for performance review to determine the level of continued funding. To support this review, and management of the institutional transformation activities undertaken, awardees will be required to develop a set of management goals and performance indicators for submission annually to NSF. These reporting requirements will be included in the cooperative agreement that is binding between the awardee institution and the NSF.

For Leadership Awards, standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

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  ADVANCE  should be made to:For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

Specific questions about Fellows proposal development should be directed to the directorate ADVANCE representatives listed under Contacts on the ADVANCE Web page. Questions about Institutional Transformation and Leadership proposal development should be directed to the ADVANCE Program Director.

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.