Instrument Development for Biological Research   (IDBR)

Program Solicitation
NSF 06-570

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 05-536

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation



Directorate for Biological Sciences
     Division of Biological Infrastructure




Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

August 25, 2006

Last Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

REVISION NOTES

In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, in Fiscal Year 2006, NSF has identified programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals, or will require that proposers utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals. Grants.gov provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.

In response to this program solicitation, proposers may opt to submit proposals via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system. In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

  1. Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. This includes collaborative proposals submitted:
  • by one organization (and which include one or more subawards); or
  • as separate submissions from multiple organizations.

Proposers are advised that collaborative proposals submitted in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov will be requested to be withdrawn and proposers will need to resubmit these proposals via the NSF FastLane system. (Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.)

  1. All Other Types of Proposals That Contain Subawards. All other types of proposals that contain one or more subawards also must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. (Chapter II, Section C.2.g.(vi)(e) of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on subawards.)

NOTE: The New Target Date for the Instrument Development for Biological Research program is now August 26, 2005 and the Last Friday in August annually thereafter.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title: 

Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR)

Synopsis of Program:

The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program supports the development of novel or of substantially improved instrumentation likely to have a significant impact on the study of biological systems at any level. The development of new, or substantial improvement of existing, software for the operation of instruments, analysis of data, or the analysis of images is also supported where these have the effect of improving instrument performance. Proposals aimed at concept or proof-of-concept development for entirely novel instrumentation are encouraged. Support for the conduct of eligible activities in academic environments is emphasized.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Helen   G   Hansma, IDBR Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: dbiiid@nsf.gov

  • Gerald   B   Selzer, IDBR Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: dbiiid@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards:   15  

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,500,000   (approximately) will be available for new IDBR awards in FY 2006, pending availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals are invited from U.S. academic institutions and independent non-profit research organizations. Proposals from eligible organizations may provide for participation of other types of organizations that are not themselves eligible to submit, such as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) and for-profit organizations. However, personnel costs for staff of such organizations may not be requested. Projects in which the main portion of the instrument development activity will be subcontracted to a FFRDC or a commercial (for profit) organization are not eligible for support by IDBR. Investigators who plan to submit proposals that include subcontracts to FFRDCs or for-profit organizations should contact an IDBR program director for guidance.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane:

    • Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply

  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov:

    • NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf) To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package: click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov website, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button.

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required by NSF.  
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this announcement for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

    August 25, 2006

    Last Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:   National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this announcement for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:   Standard NSF award conditions apply

Reporting Requirements:   Standard NSF reporting requirements apply

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. NSF Merit Review Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

Recent advances in the biological sciences have emphasized the importance of new and improved instrumentation to progress in biological research. For over 20 years, the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) has supported the development and improvement of instrumentation useful in the conduct of basic research in biology through awards made by its Instrument Development in Biological Research (IDBR) program. Such instrumentation includes, but is not limited to, analytical instruments, microscopes of various types, sensors, and related devices for detection or measurement of biological molecules, structures or phenomena at any level, from that of individual molecules to that of whole ecosystems. To be eligible for support through IDBR, projects should aim at providing instruments with new or enhanced performance. "Performance" includes: accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility or breadth of application, cost of construction or operation, and user-friendliness. In general, projects whose aim is the combination of individual pieces of equipment are not considered to be instrument development unless there is a significant challenge in achieving the combination.

The development of new instrumentation provides an ideal opportunity for the training of students in multiple disciplines. Therefore, the IDBR program expects that most projects it supports will include provisions for the training or education of undergraduate, graduate and/or postdoctoral students. Therefore, in the selection of projects for support, the program emphasizes projects that will be conducted in academic environments.

The program does not support research or technique development activities, except to the extent these are required as part of the development of the new or improved instrument, or for the demonstration of its utility. Projects emphasizing the development of new research techniques should be addressed to an appropriate research program. The anticipated uses of the instrumentation to be developed or improved should include areas of research that fall within the scope of the Directorate for Biological Sciences (see BIO Home Page at http://www.nsf.gov/bio).

The BIO Directorate supports research and education activities whose goal is improved understanding of fundamental life processes at any level of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems. Projects aimed at instrumentation whose primary use will be in studies of the etiology, diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality, or malfunction in human beings or animals, is not supported by IDBR. Similarly, the development or testing of drugs or of procedures for their use is also not eligible for support. Such projects should be addressed to an appropriate program in another NSF Directorate or to another agency.

Projects in which the main portion of the instrument development activity will be subcontracted to a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) or a commercial (for profit) organization are also not eligible for support by IDBR, and should be addressed to an appropriate NSF program or to another agency.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The IDBR program provides support for development of the following:

  • Concept and proof of concept of novel instruments for biological research;
  • New instruments that provide new capabilities for detection, measurement, and/or observation of biological phenomena, or that significantly extend currently achievable sensitivity, accuracy or resolution;
  • Novel or substantially improved instruments for study of biological systems at any level of organization from molecules to ecosystems;
  • Improved or novel software for the operation of instruments, or software that effectively improves instrument sensitivity, accuracy, resolution or speed; and
  • New or improved devices for remote sensing of environmental and other information relevant to biological research, including novel software needed to network, operate, and collect data from such sensing devices.

The program also supports workshops in emerging areas of instrumentation and instrument development relevant to areas of biological research supported by the Directorate for Biological Sciences.

The requested funds and award duration should be commensurate with the proposed activities. There are no specific limits on the amount of funds that may be requested; however, the requested period of support should not exceed 48 months. Typical awards are in the range of $150,000 to $250,000 total annual cost for a period of 24 to 36 months, not including the cost of any requested equipment. Renewal proposals, i.e., those requesting continued support of an ongoing project supported through a previous IDBR award, are accepted. While it is not required that instruments developed under these awards have multiple users, the IDBR program expects that the advances that result from its awards will lead to improved instrumentation that is of use to a broad set of potential users, and is likely to lead to significant advances in biological research.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Funding is available beginning the February following submission. Typical IDBR awards are in the range of $300,000 to $750,000 total costs over 24 to 36 months, not including the cost of any equipment. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals are invited from U.S. academic institutions and independent non-profit research organizations. Proposals from eligible organizations may provide for participation of other types of organizations that are not themselves eligible to submit, such as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) and for-profit organizations. However, personnel costs for staff of such organizations may not be requested. Projects in which the main portion of the instrument development activity will be subcontracted to a FFRDC or a commercial (for profit) organization are not eligible for support by IDBR. Investigators who plan to submit proposals that include subcontracts to FFRDCs or for-profit organizations should contact an IDBR program director for guidance.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Additional Eligibility Info:

Proposals are invited from U.S. academic institutions and independent non-profit research organizations. Proposals from eligible organizations may provide for participation of other types of organizations that are not themselves eligible to submit, such as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) and for-profit organizations. Personnel costs for staff of such organizations may not be requested. Projects in which the main portion of the instrument development activity will be subcontracted to a FFRDC or a commercial (for profit) organization are inappropriate for support by IDBR. Investigators who plan to submit proposals that include subcontracts to FFRDCs or for-profit organizations should contact the IDBR program for guidance.

Except for beginning investigators (see GPG, Chapter I, Section A. for definition), the IDBR program and other BIO programs will not review proposals that are substantially the same as a proposal submitted to and under review by another Federal agency, or submitted to another program at the NSF. In some circumstances, involving very large projects, proposals may be jointly submitted to other Federal agencies, with prior written approval by all agencies involved. Generally, such proposals are submitted in response to a special program solicitation. Proposers contemplating submission of such proposals should contact the IDBR program for guidance.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Instructions:  Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF 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.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

  1. Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. This includes collaborative proposals submitted:
  • by one organization (and which include one or more subawards); or
  • as separate submissions from multiple organizations. Proposers are advised that collaborative proposals submitted in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov will be requested to be withdrawn and proposers will need to resubmit these proposals via FastLane. (Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.)
  1. All Other Types of Proposals That Contain Subawards. All other types of proposals that contain one or more subawards also must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system.

Proposals must be submitted by FastLane (see "FastLane Submission" section below) and must follow guidelines described in the GPG. The following additions or modifications apply to proposals submitted to this Program:

  1. Cover Sheet:

Provide a cover sheet as described in the GPG. Indicate the number of this program solicitationt in the appropriate box. In the box labeled "For consideration by NSF organizational unit," select "INSTRUMENTAT & INSTRUMENT DEVP" from the drop-down list. The project title should begin with "IDBR:" and be descriptive of the development activity to be pursued. If vertebrate animals or human subjects will be used, check the appropriate box, and provide the date of IRB or IACUC approval. If approval has not been obtained at the time of submission, indicate "pending" or "planned" instead of a date. If needed, such approval may be obtained after proposal review, but must be obtained before an award can be made.

  1. Project Summary (not more than 1 page in length):

Provide a summary, as specified in the GPG, of the planned instrumentation development activity, the type(s) of biological research for which the instrument will be used (either by the Principal Investigator or by future intended users), and the expected significance of the instrument for that research. The summary should be understandable to a scientifically literate reader. As required of all NSF proposals, the project summary must clearly address in separate statements: (1) the intellectual merit of the proposal activity; and (2) the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. Additional information about intellectual merit and broader impacts is available below.

  1. Project Description:

Provide a description, as specified in the GPG, of the instrument development activity to be pursued. This section may not exceed 15 pages in length. The section must cover the following four points:

Results from Prior NSF Support (not more than 5 pages in length): Describe the results of any relevant NSF award received by the PI or co-PIs in the last five years. Only describe projects related to the proposed project, if any, as specified in the GPG. This description should discuss the broader impacts of the previous support.

Development Plan: Describe the development program to be undertaken, including the design of the proposed instrument, in detail sufficient to allow assessment of the feasibility of the instrument and the potential success of the project.

Broader Impacts: Scope of Potential Use: Provide examples of the types of basic biological research in which the proposed instrument is expected to be of use. Explain specifically why no existing instrumentation will adequately fill the expected role of the proposed instrument. Estimate, where possible, the number and range of users and research areas that would benefit from development of this instrument. Describe plans to disseminate results of the project.

Other Broader Impacts: Education and Human Resources: Describe the expected contribution of the project to the education and development of human resources in science and engineering at the undergraduate, graduate, and/or postdoctoral levels. This discussion may include, but is not limited to, student training, course preparation, and seminars. Other expected impacts, such as those on K-12 or public education may also be mentioned. The impact on production or enabling of professional scientists and engineers from under-represented groups should be described. Describe any other anticipated benefits to society.

  1. References Cited:

Provide references as specified in the GPG.

  1. Biographical Sketches:

Provide biographical sketches for each of the senior personnel, professional staff, and any named postdoctoral students in the format specified in the GPG. Each biographical sketch is limited to two pages in length.

  1. Budgets:

Provide a budget as specified in the GPG. Among other items, funds for personnel, shop costs, and indirect costs may be requested. The period of support requested should not exceed 48 months. The budget justification, which must not exceed three pages, should itemize and explain all project costs.

  1. Current and Pending Support:

Provide information on all current and pending support as specified in the GPG for all senior personnel and for any other personnel for whom a biosketch is included.

  1. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources:

Provide a facilities statement as described in the GPG.

  1. Supplementary Documents:

When applicable, include documentation of collaborative arrangements discussed in the proposal. No letters of endorsement may be included.

  1. List of Suggested Reviewers (optional): Proposers may include a list of suggested reviewers whom they believe are well qualified to review the proposal. Proposers may also include a list of individuals who they would prefer not review the proposal. The form for this purpose is provided under Single Copy Documents.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

The target date for submitting proposals to the IDBR program is the last Friday in August annually. Proposals received by the target date are considered by an Advisory Panel that meets approximately 3-4 months following the target date.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:   Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.

Other Budgetary Limitations:  Projects of up to 48 months duration are supported.


C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

    August 25, 2006

    Last Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

Detailed technical instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://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 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/

  • For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:

Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. The Grants.gov's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program and, if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.The two NSB-approved 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 the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

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

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

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

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

Additional Review Criteria:

In addition, reviewers are also asked to consider the following:

  • feasibility of the proposed instrument design, including the likelihood of achieving expected performance;
  • appropriateness of the project to the goals of the IDBR program, including the likely impact of the proposed instrument or software on biological research;
  • adequacy and justification for proposed budget and timeline;
  • the adequacy of the investigators' current research grants to support biological research that will utilize the instrument, and/or the developer's plans and capacity to transfer the technology to commercial development or to wider public research use;
  • the adequacy of the mechanical and electronics shops or of subcontractors offering equivalent services, as appropriate; and
  • potential of the project for the integration of research and education, and for the broadening of participation of members of underrepresented groups or underserved communities.

As part of the consideration of the merit of the research, the reviewers examine the importance of any new knowledge to be gained during the development project, of the biological research for which the instrument is eventually intended. As a part of the consideration of the effect on infrastructure, the reviewers consider the likely importance of the instrument to the biological research community.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Adhoc Review 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.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. 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 date of receipt.  The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

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 names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer.  In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

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 their 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 Website at http://www.nsf.gov/home/grants/grants_gac.htm. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 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 Website 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 Website at http://www.gpo.gov.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports.  Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) 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.  Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Helen   G   Hansma, IDBR Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: dbiiid@nsf.gov

  • Gerald   B   Selzer, IDBR Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: dbiiid@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

  • FastLane Help Desk, telephone: 1-800-673-6188; e-mail: fastlane@nsf.gov.

  • Raphael   V   Brown, Science Assistant, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, telephone: 703-292-8756, fax: 703-292-9063, email: biofl@nsf.gov

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service)is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests.  MyNSF also is available on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering.

"NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.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 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

pubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


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; and 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 proposer 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 or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; 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," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, " 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (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 the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230

 


 

Policies and Important Links

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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
01/24/13
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