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National Science Foundation


NSF 11-014
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Graduate Research Diversity Supplements (GRDS) to Current ENG Awards to Broaden Participation

November 17, 2010

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 20, 2011

Graduate Research Diversity Supplement requests must be submitted via FastLane by 5:00 p.m., proposer's local time, on or before January 20, 2011.

The following set of questions and answers refer to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Graduate Research Diversity Supplements (GRDS) to Current ENG Awards to Broaden Participation.

Before preparing your GRDS request please read the GRDS Dear Colleague Letter at
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf11013, this FAQs document, and the information about requesting supplemental support contained in Part II of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) available at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=papp.

The procedure for submitting GRDS requests is the same as that described in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) solicitation under the sections for REU supplements for investigators holding an existing NSF research award. The REU solicitation is available at:
http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5517&from=fund.

Also, if you have questions concerning submitting your GRDS request in FastLane you may want to consult the following website that contains useful information on FastLane:
https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/NSFHelp/flashhelp/fastlane/FastLane_Help/fastlane_help.htm#fastlane_faqs_introduction.htm.

The following sections of this document can be directly accessed by selecting the appropriate heading:

CONTACTS FOR QUESTIONS

  1. Who should I contact if I have questions about my GRDS request?

GRDS ELIGIBILITY

  1. Is there a limit on the number of GRDSs I can request for my award?
  2. I am currently the PI on an Engineering Research Center (ERC) or other center type of award. Can I request more than one GRDS this year?
  3. The student on my award started last Fall (2009). Is the student an eligible candidate for the GRDS support?
  4. The student I hope to support on my award is expecting her permanent residency in a few months. Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS?
  5. The student I would like to support on my Engineering Directorate funded award is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Physics (or another Science discipline). Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS?
  6. My student just finished her M.S. degree in engineering. Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS supplement?
  7. I am currently supporting a non-GRDS funded student on my award. Can I request funds to support this student for an additional year (or two) through the GRDS Program?
  8. I am currently supporting a GRDS funded student on my award. Can I request GRDS funding to continue supporting this student for an additional year?
  9. I received my award from the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences and I would like to support a GRDS student pursuing a degree in an engineering discipline. Is my award eligible for a GRDS?
  10. I heard from my Program Director that my proposal is being recommended for an award. Can I request a GRDS before the award is official?
  11. My award is expiring in two months and I have requested a one-year no-cost extension. Can I request a GRDS to my award?

GRDS CONTENT, BUDGET PREPARATION, AND FASTLANE SUBMISSION

  1. I am completing my budget form. Where do I place the allowable GRDS support costs on the budget form?
  2. Where does the student's biographical sketch go when I submit the supplement request through FastLane?
  3. The GRDS Dear Colleague Letter instructs me to "enter a description of the proposed GRDS activity (limited to three pages) in support of broadening participation." Where does this description go in the FastLane supplement request?
  4. Can I submit a GRDS request for more than twelve months of support?
  5. Can my university apply their current, negotiated indirect cost rate for my GRDS budget request?
  6. I did not see a limit on the amount of funds I can request for a GRDS. Is there a limit?

GRDS REVIEW AND DECISIONS

  1. How will my GRDS funding request be reviewed?
  2. When will I be notified if my GRDS is being recommended for award?

 

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CONTACTS FOR QUESTIONS

  1. Who should I contact if I have questions about my GRDS request?
    For questions or information on submission of a GRDS contact the cognizant Division GRDS Coordinator in the division which will fund the award supplement:
    • Dr. Omnia El-Hakim, Program Director, Diversity and Outreach, Office of the Assistant Director for Engineering, oelhakim@nsf.gov, 703-292-2149
    • Dr. Marshall Lih, Senior Advisor, Division of Chemical, Biomedical, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), mlih@nsf.gov, 703-292-4608
    • Dr. Glaucio Paulino, Program Director, Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), gpaulino@nsf.gov, 703-292-7060
    • Dr. Lawrence Goldberg, Senior Engineering Advisor, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), lgoldber@nsf.gov, 703-292-5373
    • Ms. Victoria Kwasiborski, Program Analyst, Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), vkasibo@nsf.gov, 703-292-5363
    • Dr. Juan Figueroa, Program Director, Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), jfiguero@nsf.gov, 703-292-7054

For questions related to the use of FastLane to submit the supplement contact:

GRDS ELIGIBILITY

  1. Is there a limit on the number of GRDSs I can request for my award?
    Yes. Only one new Ph.D. student for GRDS may be supported under each ENG research grant per year. The exception is for ongoing ENG Center awards where the limit is two GRDS students per year, per award, as long as the students are located on different campuses funded by the Center.
  2. I am currently the PI on an Engineering Research Center (ERC) or other center type of award. Can I request more than one GRDS this year?
    Yes, since awards such as the Engineering Research Centers are multi-campus and usually multi-state awards, you can have more than one student associated with more than one PI in your GRDS request. The request should be submitted by the PI of the lead university and there is a limitation of two students per award. Each of the students must be located on different campuses funded by the Center. Sub award budget requests should be included for any student(s) not located on the campus of the lead university.
  3. The student on my award started last Fall (2009). Is the student an eligible candidate for the GRDS support?
    No. The student must be new---pursuing a Ph.D. as a newly enrolled student (starting the Spring 2011 semester) or planning to pursue a Ph.D. (starting the Fall 2011 semester).
  4. The student I hope to support on my award is expecting her permanent residency in a few months. Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS?
    No. GRDS candidates must be United States citizens, United States nationals, or permanent residents of the United States by the GRDS deadline.
  5. The student I would like to support on my Engineering Directorate funded award is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Physics (or another Science discipline). Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS?
    No. GRDS candidates must be pursuing or planning to pursue a degree in an Engineering discipline.
  6. My student just finished her M.S. degree in engineering. Is she an eligible candidate for a GRDS supplement?
    Yes, she is an eligible candidate as long as she will be enrolling in a Ph.D. Program starting in the Spring or Fall of 2011.
  7. I am currently supporting a non-GRDS funded student on my award. Can I request funds to support this student for an additional year (or two) through the GRDS Program?
    No. The intent of the GRDS Program is to broaden participation in engineering by bringing new Ph.D. students into the engineering pipeline and to provide continuity up to three years for underrepresented students performing well and in good academic standing.
  8. I am currently supporting a GRDS funded student on my award. Can I request GRDS funding to continue supporting this student for an additional year?
    Yes, GRDS can be renewed annually for a maximum duration of three years for an individual student provided the award is active. In addition to the GRDS funding request description, renewal for a second or third year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the Ph.D. degree. The GRDS renewal award is subject to availability of funds in the program.
  9. I received my award from the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences and I would like to support a GRDS student pursuing a degree in an engineering discipline. Is my award eligible for a GRDS?
    No. GRDS awards are only for current awards supported by the Directorate for Engineering with an Engineering Directorate Program as the primary funding organization.
  10. I heard from my Program Director that my proposal is being recommended for an award. Can I request a GRDS before the award is official?
    No, GRDS awards can only be made to awards currently funded by the Directorate for Engineering. Therefore, you will have to wait until next year to request a GRDS.
  11. My award is expiring in two months and I have requested a one-year no-cost extension. Can I request a GRDS to my award?
    Yes, however, the no-cost extension must be approved and in place before you request the supplement and before the GRDS deadline since the term of a GRDS cannot exceed the remaining time left on an award.

GRDS CONTENT, BUDGET PREPARATION AND FASTLANE SUBMISSION

  1. I am completing my budget form. Where do I place the allowable GRDS support costs on the budget form?
    All GRDS student costs should be entered in Section F (Participant Support Costs) on the funding request budget.  Show any other allowable costs for the student on Line F.4 "Other."
  2. Where does the student's biographical sketch go when I submit the supplement request through FastLane?
    You will upload the student's biographical sketch into the Supplementary Documents section of the GRDS funding request. Please be sure that the biographical sketch describes and incorporates the student's long-range career goals and commitment to diversity as a resource for enriching education in engineering disciplines.
  3. The GRDS Dear Colleague Letter instructs me to "enter a description of the proposed GRDS activity (limited to three pages) in support of broadening participation." Where does this description go in the FastLane supplement request?
    The document should be placed in the "Project Summary" section of the GRDS funding request. Be sure to follow the additional requirements for the content of the Project Summary as stated in the GRDS Dear Colleague Letter.
  4. Can I submit a GRDS request for more than twelve months of support?
    No. You may request support for a GRDS for a period of twelve months. The GRDS can be renewed annually for a maximum duration of three years for an individual student as long as the award is active. Renewal for a second or third year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the Ph.D. degree and is subject to availability of funds in the program. The term of a GRDS supplement may not exceed that of the underlying research project.
  5. Can my university apply their current, negotiated indirect cost rate for my GRDS budget request?
    Up to $3,000 may be requested for other cost categories and any associated indirect costs.
  6. I did not see a limit on the amount of funds I can request for a GRDS. Is there a limit?
    Yes. NSF GRDS awards are limited to a maximum amount of $41,000 for twelve months of support (including up to $3,000 for other cost categories and any associated indirect costs). The graduate student stipend and tuition support being requested must be consistent with your academic institutional practices and should be justified in the budget justification section of the funding request (along with justification for any "other" funds being requested).

GRDS REVIEW AND DECISIONS

  1. How will my GRDS funding request be reviewed?
    GRDS award decisions will be based on an internal review process and are subject to availability of funds.
  2. When will I be notified if my GRDS is being recommended for award?
    The GRDS PIs will hear whether their supplement is being recommended for award sometime in April 2011.
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