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Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF)


Program Solicitation
NSF 11-541

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 08-582

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences
     Division of Mathematical Sciences

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

October 19, 2011

Third Wednesday in October, Annually Thereafter

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1, was issued on October 1, 2010 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity. Proposers who opt to submit prior to January 18, 2011, must also follow the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1.

Cost Sharing: The PAPPG has been revised to implement the National Science Board's recommendations regarding cost sharing. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. In order to assess the scope of the project, all organizational resources necessary for the project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Mandatory cost sharing will only be required when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director. See the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.g(xi) for further information about the implementation of these recommendations.

Data Management Plan: The PAPPG contains a clarification of NSF's long standing data policy. All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans. FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate. Links to data management requirements and plans relevant to specific Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Programs, or other NSF units are available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF)

Synopsis of Program:

The purpose of the Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF) is to support future leaders in the mathematical sciences by facilitating their participation in postdoctoral research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development. There are two options for awardees: Research Fellowship and Research Instructorship. Awards will support research in areas of the mathematical sciences, including applications to other disciplines.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Dean Evasius, Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-8132, email: devasius@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Fellowship

Estimated Number of Awards: 30 to 33

Anticipated Funding Amount: $5,000,000 subject to availability of funds

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Unaffiliated Individuals: Scientists, engineers or educators in the U.S. who are U.S. citizens.

PI Limit:

An individual is eligible to submit a proposal to this program if all the following criteria are met:

  • Must, at the time of submission, be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a legally admitted permanent resident alien of the United States;
  • May not have held the doctoral degree more than 2 years as of January 1 of the year of the award;
  • Must propose research in the mathematical sciences;
  • May not have previously received a Federal research grant;
  • May not submit a research plan duplicated in another NSF proposal;
  • Must not have previously been offered on award by the MSPRF program; and
  • Must have doctoral degree conferred before the postdoctoral appointment start date.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:

One application per person per year.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: This solicitation contains information that deviates from the standard NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) proposal preparation guidelines. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    October 19, 2011

    Third Wednesday in October, 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 solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements: Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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 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

As researchers in the mathematical sciences expand their interactions with other disciplines, and as the interplay increases between the various areas of the mathematical sciences, opportunities for postdoctoral research and training become increasingly important. Postdoctoral fellowships are designed to provide increased flexibility for awardees in choosing research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development. Awards of these fellowships will support research in areas of the mathematical sciences, including applications to other disciplines. The proposed research must be in the area of the mathematical sciences.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The purpose of the Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF) is to provide increased flexibility for Fellows in choosing postdoctoral research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development.

The Fellows will have two options for receipt of stipend:

The Research Fellowship option provides full-time support for any eighteen academic-year months in a three-year period, in intervals not shorter than three consecutive months.

The Research Instructorship option provides a combination of full-time and half-time support over a period of three academic years, usually one academic year full-time and two academic years half time.

Under both options, the award includes six summer months; however, no more than two summer months of support may be received in any calendar year.

Under both options, the stipend support for 24 months (18 academic-year months plus 6 summer months) will be provided within the 48-month duration of the award.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

NSF expects to award approximately 30-33 Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships per year, from a budget of approximately $5 million per year, depending on the quality of submissions and the availability of funds. Fellowship awards are for a total of $150,000. The anticipated date of awards is April in the year following the application deadline. The stipend support for 24 months (18 academic-year months plus 6 summer months) will be provided within the 48-month duration of the award.

DURATION/TENURE AND STIPEND/ALLOWANCES

  1. Duration and Tenure

The Fellow may choose to exercise the Research Instructorship option either in the original application or any time before beginning the postdoctoral appointment; however, the choice of institution and sponsoring scientist must be approved in advance by the cognizant NSF program officer.

Each applicant must apply for a total of either two academic years of full-time support, or for one academic year of full-time and two academic years of half-time support. The appointment period also includes three two-month summer periods, which generally will immediately precede or immediately follow an academic year of support. The postdoctoral appointment must start between June 1 and October 1 of the year of the award. The doctoral degree must be conferred before the start date of the appointment. Interruptions in the postdoctoral appointment or extensions without additional cost to NSF are permitted only for extenuating circumstances, including parental leave for the birth or adoption of children. In this case, either parent may request parental leave and up to two months of the Fellow's stipend may be used for paid parental leave if the following conditions are met: (1) a request, by the Fellow, for paid parental leave must be approved by the cognizant Program Director; (2) the two months of paid parental leave cannot be used to increase the level of Fellow salary support beyond twenty-four months; (3) a no-cost extension may be requested to extend the Fellowship award in order to complete the goals of the Fellowship plans, but no supplemental funds will be provided for this purpose. Fellowships may not be renewed.

  1. Stipend and Allowances

The total Fellowship amount is $150,000 and consists of three separate types of payments.

  1. A monthly stipend of $5,000 for full-time support or $2,500 for half-time support is paid directly to the Fellow as an electronic funds transfer into a personal account at a financial institution.

  2. A research allowance of $12,000 is paid as a lump sum to the Fellow in the same manner for expenses directly related to the conduct of the research, such as materials and supplies, subscription fees and recovery costs for databases, travel, and publication expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document the expenditures

  3. An annual benefit allowance of $9,000, paid in the first two years of the award, in support of fringe benefits, including health insurance provided through either a group plan offered by the host organization or an individual plan secured by the Fellow, dental and/or vision insurance, disability insurance, retirement, dependent care, and moving expenses.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Unaffiliated Individuals: Scientists, engineers or educators in the U.S. who are U.S. citizens.

PI Limit:

An individual is eligible to submit a proposal to this program if all the following criteria are met:

  • Must, at the time of submission, be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a legally admitted permanent resident alien of the United States;
  • May not have held the doctoral degree more than 2 years as of January 1 of the year of the award;
  • Must propose research in the mathematical sciences;
  • May not have previously received a Federal research grant;
  • May not submit a research plan duplicated in another NSF proposal;
  • Must not have previously been offered on award by the MSPRF program; and
  • Must have doctoral degree conferred before the postdoctoral appointment start date.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:

One application per person per year.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Instructions: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines specified 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-PUBS (7827) or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

Application Preparation Instructions for Fellowships (same for either Fellowship option)

Mathematical Sciences Research Fellowship Program applications must be submitted electronically using the NSF FastLane system. Only one application is permitted per person. An application consists of many parts, and requires input from the applicant, the sponsoring scientist(s), and the references. Applicants are advised to begin the application well in advance of the deadline and to submit as early as possible. FastLane procedures allow applicants to save partially completed proposals for future completion and submission. FastLane does not permit the submission of incomplete or late applications.

FastLane Registration for Fellowship Applicants

Before starting an application in FastLane, an applicant must register as an Individual Researcher. This means that the applicant functions as his or her own institution, and the application must be submitted in FastLane by the applicant, not by the applicant's institutional Sponsored Research Office (SRO). This also means that the applicant serves as his or her own SRO for purposes of any research administration functions in FastLane. To register, access http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov. Select Postdoctoral Fellowships and Other Programs. Select GO next to Individual Registration. Fill in all the required fields. Select Submit. As soon as you select Approve on the next screen, your password will be activated. There is no need for you to mail, FAX, and email a signed copy of the registration to NSF.

FastLane Instructions for Fellowship Applicants

Detailed instructions for completing a Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship application are available by accessing the FastLane homepage and clicking on the link for Postdoctoral Fellowships and Other Programs. Under "Who Are You?" click on Applicant. Select "Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships." Click on "How to Apply." From this web location, applicants and authors of reference letters may provide their components of the application by following the links identified by their authorship status. Please keep in mind that the applicant must obtain the required documents from the sponsoring scientists' and upload them as Supplementary Documentation.

A complete postdoctoral fellowship application consists of the following (Note: The entire application, with the exception of the letters of reference, must be submitted by the fellowship applicant in FastLane):

  • NSF cover page;
  • FastLane application forms;
  • Project Summary (1 page limit);
  • Project Description (3 to 5 pages) which addresses what the applicant hopes to accomplish during the fellowship period and how it relates to her/his career goals. The Project Description consists of:

    • an introduction or background section;
    • a statement of research objectives, methods, and significance;
    • an explanation of how the fellowship activities will enhance the applicant's career development; and
    • a justification of the choice of sponsoring scientists and host institutions.
  • Biographical Sketch (2 page limit);
  • Supplementary Documentation consisting of:
    • The sponsoring scientist statement. The statement should indicate both expected availability for consultation during the requested tenure period and agreement to work with the Fellow. In particular, this statement should include a discussion of the role that the sponsoring scientist will play in the professional development of the applicant and of the opportunities for training and research at the host institution that will be of particular benefit to the applicant. This should also include the appropriateness to the match between the sponsoring scientist and the Fellow. FastLane submission of the sponsoring scientist statement is required.
    • Data management plan. All applications must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan." Describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans.
  • Three or four letters of reference (one from the doctoral advisor and others from scientists who know the applicant well). FastLane submission of the reference letters is required. The sponsoring scientist is not allowed to serve as a letter-of-reference writer.

FastLane Instructions for Sponsoring Scientists

The applicant will upload both the sponsoring scientist statement and the Information Sheet into the application. Either mail, e-mail or FAX the documents to the applicant. A copy of the Information Sheet can be found on FastLane https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov under Postdoctoral Fellowships. Under "Who Are You?" click on Sponsoring Scientist. Select "Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships." Click on "How to Prepare Statement."

FastLane Instructions for Authors of Reference Letters

To prepare and submit the reference letters, the authors must receive from the applicant the applicant's Temporary Proposal Number and a password. The Temporary Proposal Number is used to provide secure access to the FastLane application for preparing and submitting the reference letters. Access is limited to only those to whom the applicant gives the Temporary Proposal Number. This number links the reference to the application. Access FastLane (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov). Click on Postdoctoral Fellowships hyperlink. Under "Who Are You?" click on "Letter of Reference Writer." Click the "GO" button for Letter of Reference Preparation/Submission. Click on the "Prepare New Letter of Reference" hyperlink. Enter the applicant's Temporary Proposal Number, your last name, and your password, then provide the requested Reference Letter.

More detailed information about the FastLane Application Package Preparation and Submission is available on FastLane https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov. Click on Postdoctoral Fellowships. Questions may also be directed by e-mail to dmsfl@nsf.gov or fastlane@nsf.gov.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF Number at Clearance) 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.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Other Budgetary Limitations: The fellowship application does not require an itemized budget.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    October 19, 2011

    Third Wednesday in October, Annually Thereafter

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this program solicitation through use of the NSF FastLane system. Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of 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 funding opportunity.

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. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. 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 of interest with the proposal

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, original, or potentially transformative 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?

Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.

Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project, as described in a one-page supplementary document, will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts criterion.

NSF staff also 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:

    Additional Evaluation and Selection of Fellows

    The evaluation of applicants will be based on ability and potential as evidenced by past research and letters of support; suitability and availability of the sponsoring scientist and other colleagues, as well as other conditions at the proposed host institution such as adequate space, basic services, and supplies; likely impact of the scientific advisor and the host institution on the scientific development of the applicant; scientific quality of the research likely to emerge; and the potential of the applicant's contributions to the Foundation's education and human resource goals. Applications will be evaluated by a panel of mathematical scientists.

    The selection of Fellows will be made by the National Science Foundation, and applicants may expect to be notified by e-mail in late January or early February.

    No written reviews are generated during the review process for this program, so the Fellow will not receive copies of reviews for proposals submitted to this program solicitation.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by 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 deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. 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 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.B. 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 (GC-1); * or Research Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions: All awards are made subject to the general provisions in the brochure entitled Information for Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellows, which will be mailed to successful applicants. The information contained in the brochure is summarized below.

All arrangements for affiliation with the chosen fellowship institution(s) are the responsibility of the Fellow.

If the Research Fellowship option is chosen, Fellows will be expected to devote full time to appropriate scientific research during the appointment period of the fellowship, and to pursue the program for which the fellowship was awarded. Institutions may supplement fellowship stipends without prior approval from the Foundation provided that such is done in accordance with established institutional policies. Supplementation may be given only if there is no requirement for duties in addition to normal fellowship activities, and may involve teaching only to the extent of conducting or participating in seminars directly related to the fellowship activities and research program.

If the Fellow chooses the Research Instructorship option, Fellows will be expected to devote half time to appropriate scientific research during the appointment period of the fellowship. The institution at which the Fellow plans to hold the Instructorship must agree to provide a half-time position with a teaching load not to exceed the equivalent of three teaching hours per semester for the academic year period during which half-time NSF support is received. This agreement need not be obtained until after the awards are announced; lack of such an agreement at the time of the application will not adversely affect the evaluation.

For either the Research Fellowship or the Research Instructorship option, the host institution's faculty should have competence in the Fellow's research area, and a member of the institution's faculty must agree to serve in the role of sponsoring scientist.

Changes in the host institution will be approved only under extremely unusual and compelling circumstances. Since the likely impact of both the sponsoring scientist and the host institution on the professional development of the applicant is an important factor in the evaluation process, the selection of these will normally be viewed as a commitment on the part of the applicant to fulfill the plan for research as outlined in the application. Securing a position at an institution other than the proposed host institution is not considered an "extremely unusual and compelling circumstance."

Under certain circumstances it might be desirable for portions of the work to be done at foreign institutions. Approval to do so must be obtained in advance from both the sponsoring scientist and the cognizant NSF program officer.

In exceptional circumstances, applications for less than full-time postdoctoral support, with reduced stipends, will be considered. Requests for such must be made in the original application, and applicants must agree to accept remuneration from no other source while on a part-time appointment. Major changes in the plan of scientific research, in the appointment period, or in fellowship institution require prior Foundation approval. After an award is made, the dollar amount and length of the appointment are not subject to increase except as indicated above.

In the context of the brochure's guidelines, funds that the institution has obtained from external (including federal) sources may be considered as institutional funds. NSF awards may be used for supplementation of stipends in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per year.

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, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report 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. The project outcomes report must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

Within 90 days after termination of the fellowship, the Fellow is required to submit a termination certificate.  The termination certificate will be provided to the Fellow by NSF.  It replaces any annual or final reports described in this solicitation.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Dean Evasius, Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-8132, email: devasius@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

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, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service 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 when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.

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:

nsfpubs@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 3145-0023. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 12 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:
11/07/06
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