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NSF 16-060

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for NSF INCLUDES

  1. The solicitation states that an organization may serve as the lead institution on only one Design and Development Launch Pilot. Can our organization submit more than one preliminary proposal?
  2. Is a PI permitted to submit more than one preliminary proposal?
  3. Can a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization serve as the lead institution for a Design and Development Launch Pilot? What if we are a school district?
  4. The solicitation indicates that NSF INCLUDES aims to "improve the preparation, increase the participation, and ensure the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise, including women, members of racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socio-economic status." But, later it references only "women, blacks, Hispanics, and people with disabilities." Which populations does NSF INCLUDES target?
  5. How quickly will my preliminary proposal be reviewed? Will the review be internal or external?
  6. Should a Design and Development Launch Pilot preliminary proposal be submitted to a Directorate and Division consistent with the proposal's focus and will different Directorates fund different numbers of Launch Pilots?
  7. Are Design and Development Launch Pilot preliminary proposals expected to be interdisciplinary or are discipline-specific proposals permitted?
  8. Should all preliminary proposals use a collective impact approach in order to be competitive?
  9. The solicitation states that in FY 2017, NSF will invite proposals to form NSF INCLUDES Alliances. Must one first receive a Design and Development Pilot Launch award to be eligible to compete for an NSF INCLUDES Alliance?
  10. Must the President or Chancellor of my university be the PI on a preliminary proposal?

  1. The solicitation states that an organization may serve as the lead institution on only one Design and Development Launch Pilot. Can our organization submit more than one preliminary proposal?

    Yes. The solicitation does not restrict the number of preliminary proposals per organization. Thus, organizations are permitted to submit more than one preliminary proposal. Organizations are cautioned, however, that the solicitation limits each organization to one Design and Development Launch Pilot proposal. Thus, following the review of preliminary proposals, an organization will not be invited to submit more than one full proposal.

  2. Is a PI permitted to submit more than one preliminary proposal?

    Yes. As with the organization limit, the solicitation does not restrict the number of preliminary proposals on which an individual may serve as PI. However, when it comes to full proposals, an individual may only serve as a PI on one full proposal and may serve as a co-PI on up to three full proposals. Thus, the Invite/Do Not Invite decision process will be designed to ensure that no one individual is identified as the PI for more than one proposal, or as co-PI for more than three proposals.

  3. Can a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization serve as the lead institution for a Design and Development Launch Pilot? What if we are a school district?

    Yes. Both non-profit organizations and local school districts may submit a proposal. The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), Chapter I, Section E https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.

  4. The solicitation indicates that NSF INCLUDES aims to "improve the preparation, increase the participation, and ensure the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise, including women, members of racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socio-economic status." But, later it references only "women, blacks, Hispanics, and people with disabilities." Which populations does NSF INCLUDES target?

    In submitting a preliminary proposal, PIs should focus on one or more groups that are "underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise." Groups traditionally underrepresented or underserved in STEM include: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

  5. How quickly will my preliminary proposal be reviewed? Will the review be internal or external?

    Program Directors will make every effort to communicate the decision to Invite/Do Not Invite full proposals based on panel recommendations and additional portfolio considerations via FastLane by May 6th or shortly thereafter.

  6. Should a Design and Development Launch Pilot preliminary proposal be submitted to a Directorate and Division consistent with the proposal's focus and will different Directorates fund different numbers of Launch Pilots?

    No. All preliminary proposals and full proposals should be submitted to the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). While support for NSF INCLUDES comes from all Directorates and Offices, the award decisions will be made at the Foundation level based on alignment with NSF INCLUDES' vision and goals. While portfolio balance will be one consideration, awards will be made to the best proposals regardless of discipline or home Directorate/Division.

  7. Are Design and Development Launch Pilot preliminary proposals expected to be interdisciplinary or are discipline-specific proposals permitted?

    There is no requirement that proposals be either interdisciplinary or discipline-specific. Organizations and teams of PIs, co-PIs and key personnel may come together with a specific disciplinary or interdisciplinary focus, but neither is a requirement. Key to a successful proposal is the identification of a specific, high-impact broadening participation in STEM goal with measurable objectives as well as an argument that the set of partners being assembled includes all who are needed to successfully achieve that goal.

  8. Should all preliminary proposals use a collective impact approach in order to be competitive?

    The use of a collective impact framing and approach is not required. However, each preliminary proposal must articulate and justify the framework for collaboration, the processes for the development of a shared goal for broadening participation, and identify mutually reinforcing activities. Keep in mind that whatever framework is used must provide for scaling and must include openness to multiple (and new) partners.

  9. The solicitation states that in FY 2017, NSF will invite proposals to form NSF INCLUDES Alliances. Must one first receive a Design and Development Pilot Launch award to be eligible to compete for an NSF INCLUDES Alliance?

    Yes. Design and Development Launch Pilot awardees are expected to carry out and report on the results of projects to demonstrate their ability to implement a collective impact-style approach to addressing their selected broadening participation challenge. They are expected to demonstrate how teams and organizations can be reconfigured and joined together to form new alliances with common goals and purposes and collective impact-style approaches, with a strategy for how the effective practices of the Alliance can be deployed at scale. The accomplishments of a Launch Pilot will be assessed as part of the review of the subsequent NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposal. New partners may be invited to join a Design and Development Pilot that is submitting an Alliance proposal.

  10. Must the President or Chancellor of my university be the PI on a preliminary proposal?

    No. NSF expects senior leaders to be highly engaged in this important program as encouraged by NSF Director France Córdova in her recent Dear Colleague Letter (https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf16048). But the PI may be any individual eligible to be a PI at that university. Recall though that only one full proposal may be submitted from each organization. The expectation is that the PI will "have experience in leading distributed teams and organizations." (NSF 16-544).