SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
Carolyn Ehardt, Program Director
Indirect Costs Notice: Please note an important change to the treatment of indirect costs that was incorporated into the SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (SBE DDRIG) program solicitation (NSF 11-547). NSF's long-standing policy regarding the reimbursement of administrative costs is full reimbursement of indirect costs, based on the awardee's current Federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. To ensure consistency with Foundation and Federal-wide policies, proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation are subject to the awardee's current Federally negotiated indirect cost rate.
The Biological Anthropology Program supports research by doctoral students in all of the subfields of biological anthropology, including human and nonhuman primate genetic variation, ecology and adaptability, osteology and bone biology, functional anatomy, and paleontology, as well as primate behavior and bioarchaeology.
The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of doctoral students at U.S. universities who are about to undertake their dissertation research. The Foundation strongly encourages proposals on behalf of women, minorities and persons with disabilities. The PIs must be affiliated with a U.S. university, but need not be U.S. citizens. In accordance with Federal statutes and regulations and with NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, gender, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.
Dissertation improvement proposals should have the same format as other NSF proposals (see specific guidelines in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide). Where there are differences between this announcement and the GPG, follow the directions on these pages.
Proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants submitted to the Biological Anthropology Science Program must comply with or have information about the following bulleted items:
- Deadlines: November 15, 2013, July 15, 2014, March 16, 2015. These are firm DEADLINES.
- Project Duration: no maximum -- as needed
- Project Budget : The maximum award is $20,000 in direct costs (plus added indirect costs).
- Proposal Title should read, "Doctoral Dissertation Improvement: ....."
- Project Description The text of the project description is limited to 10 single-spaced pages. Up to 5 additional pages can be used for maps, figures etc. Maps, figures and tables should be consolidated at the end of the proposal's project description section, after the 10 pages of prose - they should not be interspersed in the text. Please make certain to review the requirements in the Grant Proposal Guide. If your proposal does not conform to the various requirements it will be returned without review. Note particularly the standards for font size and the need to address the broader impacts of your research as a separate section within the narrative of the project description.
- The dissertation advisor should be listed as the Principal Investigator and the dissertation student should be listed as the Co-Principal Investigator.
- All proposals must be submitted electronically via Fastlane or Grants.gov.
- A project summary of the research not more than one page in length that is suitable for a lay reader. All project summaries MUST consist of an overview, a statement on the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activities. The summary should clearly indicate why this research is interesting and important.
- Biographical Sketches consisting of a CV for the PI and the student (co-PI) must be included. These biosketches are limited to 2 pages each. Do not include letters of reference or grade transcripts.
- A detailed budget identifying the items for which funds are requested and their costs. Each item in the budget should be justified in notes. The budget should cover the costs of items necessary to accomplish the specific goals of the research, not items of general need. Costs for transportation, per diem while in the field, sample surveys, informant's fees, computers and research equipment are appropriate if justified and not normally available through the student's university. These grants cannot be used as a stipend for the student, for tuition, textbooks or journals, for travel to scientific meetings, or for costs related to publication of the dissertation. Applicants may contact the Program to determine more specific guidelines. Expenses incurred before the start date of the award cannot be reimbursed except under stringent conditions (see Grant General Conditions GC-1 Article 3).
- Other forms as required by the GPG, including IACUC and Human Subjects (IRB) approval as appropriate. If IRB or IACUC approval has been obtained and is so indicated on the cover sheet, including the date of approval, then it is not necessary to include the actual document. If approval is obtained after the proposal is submitted, then you must send a signed copy of the approval to the program officer before an award can be recommended.
NSF does not support research on the etiology, diagnosis, or treatment of disease. Research that deals with basic biological and behavioral processes that underlie health and disease, however, may be eligible for support.
A panel of experts will review dissertation proposals. Proposals are not sent to mail reviewers and therefore it is not necessary to suggest potential reviewers.
For more information, consult the SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants Solicitation and the Grant Proposal Guide. These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at: http://www.nsf.gov/. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone 301.947.2722 or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outstanding proposals specify how the knowledge to be created advances our theoretical understanding of the study situation such that people interested in similar situations in different contexts will learn from the project's outcome. The key is to be explicit in showing how the general theory explains the local situation, and in showing how the new knowledge from the local situation will advance the theory.
Proposals should be generated using a clear and concise writing style. Reviewers will include biological anthropologists from a variety of specialty areas, and it is possible that no specialist with expertise in the particular area of proposed research will be on the Advisory Panel. Defining key terms and avoidance of 'jargon' will ensure that all reviewers are able to fully and fairly evaluate the proposal and intended research project.
Reviewers are well aware that there are no perfect strategies for conducting research, but will be looking for evidence of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the approach selected. In a competitive review process where only a subset of excellent proposals can be funded, reviewers need to be told how the new knowledge to be gained from your particular study will yield generalizations that advance our theoretical understanding of the problem.
NSF Required Data Management Plan
All proposals submitted to NSF must now include a Data Management Plan. Please see SBE's Guidance on Data Management Plans for detailed information concerning this policy.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Program Director listed above.