Preparing Supplemental Funding Requests for IOS Awarded Grants

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Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)
Information for PIs when Preparing
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Supplemental Funding Requests
April 4, 2019

General Supplement Guidance:
Supplemental funding is intended for unanticipated opportunities only and should be justified on this basis. Requests for support of planned REU, RET, RAHSS, and ROA activities may be included in the full proposal budget at the original time of submission. The target date for most IOS programs for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS), and Research Opportunity Award (ROA) supplement requests is March 1 annually (or next business day if that is a weekend or holiday) for optimal consideration for funding during the current fiscal year. Career Life Balance Supplements should be submitted as early as possible so that the award may be made prior to the start of the PI's family leave. Please note: supplement requests are not automatically awarded - they are subject to NSF approval and are competitive.

To prepare a supplement request, go to the Fastlane Page on the NSF website, after logging into FastLane, choose "Award and Reporting Functions," and then "Supplemental Funding Request." Next, choose the award to be supplemented. In the form entitled "Summary of Proposed Work," state which supplement you are requesting. Eg. "This is a request for a REU Supplement" In the form entitled "Justification for Supplement" describe in 3 pages or less your reason for the request and what activities the supplement would support.

Guidance for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements:
For guidance about preparing an REU Supplement request for an existing NSF award, contact the program officer assigned to the NSF award that would be supplemented.

The information required is detailed in Sec. V.A. of the REU Program Announcement, accessible from the REU home page, under the heading "Request for REU Supplement". Please read this section carefully and include all the required information in your request. The following checklist can be used in preparing the request:

Normally, funds may be requested for up to two students, but exceptions will be considered for training additional qualified students who are members of underrepresented groups (women, minorities, and persons with disabilities). Centers or large research efforts may request support for a number of students commensurate with the size and nature of the project.

1) Components of an REU Supplement request:

  • A cover page that lists the award number for the parent award
  • A specific statement in project summary that this is a request for an REU supplement
  • A description of the form and nature of the student's involvement in the PI's NSF research project (include a brief overview of the project)
  • A description of the selection criteria of the student participant
  • A brief description of the PI's other experience with involving undergraduates in research, including prior REU supplements, if applicable
  • A statement that the student is an undergraduate and will be so throughout the period he or she receives money from the REU supplement (REU supplements may be used to support high school students who have been accepted to college)
  • A statement that the student is either a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or its possessions (or will be by the start date)
  • The desired start date and duration of supplement
  • The expiration date of the parent award (the supplement must be used up by the time the grant expires.)
  • A brief biographical sketch of the student if he or she has already been selected
  • An assessment plan to measure the impact of the research experience on the student

2) Budget checklist:

  • All student costs should be entered in Box F ("Participant Support Costs"). Indirect costs (F & A) are not allowed on Participant Support Costs.
  • Stipends are expected to be the main cost item for the supplement and are normally expected to cover 10 weeks of full-time work. Student stipends for summer projects are expected to be comparable to those of REU Site participants, approximately $500 per student per week. Student costs can also include a small amount of money ($200-$500) for supplies for the student in addition to the stipend. The supplies should also go in Box F, on the line labeled "other."
  • Total costs for a summer--including all direct costs and indirect costs--are generally expected not to exceed $1,200 per student per week. However, projects that involve international activities, field work in remote locations, or other exceptional circumstances may exceed this limit.
  • Total budget should not exceed $12,000 per student per year (academic year and/or summer). Normally no more than one supplement will be awarded to each parent award on an annual basis.

Guidance for Research Experience for Teachers (RET):
RET supplements are intended to encourage active participation by K-12 science teacher in on-going NSF projects. See Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Dear Colleague Letter for detailed submission instructions. This is the same opportunity found in the REU solicitation. Before submitting an RET request (as part of a new or renewal NSF proposal or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF award), we strongly encourage the Principal Investigator to initiate a conversation via email or phone with the program director of his/her particular NSF award, or the cognizant program director for the program to which s/he is submitting a proposal. Budgets for RET activities are generally under $15,000 per teacher. Teacher expenses associated with RET should be entered in "Participant Support Costs" in the budget, and non-teacher expenses, such as materials and supplies, should be in other sections of the Budget. All expenses should be explained in the budget justification.

Guidance for Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS):
RAHSS supplements are intended to increase student interest in studying the biological sciences and broaden participation of high school students from underrepresented groups. Budgets for RAHSS activities are generally under $6,000 per student. See the Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) Dear Colleague Letter for details.

Research Opportunity Award (ROA):
Research Opportunity Awards (ROAs) are typically used to enable faculty members at PUIs to pursue research as visiting scientists with NSF-supported investigators at other institutions. An ROA is intended to increase or maintain the visitor's research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and research teaching capabilities at his or her home institution, and to enhance the impacts and outcomes of the NSF-funded research of the host principal investigator. Most frequently, ROA activities are summer experiences but partial support of sabbaticals may sometimes be provided.
The information required is detailed in the RUI/ROA Program Announcement, primarily in Sec. II.B. with additional instructions thereafter regarding proposal preparation including submission of certification of RUI/ROA eligibility. Please read the program announcement carefully and include all the required information in your request.
Typical ROA awards are for $20,000 - $80,000 for periods of two to 12 months, although the amount varies depending on the type of request and duration. The requested budget should be appropriate for the scope of the project being proposed. Many factors, including the nature of the project, number of investigators, and the project's duration affect the amount requested. We strongly encourage a conversation with the cognizant Program Director before submitting an ROA supplement request to determine if the proposed budget is within the appropriate funding range for the particular program and circumstances.
Funds should be requested at least 3 months before the funds will be needed. For optimal consideration for funding in the current fiscal year, your request should reach us by March 1 of each year. Please note: supplement requests are not automatically awarded - they are subject to NSF approval and are competitive.

Career Life Balance (CLB) Supplements:
The Division will continue to support Career Life Balance (CLB) supplements. Instituted in 2012, NSF's Career-Life Balance (CLB) Initiative builds on family-friendly practices among individual NSF programs to expand them to activities NSF-wide. Funded Principal Investigators (PIs) are invited to submit supplemental funding requests to support additional personnel (e.g., research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research when the PI is on family leave. These requests may include funding for up to 3 months of salary support, for a maximum of $12,000 in salary compensation. The fringe benefits and associated indirect costs may be in addition to the salary payment and therefore, the total supplemental funding request may exceed $12,000.

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