RESEARCH ON LEARNING AND EDUCATION (ROLE)
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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION |
AWARD INFORMATION |
PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS |
PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION |
AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION |
CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION |
OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST |
ABOUT NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION |
RESEARCH ON LEARNING AND EDUCATION (ROLE)
DIRECTORATE FOR EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
DIVISION OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION AND COMMUNICATION
Preliminary Proposals: MARCH 1 September 1
Formal Proposals: June 1 December 1
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress
in the United States by competitively awarding grants 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 Web
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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Program Name: Research on Learning and Education (ROLE)
Short Description/Synopsis of Program:
This program seeks to capitalize on important developments in a variety of
fields related to human learning and to education. It will support research
along a four-quadrant continuum that includes 1) brain research as a
foundation for research on human learning; 2) fundamental research on
behavioral, cognitive, affective and social aspects of human learning; 3)
research on science, mathematics, engineering and technological (SMET)
learning in formal and informal educational settings; and 4) research on SMET
learning in complex educational systems. ROLE seeks gains at the
intersections of these areas, where issues arising from research and
educational practice can be reconciled, and hypotheses generated in one area
may be tested and refined in others. The ROLE Program aims to advance
the knowledge base in and across these multidisciplinary areas.
Cognizant Program Officers: Dr. Anthony Kelly,
telephone 703.306.1650, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Nora Sabelli,
telephone: 703.306.1650, email: email@example.com, Dr. Larry Suter,
telephone: 703.306.1650, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Elizabeth VanderPutten,
telephone: 703.306.1650, email email@example.com.
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: 47.076 — Education Grants
- Limitation on the categories of organizations that are eligible to
submit proposals: None
- PI eligibility limitations: None
- Limitation on the number of proposals that may be
submitted by an organization: None
- Type of award anticipated: Standard and
- Number of awards
anticipated in FY 2000: 20-30 awards
- Amount of funds available: Approximately $8
million will be available for new awards for this initiative in FY 2000,
depending on the availability of funding.
- Anticipated date of initial awards: September 2000
PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
- Proposal Preparation Instructions
- Letter of Intent requirements: None
- Preliminary proposal requirements: March 1 and September 1
- Full proposal requirements: June 1 and December 1
- Proposal preparation instructions: Standard NSF Grant Proposal Guide instructions
- Supplemental proposal preparation instructions: None
- Deviations from standard (GPG) proposal preparation instructions: None
- Cost sharing/matching requirements: None
- Indirect cost (F&A) limitations: None
- Other budgetary limitations: None
- FastLane Requirements
- FastLane proposal preparation requirements: FastLane use required for both preliminary proposal and full proposal
- FastLane point of contact: FastLane Technical Support between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at telephone 703-306-1142 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deadline/Target Dates
- Preliminary Proposal Deadline: 5:00 p.m. local time, March 1 and September 1
- Full Proposal Deadline 5:00 p.m. local time, June 1 and December 1
PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION
- Merit Review Criteria: Standard National Science Board approved criteria
AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- Grant Award Conditions: GC-1 or FDP III
- Special grant conditions anticipated: None
- Special reporting requirements anticipated: None
Preface: the context for research on learning and education (ROLE)
Advances in many related fields have transformed research on learning and
education in recent years. These advances have contributed to an emerging,
multidisciplinary science of learning that bears directly on the educational
and research goals of the National Science Foundation (NSF). New
opportunities promise to advance educational research and practice, and to
improve the level, quality, and accessibility of science, mathematics,
engineering, and technology (SMET) education.
With these opportunities in mind, the Directorate for Education and Human
Resources (EHR) is broadening the scope of its research program, calibrating
the program's development through a continuing process of consultation with
researchers and educators. Research on Learning and Education (ROLE)
is a transitional program. It seeks to integrate advances across
methodologies and disciplines within a single, stable program. Development
of the continuing program will be guided in part by theoretical papers and
workshops, Principal Investigator meetings, and discussions in other venues
addressing current needs and opportunities. This participatory development
process is crucial for maintaining the proper balance between expanding the
frontiers of knowledge and creating conditions that ensure sustainable
implementation of improved educational practices.
The process will also continue to benefit from the results of
earlier research programs that NSF has supported and major studies such as
the 1997 report by the President's Committee of Advisors in Science and
Technology, Report to the President on the Use of Technology to Strengthen
K-12 Education in the United States, and the 1999 National Research
Council report, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and
EHR Responsibilities and Activities
The EHR Directorate has primary responsibility for NSF’s efforts to provide
national and research-based leadership in SMET education. In its actions
responding to this broad responsibility, EHR pursues goals to improve the
quality and availability of SMET education (see inset). To reach these
goals, the Directorate sponsors programs in the Divisions of Elementary,
Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE), Undergraduate Education (DUE),
Graduate Education (DGE), Human Resource Development (HRD), the Experimental
Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and Educational System
Reform (ESR), in addition to the research support EHR primarily provides
through the REC Division. For a complete list of EHR programs, consult http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/prog.asp.
For a complete list of programs across NSF, consult
Foundation support for education-related research has increased in recent
years (e.g. the programs in Learning and Intelligent Systems (LIS,
NSF97-18), Research on Education, Policy and Practice (REPP, NSF
96-138), Research Studies in Systemic Reform announcement (NSF 99-95),
and the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI, NSF 99-84)).
ROLE subsumes those activities formerly covered by Research Studies in
Systemic Reform, REPP, and LIS. IERI, which focuses on large-scale studies
and the scaled transfer of research findings to educational practice, will
continue as a multi-agency initiative with its own announcement.
The ROLE Program helps advance progress toward the EHR
goals through the development and application of new scientific knowledge.
Goals for the ROLE Program are:
Goals for EHR
Source: NSF Guide to Programs (NSF 99-4)
- To discover and to describe neural, cognitive, affective, and conceptual learning processes required for life-long SMET learning;
- To understand how prekindergarten through secondary teacher and post-secondary faculty content knowledge and pedagogy relate to the implementation that innovative and effective curricula, materials, and assessments require;
- To develop research-based learning tools, pedagogical approaches, and materials that enhance SMET education at all levels;
- To reevaluate the overall curriculum structure (including selection, ordering, and priorities of topics) to enhance SMET education at all levels;
- To develop and to refine new education research and evaluation methods;
- To increase the research capacity of the field, especially the development of new researchers and research-oriented education practitioners;
- To collect and to analyze data and to use data to inform researchers, decision-makers and the general public;
- To understand the factors that enhance the full participation of all Americans in the SMET enterprise and the approaches that can increase this participation; and
- To increase the knowledge of learning, teaching and organizational models that lead to substantial and large-scale improvement in the efficiency, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of the United States educational system.
ROLE: Areas of Concentration
A balanced portfolio to achieve these goals will span what may be viewed as a
continuum framework. The purpose of the framework is to help enable the
integration of research on learning into its broader educational and social
context. The ROLE Program will support research across a
four-quadrant science of learning continuum that includes:
- Making high quality science and mathematics education available to every child in the United States;
- Ensuring that the educational pipelines to careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology
yield a diverse, well-educated technical workforce adequate for the needs of the United States;
- Ensuring that the instructional workforce has the disciplinary and pedagogical skills necessary to provide
an excellent education to every student in science and mathematics;
- Ensuring that those who select careers in science, mathematics or engineering have the best professional education at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and
- Promoting scientific literacy and public interest in and awareness of scientific and
technological developments through high quality informal science education and college courses for nonspecialists.
Each of these quadrants constitutes a broad research area, with its own
distinct characteristics and historical foundations. The section " Sampling
of Research Areas That May Be Considered in ROLE Proposals"
illustrates some of the research areas that characterize the quadrants in
this framework. In addition, the quadrants significantly overlap and inform
one another. ROLE seeks gains at the intersections of these areas,
where issues arising from research and educational practice can be
reconciled, and hypotheses generated in one area may be tested and refined in
others. The ROLE Program aims to advance the knowledge base in and
across these multidisciplinary areas. Indeed, EHR expects that NSF's other
directorates will participate in the review of proposals to the ROLE
Each quadrant will be treated as a concentration area for purposes of
discussion and appropriate proposal review. Proposers preparing a submission
that addresses one of the four areas should keep the overlap among them in
mind to facilitate the review process. Proposers may also prepare submissions
that cut across two or more of the four areas. All proposals should
specify the quadrant(s) to which they are responding in their abstract and
summary statements. All applicants should carefully review the section
Common Themes Across the ROLE Concentration Areas.
I. Brain Research as a Foundation for Research on Learning
- Brain research as a foundation for research on human learning;
- Fundamental research on behavioral, cognitive, affective and social aspects of human learning;
- Research on SMET learning in formal and informal educational settings; and
- Research on SMET learning in complex educational systems.
The effort to understand intelligence and learning, and their
relationship to the human brain, is one of the most fundamental and profound
journeys of basic science. Converging lines of research have begun to reveal
how relatively simple forms of learning affect the brain's structure,
activity, and organization, from infant development through adulthood.
Cognitive processes – such as reading a word or analyzing a visual scene –
are beginning to be understood in terms of neural systems. Discoveries of
this nature are influencing our understanding of behavior and cognition.
Neuroscience investigations at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales
can contribute to fundamental understanding of the complex process of human
ROLE will support a limited number of theoretical studies focused on
human learning that help frame advances in areas that may include but are not
limited to biological neural networks, computational neuroscience, functional
imaging, neuroplasticity, and adaptive systems. The ROLE Program
seeks proposals for workshops and similar activities that will inform and
gather advice from relevant scientific communities in these areas. The
goal of these workshops and theoretical studies will be to help conceptualize
long-term trajectories by which multidisciplinary research anchored in the
neuroscientific foundations of learning can inform educational practice.
Most projects that NSF supports in this quadrant will be limited in nature,
and allow for an exploratory approach to working with various research
communities toward this goal.
An important aspect of these activities and
subsequent research funding is to build capacity in neuroscience related to
complex learning and education. This includes increasing the number of
multidisciplinary investigators who address human learning in their
II. Fundamental Research on Behavioral, Cognitive,
Affective, and Social Aspects of Learning
The goal of this quadrant is to enhance the multidisciplinary understanding
of the foundations of human learning. NSF seeks proposals that formulate
compelling and innovative bridges from cognitive science either to brain
research (Quadrant I) or to research on learning in educational settings
(Quadrant III). ROLE strongly encourages multidiscipline,
institutional, and researcher and educator collaborations. A sample of areas
of interest includes:
Several Quadrant I and Quadrant II questions that focus on human learning
have in recent years found support in the Learning and Intelligent Systems
(LIS) component of the NSF-wide Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence (KDI)
Program. NSF held the final competition for LIS proposals in FY 1999. ROLE
seeks education-related collaborative proposals that continue either
LIS or LIS-related research. (The most recent LIS Program Announcement
appears at https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsf9929/nsf9929.htm#lis.)
III. Research on SMET Learning in Educational Settings
Many educational approaches, curriculum materials, and technological tools to
mediate the learning process have been developed without the benefit of a
strong research foundation. In some instances, this is because the
appropriate research does not exist. In other cases, this is because of
insufficient exchange of information and knowledge between research,
development and implementation communities. This has resulted in a time lag
between what is known and what can be implemented, and the retention in
educational materials of concepts that have been revised by scientific
research (e.g., strict functional dichotomies between the left and right
hemispheres of the brain).
A principal expectation for research related to this quadrant is to provide a
stronger base to support sustained improvement in science and mathematics
educational practice in settings such as classrooms, informal learning sites
(including the home), and technological learning environments (e.g.
non-academic technological education). Another expectation is to bridge
research and educational practice. Such bridges should facilitate principled
improvement of educational practice, and direct research efforts toward
critical, practice-derived issues.
In particular, ROLE seeks proposals that bridge research on science
and mathematics learning with areas of educational practice associated with
programs in the EHR Divisions and that include collaborations with
investigators funded under such programs. (ROLE is not an
evaluation program; rather, it discourages submission of proposals whose
primary purpose is to conduct evaluations of other projects, including
activities that EHR Divisions support.) A catalog of current EHR
programs and abstracts of funded awards appear at http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/prog.asp.
Additionally, NSF welcomes proposals that formulate compelling and innovative
bridges either to fundamental research on human learning (Quadrant II) or to
research on science and mathematics learning in complex educational settings
(Quadrant IV). Particular attention should be paid to research designs that
will produce cumulative, reproducible, sustainable and scalable results and
that explore the curricular implications of scientific and technological
IV. Research On SMET Learning In Complex Educational Systems
- Modeling of cognitive processes and mapping of models to brain function in the context of human learning;
- Sociological, ethnographic, anthropological, economic, and organizational studies that address the special characteristics of educational environments; and
- Understanding the cognitive and pedagogical implications of new scientific and technological advances.
Few organizational studies have addressed the phenomena that drive successful transformation of educational systems into entities that optimize student learning. The development of theoretical frameworks, analytical tools, and deeper empirical understanding of these phenomena is essential to the advancement of educational policies and large-scale strategies to improve SMET learning.
The term "systems" refers to traditional entities (e.g. pre-K-12 school systems, post-secondary organizations and authorities), and to broader views of educational stakeholders, including research scientists, and policy makers, and the ways in which stakeholders interact.
ROLE welcomes proposals that study existing large-scale reform experiments, in which foundational research on human learning or research in components of SMET educational practice are embedded in a sustainable and scalable way in actual complex systems of practice. Such systemic studies may include uncovering the mechanisms for the transfer of fundamental research findings in scientific disciplines to innovation-based SMET curriculum reform, the adoption of experimental SMET learning technology prototypes into scaled and sustained educational practice, or the conditions for widespread increases of the participation of learners in scientific research. Other questions for which research findings are sought include core issues in systemic reform at all levels of education, and systemic reform issues that require better theoretical specification than is currently available. Eligible research includes studies that involve testable hypotheses, studies that challenge current systemic reform strategies, design experiments, and other research methods such as quasi-experiments, testbeds, longitudinal data, and national and international comparisons.
A sample of research areas of potential interest includes:
Common Themes Across the ROLE Concentration Areas
- Studies of systemic reform strategies, including predictive modeling, frameworks for systemic change, and evaluations of costs and effectiveness;
- "Innovation flow" and organizational mechanisms conducive to policy changes and sustained, coherent improvements in systemwide practice;
- Interactions among accountability reforms, curricular reforms, textbook adoptions, technologies, teacher professional development opportunities, revised graduation requirements, schedules, and other reforms;
- Modeling of large educational systems and their evolution in terms of multilevel adaptive systems, with possible theoretical parallels to issues and research in the first three Quadrants.
Balance: The Foundation expects to support a balance of
proposals across the four concentration areas. (As noted later, however, the
exploratory approach to Quadrant I support will likely result in a smaller
share of overall ROLE funding for it under this Announcement.) It also
expects to support a balance of innovation in methodology with the use
of mature or maturing methodologies and a balance in the development
of new technology with mature or maturing technologies.
Methodology: The development of appropriate research
methodologies is, in itself, a significant product of EHR-funded research.
Therefore, competitive proposals must take special care to keep abreast of
relevant advances in research methodologies and theoretical models. Rapid
transitions from hypothesis generation to hypothesis testing are appropriate.
The ROLE Program seeks proposals that capitalize on the development of
new instrumental, computational or statistical methods, models, and tools of
observation and analysis. Such development enhances qualitative and
quantitative methods available to build rigorous, cumulative,
reproducible, and usable findings across ROLE's four areas of
Technology: In order to improve quality, accessibility and
efficiency of SMET education, ROLE promotes the use of new and
evolving information technologies. ROLE seeks collaborative research
and development proposals on those technologies. Such support will be
possible where the potential for significant advance exists.
Interdisciplinary research and systems development that can lead to
significant advances in understanding of education and learning, from
empirical research to theory development to classroom practices, are
Research Transfer: ROLE seeks to accelerate the
integration of high-quality research findings into SMET educational practice.
Proposals that determine the character, limitations and potential of the use
and adoption of research findings are eligible. As the body of well-grounded,
reproducible, cumulative and usable findings emerges, proposers should
consider what mechanisms efficiently bring those findings into productive
public or scholarly debate and educational practice.
Human Capacity Development: ROLE seeks proposals that help to
stimulate the quality and preparation of the SMET educational research and
practice communities. Such projects may help promote the efficacy of
mechanisms for recruiting, training, and supporting beginning researchers
(including graduate students, faculty in early career stages, and crossover
researchers from the academic sciences to industry or from industry to
education). Requests for travel awards, preparation of critical literature
reviews, and workshops to develop collaborations and to communicate results
among the appropriate constituencies that contribute to the educational base
should be discussed with a ROLE Program Officer prior to
Finally, the Foundation recognizes the need for ROLE to serve as an
opportunity for exceptional or unanticipated approaches based upon specific
EHR goals or needs. EHR welcomes high-risk proposals that demonstrate a
compelling potential to advance the goals of the Directorate and the
SAMPLING OF RESEARCH AREAS THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED IN ROLE PROPOSALS
Brain Research as a Foundation for Research on Learning
Primarily topics for workshops and limited theoretical papers
- Factors affecting the resilience of normal learning processes under stress and other adverse conditions.
Fundamental research on behavioral, cognitive, affective and social
aspects of learning.
- Representations underlying knowledge acquisition, in biological, psychological, and computational terms. Intermediate representations in multistage learning processes.
- Influence of attentional, emotional, social, and environmental factors on learning.
- Biological information processing and priority-setting in natural physical and social environments.
- Brain development and the relation between cognitive skills and developmental strategies.
- Comparative neural and behavioral effects of different training strategies and pedagogical sequences.
- Functional imaging of neural activity during different types of knowledge and skill acquisition.
- Neural plasticity at the micro level, its variability, and its relation to learning at the macro level.
- Individual learning and development, and their relation to group experiences.
- Human cognition and perception in learning, including concept formation, acquisition, and change; informal learning and attention mechanisms; spatial representations and manipulations; reasoning; development of increasingly complex models and representations.
- Social influences on learning, group behavior and cultural influences on development, theoretical frameworks, adaptation of educational change strategies to new environments.
- Psychology and physiology of speech production and auditory perception in the context of learning, relation between verbal and visual development and abstract concept learning.
- Cognitive factors that predict or enhance the resilience of normal learning under adverse conditions,
- Learning in practiced and novel domains, and the integration of existing knowledge with new information.
Research on Learning in SMET Educational Settings
SMET Teaching and Learning
- Understanding the conditions and pedagogy under which more learners master advanced science and mathematics.
- Interplay of concepts, theory and facts in the integration of new knowledge with prior knowledge and development of the individual’s active knowledge base and problem-solving ability.
- Factors that enable access, participation, persistence, and diversity in the SMET enterprise.
- Theories of teacher competence; detailed understandings of teachers’ knowledge, goals, beliefs, etc.; development of robust and flexible teacher pedagogical content knowledge.
- Effects of visualization of science processes on students’ abilities to develop and use concepts.
- Research on the adult learning factors that underlie breakthrough improvement in the development of instructional and professional competencies.
- Empirical studies on the conditions for effective SMET pedagogies in educational practice.
- Conditions for productive interactions of teachers, students, and scientists in classroom activities.
- Qualities of excellent teachers.
- Experimentation on educational and scientific innovations that can significantly improve teaching and learning of increasingly complex science content through the use of appropriate cognitive or technology methodologies.
- Experiments in curriculum structure: topic selection; technological methods; ordering of topics, developmental stages appropriate for learning increasingly complex concepts.
- Foundations for the use of design as a driver for SMET and vocational learning
- Networking of research communities in SMET education to help create a body of work that aggregates across studies, across curricular areas, and across grade levels.
- Teachers as codevelopers of curriculum, and impact of this role on their effectiveness and growth.
- Learner self-assessment in computer-based instruction.
- Development of conceptual learning assessment instruments and their effective utilization.
- Predictive models of individual learning change and growth; individual learning trajectories.
- Exploration of new approaches to assessment of mathematics and science learning.
- Creation of robust measures of achievement that could serve as benchmarks for advanced meta-analyses.
Research on learning in complex educational systems
- Approaches to multiscale modeling, information and innovation flow, and emergent system behaviors in analysis of educational system dynamics.
- Economic and policy implications of K-16 budgeting practices and interplay with vendor strategies.
- Processes of change in the colleges of education that graduate SMET teachers.
- Tests of comprehensive theory-based interventions with rigorous methodologies among well-defined populations, whose outcomes can be analyzed and aggregated across projects.
- Role of parents and community organizations in sustained SMET learning.
- Strategies for self-directed learning by teachers; for teachers as researchers on their own practice; for teachers as participants in large-scale experiments based in their classrooms.
- Distributed and Web-based learning models, and learning outside classrooms.
Proposals may be submitted by any organization eligible for NSF support.
Synergistic collaboration among researchers and collaboration or partnerships
with other educational institutions (including schools or school systems),
scientific organizations, industry or government laboratories is encouraged
when appropriate. Due to the limited availability of funds, prospective
applicants are strongly urged to contact one of the program officers listed
at the end of this document for guidance.
ROLE awards may be funded up to 3 years and will generally range from
$100,000 to $1,800,000. Depending on the availability of funding, between 20
and 30 proposals may be selected for support per funding cycle. ROLE
will consider planning, workshop and exploratory research grants for up to
one year and up to $100,000 each. No predetermined allocation for funding
applies across the four-Quadrant continuum. It is likely, however, that
under this transitional Announcement, support for Quadrant I-related research
will be less than one-fourth of total available funding.
PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Special Notice on Small Grants For Exploratory Research (SGER)
Proposers interested in submitting projects for under $100,000 and whose
goals are either organizing meetings or workshops, increasing the research
capacity in the field, or exploring high-risk, high-gain ideas, may submit
proposals under this Announcement. REC will also consider unsolicited
proposals for Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER). Details for SGER
grant proposals, which may be submitted at any time, appear in the Grant
Proposal Guidelines (NSF 00-02). Individuals interested in submitting a
SGER proposal should discuss their ideas with a ROLE Program Officer
prior to submission.
Preliminary Proposal Preparation Instructions
Preliminary proposals are required prior to submission of full proposals on
or before the preliminary proposal deadline date. (Note: Full ROLE
proposals that have been declined may be resubmitted without further
preliminary proposal submission. For ROLE resubmissions, please
contact a Program Officer for preliminary proposal requirement waiver.
Additionally, a full proposal may follow a preliminary proposal that has been
submitted within one year of the full proposal deadline.) Preliminary
proposals should include the following:
- A Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207); the Project Title should begin with the
preface "ROLE Preproposal:"; the dollar request field should be remain
- A Project Summary Form that provides a brief synopsis of
the proposed project and that specifies the Quadrant(s) to which the proposal
- A Project Description of five to seven pages; The
Project Description describes the essential features and anticipated impact
of the proposal. In particular, proposers should:
4. Provide brief biographical sketches (not to exceed one page each) for key
No other forms should be submitted for preliminary proposals. Signed and
separately mailed cover sheets are not required for preliminary proposals.
NSF program staff members review preliminary proposals; where appropriate,
the review will include staff from other NSF divisions or external experts.
Review of preliminary proposals, and communication back to the proposer, may
take as long as five weeks. The preliminary proposal review is not a factor
in the review of a subsequent full proposal. NSF typically returns funding
decisions within six months of formal proposal submission.
Proposal Preparation Instructions
- Describe the research issue(s) proposed, the proposed methods of investigation, and the guiding, relevant theoretical frameworks
- Describe the strategic contribution of the research to NSF's education goals and specific research goals;
- Identify the project team of scholars, learners, teachers, faculty and scientists;
- Describe the advanced technologies, if any, that will be developed or that the project will use; and
- Outline the conjectures or hypotheses that are to be tested, the proof-of-concept evidence that will be gathered, and the anticipated impact on different learner populations;
- Provide on the final page of the Project Description a summary of estimated project costs.
Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement should be
prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in
the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), NSF 00-02. The complete text of the
GPG (including electronic forms) is available on the NSF Web site at:
https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/cpo/policy/grants.htm. Paper copies of the GPG may be
obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone 301.947.2722 or
by e-mail from email@example.com.
Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement number (NSF
00-17) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the NSF Form 1207,
"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
Proposal Due Dates
Submission dates: Both preliminary and full proposals MUST be
submitted by 5:00 p.m., local time, on the specified deadline dates, using
NSF's FastLane electronic proposal submission system. A proposal that is
submitted after the due date will be returned without consideration. For
full proposals only, copies of the signed proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form
1207) must be submitted in accordance with the instructions identified below.
Cover Sheets should be forwarded to the following address and must be
postmarked within 5 working days of the deadline date. Signed and separately
mailed cover sheets for full proposals should be sent to:
National Science Foundation
DIS-FastLane Cover Sheet
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
A full proposal may not be processed until the complete proposal (including
signed Cover Sheet) has been received by NSF.
Proposers are required to prepare and submit both preliminary and full
proposals using the NSF FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal
preparation and submission via FastLane are available at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm.
Submission of Signed Cover Sheets for Full Proposals. The signed paper copy
of the proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207) should be forwarded to NSF within
five working days following proposal submission in accordance with FastLane
proposal preparation and submission instructions referenced above.
PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Merit Review Criteria
Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with
expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education
project. These reviewers are selected by Program officers charged with the
oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the
time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers.
Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit
reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority serving institutions or
adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.
Proposals will be reviewed against the following general merit review
criteria established by the National Science Board. Following each criterion
are potential considerations that the reviewer may employ in the evaluation.
These are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. Each
reviewer will be asked to address only those that are relevant to the
proposal and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments.
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 prior work.) To
what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and
original 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?
PIs should address the following elements in their proposal to provide
reviewers with the information necessary to respond fully to both NSF merit
review criteria. NSF staff will give these factors careful consideration 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 learner
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 -- are
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.
B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside
NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal.
Proposals submitted in response to this announcement will be reviewed by a
panel of external expert reviewers. In some circumstances, however, some
proposals will be reviewed by mail review or a combination of mail and panel
Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or
decline each proposal. A program officer assigned to manage the proposal's
review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a
recommendation. In most cases, proposers will be contacted by the program
officer after his or her recommendation to award or decline funding has been
approved by his or her supervisor, the division director. This informal
notification is not a guarantee of an eventual award. NSF will be able
to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended
for funding within six months for 95 percent of proposals. The time interval
begins on the proposal deadline or target date or from the date of receipt,
if deadlines or target dates are not used by the program. The interval ends
when the division director accepts the program officer's recommendation.
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 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 an 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 Officer does so at its own
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 (DGA). Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised
as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering
the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the
reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator.
B. Grant Award Conditions.
An NSF grant consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special
provisions applicable to the grant 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 grant conditions, such as Grant General
Conditions (NSF GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership Phase
III (FDP) Terms and Conditions* and (5) any NSF brochure, program guide,
announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in
the award letter. Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to
transmit NSF grants to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities
and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and
C. Reporting Requirements.
For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants),
the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer
at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.
Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit
a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will
send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project
report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and
processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats
of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required
NSF has implemented a new electronic project reporting system, available
through FastLane, which permits electronic submission and updating of project
reports, including information on: project participants (individual and
organizational); activities and findings; publications; and, other specific
products and contributions. Reports will continue to be required annually
and after the expiration of the grant, but PIs will not need to re-enter
information previously provided, either with the proposal or in earlier
updates using the electronic system.
Effective October 1, 1999, PIs are required to use the new reporting system
for submission of annual and final project reports.
D. New Awardee Information.
If the submitting organization has never received an NSF award, it is
recommended that the organization’s appropriate administrative officials
become familiar with the policies and procedures in the NSF Grant Policy
Manual which are applicable to most NSF awards. The "Prospective
New Awardee Guide" (NSF 99-78) includes information on: Administrative
and Management Information; Accounting System Requirements and Auditing
Information; and Payments to Organizations with NSF Awards. This information
will assist an organization in preparing documents that NSF requires to
conduct administrative and financial reviews of an organization. The guide
also serves as a means of highlighting the accountability requirements
associated with Federal awards. This document is available electronically on
NSF’s Web site at: https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf9978>
* These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at
https://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. More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is
contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, (NSF 95-26)
available electronically on the NSF Web site. The GPM also is available in
paper copy by subscription from the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The GPM may be ordered through the
GPO Web site at: http://www.gpo.gov. The telephone number at GPO for
subscription information is 202.512.1800.
General inquiries should be made to the Research on Learning and Education
Program. Dr. Nora Sabelli, Sr. Program Director, telephone:
703.306.1650, email: email@example.com.
Dr. Elizabeth VanderPutten, Program Director, telephone: 703.306.1650, email
firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Anthony Kelly,
Program Director, telephone 703.306.1650, email email@example.com. For
questions related to use of FastLane, contact FastLane Technical Support
between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at telephone 703-306-1142 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST
The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and
education in science, mathematics, and engineering. General descriptions of
NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal
submission are provided in each chapter. Many NSF programs offer
announcements concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional
information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program
offices listed in Appendix A of the GPG. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year
programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be
announced in the NSF Bulletin, available monthly (except July and August),
and in individual program announcements. The Bulletin is available
electronically via the NSF Web Site at https://www.nsf.gov. The direct URL for recent
issues of the Bulletin is https://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/publicat/bulletin/bulletin.htm Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service to find out what funding opportunities are available.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most
fields of science and engineering. Grantees are wholly responsible for
conducting their project activities and preparing the results for
publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such
findings or their interpretation.
NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and
educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons
with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with
federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of
race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to
discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance
from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED)
provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with
disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research
assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement
or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.
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 regarding NSF
programs, employment, or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703)
306-0090 or through FIRS on 1-800-877-8339.
We want all of our communications to be clear and understandable. If you have
suggestions on how we can improve this document or other NSF publications,
please email us at email@example.com.
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; 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 review process; to applicant
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 needing information
as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; 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," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51,
"Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268
(January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to
provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of
receiving an award.
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to
average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other
aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing
this burden, to: Reports Clearance Officer; Information Dissemination
Branch, DAS; National Science Foundation; Arlington, VA 22230.
YEAR 2000 REMINDER
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
In accordance with Important Notice No. 120 dated June 27, 1997, Subject: Year 2000 Computer
Problem, NSF awardees are reminded of their responsibility to take
appropriate actions to ensure that the NSF activity being supported is not
adversely affected by the Year 2000 problem. Potentially affected items
include: computer systems, databases, and equipment. The National Science
Foundation should be notified if an awardee concludes that the Year 2000 will
have a significant impact on its ability to carry out an NSF funded activity.
Information concerning Year 2000 activities can be found on the NSF web site
Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: #
47.076 – Education Grants
OMB No.: 3145-0058