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Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)

Educational Materials Development and National Dissemination Tracks

Program Solicitation

NSF 02-043


LETTER OF INTENT DUE DATE(S) (optional): April 22, 2002 for ND Track only

June 6, 2002 EMD and ND Tracks by 5:00 PM Local Time
December 4, 2002 A&I Track (See Separate Solicitation NSF 02-095)



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Program Title: Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)

Synopsis of Program:

The Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program seeks to improve the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for all students and targets activities affecting learning environments, course content, curricula, and educational practices. The program has three tracks: 

1. Educational Materials Development (CCLI-EMD) 

Projects are expected to produce innovative materials that incorporate effective educational practices to improve student learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Projects to develop textbooks, software, or laboratory materials for commercial distribution are appropriate. Two types of EMD projects will be supported: a) those that intend to demonstrate the scientific and educational feasibility of an idea, a "proof-of-concept" or prototype, and b) those based on prior experience with a prototype that intend to fully develop the product or practice. Such materials are expected to be disseminated nationally for adoption and adaptation. 

2. National Dissemination (CCLI-ND) 

Projects are expected to provide faculty with professional development opportunities to enable them to introduce new content into undergraduate courses and laboratories, and to explore effective educational practices to improve the effectiveness of their teaching. Projects should be designed to offer workshops, short courses, or similar activities on a national scale in single or multiple disciplines.

3. Adaptation and Implementation (CCLI-A&I) 

Projects are expected to result in improved education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at academic institutions through adaptation and implementation of exemplary materials, laboratory experiences, and/or educational practices that have been developed and tested at other institutions. Proposals may request funds in any budget category supported by NSF, or may request funds to purchase only instrumentation. A separate solicitation will cover a detailed description of this track.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

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




A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements





    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements


Undergraduate education is central to the National Science Foundation's mission in human resource development. Whether preparing students to participate as citizens in a technological society, to enter the workforce with two-or four-year degrees, to continue their formal education in graduate school, or to further their education in response to new career goals or workplace expectations, undergraduate education provides the critical link between the Nation's secondary schools and a society increasingly dependent upon science and technology. 

The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) serves as the focal point for NSF's agency-wide effort in undergraduate education. Programs administered by DUE in FY 2002 include:

Other programs are described in separate program announcements. Updates may be issued, as needed, to announce relevant changes or additions. To stay current with the DUE program offerings, periodically visit the DUE Web site ( All NSF publications referenced in this document are available via the NSF Online Document System (


DUE's programs and leadership efforts reflect the recommendations made in the National Research Council Report Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (NRC, 1999). This report and follow-on activities have had broad-based input involving faculty from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, presidents and other administrators at academic institutions, representatives from business and industry, students, and parents. These activities highlight the importance of undergraduate STEM education for all students, including: 

The percentages of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and women who pursue careers in STEM fields need to increase if this nation is to realize its full potential. The "non-traditional" student (e.g., part-time student, working parent, career-changing adult) is also an important constituent. 

High quality undergraduate STEM education for all students calls for more effective linkages between preK-12 schools and institutions of higher education, between two-and four-year institutions, between undergraduate and graduate education, and between higher education and business/industry to better prepare students for entry and growth in the technological workplace. 

Faculty members who creatively combine teaching with research are essential to the improvement of undergraduate STEM education. NSF seeks to stimulate and motivate faculty members so that creative teaching and pedagogical scholarship become a part of the "faculty culture" at all institutions.

The opportunity for faculty and their institutions to have a major impact on undergraduate education is greater than ever. Increased national recognition of the importance of STEM education, coupled with rapid growth in new teaching and learning technologies, innovations in preK-12 education, increased understanding of how students learn, and successful interdisciplinary approaches, creates new opportunities for improving undergraduate education. These developments provide the foundation for systemic reform, i.e., the totality of effort required of institutions to achieve excellence in STEM undergraduate education for all students. 


The Division has identified four crosscutting themes that may be integrated, as appropriate, into projects funded through DUE programs.

Preparation of Future Teachers
The preparation of prospective preK-12 teachers in science, technology, and mathematics is a major emphasis within DUE. This emphasis is based on the premise that the preparation of prospective teachers is the responsibility of STEM faculty and departments, as well as of colleges and schools of education. 

Projects within this theme are expected to provide prospective teachers with in-depth knowledge of subject matter and with knowledge of instructional practices necessary to meet the challenges posed by standards-based education, changing technology, and an increasingly diverse student body.

Integration of Technology
NSF has been designated the lead agency for a six-agency initiative on Information Technology Research (ITR). The ITR initiative cultivates the promise and the potential that information technologies offer our society. These activities build upon NSF's previous substantial investments in information technology-related projects supporting all areas of research and education to make optimal use of emerging capabilities.

DUE encourages proposals that apply developments in information and other technologies to improve learning and teaching. These proposals should integrate innovative educational strategies, appropriate content, and sound evaluation with current technology to produce more effective learning environments. Projects may also develop or adapt materials and strategies to improve distance learning, incorporating effective uses of technology.

All DUE programs encourage proposals that strengthen undergraduate education in STEM by increasing the participation and success of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities. Projects of particular interest are those that can serve as models for increasing the number of such students who successfully pursue careers in STEM areas and in preK-12 teaching of science and mathematics.

Institutions with significant enrollments of underrepresented persons that have not been previous participants in DUE programs are particularly encouraged to submit proposals. DUE seeks ideas from individuals and institutions with experience in this arena to meet the challenge of increasing the diversity of the STEM workforce and improving the STEM preparation of individuals who are members of underrepresented groups.

Faculty Development
Quality undergraduate education derives from faculty members who are intellectually vigorous, up-to-date in their fields, knowledgeable of student learning styles, and experienced in effective teaching methods. Faculty professional development is critical in preparing current faculty members to apply newly developed course and laboratory materials, pedagogical methods, and technologies into the learning environment. Preparation of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and others intending to become faculty is critical if these new faculty are to become effective teachers once they begin their academic careers. 

Through all its programs DUE provides financial support to supplement course, curriculum, and laboratory improvement efforts with faculty development and faculty preparation activities appropriate to those efforts. 


The CCLI program has three tracks that emphasize, respectively, the development of new educational materials and practices for a national audience, the adaptation and implementation into an institution of previously developed exemplary materials and practices, and the national dissemination of exemplary materials and/or practices. Projects may address the needs of a single discipline or cut across disciplinary boundaries. Abstracts of previously funded projects can be found at .  This program announcement describes the Educational Materials Development and the National Dissemination Tracks. Applicants must identify on the Cover Sheet and on the Project Data Form (Form 1295) the track in which they wish their project to be reviewed. A separate announcement describing the characteristics of the Adaptation and Implementation Track will be available at a later date.

In CCLI, the word "laboratory" includes experiences ranging from those fully integrated within a course to those forming separate components in the curriculum. The setting may involve, for example, a field site, an observatory, a computer room, or an integrated laboratory/classroom, as well as the traditional laboratory, and may involve a redesign of instructional approaches using technology to enhance student learning.

Track 1: Educational Materials Development (CCLI-EMD)
The objective of the CCLI-EMD track is to support the development of educational materials that incorporate practices that are effective in improving learning of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics by undergraduates with diverse backgrounds and career aspirations. Projects are expected to address national needs and/or opportunities in undergraduate STEM education and to produce innovative materials of a quality and significance appropriate for national distribution, adoption, adaptation, and implementation. Projects to develop new materials may be particularly appropriate for incorporating technology, global perspectives, and innovative pedagogy to enhance learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Because it is the aim of the EMD program track to foster the development of materials that have the potential of being used by and impacting the largest number and diversity of students enrolled at different types of institutions, it is recommended that the individuals involved in materials development demonstrate a knowledge of the needs and background of such students, and involve faculty as appropriate from diverse institutions. 

The CCLI-EMD track invites two types of proposals that aim to achieve these goals: a) those that intend to establish a "proof of concept" or a prototype that would be responsive to a national need, and b) those that intend to fully develop a product or practice for national dissemination.

Proof of Concept
A "proof-of-concept" project is expected to demonstrate the scientific and the educational feasibility of an idea. If development of the prototype proves successful, the project would be expected to move to full-scale development of the materials. Such a proposal for full development could be submitted to NSF for peer review and possible funding, or to other sources of potential support. 

The outcomes expected of a CCLI-EMD Proof-of-Concept project shall include all of the following:

The Project Description portion of the proposal should describe the plans to achieve these outcomes.

If in your judgment the completed proof-of-concept proves successful, an outline of a plan for the following should be included in the final report:

If the team developing a prototype involves a coalition between two-year colleges and four-year colleges/universities see the paragraph below about coalitions for potential budget implications.

Full Development
A full development project is expected to produce and evaluate significant new educational materials and pedagogical practices, and to promote their dissemination and effective implementation nationally. 

The outcomes expected of the funded projects include all of the following:

The Project Description portion of the proposal should describe the plans to achieve these outcomes.

The proposal may include a request for funds to conduct workshops or other forms of faculty development to enhance the impact of materials and products developed by the project. Alternatively, when a project is at a stage where materials are ready for use and their effectiveness has been demonstrated, the project PI may submit a request for a supplement to the grant to fund such activities. The request for the supplement must be justified on the basis of the quality of materials developed and the potential value of the proposed activities. PIs interested in supplemental funds should contact the NSF Program Director assigned to the project.

If the purchase of instrumentation can be justified for the development of materials, a 1:1 match of funds is required from non-federal sources, except for those minority serving institutions exempted from this requirement for matching. For more information on this exemption, see DUE web site at (

Coalitions between Two-Year Colleges and Four-Year Colleges/Universities:  In addition to individual submissions by colleges and universities, in FY03 the Educational Materials Development track also encourages proposals from two-year colleges in collaboration with four-year colleges/universities. The goal is to encourage faculty members from different institutions to jointly designdevelop, and test innovative educational materials for the lower-division undergraduate courses, particularly those for which students seek transfer credit. It is hoped that meeting this goal will foster sustainable relationships by leveraging the strengths of all involved institutions. These proposals may be submitted by either a two- or four-year institution but must involve both two- and four-year faculty in the design, development, and testing of materials. If appropriate, activities leading to seamless articulation between two- and four-year institutions may be included. To encourage jointly developed proposals in the “proof-of-concept” category, an additional $25,000 may be requested for a maximum of $100,000. NSF also encourages submission of jointly developed full proposals that build on either “proof-of-concept” coalition activities or other prior work.

Track 2: National Dissemination (CCLI-ND)
This track supports the national dissemination of exemplary materials and practices by providing current and future faculty with professional development activities. (Eligible activities are not restricted to the dissemination of results from NSF-funded projects.) Projects are invited from organizations that propose to provide faculty professional development opportunities on a national scale. Such organizations should be able to provide efficient administrative support to manage the logistics of these activities at multiple sites. Although it is expected that the primary mechanisms will be workshops, short courses, and distance learning opportunities, other means of dissemination are also encouraged.

These professional development opportunities are expected to enable faculty to introduce new content into undergraduate courses and laboratories, and to explore effective educational practices, thereby improving the effectiveness of their teaching. The new content may be scientific and technical knowledge, laboratory practices, or reformatted and synthesized content that supports new modes of learning. It is expected that the format will provide interaction with experts at a level deep enough to promote and achieve significant gains by participating faculty. 

Successful proposals must aim to provide faculty professional development in a variety of disciplines or broadly within one of the following disciplines (behavioral sciences; biological sciences; chemistry; computer and information sciences; engineering; earth sciences; mathematical sciences; physics and astronomy; social sciences). 

Scientific societies may submit proposals to the national dissemination track. Proposals from scientific societies should clearly identify the value that would be added to the current set of activities sponsored by their organization(s) in support of faculty professional development. Scientific societies in the same discipline are urged to work together rather than separately in developing proposals.

It is recommended that organizations considering submission of a proposal to this track contact a DUE Program Director at (703) 292-4637 and then follow up with a letter of intent that describes the project. This letter of intent should not be longer than three pages and should indicate the scope of the project (number and types of workshops, disciplines and sub-disciplines covered, and expected locations where these will be conducted). It should also include a project outline, list the key personnel involved, and indicate an approximate budget. The letter of intent should be submitted via email to a DUE Program Director, no later than April 22, 2002. Feedback will be provided.

The outcomes expected of funded CCLI-ND projects include all of the following:

The following outcomes, although not required, would represent outstanding achievement:


Eligible Fields and Disciplines
Proposals may be submitted for support of projects in any field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ordinarily supported by NSF. Projects involving fundamental scientific, mathematical, or engineering concepts within technical, professional, or pre-professional programs are appropriate. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary proposals are especially encouraged.

Specifically excluded are projects that address clinical fields such as medicine, nursing, clinical psychology, and physical education, and those that primarily involve social work, home economics, the arts, and the humanities.

Eligible Institutions and Individuals
Proposals are invited from organizations in the United States and its territories: organizations in the United States and its territories: two-year colleges, four-year colleges, universities, professional societies, consortia of institutions, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Proposals from a formal consortium should be submitted by the consortium; proposals from an informal consortium or coalition may be submitted by one of the member institutions. For additional details see the Grant Proposal Guide. An individual may be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on only one EMD proposal submitted to the CCLI program per deadline and may also be a Co-PI on other proposals. There is no restriction on the number of proposals for which a person may serve as a Co-PI. An individual may be lead PI on one EMD proposal and one A&I proposal submitted in the same fiscal year. 

Projects may involve a single institution or organization, collaboration with business, and industrial partners, or collaboration among several institutions or organizations. For example, projects may include collaborative efforts that improve the transition of students between the collaborating institutions, such as transfer between two- and four-year institutions.


The number and size of awards will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. Grant duration is typically 2-3 years but support may be requested for up to five years. The minimum budget request is $5,000. The expected range of total NSF/DUE support over the lifetime of a project for CCLI projects is as follows: 

Educational Materials Development: Proof of Concept, up to $75,000 (except as previously described under coalitions); Full Development, up to $500,000

National Dissemination: Large-Scale Faculty Professional Development, up to $1,000,000 per year


A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Letters of Intent:

It is suggested that CCLI-ND proposers have a telephone discussion with a DUE Program Director at (703) 292-4637, and submit a letter of intent by no later than April 22, 2002. This letter of intent should not be longer than three pages and should indicate the scope of the project (number and types of workshops, disciplines and sub-disciplines covered, and expected locations where these will be conducted). It should also include a project outline, list the key personnel involved, and indicate an approximate budget. The letter of intent should be submitted via email to a DUE Program Director, no later than April 22, 2002. Feedback will be provided. DO NOT SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT TO SUBMIT AN EMD PROPOSAL.

Full Proposal:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at: Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from

Except as modified by the guidelines set forth in this solicitation (in particular, the maximum page limits, length of project summary, double-spacing, and guidelines for appendices), standard NSF guidelines contained in the GPG are applicable.

Advice to Proposal Writers
DUE staff often provide informal guidance to proposers about potential projects. The advice most frequently sought about proposal writing in general has been collected in A Guide for Proposal Writing (NSF 98-91). For examples of DUE-funded projects, refer to the DUE Project Information Resource System For information that will assist applicants and Principal Investigators to: a) develop proposals that are responsive to CCLI program tracks; b) describe the objectives of their proposed projects so that reviewers can more easily determine how well the proposed project responds to the objectives of the corresponding CCLI track; and c) manage their projects to achieve project objectives and to enable reporting on the project consistent with program and NSF goals, see the Supplemental Information for Principal Investigators and Applicants to NSF's Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program (NSF 00-117).

Formal Proposal Preparation

1. Information about Principal Investigators
As described in FastLane.

2. Cover Sheet
The proposal title should include informative key words that indicate, for example, the discipline, the target audience, and the nature of the problem or innovative solution. After selecting the CCLI program solicitation number, be sure to also choose the specific CCLI track - EMD or ND. Correctly identifying the CCLI program and track on the cover sheet is important for processing at NSF.

3. Project Summary
The Project Summary is the first statement that reviewers and NSF staff will read about a proposed project and it sets the context in which the rest of the proposal will be read. Thus, the summary should be a clear, concise, self-contained description of the project. It should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, and insofar as possible, understandable to a scientifically literate reader. It should not contain extraneous descriptions of the institution, department, or PIs. In no more than 250 words the summary should describe:

4. Project Description, including Results from Prior NSF Support
Text in this section of a formal proposal must be double-spaced (3 lines per 2.5 cm). The format must be readily legible. Use no less than 2.5-cm margins and a standard font with font size no smaller than 12 point. The following page limits apply: 

DUE will not accept proposals in which the Project Description (including Results from Prior NSF Support) exceeds these page limits. Proposals that are not in compliance will be returned to applicants without review.

This section of the proposal presents most of the information that determines whether or not the proposal will be recommended for an award. Write the proposal to respond to the criteria that will be used by reviewers in judging the merit of the proposal. [See the Merit Review Criteria and Additional Criteria later in this program solicitation.]

Results from Prior NSF Support
If the prospective PI or Co-PI(s) has received support from NSF pertaining to undergraduate education in the past five years, briefly describe the earlier project(s) and outcomes or on-going progress. Do not include information on research projects unless those projects have a direct bearing on the new proposal. Provide sufficient detail to permit a reviewer to reach an informed conclusion regarding the value of the results achieved. Include the NSF award number, amount and period of support, the title of the project, a summary of the results of the completed work, and a list of publications and formal presentations that acknowledged the NSF award (do not submit copies with the proposal). Note that the PI and all Co-PIs must submit a Final Project Report for any completed NSF-funded project before a new grant can be awarded.

Project Description

This description of the project should contain:

5. References Cited
Refer to the GPG for guidelines.

6. Biographical Sketches
Provide a biographical sketch of no more than two pages for each person listed as Senior Personnel. Refer to the GPG for what information must be included within the two-page limit and for a definition of Senior Personnel.

7. Budget and Budget Justification
The amounts indicated on the FastLane Budget Form should include only the amounts requested of NSF. For example, instrumentation has a required 1:1 match so only the amounts requested of NSF (typically one half of the total cost) should be included on Line D Equipment, while the matching amounts should be included on Line M Cost Sharing. See the instructions in the GPG (NSF 01-2) for more information.

Text for the budget justification is limited to a total of no more than 3 pages. 

For multi-institutional submissions, the budget justification should include the contributions of each institution and the amount each will receive from the grant. For multi-year projects, the results of the project are expected to be integrated into the academic programs of the institutions within the period of the award, and therefore it is expected that the budgets will reflect the assumption of financial responsibility by the participating institution(s) as the educational innovations are fully implemented.

NSF funds may not be used to support expenditures that would have been undertaken in the absence of an award, such as the cost of activities that are considered part of a faculty member's normal duties.

Cost Sharing Requirements, Level, & Amount
Consistent with the objectives of Executive Orders 12876, 12900, and 13021, NSF will waive matching requirements for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges that do not offer STEM degrees beyond the masters level, and also Minority Post-Secondary Institutions that do not offer STEM degrees beyond the bachelors level. Please note this waiver in your budget justification, if you are eligible to take advantage of this waiver. (For more information on this exemption, please see the DUE web site at

Except for the special conditions of the above Executive Orders, requests for instrumentation must be matched by funds or instrumentation from non-Federal sources equal to the funds requested for instrumentation from NSF. To qualify as matching, these resources must be used specifically for the instrumentation (or its equivalent) listed in the budget approved for the project. An institution may obligate its matching funds or receive gifts of instrumentation to be counted toward matching at any time following the program deadline date under which the awarded proposal was submitted, but before the grant expiration date specified in the grant document. This normally provides a lengthy period during which the institution must fulfill the requirement to match NSF instrumentation funds. 

Preparation of Instrumentation Budget Items and Justification
Reviewers must be able to recognize the function of the requested instrumentation. Therefore, on a separate page list all individual items by a descriptive name and the probable brand, model, and price. Such selections may be changed after an award.

Budget items may be either single items meeting the minimum cost required ($500), or part(s) of a functional unit where the sum of the components meets the minimum cost requirement. A functional unit is an assemblage of instruments, modules, and components that together perform a specific task or that will normally be used together. Each component of a functional unit must be itemized and the cost indicated; the subtotal for the entire unit should be entered as the unit cost.

Many manufacturers routinely offer educational or institutional discounts. In preparing the budget, contact manufacturers or distributors to obtain discounted prices. On the detailed instrumentation budget page show both the list price and the discounted price used to compute the total cost of the project. If it is possible to negotiate on an individual basis a special discount not routinely available to educational institutions, list the usual discounted price in the project's budget. The amount by which the special discount exceeds the standard educational discount may be counted as matching funds.

In proposals that involve professional development workshops, it is generally expected that the home institutions of the faculty participants will bear the cost of travel to and from the workshop unless a compelling reason can be offered to request NSF support for this travel. 

In all DUE programs, the NSF grant may include participant support costs for subsistence (lodging and meals) during the workshop. In addition, funds may be requested for a stipend of up to $60 per day of the workshop for participants. Requests for such stipends must be specific to the target audience and fully justified; for example, to assure participation by faculty with few professional development opportunities or from resource-poor institutions. No tuition or other fees may be charged to the participants. Note that indirect costs may not be charged on participant support costs. The host institution is expected to provide the facilities and instrumentation necessary to operate the project, and therefore NSF will ordinarily support no permanent instrumentation or facilities. The host institution is also expected to cover the expenses incurred by their own faculty participants.

With the exceptions noted above, the NSF grant may provide for planning and provision of the workshop, follow-through activities, participant support, and indirect costs. The total cost per participant-day varies considerably depending on the proposed activity.

8. Current and Pending Support
All current external support to the PI(s), including the proposed project, must be noted under Current and Pending Support. This information is needed to ensure that project leaders will have time to conduct the project and that there is no duplication of support. The GPG (NSF 01-2) requires that the proposal being submitted be listed as pending support. 

9. Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources
Provide the information as is required in FastLane.

10. Project Data Form
The information on the Project Data Form (NSF 1295) is used to direct the proposal to appropriate reviewers and to announce and advertise the nature of NSF-supported projects. This form is available in FastLane to the proposer after the CCLI program announcement number is selected on the coversheet.

11. Appendices
Appendices should be relevant and concise. This information should be entered in the "Supplementary Docs" section. For materials development proposals, a sample of prior work or work in progress is recommended. 

FastLane Requirements
FastLane, NSF's System for conducting business over the Internet, must be used to prepare and submit proposals. PIs who have not used FastLane before are asked to make sure that their institution is a registered FastLane institution and to contact this institution's Sponsored Research Office (which might also be known as the Office of Grants Administration, Office of Sponsored Research, Office of Research, etc.) to be added to the NSF PI database. (All Co-PIs listed in the proposal must also be in the NSF PI database.) PIs who intend to use sub-awards in their proposal (see the GPG, Section II.C.6.f.v.) are reminded that the subcontract institution(s) must also have an NSF Institution ID Number before FastLane can be used to prepare the subaward budget(s). New FastLane users should acquaint themselves with the system as early as possible--well before the proposal deadline.

Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: If there are extenuating circumstances, the institution may apply to the Assistant Director of EHR for a waiver to submit a paper proposal. Requests should be sent via electronic mail to, with "FastLane Waiver request" in the subject line. If such a waiver is granted, the paper proposal must be postmarked by the deadline date.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF 02-043) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

EMD and ND tracks require requests for instrumentation to be matched by non-federal sources. An initial review of the proposal is made to determine whether  the proposal meets these eligibility requirements by examining line M of the budget page. Proposals that do not meet the requirement are ineligible, and will be returned with out review. As described in section Cost Sharing Requirements, Level, & Amounts (V.A.7), certain HBCU's, HSI's, MSI's, and Tribal Colleges are exempt from these requirements.

The proposed cost sharing must be shown on Line M on the proposal budget. Documentation of the availability of cost sharing must be included in the proposal. Only items which would be allowable under the applicable cost principles, if charged to the project, may be included as the awardee's contribution to cost sharing. Contributions may be made from any non-Federal source, including non-Federal grants or contracts, and may be cash or in-kind (see OMB Circular A-110, Section 23). It should be noted that contributions counted as cost-sharing toward projects of another Federal agency may not be counted towards meeting the specific cost-sharing requirements of the NSF award. All cost-sharing amounts are subject to audit. Failure to provide the level of cost-sharing reflected in the approved award budget may result in termination of the NSF award, disallowance of award costs and/or refund of award funds to NSF.

Other Budgetary Limitations: See detailed range of expected award sizes in Section IV ("Award Information") of the program solicitation.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):

Letters of Intent (optional): April 22, 2002 for ND Track only
Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time:
June 6, 2002 EMD and ND Tracks by 5:00 PM Local Time
December 4, 2002 A&I Track (See Separate Solicitation NSF 02-095)

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: For FastLane user support, call 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail

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 certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at:


A. NSF Proposal Review Process

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.

The two 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 he/she is qualified to make judgements.

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

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/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.

NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months for 70 percent of proposals. The time interval begins on the date of receipt. 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 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 its own risk.


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 Division 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.A. 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 (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions;* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Web site at The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Web site at

Special Award Conditions
See individual tracks for special award conditions. 

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.

PIs are required to use the new reporting system for submission of annual and final project reports. The Division of Undergraduate Education maintains the "Project Information Resource System" (PIRS) to provide the community at large current information about funded projects. Some of the information provided by PIs in the interim, annual, and final report will be available through PIRS. Applicants are encouraged to review the information now available through PIRS about projects NSF has funded in undergraduate education. 

If in your judgment a completed proof-of-concept award proves successful, an outline of a plan for the following should be included in the final report:

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, 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 data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system 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. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.


General inquiries regarding  Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement  should be made to:For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:


The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service ( to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

The following programs might also be of interest.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees 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 particular program).

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/solicitation for further information.

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, FIRS at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at


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 proposal 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.

Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(b), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. 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: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Information Dissemination Branch, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation (3145-0058), 725 17th Street, N.W. Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

OMB control number: 3145-0058.