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DMR Nugget Request

This solicitation has been archived.

July 17, 2006

Dear Colleague:

Providing support for your research and education activities is a priority for each of us in the Division of Materials Research. We especially regard the timely communication of your achievements to non-specialist audiences – those in other technical fields, teachers, students, industry, government, and the public – as an important shared responsibility. Making your results accessible to us and to the public enables us to explain why our investment in materials research is essential. We request your help in DMR to do this effectively. While your response is entirely voluntary, it will help us to illustrate the excitement and importance of the research and education NSF supports.

You can help us in two ways:

  1. Send us a “nugget”1 Attached to this letter is a suggested template for providing us with such a nugget, that is, a crisp summary with an interesting and informative image highlighting your DMR funded work 2 A nugget comprised of two viewgraphs featuring the NSF merit review criteria Intellectual Merit (first viewgraph) and Broader Impacts (second viewgraph) can make a compelling story. We plan to use these nuggets to illustrate the work that DMR supports. They might be used in talks and presentations or posted on our web page, for example. The text and graphics should capture the essence of the activity you wish to highlight. The graphics are particularly important and can include static or dynamic images, photographs, or animations. “Narrated nuggets”, in which grantees and/or their co-workers provide narration accompanying their text and graphics (images or videos), are also acceptable. The text and graphics should be at the level of a press release, explaining briefly and in non-technical language what has been accomplished and why it is significant. The collections of nuggets will be made available to the public on the Division’s website and in CD format. By sending us a nugget you grant NSF the right to reproduce and disseminate your images for various possible uses. If you are planning to patent your work it is your responsibility to consult with the appropriate person at your institution to ensure that sending us the requested material does not jeopardize your intellectual property rights.

  2. Let us know as much in advance as possible if you will be making a major presentation of your research at a meeting, or if a paper is to appear in a journal such as Science or Nature. We can then work with you, your public relations personnel, and our public relations staff (the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, OLPA) to bring additional attention to your work. To do this most effectively, send an email to your DMR program officer, to me at, or to OLPA at We are aware that some journals have embargoes related to publicity on forthcoming articles, and we will work with all parties involved to ensure compliance with journal policies.

Please send only information that DMR can share, put on a public NSF web site, or distribute. If you have questions or comments regarding these two requests, please contact us. By working together, we hope to share the excitement of your achievements with opinion leaders and with the public.

Thank you for your help.

W. Lance Haworth
Acting Director
Division of Materials Research
National Science Foundation


1Please include your last name and NSF award number in the file name, and send the nugget by e-mail to your DMR Program Officer.

2Examples of recent DMR nuggets can be accessed via the DMR web page at (click on Research and Education Highlights).