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Information for Prospective PIs of MSP Proposals

The following is a reminder of several important matters to be considered as you prepare your proposal for the current Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program competition (NSF 08-525).


The Project Summary must clearly address in separate statements (within the one-page summary):

  1. the intellectual merit of the proposed activity; and
  2. the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. 

Proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the one page Project Summary will be returned without review.

(See the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter III for further descriptive information on the NSF merit review criteria.)


For Targeted, Institute, MSP-Start or Phase II Partnership proposals,

  1. one of the core partner organizations serves as the LEAD partner and submits the MSP proposal on behalf of the Partnership. The lead partner accepts management and fiduciary responsibility for the project. Lead partner eligibility for any of the Partnership categories – Targeted, Institute, MSP-Start or Phase II - is limited to an institution of higher education or an eligible non-profit organization (or consortia of such institutions or organizations) (see GPG Chapter I, Section E for definitions of Categories of Proposers),
  2. the Principal Investigator must be a faculty member in a mathematics, science or engineering department in a higher education core partner, and
  3. a second Core Partner must be a K-12 school district. 

For Phase II Partnership proposals, eligibility is limited to institutions of higher education that were partners in previously funded Comprehensive or Targeted Partnerships whose work began in 2002 or 2003.

RETA proposals must address at least one of the following:

  1. engage national disciplinary and professional societies,
  2. directly support or inform the work of the Partnerships through research on the characteristics that define teacher intellectual leadership in K-12 mathematics and the sciences,
  3. directly support or inform the work of the Partnerships through the development of tools that assess teachers' growth in the knowledge of mathematics or the sciences needed for teaching, or
  4. conduct longitudinal studies of teachers and their students who participate in the MSP projects. 


Since MSP projects necessarily involve collecting data from participants, the Human Subjects box should be checked on the proposal cover sheet. You may wish to begin the process of obtaining an exemption or approval as you submit your NSF proposal.  As specified in GPG Chapter II, Section D.6, no awards will be made without IRB approval or an appropriately documented exemption.


Please note that NSF has given new directives in terms of font type and size.  The text, including font type and size, MUST conform to the guidance noted in GPG Chapter II, Section B, Format of the Proposal. Proposals that do not comply with these formatting requirements may not be reviewed or considered for funding.


The Letter of Intent was optional for Solicitation NSF 08-525.  You may change the content direction, grade band, or type of Partnership proposed. 

Note:  There is no requirement that you have an MSP-Start award before submitting a Targeted or Institute Partnership.  If you realize that your Partnership is strong, you have the baseline data the Partnership needs to inform the needs and direction, and if you have done the background review of the research and are ready to move forward with a plan then you should consider submitting a Targeted or an Institute Partnership proposal.


Proposals must be submitted through FastLane or by 5:00 PM proposer’s local time on March 25, 2008.  Submission of the proposal is accomplished only when the Authorized Organizational Representative of the Sponsored Research Office of the submitting institution actually electronically "pushes" the Submit button.