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Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 08-610:  Innovations in Engineering Education, Curriculum, and Infrastructure

Project Description


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  1. Does my proposal have to focus on one of the four areas or can it include two or more areas?
    The proposal should clearly focus on one area, although the four areas may have some overlap. The proposal will be reviewed by a panel focusing on a single area. For example, a proposal to use virtual reality for sustainability experience should have a clear primary focus on either area 2 or 3.

  2. Can an exploratory project build on previous work?
    Yes. It must be responsive to the announcement and meet the merit review criteria.

  3. Do the “Important Project Features” at the end of section II apply to all four areas?

  4. What are the most common weaknesses in IEECI proposals?

    • Good idea but not set in context of results already reported in the literature
    • No clear research question
    • Curriculum development proposal with no proposed advance in understanding of how students learn
    • Too vague – methodology, research plan, evaluation not detailed
    • Limited scope, limited potential for broad impact

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  1. Can I submit an expansion proposal if I have not been funded first at the exploratory level?
    Yes. This is not a phase 1 and phase 2 type of distinction.

  2. Can I submit an exploratory project proposal in area 1?
    You can submit a proposal in area 1 for an award amount consistent with exploratory projects. It will be reviewed with other area 1 proposals, so the award amount requested should be consistent with the scope of the proposed effort.

  3. Can I submit an expansion project in areas 2, 3, or 4?
    No. It would be returned without review for requesting an amount above the specified limit.

  4. Can I submit more than one proposal?
    Yes. There is no limit on proposals per PI or institution in the announcement.

  5. I am part of an NSF research center which includes an education mission. Can I submit an IEECI proposal?
    Yes. However the proposed IEECI research must address research questions not already included in the center’s research.

  6. What are the duration limitations for expansion and exploratory projects?
    There is no specific limitation on the duration of the awards other than limitations included in the GPG. The proposed duration should be consistent with the scope of the proposed effort and the funding requested. Typically expansion projects are 2 to 3 years, and exploratory projects are typically somewhat shorter.

  7. What is the maximum funding level per year?
    The maximum TOTAL funding level is specified in the announcement. For multiyear projects, the allocation of the funds to budget years should be consistent with the timeline specified in the project description.