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NSF 13-045

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 13-044, Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)

  1. What types of organizations are eligible for the Organizational PAESMEM award?
  2. Who is eligible for Individual PAESMEM awards?
  3. May more than one individual or organization from the same institution be nominated in the same competition?
  4. How do I nominate someone or an organization for the award?
  5. May an individual or organization self-nominate?
  6. What must be included in the Individual nomination package?
  7. What must be included in the Organizational nomination package?
  8. How do I submit my nomination materials?
  9. How will I know that my materials have been received?
  10. I did not receive a confirmation email. What should I do?
  11. Will partial nomination packages be considered?
  12. I cannot attach documents to an email, is there another way to submit nomination materials?
  13. Does the mentoring effort have to be directed to undergraduate STEM students?
  14. Does the program recognize mentoring of early career scientists and engineers?
  15. What are the underrepresented groups in STEM?
  16. What fields are included in STEM?
  17. Does a nomination need letters of support?
  18. To whom should the letters of support be addressed?
  19. How are letters of support submitted?
  20. What is the timeline for announcing PAESMEM Awardees and for the award ceremony?
  21. How will I be notified that I was selected for the award?
  22. Do I have to attend the award ceremony to receive the award?
  23. Will all organizational representatives be invited to the ceremony?
  24. Can I withdraw my nomination?
  25. What is the PAESMEM Certification Form?
  26. Who is the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) referred to in the PAESMEM Certification Form?

Eligibility

1. What types of organizations are eligible for the Organizational PAESMEM award?

An Organizational nominee must be affiliated with a U.S. educational institution or agency, corporation, foundation, military or government agency, or not-for-profit organization. The Organizational nominee may be a mentoring program or activity within an organization. Examples might include but are not limited to: an early career mentoring program for new researchers at a National Laboratory; a Girl Scout troop that is affiliated with the Girls Scouts of America; a university mentoring program for first-generation and low-income college students; or a high school adoption program sponsored by a corporation. Organizational nominees must have at least five years of exceptional mentoring with demonstrated impact on individuals underrepresented in STEM.

2. Who is eligible for Individual PAESMEM awards?

U.S. citizens or permanent residents in industry, academia, primary and secondary education, military, non-profit organizations, foundations, and government are eligible. Individuals must have had at least 5 years of exceptional mentoring experience with demonstrated impact on individuals underrepresented in STEM.

3. May more than one individual or organization from the same institution be nominated in the same competition?

Yes. Nominations for different Individual or Organizational awards may be submitted from the same institution, agency, corporation, or organization in the same competition. Multiple nominations for the same Individual or Organizational award will not be accepted.

Nomination Process

4. How do I nominate someone or an organization for the award?

We recommend that you communicate directly with the individual or organization about your interest in nominating them for the award and volunteer to write one of the required letters of support if they choose to submit nomination materials. You may also send contact information for the Individual nominee or Organizational nominee to PAESMEM@nsf.gov before May 5, 2013 and NSF will send the nominee information about the award program. Please note that the more time the nominee has to put together a strong nomination package the better. All completed nomination packages are due by 6 pm the nominee’s local time on June 5, 2013 to Mentor@nsf.gov.

5. May an individual or organization self-nominate?

Yes. You do not need to notify NSF of your intention to self-nominate. Simply submit the completed nomination package to Mentor@nsf.gov by 6 pm the nominee’s local time on June 5, 2013.

Submitting Nominations

6. What must be included in the Individual nomination package?

The individual nomination package must include four sections: 1) a mentoring philosophy; 2) a description of the mentoring activities; 3) between two and five letters of support; and 4) a resume or CV for the nominee. Refer to the DCL (NSF 13-044) for more details on these sections. The signed PAESMEM Certification Form must accompany the nomination package. A cover letter or other documents are not necessary and will not be reviewed with the other materials.

7. What must be included in the Organizational nomination package?

The organizational nomination package must include five sections: 1) a description of the organization; 2) a mentoring philosophy; 3) a description of the mentoring activities; 4) between two and five letters of support; and 5) resumes or CVs for up to five organizational representatives. Refer to the DCL (NSF 13-044) for more details on these sections. The signed PAESMEM Certification Form must accompany the nomination package. A cover letter or other documents are not necessary and will not be reviewed with the other materials.

8. How do I submit my nomination materials?

Email attachments to Mentor@nsf.gov. Please create one electronic document with the nomination sections described in the DCL (NSF 13-044). Submit both the signed PAESMEM Certification Form and the nomination materials in an email to Mentor@nsf.gov as email attachments.

Be sure to include “NOMINATION” in the subject line of your email. If you do not include the word “NOMINATION” in your subject line, you will not receive confirmation of receipt of your nomination. Please note that your nomination will still be reviewed if complete and received by the deadline whether or not you received a confirmation email. Please only include your name, telephone number, and email contact information in the text of the email. A cover letter or other text in the email is not necessary and will not be reviewed with the other materials. You must ensure that the nomination materials are complete including the signed PAESMEM Certification Form and in a format that can be opened and read using standard software before you send your nomination materials.

9. How will I know that my materials have been received?

Be sure to include the word “NOMINATION” in the subject line of your email. By including the word “NOMINATION” in the subject line, you will receive an automatic email indicating that NSF has received your email and attached document. Note that this email reply does NOT confirm that the nomination is complete or readable. You must ensure that the nomination materials are complete including the signed PAESMEM Certification Form and in a format that can be opened and read using standard software before you send your nomination materials.

10. I did not receive a confirmation email. What should I do?

If you did not include “NOMINATION” in your subject line, you will not receive a confirmation email. However, your nomination will be reviewed if complete and received by the deadline whether or not you received a confirmation email. The NSF program office will attempt to verify receipt of any email nomination that did not follow these instructions but there is no guarantee that this verification will be sent and may not be sent before the deadline date and time.

11. Will partial nomination packages be considered?

No. You must ensure that all of the required sections described in the DCL (NSF 13-044) are included in the email to Mentor@nsf.gov by the deadline. Incomplete nomination packages that do not have the required sections or the signed PAESMEM Certification Form will not be reviewed.

12. I cannot attach documents to an email, is there another way to submit nomination materials?

If you need to request accommodations for submitting the materials, please submit a request to PAESMEM@nsf.gov or call 703-292-8640 by May 24, 2013 to request alternative arrangements. The NSF program office will not be able to accommodate special requests made after May 24, 2013.

Mentoring Activities and Outcomes

13. Does the mentoring effort have to be directed to undergraduate STEM students?

No, the mentees can be students in formal and informal settings and at any education level (elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate). Note that PEASMEM also recognizes mentoring of early career scientists, technicians, mathematicians, and engineers who have already completed their degree or training. You should explain why you have targeted the populations you have for the mentoring activities.

14. Does the program recognize mentoring of early career scientists and engineers?

Yes. Early career scientists, technicians, mathematicians, and engineers include: post-associate, post-baccalaureate, post-masters, or post-doctoral individuals; new STEM faculty; new STEM K-12 teachers; and other early career STEM professionals in the public and private sectors. You should explain your definition of early career in your nomination materials.

15. What are the groups that are underrepresented in STEM?

Groups that are underrepresented in STEM include women, people with disabilities, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities (African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders), as well as individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds and some geographic regions such as urban and rural areas. You may want to refer to data to clarify that the groups that you have targeted with your mentoring activities are underrepresented in STEM in your nomination materials.

16. What fields are included in STEM?

STEM includes physical, natural, social and behavioral sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, topics, or issues (including environmental science and environmental steward­ship).

Letters of Support

17. Does a nomination need letters of support?

Yes. At least two letters of support are required. Note that a maximum of five letters can be submitted. Most successful nominations have three to five letters of support from a variety of individuals familiar with the nominee and mentoring work including mentees and colleagues. If more than five letters are submitted, only the first five will be considered in the evaluation of the nomination.

18. To whom should the letters of support be addressed?

The letters of support should be addressed to the PAESMEM Program.

19. How are letters of support submitted?

All of the letters of support must be included with all other nomination materials in the same email nomination sent to Mentor@nsf.gov. Letters of support cannot be accepted separately through email or U.S. mail or other delivery method.

Award Details

20. What is the timeline for announcing PAESMEM Awardees and for the award ceremony?

We cannot anticipate when the PAESMEM awards are announced. The timing of the awards notification and of the award ceremony is carefully coordinated with the White House calendar and in the past there has not been a fixed annual date for the awards notification or awards ceremony.

21. How will I be notified if I am selected for the award?

Awardees will be notified by the White House and nominees that were not selected will be notified by the NSF. Please note that the White House may contact nominees for security and background information. Please note that this initial contact is not a guarantee of an eventual award.

22. Do I have to attend the award ceremony to receive the award?

No. You will be invited to participate, but you are not required to participate in the award ceremony or other events in order to receive the award.

23. Will all organizational representatives be invited to the ceremony?

NSF anticipates that all the organizational representatives included in the nomination will be invited to participate in some of the sessions related to the award ceremony and related meetings. However, participation will be at your own expense and some events and meetings will be limited to the primary organizational representative at the discretion of NSF and the White House.

24. Can I withdraw my nomination?

Yes, until July 1, 2013. Send an email to PAESMEM@nsf.gov requesting to withdraw from consideration for the PAESMEM award by July 1, 2013 with your name, telephone number and email. NSF will contact you to confirm your intention to withdraw.

PAESMEM Nomination Certification Form

25. What is the PAESMEM Certification Form?

NSF requires that all Individual nominees and Organizational nominees include a signed certification form and submit it with all other nomination materials to Mentor@nsf.gov by the June 5, 2013 deadline in order to receive the award. Please review the certificate and complete the signature box information. For Individual nominations, the nominee should sign the certification. For Organizational nominations, an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must sign the certificate. Once completed, scan the signed certification document and include it with your nomination package.

26. Who is the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) referred to in the PAESMEM Certification Form?

The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is an organizational representative authorized by the organization to sign official documents on behalf of the organization. The AOR may or may not be one of the organizational representatives listed in the Organizational nomination materials. You should check with your organization’s leadership if there are any questions about who can sign the certificate. NSF cannot determine who is an AOR for your organization.