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NSF 14-029

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Dear Colleague Letter: Opportunity for Support of Innovative Managing Director Models in I/UCRC Organizations

January 13, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites supplemental funding requests from NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC). Cultivation and maintenance of trusted industry relationships as well as professional project management of the center's portfolio of activities are essential to I/UCRC member recruitment and retention and the growth of a strong and vibrant I/UCRC ecosystem. In recognition of the importance of these functions to center success, this opportunity provides support to assist centers in either creating and filling a new position of Innovative Managing Director or supporting an existing position in their leadership team with this function. However, centers that have received prior NSF supplemental funding to support the Innovative Managing Director position are not eligible to apply.

The Innovative Managing Director is expected to be an individual at the center's lead university for whom the full-time responsibilities may include center marketing; prospective member recruitment; nurturing and maintaining industry relationships; and operations, budget, and project management oversight of the center's portfolio. The Innovative Managing Director should have a firm grasp of both the industry and the academic perspectives of the I/UCRC partnership, be able to communicate dynamically to the center's different stakeholders, and keep the center's portfolio on schedule and on budget. The NSF encourages supplemental funding requests that propose innovative models for this position and successfully implement the model within the center's organization.

Eligibility and Funding Information

  • Center Eligibility: Supplements are available for existing I/UCRCs that continue to meet the criteria as outlined in the current I/UCRC solicitation. Centers that have received prior NSF supplemental funding to support the Innovative Managing Director position are not eligible to apply. This opportunity requires that centers submitting supplement requests have met the following conditions for eligibility:
    • Maintain sufficient memberships to meet the program requirements and metrics at each site.
    • Disseminate current and accurate information to the public about their center via the NSF web site. NSF directory listings must be current and accurate by the supplement deadline date. Instructions for submitting updates can be found at the I/UCRC Program Home Page.
  • Maximum Supplement Amount:
    • Up to $200,000 per year for a period of up to three years may be requested by the center's lead site.
    • Funds for this supplement may be requested to support the personnel costs of the position as well as provide a travel budget appropriate to the position.
  • Duration: Supplemental funding may be requested for up to three years, concurrent with the award. Supplements are renewable annually based on the success reported in meeting the center performance targets outlined in the supplemental funding request. Center data such as membership certifications and leveraged funding may also be considered in renewal decisions.
  • Limit on the Number of Supplemental Funding Requests: One supplemental funding request per center lead site.
  • Estimated Number of Supplements: Ten supplements are anticipated, pending the availability of funds.

Preparation and Submissions Instructions

Supplemental funding requests must include a one-page project summary, a project description not to exceed 15 pages, biographical sketch of the Innovative Managing Director, and current and pending support. The project description should clearly motivate and articulate the following items:

  • The innovative model to be used for implementing this position within the center's organization;
  • If an existing position is transitioning to become the Innovative Managing Director, the existing position's expectations and funding, its impact on center performance to date, and the rationale for requesting NSF funding to support this position;
  • The roles, responsibilities, and interactions of this position relative to others in the center leadership team;
  • The current status of the center and the value derived from the position in terms of the key aspects of center performance that will be impacted;
  • Milestones reflecting the expectations for the position during the proposed supplemental funding period, including the timeline for the institutional personnel actions required to fill the position;
  • Metrics with baselines and annual targets for the supplement period with which the success of the approach can, in part, be assessed. The metrics must include membership growth, growth in the leveraging of both member and NSF funds by the center, and a quantifiable increase in the value of the center to its constituencies that is consistent with the Program's evaluative measures.
  • Plan to sustain the position after NSF supplemental funding concludes, including any change in Innovative Managing Director position scope, responsibilities, etc. necessary to achieve sustainability.

Supplemental funding requests must be submitted through FastLane. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. When contacting FastLane, inform the technician that you are required to apply for this opportunity as a supplement.

Submission Deadlines: The third Monday in February, annually, by 5:00 PM, submitter's local time.

Review Information

All supplemental requests submitted to this opportunity are reviewed by external experts.

Contact Personnel

For questions about this opportunity, please contact one of the I/UCRC Program Directors listed on the I/UCRC Program page here:

Dr. Grace Jinliu Wang
Division Director
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

Dr. Keith Marzullo
Division Director
Division of Computer and Network Systems