International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)

Program Solicitation
NSF 18-505

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 12-551

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of International Science and Engineering

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     January 30, 2018

Track - I: IRES Sites

     February 06, 2018

Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes

     September 11, 2018

     Second Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

Track - I: IRES Sites

     September 18, 2018

     Third Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes

Full Proposal Target Date(s):

     February 13, 2018

Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

     September 25, 2018

     Fourth Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

  • The new IRES solicitation describes three tracks, Track I: IRES Sites, Track II: Advanced Studies Institutes, and Track III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience.
  • The total maximum budget for an IRES site is increased.
  • Restriction on PI salary is removed.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1). NSF anticipates release of the PAPPG in the Fall of 2017 and it will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Please be advised that proposers who opt to submit prior to January 29, 2018, must also follow the guidelines contained in NSF 18-1.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)

Synopsis of Program:

The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports international research and research-related activities for U.S. science and engineering students. The IRES program contributes to development of a diverse, globally-engaged workforce with world-class skills. IRES focuses on active research participation by undergraduate or graduate students in high quality international research, education and professional development experiences in NSF-funded research areas.

The overarching, long-term goal of the IRES program is to enhance U.S. leadership in research and education and to strengthen economic competitiveness through training the next generation of research leaders.

This solicitation features three mechanisms; proposers are required to select one of the following tracks to submit their proposal.

Track I focuses on the development of world-class research skills in international cohort experiences. Track II is dedicated to targeted, intensive learning and training opportunities that leverage international knowledge at the frontiers of research. Track III calls for U.S. institutional partnerships and coalitions to develop and evaluate innovative models for high-impact, large-scale international research and professional development experiences for graduate students, as individuals or groups.

  1. IRES - Track I: IRES Sites (IS) projects engage a group of undergraduate and/or graduate students in active high quality collaborative research at an international site with mentorship from researchers at a host lab. IRES Sites must be organized around a coherent intellectual theme that may involve a single discipline or multiple disciplines funded by NSF.
  2. IRES - Track II: Advanced Studies Institutes (ASI) are intensive short courses with related activities that engage advanced graduate students in active learning and research at the frontiers of knowledge. ASIs typically range in length from ten to twenty-one days and must be held outside the United States. ASIs must have a compelling rationale for their international location and should involve distinguished active researchers in the target field from the U.S. and abroad. ASIs should enable students to develop skills and broaden professional networks, leveraging international participation and complementary resources (expertise, facilities, data, field site, etc.) for mutual benefit.
  3. IRES - Track III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience (IGE) projects propose, implement, and evaluate creative ideas for catalyzing the development of globally engaged U.S. scientists and engineers at the graduate student level. The IGE IRES track invites professional societies and organizations in the U.S. directly associated with science and engineering education or research activities to propose innovative large-scale programs to provide high-quality international research and/or research-related professional development experiences for U.S. graduate students as individuals or groups. The proposed experiences should enhance transferable skills and expand professional networks. Graduate students recruited from a broad, diverse applicant pool should travel to non-U.S. locations for periods of several weeks to a semester for immersive experiences under the mentorship of appropriate collaborators in the U.S. and foreign locations. The proposed international professional development model may focus on research or research-related activities in any NSF-funded area(s). Proposals that utilize, leverage and potentially expand existing global networks and infrastructure are encouraged.
  4. Student participants supported by IRES funds must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States.

    Students do not apply directly to NSF to participate in IRES activities. Students apply to NSF-funded investigators who receive IRES awards. To identify appropriate IRES projects, students should consult the directory of active IRES awards.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Maija M. Kukla, W 17233, telephone: (703) 292-4940, email: mkukla@nsf.gov

  • Fahmida N. Chowdhury, W 17158, telephone: (703) 292-4672, email: fchowdhu@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering
  • 47.083 --- Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 35 to 40

Track- I: IRES Sites. Approximately 20-25 awards will be made in FY 2018, pending quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Track- II: Advanced Studies Institutes. Approximately 10-12 awards will be made in FY 2018, pending quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Track- III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience. Approximately 3-5 awards will be made in FY 2018, pending quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,000,000

Approximately $11,000,000 in FY 2018, pending availability of funds.

Track- I: IRES Sites. Up to $300,000 per award. For exceptionally creative proposals, awards up to $400,000 will be considered.

Track- II: Advanced Studies Institutes. As appropriate. Typically, an average ASI budget is $150,000 per award. Proposals involving a series of institutes are permitted when well-justified.

Track- III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience. Up to $1,000,000 per award.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the IRES program per annual competition.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         January 30, 2018

    Track - I: IRES Sites

         February 06, 2018

    Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes

         September 11, 2018

         Second Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track - I: IRES Sites

         September 18, 2018

         Third Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes
  • Full Proposal Target Date(s):

         February 13, 2018

    Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

         September 25, 2018

         Fourth Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:

National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:

Standard NSF award conditions apply.

Reporting Requirements:

Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

Science and engineering research increasingly requires international teams to solve the most complex challenges. Accordingly, leading scientific and engineering facilities, resources, and expertise are distributed around the globe. To remain at the forefront of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the United States must train and nurture a cadre of globally-engaged STEM students who will thrive in the rapidly changing international landscape. To advance this objective and enhance U.S. leadership in research, the International Research Experiences for Students program provides three mechanisms to support U.S. students to conduct excellent research and engage in high-quality research-related activities abroad in collaboration with foreign investigators.

IRES projects contribute to the development of a globally competitive and diverse scientific workforce for increased U.S. economic competitiveness. IRES experiences expose U.S. students to the international research community at a critical stage in their careers and serve to establish international networks to bolster their professional development. IRES supports activities designed in partnerships with researchers outside the U.S. and conducted at international sites, leveraging U.S. and international resources for mutual benefit.

The IRES program accepts projects in any disciplinary field that NSF supports. Topics in multi-disciplinary and convergent areas of research, training and professional development are encouraged. The IRES program strengthens the pipeline from undergraduate to graduate and beyond. In addition, K-12 teachers may take part in IRES Track-I projects through the NSF Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. IRES projects in all three tracks are organized and proposed by U.S. institutions and U.S.-based Principal Investigators who choose the topics and foreign site placements; appropriate foreign mentorship and necessary resources; and recruit and prepare U.S. students to participate in the experiences.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

A. General

IRES projects in all tracks may involve collaboration within an already-established partnership between a U.S.-based research group and a foreign research group (e.g., an existing lab-to-lab arrangement, U.S. and foreign professional societies, etc.). Alternatively, IRES projects may propose to initiate new international collaborations, interactions, or create new international research teams/networks.

Although two-way exchanges of U.S. and foreign students are strongly encouraged, the IRES program typically provides support for U.S. students. The IRES program does not provide salary support for the foreign research mentors, although it supports research and related expenses for the U.S. team while in an international location.

PIs are responsible for arranging required visas and other travel documents for foreign travel. PIs are responsible for obtaining research permits and import/export documents, where necessary.

In all cases, the IRES students/participants will be recruited and trained by the U.S. PI(s). Students/participants will travel to the foreign site to conduct research, participate in training and professional development activities or other tasks (as appropriate for the specific track of the project) under the direct supervision of the foreign research mentor(s) (Track I), or joint mentorship of US and international lecturers/researchers/scholars (Tracks II and III).

The duration of IRES awards may vary by the scope of proposed activity. It is expected that Track I awards will last three years; Track II awards - two-four years; and Track III awards - three-four years. All proposals should include a robust evaluation plan to assess learning and skill development of the participants and to inform future plans and activities. This plan should include the names of students involved in the project along with the project(s) in which they participate.

Awardees will be required to participate in program-level evaluation by NSF. NSF, an NSF contractor, or a grantee on behalf of NSF, may periodically conduct program evaluations or special projects that necessitate access to project level staff and data. This activity may occur at any time during the grant period and could occur after the grant has ended. Project-level participation includes responding to inquiries, interviews and other methods of common data collection and/or aggregation across individual grants.

B. Track - I: IRES Sites (IS)

IRES Site proposals must have a unifying research theme that enables a cohort experience for participating undergraduate and/or graduate students to collaborate with international partners. The cohort concept requires that within an IRES project, each participating student must have an individual research project for which he/she is responsible. Individual student projects must be coordinated to address the unifying research theme. To provide the best cohort experience and to simplify logistical burdens, it is suggested that all students supported by a given IRES project travel to the foreign location(s) at the same time. However well-justified alternative approaches will be considered. If students are to be hosted at more than one location, it is expected that their projects will address a common scientific theme across locations. The proposal should include a plan for all participants to be reunited at one foreign location at least once during the overseas trip.

IRES Sites support projects of three year duration. Projects should support separate student cohorts each year. IRES Sites projects should give as many students as feasible, within budgetary and project constraints, the opportunity for a meaningful research experience abroad. Projects which include fewer than four U.S. students per year, or whose annual duration of research conducted abroad is less than four weeks, should be justified by exceptional conditions or circumstances. Longer duration projects, and/or those involving more students, are generally preferable to shorter duration projects with fewer students.

Significant research mentorship must be provided by foreign mentors. The U.S. PI is responsible for recruiting and preparing U.S. student participants, ensuring the quality of the research experience, and the appropriateness of the foreign research mentorship. It may be necessary for U.S. PIs to spend a short period of time with the U.S. students to help with the transition to the foreign site and mentors. U.S. PIs are not required to remain on-site with the U.S. students throughout the period abroad, but are encouraged to use remote means to co-mentor.

Recruitment of the U.S. student participants may occur locally, or may involve wider regional or national recruitment plans. In all cases, the proposal must clearly describe the plan for recruiting candidates, including how the project will broaden participation from underrepresented groups. The plan should also address the process for selecting and preparing the students who will participate. IRES support must be given to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The intent of the program is to broaden the international experience of U.S. students. Preparation of the students to enable maximum benefit during the period spent abroad is particularly important, and should be both scientific and location-specific, including practical and cultural information. The IRES program does not support coursework or development of instructional materials for teaching.

Proposals should describe the research focus of the proposed activity; the intellectual collaboration with and mutual benefit for the foreign team; the plan for enhancement of student training and professional development; details of the mentoring plan; recruitment and broadening participation plans; selection process; the pre-departure preparation of students; arrangements for housing, health insurance, and other logistics; plans for leveraging U.S. and foreign resources to strengthen the project; the plan to assess the impact of the IRES project; and strategies for disseminating project results.

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)

NSF encourages research experiences for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and the coordination of these experiences with IRES projects. Teachers may be included in IRES Site projects. Applicants who wish to include an RET in an IRES proposal should contact the cognizant IRES program officer for guidance.

C. Track - II: Advanced Studies Institutes (ASI)

Track II invites proposals for a single advanced studies institute or for a series of ASIs over several years. ASI themes/topics must address a meaningful spectrum within a broad area or subfield of a chosen discipline, or a suitably defined multi-disciplinary theme. PIs proposing a series of ASIs should enumerate the entire set of topics they wish to address during the life of the grant. Proposals with bold vision are encouraged.

Advanced Studies Institutes focus on advanced graduate students. Faculty and research scientists serve as lecturers and mentors. PIs are encouraged to include students from the host country or from other countries. Foreign students are expected to obtain their own source of support and should not exceed 50% of the total number of student participants. PIs are encouraged to explore ways of leveraging support from relevant institutions in the host country. ASI projects will typically be 2-3 years in duration, although up to 4 years will be considered if strongly motivated and justified. All ASI proposals must include a syllabus, a rationale for the choice of topics, and a justification for the geographic location (or set of locations throughout the project duration). ASI proposals will be accepted in all NSF-supported fields, including interdisciplinary or convergent topics.

The PI is responsible for:

  • preparation of the scientific and/or engineering program,
  • selection of lecturers/researchers and student participants with an emphasis on broadening participation,
  • administration of the ASI,
  • publication of lectures and proceedings from the activity through various media, and dissemination including the development of a website for the ASI.

The PI should be assisted by an Organizing Committee. Brief professional background summaries and descriptions of the role to be played by each member of the Organizing Committee are required for the proposal. Proposals that are of an applied nature, and especially where relevance to industry is claimed, should include a noted industrial scientist or engineer on the Organizing Committee.

The choice of ASI lecturers and graduate student participants is the responsibility of the PI assisted by the Organizing Committee. The procedure for such choices must be clearly outlined in the proposal. The selection procedures should serve to recruit a highly qualified and diverse group of lecturers and participants.

ASI lecturers should be chosen on the basis of their scientific, engineering, and training qualifications. Lecturers should be contacted before submission of the proposal. An indication of their commitment (Letters of Support) must be included in the proposal.

Proposers must develop a publicly available web page of sufficient duration to provide up-to-date information on the ASI. The website should include details on the activity including recruitment procedures, meeting topics, related activities, lecture notes, and links to publications, seminars, and collaborative research. Plans for dissemination of results of the meeting, including lecture notes and web-related instructional materials, must be part of the proposal.

D. Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

This IRES track seeks novel, high-impact, large-scale approaches and innovative models for providing international research and/or research-related professional development experiences to U.S. graduate students in NSF-supported disciplines, multidisciplinary fields and convergent topics.

To fully participate and engage in today’s global science and engineering enterprise, U.S. graduate students need international exposure and experience to develop skills and build professional networks in international collaborative environments.

The IGE track invites proposals for innovative approaches to incorporate international research and research-related experience into the professional development of graduate students. Proposals are invited from professional societies and similar associations in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities in NSF supported disciplines. Universities and colleges may participate in an IGE proposal as partners of professional societies or associations.

Proposals that provide graduate students with new, transferable skills that transcend their disciplinary training, and build their professional networks, are encouraged. Graduate students recruited from a broad, diverse, multi-university or nationwide applicant pool should travel to non-US locations for periods of several weeks to a full semester for immersive experiences in research, education and/or professional development under the mentorship of appropriate partners and collaborators in the U.S. and foreign locations. The proposed approaches and implementation mechanisms of graduate student international professional development should be evidence-based. They may focus on research and research-related activities in any NSF-funded area. The proposed activities may target individual graduate student international experiences or opportunities for graduate students as a group. Proposals that utilize (and potentially expand) existing global networks and infrastructure are encouraged.

A recent report released by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) makes a case, and provides a set of recommendations, for professional development of STEM graduate students (http://cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/CGS_ProfDev_STEMGrads16_web.pdf). This report is a resource for PIs as they develop their own project ideas. Another resource is the report from a workshop entitled “Investigating the International Experiences in STEM Graduate Education and Beyond”, http://cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/WO_1_A%20FIN-Assessing-Intl-Ed-Report-3-2012.pdf. PIs can also consult the article “Encouraging STEM Students to Study Abroad” https://www.nafsa.org/_/File/_/ie_julaug11_edabroad.pdf, and this report: “Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses: 2017 Edition”, http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/Mapping-Internationalization-2017.pdf. The above resources are provided only as a few examples of recent literature on this topic; there is an increasing body of literature that PIs should consult before developing their proposals. Successful proposals in this track will be grounded in current literature, informed by evidence-based models for global engagement in research and professional development, and present bold, long-term visions for internationalizing graduate experience; moreover, they will propose feasible approaches and pathways for implementing their vision as well as evaluating the success of their project.

Each Track III proposal will provide an international research-related professional development experience to a significant number of graduate students. Proposals should present the proposed concept and implementation mechanism, including rationale and expected professional development impact on target graduate students; description of proposed international activities, along with plan for recruitment, selection, preparation, mentoring and evaluation; and description of the administrative and management structure for the program. The main features of the program are:

  • The student experiences may include any of a wide variety of international collaborative activities, but must go beyond solely data collection, fieldwork or conference attendance to include active engagement with researchers at the international location.
  • The duration of the international component of each international experience is flexible, e.g., from several weeks to a full academic term.
  • The proposed activities may involve one or more locations, as appropriate to the proposed approach.
  • Each year a new set of graduate students should be supported, with special attention given to broadening participation of underrepresented minorities and those without prior international research experience.
  • Proposals must include letters of support from key international collaborators outlining commitment to the project and mutual benefits of the proposed graduate student activity(ies).

IRES at a glance

Track

Typical Activity Duration/Award Duration

Budget

Envisioned Activity

I: IRES Sites

6-8 wks per year; Award for 3 yrs

Up to $300,000; up to $400,000 in exceptional circumstances

Cohort-based Research Projects

II: Advanced Studies Institutes

1-3 wks; Award for 2-4 years

As needed and appropriate. Average is $150,000 per ASI.

Intensive, thematic, focused research frontiers exploration; multidisciplinary aspect encouraged

III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

Varies with the proposed approach; Award for 3-4 years

Up to $1,000,000.

Individual or Group Projects, Training, Professional Development

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the quality of proposals and availability of funds. It is expected that NSF will support approximately 35-40 awards in FY 2018. This includes support by all mechanisms described in this IRES solicitation.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the IRES program per annual competition.

Additional Eligibility Info:

Track III only:

To be eligible to submit a Track III proposal, US non -profit, non-academic organizations must be professional/scientific/engineering societies, associations and similar organizations that are directly associated with educational or research activities. Eligible non-profit organizations may submit a proposal on their own or may serve as the lead or a non-lead partner on a collaborative proposal. US universities and colleges that grant graduate degrees in NSF-funded STEM fields may only submit in partnership with an eligible non-profit, non-academic organization. In such cases, the US academic institution may serve as lead or non-lead partner, but the partnership must include an eligible non-profit, non-academic organization. Other types of organizations eligible to submit proposals to NSF may participate as non-lead or subawardee partners on Track III proposals.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The complete text of the PAPPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg. Paper copies of the PAPPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. PAPPG Chapter II.D.3 provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2 for guidance on the required sections of a full research proposal submitted to NSF. Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the PAPPG instructions.

The information below supplements the standard PAPPG and NSF Grants.gov Application Guide proposal preparation guidelines. Please use this information while preparing a proposal under the IRES program:

  1. Proposal Cover Sheet. Give a proposal title beginning with "IRES:" and the track number (for instance, "IRES Track I:...") followed by a descriptive title of the proposed activities. Check the box for "International Cooperative Activities Country Name" that appears under Other Information when the "remainder of cover sheet" is clicked, then select the countries involved.
  2. Project Summary (one page maximum). In the overview, clearly indicate the number of undergraduate and/or graduate participants per year AND number of weeks per year that the students will participate in IRES activities. Include the names and institutional affiliations of key of U.S. and foreign collaborators, and note their roles in the proposed activities. Summarize the research topic and highlight the collaborative aspects of the activity.
  3. Project Description and Results from Prior NSF Support. Project descriptions should address intellectual merit and broader impacts, and in addition, provide details concerning the specific IRES elements appropriate to the chosen track:
  • Overview. For Track I (IRES Sites), provide a brief description of the overarching theme and research focus of the proposed activity, including specific science challenges to be addressed, rationale for conducting the project internationally, and examples of research projects that individual students will conduct during their time abroad. For Track II, describe the theme/topic(s) of the ASI and the motivation behind choosing them. Track III proposals should address the basic concept and novelty of the proposed International Graduate Education model with a focus on implementing creative institutional approaches to supporting and evaluating international research training and professional development of STEM graduate students. Identify the potential of the IRES project to provide meaningful added value to current graduate student training and professional development in the proposed area.
  • Nature of Student Activities. Proposals should address the intellectual/professional collaboration with the foreign team and/or lecturers/mentors, as appropriate for the specific track. For IRES Sites, provide detailed descriptions of sample research projects students will pursue. For Track II, summarize the activities of the institute being proposed. Track III proposals should use this section to summarize the combination of international research, training and professional development activities students are expected to undertake.
  • The Research Environment. Describe the unique expertise, facilities, data, and/or other resources that will be available to IRES students, as appropriate for the specific track. Describe why the particular collaborator(s) and foreign site(s) is/are desirable for the proposed project from a scientific and/or professional development standpoint, as well as why the particular site is are suitable for hosting and mentoring U.S. students.
  • Student Recruitment and Selection. The overall quality of the student recruitment and selection processes and criteria will be an important element in the evaluation of the proposal. The recruitment plan should be described with as much specificity as possible including a detailed description of the efforts that will be made to attract students from groups underrepresented in science and engineering. IRES student participants must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents.
  • Logistics. The proposal should describe plans for pre-departure preparation of U.S. student participants, arrangements for housing, health insurance and other logistics.
  • Leveraging Resources. Discuss plans for leveraging U.S. or foreign resources to strengthen the project, such as, taking advantage of existing facilities, IT infrastructure, academic centers, field sites, language instruction, international programming, or cultural activities.
  • Professional Development. Describe plans for enhancing the professional development of student participants, including any plans for follow-on interactions such as student-faculty, student-mentor, and student-student cooperation.
  • Project Evaluation, Dissemination and Reporting. Discuss plans to a) measure qualitatively and quantitatively the IRES project in terms of student research experiences and the professional development of student participants, b) track impacts over time, c) disseminate results of the research within the appropriate scientific disciplinary community, and d) publicize the IRES project student experiences in ways that will share the experiential benefits across a wider body of U.S. students and encourage other students to engage internationally.

4. Supplementary Documentation:

  • Biographical sketches for principal foreign collaborators. Sketches must be in English and must adhere to the format given in the PAPPG (Chapter II.C.2.f)
  • Letters of Collaboration from foreign researchers/collaborators who will serve as the mentor(s) for the IRES students or participate in the project in some other manner.
  • Letters of Collaboration from foreign lecturers for ASIs.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

IRES projects have duration of two-four years, and a maximum total budget as designated for each track:

Track I: Up to $300,000, with awards up to $400,000 considered in exceptional circumstances

Track II: As appropriate. Average budget is $150,000 per institute. Proposals for a series of institutes are permitted when well-justified.

Track III: up to $1,000,000

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         January 30, 2018

    Track - I: IRES Sites

         February 06, 2018

    Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes

         September 11, 2018

         Second Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track - I: IRES Sites

         September 18, 2018

         Third Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes
  • Full Proposal Target Date(s):

         February 13, 2018

    Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

         September 25, 2018

         Fourth Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

    Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:

Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (see link in Section V.A) provides instructions regarding the technical preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

Proposers that submitted via FastLane are strongly encouraged to use FastLane to verify the status of their submission to NSF. For proposers that submitted via Grants.gov, until an application has been received and validated by NSF, the Authorized Organizational Representative may check the status of an application on Grants.gov. After proposers have received an e-mail notification from NSF, Research.gov should be used to check the status of an application.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF either as ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal. In addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included in PAPPG Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future: NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF's mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions must recruit, train, and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF's contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the guidance of the Nation's most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF's mission "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." NSF makes every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.

1. Merit Review Principles

These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:

  • All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
  • NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These "Broader Impacts" may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified.
  • Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project.

With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.

These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand their intent.

2. Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d(i). contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal). Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d(i), prior to the review of a proposal.

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

  1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to
    1. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
    2. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria for all IRES proposals.

In addition to the general NSF review criteria described above, the following criteria will be used in evaluating proposals submitted in response to this solicitation:

  1. Appropriateness of the student recruitment and selection plans, including those for involving students from underrepresented groups and from academic institutions with limited research opportunities.
  2. The appropriateness of the selection of lecturers/researchers/mentors and host institution or location arrangements, including the opportunity for US students to benefit from the expertise, facilities, etc., of the foreign location.
  3. Plans to enhance the project's effectiveness and impact on student professional development after the overseas experience is completed and to disseminate results.
  4. Quality of the proposed evaluation plans.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria for Track - I: IRES Sites.

  1. Quality of plans for student preparation, including both academic/research and cultural/practical preparation specific to the topic of the research and the site of the international placement.
  2. The suitability of the research mentoring plan and project for the academic level of the intended student participants, the length of the program, the facilities available, etc.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria for Track - II: Advanced Studies Institutes

  1. Quality of the proposed ASI curriculum design.
  2. Appropriateness of the selection of lecturers/researchers, foreign location and international engagement in relation to the proposed ASI topic area.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria for Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience.

  1. Creativity and novelty of the proposed concept and implementation mechanism. Is it designed to effectively provide high-impact international experience to graduate students in an international location? If so, how? If not, why not?
  2. Potential for having large-scale and long-term professional development benefits for the graduate students participating in the program.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to evaluate proposals using two National Science Board approved merit review criteria and, if applicable, additional program specific criteria. A summary rating and accompanying narrative will generally be completed and submitted by each reviewer and/or panel. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts upon the Program Officer's recommendation.

After programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants and Agreements Officers perform the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award notice, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award notice; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1)*; or Research Terms and Conditions* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award notice. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). No later than 120 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Maija M. Kukla, W 17233, telephone: (703) 292-4940, email: mkukla@nsf.gov

  • Fahmida N. Chowdhury, W 17158, telephone: (703) 292-4672, email: fchowdhu@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "NSF Update" is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide Chapter II.E.6 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

nsfpubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111

PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Office of the General Counsel
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314



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