American National Election Studies Competition (ANES)

Program Solicitation
NSF 18-519

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 05-537

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National Science Foundation

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
     Division of Social and Economic Sciences


Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     February 21, 2018

Full Proposal Target Date(s):

     April 20, 2018

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

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), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

American National Election Studies (ANES) Competition

Synopsis of Program:

The American National Election Studies (ANES) produce high quality data from its own surveys on voting, public opinion, and political participation. The mission of the ANES is to inform explanations of election outcomes by providing data that support rich hypothesis testing, maximize methodological excellence, measure many variables, and promote comparisons across people, contexts, and time. The ANES serves this mission by providing researchers with a view of the political world through the eyes of ordinary citizens.

The Political Science Program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences expects to make two awards for the 2020 Presidential election cycle with the award to run from fiscal years 2018 to 2021. We anticipate that NSF will make two awards totaling no more than $11.5 million over four years. One will be for the traditional face-to-face survey. The second will be for a web-based survey. While these will be independent awards, the two awardees will be expected to work closely together. The expected start date is July 2018.

ANES started in 1948. Since then, the project has conducted a survey during each presidential election. One of the unique attributes of ANES is that for each election respondents have been surveyed prior to the Presidential election and then after the election. These pre and post surveys provide a unique look at how Americans participate in politics and why.

These cross-sectional surveys have been conducted using random sampling with the sampling scheme being relatively stable over time. The content of the survey has also stayed relatively stable over time though there has been the introduction of new topics, the deletion of old topics, and changes in question wording. To insure the integrity of the survey, it was decided in 1977 that the principal investigator(s) would be advised by a national Board of Overseers that would be representative of the community of scholars interested in American national elections.

The National Science Foundation has helped to support this enterprise since 1970. During this period, the survey has been conducted primarily using a face to face design where trained interviewers go into households to conduct their interviews. In addition to face to face surveys, ANES has conducted mode comparisons using random digit dialing (RDD) and, in recent years, web-based platforms. ANES has also conducted several other enhancements. For instance, several panel studies have been conducted including a 29-wave panel study conducted around the 2008 election. Other innovations have included oversamples of African Americans, oversamples of Hispanics with the instrument translated into Spanish and surveys conducted by bi-lingual interviewers, experimentation with new instrumentation, recruitment of respondents, etc.

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.

  • Brian D. Humes, Program Officer, telephone: (703) 292-7284, email: bhumes@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 2

A total of two awards will be made for the ANES Competition.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,500,000

$11,500,000 total for two awards, pending availability of appropriations.

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: 1


Institutions are restricted to submitting only one proposal for this solicitation. The one proposal can be for either the ANES Face-to-Face Competition or for the ANES WEB Competition.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

Principal Investigators and co-principal investigators are restricted to submitting only one proposal for this solicitation. The one proposal can be for either the ANES Face-to-Face Competition or for the ANES WEB Competition.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

  • 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

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         February 21, 2018

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s):

         April 20, 2018

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:

National Science Board approved criteria apply.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:

Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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

The American National Election Studies (ANES) is a national personal survey of the United States adult population that collects data on a wide range of topics concerning public opinion, political participation, and voter choice. Since 1948, ANES has gathered data on these topics around presidential elections using a pre-election and post-election design where the respondents are re-interviewed. This nationally representative survey is known for both its continuity in questions as well as innovation in questions, formats, samples, etc. It is a “gold standard” survey. The National Science Foundation has been supporting this effort since 1970.

In 2016, a group of scholars organized by the Committee on National Statistics of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a study of the future of the “Big 3” Surveys that are funded in whole or part by the National Science Foundation. ANES is one of those surveys. More information about the membership of the committee and its discussions can be found here: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CNSTAT/DBASSE_180296. The members of the committee praised the surveys but also raised several concerns. The discussion by this committee informs this solicitation. Specifically, we encourage researchers to consider improvements in data archiving and dissemination, especially activities which will make the data more easily available to a wider audience, increase interactions between the principal investigators of the General Social Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and methodological innovations such as the use of incentives, new measures, question wording and placement, recruitment, and online data collection.

The ANES competition invites proposals for two types of projects:

  1. ANES Face-to-Face: Support to continue the ANES time series using face to face interviewing may be supported by an award up to $7,250,000.
  2. ANES Web: Support to conduct a web version of the ANES time series may be supported by an award up to $4,250,000.

(Amounts listed above are total budgets over the duration of the project, including both direct and indirect costs.)

While these are two separate competitions, the two awardees will be expected to work together to design and administer instruments that are as similar as possible. To ensure this cooperation, the awards will be made in the form of cooperative agreements which will specify collaboration expectations and certain milestones.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Political Science Program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences invites investigators who possess the theoretical, methodological, measurement, and managerial skills, as well as the institutional resources, to submit proposals to conduct the American National Elections Study (ANES) in one of two modes, face-to-face or web. The ANES is a personal interview survey, national in scope, that collects data on voting, public opinion, and political participation. The basic ANES design is a repeated, cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of adults. The ANES interview conducts two 75 minute interviews with each respondent. One interview occurs prior to the presidential election while the other occurs after the election. Part of that time is devoted to core items and the remainder is devoted to new or relatively new items. The “core” consists of questions that regularly appear on the ANES, allowing for long-term comparisons. Traditionally, the ANES has been conducted using a face-to-face mode. In the last two cycles, the survey has been supplemented with a web mode. The participants in the web mode were separate from those of the face-to-face mode and were selected using random sampling.

Content of the surveys come from a variety of sources. As mentioned above, some of the content comes from past surveys. While some items may stay the same, others may change over time with an eye to improving the items using the latest knowledge in survey methodology. Some items may be suggested by the principal investigators or the members of their Board of Overseers (see below). Other items may be provided by the public through the Online Commons or its equivalent. These items are vetted by the principal investigators and/or the members of the Board.

Project oversight is provided by the ANES Board of Overseers that consists of prominent scholars with expertise in survey research, other social and behavioral methodologies, and a range of substantive areas. Board members review items, submissions from the Online Commons or its equivalent, and provide the principal investigators with advice when needed. This advice may come from discussions held in Board meetings or from technical reports or white papers written by members of the Board. The membership of the ANES Board will be selected jointly by the two awardees in coordination with the cognizant NSF program officer. The cognizant program officer has final approval of the membership of the Board and can suggest additional members as needed.

The ANES awards will fund the following activities:
ANES Face to Face award

  • Data collection for the ANES around the 2020 presidential election
  • Pre- and Post-election face to face interviews
  • Sample based on a random probability based sample
  • Survey instrument development for the ANES
  • Survey design, innovations, and continual enhancement of the survey and survey items
  • Participation in the Cooperative Study of Electoral Systems in the post-election survey
  • Post data collection editing, processing, and generation of constructed variables, data files and codebooks
  • Data dissemination through a cutting-edge web-based data archive
  • Support for the Board
  • Interaction with the principal investigators of the GSS and PSID
  • Interaction and coordination with the principal investigators of the ANES Web to create common content across the two modes

ANES Web

  • Data collection for the ANES around the 2020 presidential election
  • Pre- and Post-election web interviews
  • Sample based on a random probability based sample
  • Survey instrument development for the ANES
  • Survey design, innovations, and continual enhancement of the survey and survey items
  • Develop the survey to act as a true mode comparison with the Face to Face instrument
  • Post data collection editing, processing, and generation of constructed variables, data files and codebooks
  • Data dissemination through a cutting-edge web-based data archive
  • Support for the Board
  • Interaction with the principal investigators of the GSS and PSID
  • Interaction and coordination with the principal investigators of the ANES Face to Face award to create common content across the two modes

While the ANES Face-to-Face and the ANES Web awards will be made independently, the principal investigators will be expected to work together to develop the items and the instrument. This means the principal investigators or their proxies should be regularly interacting with each other. Also, they will share one Board of Overseers to govern both enterprises. It is expected that the principal investigators will consult in the construction of that Board and will coordinate in the calling and hosting of Board meetings. The Board will be expected to meet at least twice a year prior to the Presidential election and meet at least once post president election. To ensure the cooperation on the use of the Board and simplify the application process, the Political Science program plans to provide supplemental support for these meetings. The potential membership of the Board should not be discussed in either proposal.

Project descriptions should address the Principal Investigator’s ability and capacity to meet the following scientific infrastructure objectives:

  • Scientific and methodological expertise and resources for survey sample and survey instrument development and innovation
  • Continued development and refinement of the ANES instrument including the core
  • Collection for the pre and post presidential election surveys
  • Maintain continuity and high quality of the ANES data set
  • Process, edit, and release raw data, generated variables, and code books in a timely manner
  • Maintain cyberinfrastructure to disseminate/share data documentation with expansions and innovations in data sharing tools as technology develops
  • Develop educational and research outreach activities illustrating the use of the data to a variety of audiences
  • Maintain sensitive data dissemination
  • Coordinate with the principal investigators of the other ANES award

Special Requirements and Restrictions

If a project is being undertaken by researchers at multiple institutions, a single organization must be identified as the lead organization. A single proposal describing the entire project must be submitted by the organization with funds distributed among partner organizations via subawards from the lead organization. Direct submission of linked collaborative sets of proposals by multiple organizations is not permitted.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: A total of two awards will be made for the ANES Competition.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,500,000 total for two awards, pending availability of appropriations.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

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: 1


Institutions are restricted to submitting only one proposal for this solicitation. The one proposal can be for either the ANES Face-to-Face Competition or for the ANES WEB Competition.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

Principal Investigators and co-principal investigators are restricted to submitting only one proposal for this solicitation. The one proposal can be for either the ANES Face-to-Face Competition or for the ANES WEB Competition.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Letters of Intent (required):

To expedite the review process for the ANES competitions proposals, a Letter of Intent to submit a proposal for either the Face-to-Face ANES or the Web ANES must be submitted via Fastlane by 5:00 PM, submitter’s local time, on the due date. The Letter of Intent must contain the following information:

  • The title of the project
  • The names and affiliations of the principal investigators and other senior personnel and professionals, and
  • The names of any other participating institutions.

One Letter of Intent per research team should be submitted. Failure to meet the Letter of Intent deadline will disqualify a proposal from consideration. Letters of Intent are not evaluated for scientific merit; rather, they are used to assemble review panels with appropriate expertise. Please direct any questions about the Letter of Intent to Brian D. Humes, Political Science Program Officer.

Letter of Intent Preparation Instructions:

When submitting a Letter of Intent through FastLane in response to this Program Solicitation please note the conditions outlined below:

  • Submission by an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is required when submitting Letters of Intent.
  • A Minimum of 0 and Maximum of 4 Other Senior Project Personnel are permitted
  • A Minimum of 0 and Maximum of 2 Other Participating Organizations are permitted
  • Submission of multiple Letters of Intent is not permitted

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.

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.

Proposal Sections with Special Instructions for Proposals Submitted in Response to This Solicitation

The following sections of the proposal are mandatory and should be prepared in accordance to the following supplementary instructions as well as to guidance in the PAPPG or the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide.

Proposal Cover Sheet

For the program solicitation number, use the number listed at the top of this solicitation. (Grants.gov users: The program solicitation number will be pre-populated by Grants.gov on the NSF Grant Application Cover Page.)

For the NSF organizational unit, select SES-Political Science. No co-reviews will be allowed for these proposals. (Grants.gov users: Refer to Section VI.1.2. of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide for specific instructions on how to designate the NSF Unit of Consideration.)

The title of the proposal should describe the project in concise, informative language so that a scientifically or technically literate reader could understand what the project is about. The title of the proposal should specify one of the following prefixes to designate the specific kind of proposal being submitted, with the substantive title of the project following the prefix:

  • ANES FACE-to-FACE: (This prefix is used for a ANES Face to Face proposal.)
  • ANES WEB: (This prefix is used for a Web-based proposal.)

Provide complete information requested on the Cover Sheet for the principal investigator (PI) and for up to four co-principal investigators (co-PIs), including current contact information.

Project Description

The Project Description is limited to 25 pages in length.

1. ANES Face-to-Face Research Projects

With the exceptions noted below, proposers may organize the different components of the project description as they wish. The following sections MUST be included under separate headings in the project description:

  • Management Plan. The following information should be provided: (1) a description of the management structure that will enable the team to work effectively; and (2) specification of the qualifications of each of the senior personnel as well as the contribution they are expected to make to the project. This section increases in importance as the number of senior personnel or institutions involved in the project increases. The management plan usually is between 1 and 2 pages in length.
  • Expected Project Significance. This section should clearly specify what proposers expect will be the results and contributions of the project. The section should include two separate subsections, each of which has a separate title, to address the expected Intellectual Merit of the proposal and the expected Broader Impacts. This section should clearly specify how the proposed work will advance basic knowledge and make intellectual contributions across multiple social and behavioral science fields. This section is usually from 1/2 page to 1 page in length. (The inclusion of the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts subsections in this required section fulfills the general requirement in the PAPPG or the equivalent section of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide requiring separate sections within the Project Description labeled "Intellectual Merit" and "Broader Impacts.")

2. ANES Web Research Projects

With the exceptions noted below, proposers may organize the different components of the project description as they wish. The following sections MUST be included under separate headings in the project description:

  • Management Plan. The following information should be provided: (1) a description of the management structure that will enable the team to work effectively; and (2) specification of the qualifications of each of the senior personnel as well as the contribution they are expected to make to the project. This section increases in importance as the number of senior personnel or institutions involved in the project increases. The management plan usually is between 1 and 2 pages in length.
  • Expected Project Significance. This section should clearly specify what proposers expect will be the results and contributions of the project. The section should include two separate subsections, each of which has a separate title, to address the expected Intellectual Merit of the proposal and the expected Broader Impacts. This section should clearly specify how the proposed work will advance basic knowledge and make intellectual contributions across multiple social and behavioral science fields. This section is usually from 1/2 page to 1 page in length. (The inclusion of the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts subsections in this required section fulfills the general requirement in the PAPPG or the equivalent section of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide requiring separate sections within the Project Description labeled "Intellectual Merit" and "Broader Impacts.")

Special Information and Supplementary Documentation

Following are supplementary documents for which special instructions are provided for proposals submitted in response to this solicitation that supplement guidance in the PAPPG and the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide:

NSF-Required Supplementary Documentation

Data-Management Plan

All proposals must include a plan for data management and sharing the products of research. The data management plan must be no longer than 2 pages in length and must be included as a supplementary document.

The data management plans must address all five of the points specified in Chapter II, Section C.2.j of the NSF PAPPG and the comparable section of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. Proposers are especially encouraged to specify how they intend to make data, software, and other products of the research readily available to potential users through institutionally based archives, repositories, or distribution networks so that the products may be easily accessed by others over long time periods.

ANES-Required Supplementary Documentation

Confirmation Statements from All Senior Personnel

Because an individual may serve as one of the senior personnel on only one ANES proposal submitted in response to this solicitation, each person who will serve as the senior personnel for a project described in a proposal must include a statement that confirms their participation in this project and that specifies that they are not participating as a PI, co-PI, or member of the senior personnel on any other project seeking ANES support.

The following statement from each individual serving as a member of the Senior Personnel on a project must be included as a supplementary document in the proposal. (This statement may be in the form of a signed statement or a statement sent by e-mail to the PI.)

To: NSF ANES Face-to-Face and ANES Web Competitions

From: ____________________________________
(Printed name of the individual collaborator or name of the organization and name and position of the official submitting this memo)

By signing or transmitting this message electronically, I acknowledge that I am a PI, co-PI, or other member of the senior personnel for the project outlined in the proposal titled "_____(proposal title)_______," with _______(PI name)______ as the Principal Investigator.

In addition, I confirm that I am not a PI, co-PI, or other member of the senior personnel for any other project submitted for the ANES competition.

Signed: _______________________

Organization: ________________________________

Date: _________________________

If an individual is involved as PI, co-PI, or other member of the senior personnel on two or more ANES proposals submitted, all proposals with which that person is associated will be returned without review.

Other Allowable Types of Supplementary Documentation

The following kinds of documentation may be included as supplementary documentation in an ANES proposal.

Letters of Collaboration

Brief statements, whether written as letters or as free-standing e-mail messages from individuals and/or organizations that will work with the PIs and/or provide assistance for the proposed project, may be included as supplementary documents. Such letters are not needed from individuals included as senior personnel on a project or from subawardee organizations because their involvement in the project is affirmed by the inclusion of their biographical sketches and/or subaward budgets.

Letters of collaboration should focus on the willingness of the letter's author to collaborate or provide assistance for the project in ways that have been outlined in the proposal. Such letters should not argue for support of the project by articulating in greater detail what activities the collaborator will undertake and/or by elaborating reasons for supporting the project. Such additional text may be included in the project description of the proposal but is not permitted in a supplementary document.

The Political Science program director strongly recommends the use of a template like the following for letters of collaboration. If this template or very similar text is not used, the text provided by the letter's author must be equally brief and to the point. Inclusion of longer letters may result in the PIs being forced to remove such letters (with no other changes to the proposal permitted) or in NSF's returning the proposal without review.

Suggested template for a letter of collaboration. (This statement may be in the form of a signed statement or a statement sent by email to the PI.)

To: NSF ANES Face-to-Face and ANES Web Competitions

From: ____________________________________ [Insert the name of the individual collaborator or insert the name of the organization and the name and position of the official submitting this statement]

By signing below or by transmitting this message electronically, I acknowledge that I/my organization [Choose appropriate text] will collaborate in and/or assist with the conduct of the project described in the proposal titled "____________" [Insert proposal title] with _____________ [Insert the PI's name] as the Principal Investigator.

I/My organization [Choose appropriate text] will provide assistance as described in the project description of this proposal.

Signed: _______________________

Organization: ________________________________

Date: _________________________

IRB Certifications

Proposers are reminded to see PAPPG, Chapter II.D.5 for NSF policies on proposals involving human subjects.

Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Supplementary Documentation

If the ANES proposal is being submitted from a primarily undergraduate institution, the two supplementary documents described in the Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) solicitation are permissible in proposals submitted to either ANES competition. Those supplementary documents are a certification of RUI eligibility and a separate RUI impact statement. Prepare these documents in accordance with instructions in the RUI/ROA solicitation.

Note that the RUI/ROA solicitation includes instructions that specify that if a predominantly undergraduate institution is submitting an RUI proposal for the ANES competition, it should select the number of the RUI/ROA solicitation for the cover sheet, but it should then select the SES-Political Science program as the NSF unit to consider the proposal, and it should include reference to the proposal being submitted for the ANES competition in the first sentence of the project summary. Although the proposal may be formally submitted in response to the RUI/ROA solicitation, the proposal must otherwise be compliant with all requirements in the ANES solicitation.

Supplementary Documentation NOT Allowed in ANES Proposals

Letters of Support

As specified in Chapter II, Section C.2.j of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide and the comparable section in the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide, letters of support are not permitted in NSF proposals unless specifically authorized in a solicitation. The ANES solicitation does NOT allow the submission of letters of support as supplementary documents. Letters from others that expound on and/or articulate in detail what activities a collaborator may undertake and/or that provide arguments for support of a project may be included in the project description, although inclusion of such letters must be accommodated within the 25 pages permitted for the project description.

Research Instruments, Data, Publications, and Other Nonpermissible Supplementary Documentation

Documentation that elaborates on how research will be conducted is not permitted as supplementary documentation. Survey or interview protocols, lists of data to be examined or already collected, graphics related to the project, and other such documentation may be included within the 25 pages permitted for the project description, but they may not be included as supplementary documents.

Reprints of publications or other materials that provide additional evidence of the past work of the researchers are not permitted as supplementary documents.

If a principal investigator has any uncertainty regarding the possible appropriateness of any document to be included as supplementary documentation, the investigator should contact the Political Science program officer, usually well in advance of the proposal submission deadline.

Appendices

No appendices are permitted.

Other Issues to Address When Preparing a Proposal for This Solicitation

Proposals Involving Multiple Organizations

In the case of proposals involving multiple organizations, a single organization must be identified as the lead, and a single proposal describing the entire project must be submitted by that organization. Funds may be distributed among partner organizations via subawards from the lead organization. A budget on the standard NSF budget form should be submitted for each subawardee. The requirement for a single organization to submit the sole proposal for a project is designed to facilitate effective coordination among participating organizations and to avoid difficulties that ensue in funded projects when individuals change organizations and/or cease to fulfill project responsibilities.

Of the two types of collaborative proposal formats described in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, this solicitation allows only a single proposal submission with subawards administered by that lead organization. Direct submission of linked collaborative sets of proposals by multiple organizations is not permitted.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

NSF intends to make awards across a range of sizes as specified for the following types of awards:

  • The ANES Face-to-Face Award may be supported by a cooperative agreement up to $7,250,00 over the duration of the project.
  • The ANES Web Award may be supported by a cooperative agreement up to $4,250,000 over the duration of the project.

Budgets should be developed at scales appropriate for the project to be conducted.

Budget Preparation Instructions:

At the time of submission, proposal budgets do not have to provide subawards from survey vendors. Nor do proposals have to identify potential survey vendors. Proposers are reminded, however, that except for the purchase of materials and supplies, equipment or general support services allowable under the grant, no portion of the proposed activity may be subawarded, transferred, or contracted out to another organization without prior written NSF authorization. Such authorization must be provided either through inclusion of the subaward(s) on an NSF award budget or by receiving written prior approval from the cognizant NSF Grants Officer after an award is issued.

If known at the time of proposal submission, the intent to enter into such arrangements must be disclosed in the proposal. A separate budget and a budget justification of no more than five pages, must be provided for each subrecipient, if already identified, along with a description of the work to be performed.

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         February 21, 2018

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s):

         April 20, 2018

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: http://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.

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.

Special Award Conditions:

The membership of the ANES Board of Overseers will be selected jointly by the two awardees in coordination with the cognizant NSF program officer. The cognizant program officer has final approval of the membership of the Board and can suggest additional members as needed.

The two awardees will be expected to work cooperatively to develop and implement the ANES as well as archive and disseminate data from the same.

The awards associated with this solicitation will be cooperative agreements, which provide for involvement between NSF and the grantees in carrying out the activity supported by the NSF award. Any special requirements not stated herein will be negotiated at the time of award.

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:

  • Brian D. Humes, Program Officer, telephone: (703) 292-7284, email: bhumes@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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