Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Program Solicitation NSF 21-542, Build and Broaden 2.0 (B2 2.0): Enhancing Social, Behavioral and Economic Science Research and Capacity at Minority-Serving Institutions
- Why is NSF offering this solicitation?
- Whom do I contact if I am interested in submitting a proposal pursuant to this solicitation?
- How do I know if my institution or my collaborator's institution is classified as a minority serving institution?
- Are there any restrictions on who may serve as PI?
- Is a non-minority scholar based at an MSI eligible to submit a proposal as a PI to the Build and Broaden solicitation?
- Are there any specific research areas NSF is interested in funding in this solicitation?
- When is the deadline to submit a proposal to the Build and Broaden solicitation?
- What is the estimated number of awards for this solicitation?
- Does this solicitation require letters of endorsement?
- Are there any restrictions on the type of proposal that may be submitted to this solicitation?
- How will my proposal be evaluated? Will the research or the MSI involvement be weighted more heavily when funding decisions are made?
- What is the review process for B2 2.0 proposal submissions?
- Are there any requirements for annual reports that are specific to this solicitation?
- Can I use Grants.gov, Research.gov, or FastLane to submit my proposal?
Why is NSF offering this solicitation?
The Build and Broaden 2.0 (B2 2.0) funding opportunity was created to encourage research by scholars at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), including in collaborations with scholars at other institutions or organizations. National forecasts of the impending shortage of science and engineering skills and essential research workforce underscore the importance of expanding the volume and increasing the diversity and interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scientists. NSF has taken steps to expand participation by focusing on research communities that are not well represented in the federal research system. MSIs make considerable contributions to educating and training science leaders for U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. Yet, NSF has received comparatively few proposal submissions from, or involving, scholars at MSIs. The Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) offers Build and Broaden 2.0 to increase proposal submissions, advance research collaborations and networks involving MSI scholars, and support research activities in the SBE sciences at MSIs.
Whom do I contact if I am interested in submitting a proposal pursuant to this solicitation?
Prospective Principal Investigators (PIs) are strongly encouraged to contact either the program directors from the B2 2.0 solicitation, or a program director managing an SBE program with which the research would be aligned, in advance of proposal submission. Program directors will respond to inquiries concerning program scope, as well as fit and appropriateness of the proposal. For NSF-specific preparation instructions, as well as the B2 2.0 review process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if my institution or my collaborator's institution is classified as a minority serving institution?
Whether an institution is determined to be minority-serving is based on the original purpose of its establishment or its current enrollment thresholds and is designated as such by the federal government. Minority-serving institutions include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Alaska Native-serving institutions or Native Hawaiian-serving institutions (ANNH), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions (AANAPISI), and Native American-serving non-tribal institutions (NASNTI). For more information, please see the U.S. Department of Education's definitions and lists of eligible post-secondary institutions.
Are there any restrictions on who may serve as PI?
Yes, the principal investigator for a Build and Broaden 2.0 project must be either 1) a full-time scientist, educator, or researcher at any accredited MSI or 2) a full-time scientist, educator, or researcher at any eligible non-MSI institution or organization whose co-PI or collaborator is based at an MSI. In the second case, the PIs must clearly demonstrate how, as a primary outcome of the proposed work, research partnerships and interconnectedness will be advanced between the MSI and non-MSI institutions.
Is a non-minority scholar based at an MSI eligible to submit a proposal as a PI to the Build and Broaden solicitation?
Yes, a non-minority scientist, educator, or researcher based at any accredited MSI is eligible to submit a proposal to the Build and Broaden 2.0 solicitation as a PI.
Are there any specific research areas NSF is interested in funding in this solicitation?
Faculty at MSIs are uniquely positioned to contribute their expertise to numerous research areas that would expressly benefit from partnership- and capacity-building collaborations. B2 2.0 projects can address any of the core research areas supported by the SBE Directorate. These areas include anthropology, archaeology, cognitive neuroscience, decision science, ecological research, economics, geography, linguistics, law and science, organizational behavior, political science, public policy, security and preparedness, psychology, and sociology. For a full list of core SBE science disciplines, please visit the SBE Programs page. Note that B2 2.0 proposals must address fundamental research in one or more of these core areas; proposals that do not will be returned without review.
When is the deadline to submit a proposal to the Build and Broaden solicitation?
The deadline to submit a proposal is March 5, 2021 by 5 p.m., submitter's local time.
What is the estimated number of awards for this solicitation?
The SBE directorate plans to make approximately 30 awards in response to this solicitation, with a variety of award sizes to match the scope of the proposed work. B2 2.0 awards are subject to the availability of funds.
Does this solicitation require letters of endorsement?
No, this solicitation does not allow for letters of endorsement.
Are there any restrictions on the type of proposal that may be submitted to this solicitation?
In addition to Standard Research and Collaborative Research proposals, this program will accept Conference proposals, Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals, Research Coordination Networks (RCN) proposals, and requests for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplements.
How will my proposal be evaluated? Will the research or the MSI involvement be weighted more heavily when funding decisions are made?
The B2 2.0 solicitation will focus on advancing research at MSIs and supporting research partnerships among MSIs and between non-MSIs and MSIs. Successful submissions will propose activities that advance the SBE sciences at MSIs and propose well-designed, theoretically sound fundamental research. Please refer to the "VI. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures" section of the B2. 2.0 solicitation, which includes guidelines on NSF merit review criteria and additional solicitation-specific review criteria.
What is the review process for B2 2.0 proposal submissions?
B2 2.0 proposals will be reviewed by a combination of Panel and external Review. B2 2.0 proposals are eligible for co-review within SBE programs as is appropriate. Decisions for co-review and funding will be at the discretion of managing Program Officers.
Are there any requirements for annual reports that are specific to this solicitation?
Yes, the Annual Report will require PIs to address specifically the effectiveness of the partnerships established between MSI and non-MSI institutions. This information should be integrated within the "Accomplishments" and/or "Impact" sections of the Annual Reports. Please see the solicitation for more details.
Can I use Grants.gov, Research.gov, or FastLane to submit my proposal?
You may use FastLane, Research.gov, or Grants.gov to submit your proposal to this solicitation. Full proposals submitted via Fastlane or Research.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).
Full proposals submitted 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.