EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows

Program Solicitation
NSF 22-573

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 21-557

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National Science Foundation

Office of Integrative Activities

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

     May 12, 2022

RII Track-4:NSF

     May 12, 2022

RII Track-4:FAST

     April 11, 2023

RII Track-4:NSF

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

The solicitation was revised to clarify citizenship eligibility for the RII Track-4:FAST pilot program, to include additional host sites for RII Track-4:FAST program, and request that submission of proposals go through Research.gov only.  Please see solicitation text for more details.

Important Information

Innovating and migrating proposal preparation and submission capabilities from FastLane to Research.gov is part of the ongoing NSF information technology modernization efforts, as described in Important Notice No. 147. In support of these efforts, research proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation must be prepared and submitted via Research.gov or via Grants.gov, and may not be prepared or submitted via FastLane.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows

Synopsis of Program:

The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. EPSCoR jurisdictions that are eligible for RII competitions are listed in the RII Eligibility table, which can be found here. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness. One of the strategic goals of the EPSCoR program is to establish sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professional development pathways that advance STEM workforce development.

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows provides awards to build research capacity in institutions and transform the career trajectories of investigators and further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Through collaborative research visits at the host site, fellowship awardees will be able to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions. The experiences gained through the fellowships are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period. These benefits to the Fellows are also expected to improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions more broadly.  Principal Investigators must either hold a non-tenured faculty appointment at an institution of higher education or an early-career, career-track appointment at an eligible non-degree-granting institution. Only single-PI proposals will be considered. No co-PIs should be included in the proposal.

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows offers the following tracks: RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:Fellows Advancing Science and Technology (RII Track-4: FAST).  While they are similar in achieving the same goals, RII Track-4:NSF is open to a broad community and RII Track-4:FAST focuses on faculty from specific institutions of higher education to collaborate with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) participating research centers.  PIs who are eligible for both tracks may apply for only one track per competition cycle.

RII Track-4:NSF provides support to further develop the individual research potential of Principal Investigators (PIs) through extended collaborative visits to the Nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers of their choice.

RII Track-4:FAST provides opportunities for PIs from specific institutions of higher education with high enrollments of trainees from underrepresented populations in STEM (See Section "IV. Eligibility Information" for more details).  Trainees must be undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program. The aim of this opportunity is to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to NASA research facilities located at NASA Centers throughout the United States.  

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.

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

Estimated Number of Awards: 40

Estimated Number of Awards Per Track:

RII Track-4:NSF: 30

RII Track-4:FAST: 10

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,000,000

Anticipated Funding Amount Per Track:

RII Track-4:NSF: $8,000,000

RII Track-4:FAST: $3,000,000

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

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • EPSCoR jurisdictions that are RII-eligible for the FY 2022 RII Track-4 competition are listed in the FY 2022 RII Eligibility table, which can be found here.
    • Proposals may only be submitted by organizations located in RII-eligible jurisdictions, as follows:

    • Institutions of higher education (Ph.D.-granting and non-Ph.D.-granting), acting on behalf of their faculty members, that are accredited in and have a campus in the United States, its territories or possessions. Distinct academic campuses (e.g., that award their own degrees, have independent administrative structures, admissions policies, alumni associations, etc.) within multi-campus systems qualify as separate submission-eligible institutions.
    • Not-for-profit, non-degree-granting domestic U.S. organizations, acting on behalf of their employees, that include (but are not limited to) independent museums and science centers, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies, and similar organizations that are directly associated with the Nation's research or educational activities. These organizations must have an independent, permanent administrative organization (e.g., an Office of Sponsored Projects) located in the United States, its territories, or possessions, and have 501(c)(3) tax status.

    In addition, for the RII Track-4:FAST opportunity, PIs must be employed by an institution that is from at least one of the five categories:

    Proposals submissions are permitted from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). 

    1. MSIs include:
      • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),
      • Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs),
      • Tribal colleges or universities (TCUs),
      • Other institutions that enroll a significant percentage of underrepresented minority students as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. These other institutions include:
        • Alaska Native-serving institutions,
        • Native Hawaiian-serving institutions,
        • Predominantly Black Institutions,
        • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions,
        • and Native American-serving nontribal institutions.
        • For more information, please see the U.S. Department of Education's definitions and lists of eligible postsecondary institutions (MSI definitions and eligibility information).
    2. Proposals submissions are permitted from institutions of higher education that primarily serve populations of students with disabilities and can be found here.
    3. Proposals submissions are permitted from women’s colleges.
    4. Proposals submissions are permitted from two-year colleges.
    5. Proposals submissions are permitted from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). 
      • PUIs are accredited colleges and universities (including two-year community colleges) that award Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but have awarded 20 or fewer Ph.D./D.Sci. degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years.  For this category, a letter from an Authorized Organizational Representative, certifying that the originating and managing institution is an accredited college or university that awards Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but has awarded 20 or fewer PhD/DSci degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years, must be provided as a supplementary document.

Who May Serve as PI:

Eligibility for RII Track-4:NSF track fall within three categories:

  • Persons who hold non-tenured faculty positions at degree-granting institutions of higher education, or early career investigator positions at non-degree-granting organizations may participate in RII Track-4:NSF. For this category of applicants, it is anticipated that proposals will be submitted by PIs who hold tenure-track appointments but have not yet had a change in status as tenured faculty by the proposal deadline date.
  • Faculty members at degree-granting institutions of higher education who hold long-term positions outside of the tenure track are also explicitly eligible for consideration, regardless of their position title or rank.
  • Proposals will also be accepted from employees of eligible non-degree-granting organizations who, as of the proposal deadline date, hold an early-career career-track position that includes a significant independent research component.

Eligibility for RII Track-4:FAST

  • Persons who hold non-tenured faculty positions at degree-granting institutions of higher education. For this category of applicants, it is anticipated that proposals will be submitted by PIs who hold tenure-track appointments but have not yet had a change in status as tenured faculty by the proposal deadline date.
  • Faculty members at degree-granting institutions of higher education who hold long-term positions outside of the tenure track are also explicitly eligible for consideration, regardless of their position title or rank.
  • For some NASA research sites, PIs and trainees must be U.S. Citizens, unless otherwise specified.
  • Lawful Permanent Residents may be eligible for research opportunities at select NASA centers. This is identified in the research area links for each NASA center highlighted in the body of this solicitation.
  • To access NASA facilities for the fellowship at some research sites, the PI and trainee must show proof of United States Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status as part of an onboarding process that is managed by NASA. This requirement only applies to RII Track-4:FAST fellowship awardees. Proof of citizenship or LPR status should not be submitted as part of proposal submissions to NSF.
  • Trainees must be undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program. Postdoctoral researchers are not eligible for the RII Track-4:FAST fellowship as trainees.

Additional eligibility restrictions for both tracks are as follows:

  • Only single-PI proposals will be considered. No co-PIs should be included in the proposal. Other Senior Personnel are permitted.
  • Persons who hold transitional fixed-term postdoctoral appointments are not eligible to apply, even if their organizations classify such appointments as ‘faculty’ for administrative purposes.
  • In all cases, the required Letter of Support from the PI's supervisory administrator should verify the PI’s eligibility relative to these criteria. Questions regarding PI eligibility should be directed toward the cognizant Program Officers listed above.
  • PIs who have received an award in a previous EPSCoR Research Fellows competition may not submit a proposal under this solicitation.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

For RII Track-4:NSF: 3

Only three proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in an RII-eligible jurisdiction. If more than three proposals are received from any single institution for the competition, all proposals from that institution are subject to return without review.

For RII Track-4:FAST: 6

Only six proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in an RII-eligible jurisdiction.

For institutions eligible to submit both RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:FAST proposals, only a total of nine proposals, three RII Track-4:NSF proposals and six RII Track-4:FAST proposals, may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in a RII-eligible jurisdiction. If more than nine proposals are received from any single institution for the competition, all proposals from that institution are subject to return without review.

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

An investigator may serve as PI on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation.

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:

    Given that a majority of the proposed activities are expected to take place away from the home institution, “off campus” indirect cost rates may apply.

  • 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):

         May 12, 2022

    RII Track-4:NSF

         May 12, 2022

    RII Track-4:FAST

         April 11, 2023

    RII Track-4:NSF

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:

National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review criteria 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. Research.gov/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

EPSCoR Mission and Goals

The mission of EPSCoR is to assist the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." EPSCoR goals are to:

  • Catalyze the development of research capabilities and the creation of new knowledge that expands jurisdictions’ contributions to scientific discovery, innovation, learning, and knowledge-based prosperity;
  • Establish sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, training, and professional development pathways that advance jurisdiction-identified research areas and workforce development;
  • Broaden direct participation of demographically diverse individuals, institutions, and organizations in the project’s science and engineering research and education initiatives;
  • Effect sustainable engagement of project participants and partners, the jurisdictions, the national research community, and the general public through data-sharing, communication, outreach, and dissemination; and
  • Impact research, education, and economic development beyond the project at academic, government, and private sector levels.

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows

Developing the full potential of their science and engineering research workforce is critical to the long-term competitiveness of EPSCoR jurisdictions and the nation overall. To realize this potential, it is often worthwhile for researchers to spend periods of time at other institutions, forming deep collaborative connections that can be sustained for many years throughout their careers. The benefits of such an experience may be particularly valuable to those researchers who are not yet firmly established in their careers. This EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows solicitation provides an opportunity for faculty to spend extended periods of time at the nation’s premier research facilities. The fellowship period may be used to initiate new collaborative relationships, to expand existing partnerships in ambitious new directions, or to make use of unique equipment not available at the PI’s home institution. Successful fellowships will positively impact and potentially transform the recipient’s research career trajectory. This fellowship support is intended to provide opportunities for PIs to work at facilities of national prominence that would not otherwise be possible without the fellowship.

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows Tracks

This solicitation offers two tracks - RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track 4: Fellows Advancing Science and Technology (RII Track-4:FAST). While they are similar in achieving the same goals, RII Track-4:NSF is open to a broad community, and RII Track-4:FAST focuses on PIs from specific institutions of higher education with high enrollments of students from underrepresented populations in STEM (See Section "IV. Eligibility Information" for more details) to collaborate specifically with researchers at NASA’s participating research centers. PIs who are eligible for both tracks may apply for only one track per competition cycle. The support should contribute to both the PI’s research capacity and to the improvement of their institution’s scientific competitiveness more broadly.

RII Track-4:NSF

RII Track-4:NSF provides support to further develop the individual research potential of non-tenured PIs through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Any research topic that is supported by the NSF Directorates and Offices is eligible for consideration (see the NSF Directorates and Offices listed under the "Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):" section, under the "Summary of Program Requirements" within this solicitation). The fellowship host site may be any academic, governmental, commercial, or non-profit research facility within the United States or its territories.

RII Track-4:FAST

RII Track 4: Fellows Advancing Science and Technology (FAST) provides support for non-tenured PIs from specifically defined institutions of higher education to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to NASA research facilities located at NASA Centers throughout the United States.

This initiative is a joint effort coordinated by NSF EPSCoR and NASA EPSCoR specifically focusing on Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) that primarily serve underrepresented minorities, students with disabilities, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). NSF and NASA aim to recognize efforts to build research capacity and transform the career trajectories of non-tenured investigators at these institutions and to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to selected NASA Centers. RII Track-4:FAST will provide these investigators the opportunity to temporarily relocate to NASA Centers for an immersive experience in a variety of specified research areas.

Through this opportunity, RII Track-4:FAST awardees are eligible to request additional funds from NASA (up to $60,000) for equipment that can be housed at the home institution to build research infrastructure and capacity through existing Research Infrastructure Development (RID) cooperative agreements with participating EPSCoR institutions.

Awardees will have the opportunity to collaborate with NASA Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the duration of the award. This SME will serve as a research collaborator, a technical monitor and will have support from NASA to conduct extended, collaborative visits with awardees. Awardees will be able to leverage the expertise of SMEs during these visits to build capacity at the home institution. The PI and SME will work together on research project(s) that will generate peer-reviewed publications and professional conference presentations.

NASA Mission Directorates and Research Areas

NASA’s mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research, draws support from five NASA Mission Directorates and nine NASA Centers plus the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); each with specific responsibilities. Fellowship opportunities will be offered in collaboration with one of the following participating NASA Centers: Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Langley Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Stennis Space Center. The link to the NASA-supported research areas at each center can be found here.

This track is different from the RII Track-4:NSF in the following ways:

  • Proposals will not be accepted from employees of non-degree-granting organizations.
  • The fellowship is contingent upon matching the applicant with a NASA researcher. To be considered an applicant for the RII Track-4:FAST track, PIs must contact the Points of Contact identified in the NASA center-specific research area spreadsheets linked in this solicitation for assistance with matching.
  • U.S. citizenship may be required for research opportunities at participating NASA centers. Where applicable, PIs and trainees must show proof of U.S. citizenship to access NASA facilities as part of an onboarding process that is managed by NASA. This requirement only applies to RII Track-4:FAST fellowship awardees. Proof of citizenship should not be submitted as part of proposal submissions to NSF.
  • Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are eligible for select research opportunities at the Ames Research Center and the Goddard Space Flight Center. PIs and trainees must show proof of LPR status as part of an onboarding process that is managed by NASA. This requirement only applies to RII Track-4:FAST fellowship awardees. Proof of LPR status should not be submitted as part of proposal submissions to NSF.
  • Trainees must be undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program. Postdoctoral researchers are not eligible for the RII Track-4:FAST fellowship.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Overview

The primary driver for this opportunity is the desire to increase the competitiveness of EPSCoR-eligible institutions by catalyzing and strengthening the research programs of their talented faculty. Over the long term, EPSCoR investments are expected to result in sustained improvements in the individual research competitiveness of its awardees and to stimulate broader improvements to the research capacity of the awardees’ institutions and jurisdictions. Proposals must demonstrate in a compelling way that each of these goals will be met.

Awards will provide support for PIs to spend extended periods of time at a premier research facility within the United States and its territories (the “host site”). Up to six total months of salary support will be provided to the PI, corresponding to the time spent on her/his fellowship visit(s). In addition, each award will provide support for the PI to travel to the host site, including both transportation and living expenses for the duration of the fellowship visit. Up to six total months of salary support and travel expenses may also be requested for one additional trainee-level researcher – typically a graduate student or postdoctoral member of the PI’s group – to work with the PI to complete the planned activities at the host site. A small amount of additional support will be allowed to cover other travel and direct costs that are specifically associated with the fellowship project (e.g., purchasing supplies, shipping, publication costs, equipment, facility fees, etc.).  Please see the “Budgetary Limitations” for greater details.

This fellowship support is intended to provide opportunities for PIs to work at facilities of national prominence that would not otherwise be possible without the fellowship. 

Expectations for Successful Proposals

Successful RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:FAST proposals will present exciting, vibrant fellowship ideas that will positively impact and potentially transform the PI’s individual career trajectory.  Proposals will be evaluated for the extent to which a fellowship has the potential to positively transform the PI’s individual career trajectory.  Fellowships are also expected to impact the PI’s research field, institution, and jurisdiction. RII Track-4:NSF proposals may focus on any area of science or engineering that NSF supports, while RII Track-4:FAST awards focus on NSF/NASA areas of interest. All proposals should include well-defined, reasoned, and organized research objectives that could be driven by specific research questions or hypotheses, motivation, and context for the work to be conducted, the PI’s specific research activities at the host site, and a discussion of how the benefits gained from the fellowship will be sustained beyond the award period. Note that clear specifications of research goals, activities, expected outcomes, and a project timetable are requirements for successful proposals. It is also crucial that the proposal explain clearly how the PI’s research program would specifically benefit from the fellowship mechanism – identifying what specific opportunities will be made possible via the PI’s extended visit(s) to the host site.

Benefits to the Home Institution and/or Jurisdiction

The direct benefits of RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:FAST fellowships are expected to be to the PI’s individual research career trajectory. However, consistent with its programmatic focus on jurisdictional research capacity, NSF EPSCoR expects successful fellowships to also yield benefits to the PI’s home institution and/or jurisdiction. Narrative text that describes how improving the PI’s individual research capacity will directly raise her/his institution’s overall capacity must be included. It is expected that successful fellowships will include more proactive efforts to leverage the fellowship experience to achieve increased institutional or jurisdictional benefits. PIs are encouraged to present creative approaches for achieving this desired outcome within the overall constraints of the fellowship mechanism.

Partnership Considerations

As stated in the overview, this opportunity is intended to provide support for PIs to work at facilities of national prominence that would not otherwise be possible without the fellowship.  For this reason, the project description should include narrative text that explains why the interactions could not occur without the large injection of fellowship funding intended to support a temporary relocation.

An extended visit/relocation of the PI to a host institution is considered a primary feature of this fellowship activity.  It is expected that the PI will visit a host site that is beyond a reasonable commuting distance.

In addition, the fellowship is focused on creating new partnerships, advancing existing partnerships, or moving in new research directions.  Proposing to work with a prior graduate or postdoctoral advisor is not encouraged unless the PI proposes to move in a new and independent research direction.    If the fellowship does not meet the goal of moving in a research direction that is independent from the research of a prior graduate or postdoctoral advisor, the proposal should include narrative text that explains the fellowship’s benefits to the PI.

Guidance for Letters of Support

In all cases, the partnership and support of the host site is critical to the success of the fellowship; it is expected that proposals will clearly establish the parameters for this partnership. One or more primary research collaborators should be identified who will work with the PI at the host site to ensure that the goals of the fellowship are met. Proposals must include Letters of Support from the primary research collaborators confirming their understanding of the nature of the fellowship and providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the PI will receive the support necessary to complete the proposed activities. An additional Letter of Support is required from an appropriate host site administrator verifying that the PI will be provided with whatever site access is necessary to complete the project as proposed.

Achieving the range of benefits expected for successful projects depends critically on the PI achieving long-term success at the home institution and maintaining the support of the institution in that process. Fundamentally, the fellowship project will require the PI to be away from the home institution for extended periods, entailing accommodation and careful management of the PI’s other professional duties. With this in mind, it is crucial that the PI of each proposal discusses their fellowship plans with the appropriate administrative supervisors (i.e., the department chair and/or dean) to ensure that the plans are compatible with the institution’s short-term needs and that the fellowship will not negatively impact the PI’s long-term career trajectory at the home institution. Each proposal must include a Letter of Support from the PI’s administrative supervisor confirming the administrator’s support of the PI’s plans and particularly to verify that the PI will receive, if required, release time from other professional duties to complete the project as proposed.

Fellowship Parameters

Absent exceptional circumstances, it is expected that the award duration for fellowships will be for 24 months. For planning purposes, PIs should assume that the award start date will be approximately nine months after the proposal deadline date. The 24-month award duration is intended to provide flexibility to the PI in how he/she plans the fellowship visit(s) in coordination with other professional responsibilities. The 24-month period is not intended to imply that the scope of work should require two years of effort. Research plans should be consistent with the support requested and should focus primarily on the activities to be conducted during the fellowship visit(s). The maximum salary and fringe benefit support available through this award is six months each for the PI and one trainee (i.e., six months of support total per person, distributed as needed across the overall project period). Thus, despite the two-year award period, the scope of work proposed should not reflect greater than six months of effort total for the PI and one trainee, with that effort occurring primarily at the host site. Proposals that do not conform to this requirement may be returned without review.

Information Sharing with other Funding Agencies or Private Foundations

When permitted under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NSF and another funding agency or private foundation, NSF may share information from proposals for consideration of joint funding and may invite employees of such organizations to attend merit review panels as observers.

Eligible Organizations and Activities

In all cases, PIs must have their primary affiliation with institutions of higher education or not-for-profit, non-degree-granting organizations within eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. In addition, all activities carried out under an EPSCoR award are subject to the restrictions concerning eligible STEM disciplines and activities detailed in the NSF PAPPG.

Eligible Host Organizations for RII Track-4:NSF

Host sites may be academic institutions, government laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), or commercial or non-profit research centers. PIs proposing to visit a government laboratory, or a similar site, with a policy that requires the submission of a proposal for the use of instrumentation is expected to describe a plan for securing access to this equipment within the proposal’s project description. Host sites must be located within the United States or its territories. Only a single host site may be identified in the proposal – PIs are not allowed to split their fellowship period between two or more host sites. 

Eligible Host Organizations for RII Track-4:FAST

***Please note:  Host sites must be selected among the participating NASA Centers. Applicants must contact the center point(s) of contact identified in the center-specific research area spreadsheets linked in this solicitation, for assistance with the NASA research collaborator matching process.

Matching Process:

  1. The applicant must review the NASA Center research area spreadsheets linked below to identify a potential research topic.

  2. Once a research topic is identified, the applicant must contact the center POC to convey interest in applying to the advertised opportunity. The center POC will provide guidance on the next steps. Where appropriate, the center POC may direct the applicant to contact the primary researcher associated with the opportunity of interest.

  3. In cases where a specific research opportunity is not identified in the NASA Center research area spreadsheet, the applicant must contact the center POC to convey interest in collaborating with a researcher at the subject center. The center POC and applicant will discuss the applicant’s research interests, experience, and/or expertise. The center POC will provide guidance on the next steps. Where appropriate, the center POC may connect the applicant with potential research collaborators.

  4. In all cases, a NASA researcher must be identified, and collaboration must be established to move forward in this proposal process. The applicant is required to include a letter of support from the primary research collaborator or a letter of commitment from the host NASA center official, in the proposal package. Please see section 10. Supplementary Documentation under Full Proposal Preparation Instructions, for further details.

The links below will take you to the research areas at the NASA centers participating in this initiative.

1) Ames Research Center
Mountain View, CA

Located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley and less than an hour from San Francisco, NASA’s Ames Research Center is known for its cutting-edge R&D work supporting NASA’s most important missions. Ames’s 1,200 civil service employees do everything from designing spacecraft entry systems and next-generation aircraft here on Earth to harnessing quantum computing for advanced modeling and simulation, conducting research in astrobiology, and influencing the most advanced robotics and human technology. Ames fosters partnerships with top universities and high-tech industry leaders, bringing the scientific and corporate communities together to advance human knowledge. ARC Research Areas

2) Goddard Space Flight Center
​Greenbelt, MD

Best known for its leadership in scientific discovery and understanding, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is located between the vibrant cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC. Goddard is the home of innovative Earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science, as well as the nation’s largest group of scientists and engineers dedicated to using observations from space to expand knowledge of Earth and our solar system. Goddard’s 3,300 civil service employees range from interns to accomplished Nobel Prize winners, and they work on a variety of exciting projects, including many of NASA’s Earth observation, astronomy and space physics missions. Goddard also serves as a major U.S. laboratory for developing and operating robotic scientific spacecraft. GSFC Research Areas

3) Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX

Best known as the home of NASA’s Astronaut Corps and Mission Control—the nerve center for America’s human space program— NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) is located in one of the nation’s “coolest cities” according to Forbes. From the early Gemini and Apollo projects to today’s International Space Station and Orion projects, JSC continues to lead NASA’s efforts in human space exploration. JSC also serves as the lead for the International Space Station—the U.S.-led collaborative effort of 16 nations that is the largest and most complex human facility ever to operate in space. JSC's 3,100 civil service employees push the boundaries of human space flight, biological science, and research into how humans can live and thrive in space. JSC's work supports NASA’s ambitious future missions, including sending humans to the Moon and Mars. JSC Research Areas

4) Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, FL

Located along the golden shores of Florida’s eastern coast and less than an hour from Orlando, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s rich legacy includes the assembly, integration and launch of all U.S. human space flight missions, including Apollo and the Space Shuttle. Kennedy is home to NASA’s Launch Services Program, launching satellites and robotic missions to learn more about our home planet and to unlock the secrets of the universe. Kennedy’s 2,000 civil service employees focus on NASA’s core values: safety, integrity, teamwork and excellence. They support International Space Station operations as the orbiting laboratory enters its second decade of discoveries. Kennedy also partners with industry as it develops the multi-user Kennedy Spaceport. KSC Research Areas

5) Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA

Established in 1917 as the nation’s first civil aeronautics research laboratory, NASA’s Langley Research Center is located in the Hampton Roads metro area in beautiful coastal Virginia near historical Jamestown and Williamsburg. The center’s research, science and technology development have revolutionized aviation and space flight, and the center continues to fuel NASA’s significant contributions in science and engineering. Langley’s 1,800 civil service employees are well known for their work on cutting-edge product lines, including advanced materials and structural systems; aerosciences; atmospheric characterization; entry, descent, and landing; intelligent flight systems; measurement systems; and systems analysis and concepts. LaRC Research Areas Research Areas

6) Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL

Located in one of the “Top 100 Best Places to Live,” according to Livability.com, and a short distance from both Nashville and Birmingham, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center provides multidisciplined engineering expertise for a variety of space transportation and propulsion systems. Marshall’s 2,400 civil service employees enable scientific discovery through the development of hardware and instruments for projects, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and the Japanese-led Hinode mission to study the Sun. Marshall also develops, integrates and operates major components and systems on the International Space Station while supporting its science operations around the clock. Looking ahead, Marshall will deliver the systems needed for the Space Launch System, which will be the nation’s next advanced heavy-lift vehicle—and the most powerful rocket ever built.  MSFC Research Areas

7) Stennis Space Center
Hancock County, MS

NASA’s Stennis Space Center sits in picturesque Hancock County on an expansive campus with its own post office, bank, credit union, daycare, fitness center, convenience store, fuel station, and more. It is located less than an hour from the excitement of New Orleans and charm of Biloxi. For nearly five decades, Stennis has served as NASA’s primary rocket propulsion testing ground. Stennis’s 320 civil service employees oversee rocket propulsion test services for NASA, the Department of Defense, and the private sector, including the RS-25 engine testing for NASA’s Space Launch System, which will take humans deeper into space than ever before. Stennis also is engaged in a range of scientific research to support NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, which will help to build a greater understanding of Earth and the solar system.  SSC Research Areas

III. AWARD INFORMATION

RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:FAST awards will be made as standard grants. The award amount will not exceed $300,000 and the project duration will not exceed 24 months. Program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • EPSCoR jurisdictions that are RII-eligible for the FY 2022 RII Track-4 competition are listed in the FY 2022 RII Eligibility table, which can be found here.
    • Proposals may only be submitted by organizations located in RII-eligible jurisdictions, as follows:

    • Institutions of higher education (Ph.D.-granting and non-Ph.D.-granting), acting on behalf of their faculty members, that are accredited in and have a campus in the United States, its territories or possessions. Distinct academic campuses (e.g., that award their own degrees, have independent administrative structures, admissions policies, alumni associations, etc.) within multi-campus systems qualify as separate submission-eligible institutions.
    • Not-for-profit, non-degree-granting domestic U.S. organizations, acting on behalf of their employees, that include (but are not limited to) independent museums and science centers, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies, and similar organizations that are directly associated with the Nation's research or educational activities. These organizations must have an independent, permanent administrative organization (e.g., an Office of Sponsored Projects) located in the United States, its territories, or possessions, and have 501(c)(3) tax status.

    In addition, for the RII Track-4:FAST opportunity, PIs must be employed by an institution that is from at least one of the five categories:

    Proposals submissions are permitted from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). 

    1. MSIs include:
      • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),
      • Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs),
      • Tribal colleges or universities (TCUs),
      • Other institutions that enroll a significant percentage of underrepresented minority students as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. These other institutions include:
        • Alaska Native-serving institutions,
        • Native Hawaiian-serving institutions,
        • Predominantly Black Institutions,
        • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions,
        • and Native American-serving nontribal institutions.
        • For more information, please see the U.S. Department of Education's definitions and lists of eligible postsecondary institutions (MSI definitions and eligibility information).
    2. Proposals submissions are permitted from institutions of higher education that primarily serve populations of students with disabilities and can be found here.
    3. Proposals submissions are permitted from women’s colleges.
    4. Proposals submissions are permitted from two-year colleges.
    5. Proposals submissions are permitted from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). 
      • PUIs are accredited colleges and universities (including two-year community colleges) that award Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but have awarded 20 or fewer Ph.D./D.Sci. degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years.  For this category, a letter from an Authorized Organizational Representative, certifying that the originating and managing institution is an accredited college or university that awards Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but has awarded 20 or fewer PhD/DSci degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years, must be provided as a supplementary document.

Who May Serve as PI:

Eligibility for RII Track-4:NSF track fall within three categories:

  • Persons who hold non-tenured faculty positions at degree-granting institutions of higher education, or early career investigator positions at non-degree-granting organizations may participate in RII Track-4:NSF. For this category of applicants, it is anticipated that proposals will be submitted by PIs who hold tenure-track appointments but have not yet had a change in status as tenured faculty by the proposal deadline date.
  • Faculty members at degree-granting institutions of higher education who hold long-term positions outside of the tenure track are also explicitly eligible for consideration, regardless of their position title or rank.
  • Proposals will also be accepted from employees of eligible non-degree-granting organizations who, as of the proposal deadline date, hold an early-career career-track position that includes a significant independent research component.

Eligibility for RII Track-4:FAST

  • Persons who hold non-tenured faculty positions at degree-granting institutions of higher education. For this category of applicants, it is anticipated that proposals will be submitted by PIs who hold tenure-track appointments but have not yet had a change in status as tenured faculty by the proposal deadline date.
  • Faculty members at degree-granting institutions of higher education who hold long-term positions outside of the tenure track are also explicitly eligible for consideration, regardless of their position title or rank.
  • For some NASA research sites, PIs and trainees must be U.S. Citizens, unless otherwise specified.
  • Lawful Permanent Residents may be eligible for research opportunities at select NASA centers. This is identified in the research area links for each NASA center highlighted in the body of this solicitation.
  • To access NASA facilities for the fellowship at some research sites, the PI and trainee must show proof of United States Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status as part of an onboarding process that is managed by NASA. This requirement only applies to RII Track-4:FAST fellowship awardees. Proof of citizenship or LPR status should not be submitted as part of proposal submissions to NSF.
  • Trainees must be undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program. Postdoctoral researchers are not eligible for the RII Track-4:FAST fellowship as trainees.

Additional eligibility restrictions for both tracks are as follows:

  • Only single-PI proposals will be considered. No co-PIs should be included in the proposal. Other Senior Personnel are permitted.
  • Persons who hold transitional fixed-term postdoctoral appointments are not eligible to apply, even if their organizations classify such appointments as ‘faculty’ for administrative purposes.
  • In all cases, the required Letter of Support from the PI's supervisory administrator should verify the PI’s eligibility relative to these criteria. Questions regarding PI eligibility should be directed toward the cognizant Program Officers listed above.
  • PIs who have received an award in a previous EPSCoR Research Fellows competition may not submit a proposal under this solicitation.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

For RII Track-4:NSF: 3

Only three proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in an RII-eligible jurisdiction. If more than three proposals are received from any single institution for the competition, all proposals from that institution are subject to return without review.

For RII Track-4:FAST: 6

Only six proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in an RII-eligible jurisdiction.

For institutions eligible to submit both RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:FAST proposals, only a total of nine proposals, three RII Track-4:NSF proposals and six RII Track-4:FAST proposals, may be submitted in response to this solicitation by any single organization in a RII-eligible jurisdiction. If more than nine proposals are received from any single institution for the competition, all proposals from that institution are subject to return without review.

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

An investigator may serve as PI on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation.

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 Research.gov or Grants.gov.

  • Full Proposals submitted via Research.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and 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) 292-8134 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. The Prepare New Proposal setup will prompt you for the program solicitation number.
  • 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) 292-8134 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.

The following instructions are specific to proposals submitted to the Research Infrastructure Improvement Program, Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows competition and supplement the NSF PAPPG and NSF Grants.gov Application Guide:

  • Only single-PI proposals will be considered. No co-PIs should be included in the proposal. Other Senior Personnel are permitted.
  • The proposal section labeled Project Description may not exceed 10 pages, including text as well as any graphic or illustrative materials. Proposals that exceed the page limitations or that do not contain all items described below may be returned without review.

  • Select Research as the Proposal Type.

  • Enter the primary host site location as the Primary Place of Performance on the Cover Sheet.  Do not enter the submitting institution.

The proposal must include the following elements:

  1. The project title must begin with “RII Track-4:NSF: or RII Track-4:FAST:”, depending on the track, and follow with an informative title in the topic area. As specified above, the Research Proposal Type should be selected, and the Primary Place of Performance should list the host institution for the fellowship visit. Do not enter the submitting institution.
  2. Note that approvals for studies involving human subjects or vertebrate animals are not required at proposal submission. However, if human subjects or vertebrate animals are expected to be involved in the proposed research, the appropriate box must be marked on the Cover Sheet, and the PI should enter “Pending” in the space provided for the approval date. These approvals must be in place before any award can be made.

  3. Project Summary (1 page maximum). Provide an overview that briefly describes: the vision and goals of the fellowship project; the role of the host site and its personnel in achieving the project’s vision and goals; a summary of the objectives and methods to be employed; the expected outcomes and impacts of the proposed activities; and plans for sustaining the project’s impacts beyond the award period. In separate statements provide a succinct summary of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the project.
  4. The Project Summary must identify the proposed host site and primary research collaborator(s). 

    At the bottom of the Project Summary, PIs should also indicate the NSF Directorate, Division, and Program that most closely aligns with the proposal's research focus.

  5. Project Description (10 pages maximum).   The project description is the centerpiece of the proposal. This section should present the activities for the proposed fellowship in a clear, detailed, compelling way and describe how the activities will lead to long-lasting impacts to the PI’s research career trajectory. In addition to the requirements contained in PAPPG Chapter II C.2.d, the project description must articulate the motivation and context for the proposed fellowship project using language understandable to a scientific audience with broad disciplinary expertise. The goals and objectives for the fellowship project should be clearly stated, and the research plan for achieving the goals and objectives should be presented in sufficient detail to facilitate reviewers' assessment of the proposal. The project description should specify the expected outcomes from the fellowship and should include a timeline for meeting the project goals and objectives. It is crucial that the project description explain clearly how the PI will specifically benefit from the unique opportunities provided by the fellowship. It should also detail both the role of the host site in achieving the research goals and objectives and how the benefits to the PI’s research career will be sustained beyond the award period.
  6. The project description must describe the fellowship project’s expected Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In addition to addressing the Intellectual Merit of the project, the narrative should describe the project's research-focused activities and how these activities will enhance the PI's individual research capacity beyond the duration of the fellowship period. Per the guidance in the PAPPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled "Broader Impacts". This section should articulate the benefits to the PI’s home institution and/or jurisdiction that are expected to derive from the fellowship project. Additional benefits that fall under NSF’s Broader Impacts merit review criterion should also be discussed in this section.

    Proposals must also include a section detailing the Results from Prior NSF Support; for PIs with no prior NSF support, a simple statement to that effect is sufficient.

  7. References Cited. References cited in the project description should be listed in this section. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.e. While there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information beyond the page limits of the Project Description.
  8. Biographical Sketch. Include a biographical sketch for the PI and senior personnel (when applicable) according to standard NSF grant proposal guidelines. No other biographical sketches should be included in the proposal.
  9. Budget Pages and Budget Justification. The budget should be consistent with and appropriate to the scope of the fellowship activities presented in the Project Description. Prepare budget pages for each year of support and a budget justification (not to exceed five pages).  Because the fellowship-related travel (transportation and living expenses) represents a major component of the budget, PIs should provide sufficient detailed documentation to justify the requested expenses.
  10. Current and Pending Support. List the current and pending support for the PI and senior personnel (when applicable). Include this proposal at the top of the list of current and pending support. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.h.
  11. Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources. The PI should provide a description of the relevant facilities, equipment, and other resources at the home institution or within the home jurisdiction if applicable.  Only the PI’s resources should be described, with emphasis on those resources needed for the project’s work and especially any equipment that will be transported for use at the host site.  Any facilities, equipment, and other resources that belong to the host site and are needed for the project should be described in the project description and not in this section. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.i.
  12. Supplementary Documentation (in addition to those required by the PAPPG). If submitting via Research.gov, the Data Management Plan should be included in the Data Management Plan section and the Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan should be included in the Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan section. Both documents should be included as Other Supplementary Documents is submitting via Grants.gov.
  13. Please note that Research.gov currently can only accept one file for Other Supplementary Documents. If submitting via Research.gov, please combine all documents designated as Other Supplementary Documents into one PDF.

  14. Single-Copy Documents.  As required by the PAPPG, the PI, and senior personnel, when applicable, must include a single-copy document detailing their collaborations and other affiliations.

RII Track-4:NSF

  • At least one Letter of Support must be included from individuals in each of the following categories for a total of three letters of support:  a supervisory administrator at the home institution; a primary research collaborator at the host site; and from the appropriate administrative manager(s) at the host institution.  Proposals that do not include all three required letters may be returned without review. Where appropriate, more than one letter may be submitted for any of the categories.
    • From the appropriate supervisory administrator at the PI’s home institution. Typically, this will be the PI’s Department Chair or Dean. The purpose of this letter is to confirm the administrator’s support of the PI’s plans and particularly to verify that the PI will receive whatever release time is needed from other professional duties to complete the fellowship project as proposed. This letter should also confirm the PI’s employment status at the home institution as it pertains to eligibility for the competition.
    • From the identified primary research collaborator(s) at the host site. This letter should confirm the collaborator’s understanding of the goals of the EPSCoR fellowship and provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the PI will receive the support necessary to complete the proposed activities; and
    • From the appropriate administrative manager(s) at the host institution. The purpose of this letter is to confirm that all necessary logistical arrangements (site access, office space, cyber connectivity) will be made for the PI’s potential visit(s) to ensure that the project may proceed as proposed. In the rare case where the PI believes that the primary research collaborator at the host site is also the appropriate administrative manager, the PI should contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer for guidance.
  • Additional Letters of Support from other parties may be submitted only if they are needed to verify specific tangible commitments related to activities described in the proposal. PIs will be required to remove letters that do not meet this standard.

RII Track-4:FAST

Additional guidance for RII Track-4:FAST is as follows:

  • At least one Letter of Support must be included from individuals in each of the following categories for a total of three letters of support:  a supervisory administrator at the home institution; a primary research collaborator at the host NASA center; and from the appropriate administrative manager(s) at the host NASA center.  Proposals that do not include all three required letters may be returned without review. Where appropriate, more than one letter may be submitted for any of the categories. Please contact the NASA center points of contact for assistance with Letters of Support from the host NASA center.
    • From the appropriate supervisory administrator at the PI’s home institution. Typically, this will be the PI’s Department Chair or Dean. The purpose of this letter is to confirm the administrator’s support of the PI’s plans and particularly to verify that the PI will receive whatever release time is needed from other professional duties to complete the fellowship project as proposed. This letter should also confirm the PI’s employment status at the home institution as it pertains to eligibility for the competition.
    • A letter of support from a NASA EPSCoR State Director from the PI's home jurisdiction is highly encouraged. They will help with annual reporting, RID requests. PIs may identify them here: https://www.nasa.gov/stem/epscor/home/EPSCoR_Directors.html From the identified primary research collaborator(s) at the host NASA center. This letter should confirm the collaborator’s understanding of the goals of the EPSCoR fellowship and provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the PI will receive the support necessary to complete the proposed activities; and
    • From the appropriate administrative manager(s) at the host NASA center. The purpose of this letter is to confirm that all necessary logistical arrangements (site access, office space, cyber connectivity) will be made for the PI’s potential visit(s) to ensure that the project may proceed as proposed. In the rare case where the PI believes that the primary research collaborator at the host NASA center is also the appropriate administrative manager, the PI should contact the NASA EPSCoR point of contact for guidance.
  • In some cases, a Letter of Commitment may be required from the host NASA center designee, instead of a letter of support from the primary research collaborator. Such letters require a minimum notice of three weeks. Contact the host NASA center point of contact for center-specific requirements and details of the associated process.
  • Additional Letters of Support from other parties may be submitted only if they are needed to verify specific tangible commitments related to activities described in the proposal. PIs will be required to remove letters that do not meet this standard.
  • Guidance for Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs):  PUIs are accredited colleges and universities (including two-year community colleges) that award Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but have awarded 20 or fewer Ph.D./D.Sci. degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years.  For this category, an additional letter, from an Authorized Organizational Representative, certifying that the originating and managing institution is an accredited college or university that awards Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees, and/or Master's degrees in NSF-supported fields, but has awarded 20 or fewer Ph.D./DSci degrees in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years must be provided as a supplementary document.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

Given that a majority of the proposed activities are expected to take place away from the home institution, “off campus” indirect cost rates may apply.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

  • Funding requests should have a total duration of up to 24 months. Total funds requested may not exceed $300,000. Due to the other budgetary limitations detailed below, it is expected that in most cases requested budgets will be substantially less than the overall $300,000 limit.
  • Budgets may include up to six months of salary and fringe benefit support for the PI. Support may be for an academic, calendar, or summer months. Up to six months of salary and fringe benefit support (including tuition at the home institution, if appropriate) is also allowed for one additional trainee-level participant. The six-month limit on salary and fringe benefit requests for each participant is total, not per year. In all cases the requested support is expected to closely align with the duration of the fellowship visit(s) to the host institution. NSF’s Senior Personnel Salaries and Wages Policy (PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.g.i(a)) does not apply to proposals submitted under this solicitation. However, the policy may be applied to a PI's future NSF proposal submission if they are awarded an EPSCoR Research fellowship.
  • Up to $75,000 total in travel expenses are allowed, to cover both the PI and one additional trainee-level researcher. The requested travel budget must conform to these additional requirements:
    • Up to $20,000 may be requested solely for transportation between the PI’s home institution and the host site. This includes any local transportation expenses during the fellowship visit (e.g., rental vehicles). Multiple trips between the home institution and the host site are allowed. Detailed justification for the requested transportation costs must be provided.
    • Up to $50,000 may be requested for living expenses for the PI and one additional trainee-level researcher during time spent at the host site. Under no circumstances may the living expense charges (Lodging, Meals, and Incidental Expenses) exceed the per diem rates set by the United States General Services Administration (GSA) for the host site location. In many cases, it is anticipated that the PI will be able to identify accommodations at a cost below the GSA per diem rates during the extended fellowship visits. In all cases, the PI must provide a detailed justification for the requested living expense budget.
    • Up to $5,000 may be requested for other travel-related to the fellowship project.
  • Up to $10,000 total in additional direct costs is allowed. These funds may be used for shipping, purchasing materials and/or supplies, publication charges, equipment, facility fees, or other similar costs directly related to the research activities at the host site.
  • For RII Track-4:FAST awardees, NASA will manage requests for a $60,000 Research Infrastructure Development (RID) award to be made to the home institution to build research capacity and infrastructure.  Awardees should use the NASA points of contact in this solicitation to initiate the provision of this award.  This award is managed solely by NASA EPSCoR and should not be included in budget requests for RII Track-4:FAST proposals.  Special purpose equipment purchases (i.e., equipment that is used only for research, scientific, and technical activities directly related to the proposed research activities) are allowed.  Special purpose equipment items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more must have the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency, in this case, the NASA Grants Officer. 
  • Collaborators at the host institutions are not eligible to receive salary or fringe benefit support under this award. Host institutions may receive payment for accommodations provided to the PI or trainee-level participant during the fellowship visit; these expenses may include lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Host institutions may also receive payment for services directly related to research activities during the fellowship visit; such costs must be consistent with established fee structures at the host institution and are subject to the award’s overall $10,000 limit for additional direct costs. Under no circumstances may there be a sub-award to the host institution.
  • Proposals that fail to comply with any of these budgetary limitations will be returned without review if, in NSF’s judgment, the budget cannot be corrected without substantially modifying the proposed scope of work.

C. Due Dates

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

          May 12, 2022

    RII Track-4:NSF

         May 12, 2022

    RII Track-4:FAST

         April 11, 2023

    RII Track-4:NSF

D. Research.gov/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via Research.gov:

To prepare and submit a proposal via Research.gov, see detailed technical instructions available at: https://www.research.gov/research-portal/appmanager/base/desktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=research_node_display&_nodePath=/researchGov/Service/Desktop/ProposalPreparationandSubmission.html. For Research.gov user support, call the Research.gov Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail rgov@nsf.gov. The Research.gov Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the Research.gov 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 Research.gov may use Research.gov 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 Building the Future: Investing in Discovery and Innovation - NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2018 – 2022. 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 other underrepresented groups 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

Reviewers will also be asked to review each proposal with respect to these specific questions as they relate to intellectual merit and broader impacts:

  • What evidence is presented to demonstrate that the proposed research outcomes can be achieved within the constraints of the fellowship period, with the work being performed primarily at the host site?
  • How will the fellowship have a transformative impact on the trajectory of the PI’s research career both during the period of the award and beyond?
  • How will the fellowship yield tangible benefits to the home institution and/or jurisdiction beyond the individual benefits to the PI?
  • What evidence is there that the home institution and the host site are each committing the necessary resources, both scientific and administrative, to lend confidence that the fellowship project will be successful in achieving its intended outcomes?

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) 292-8134 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:

  • Chinonye Nnakwe Whitley, NSF, telephone: (703) 292-8458, email: cwhitley@nsf.gov

  • Jose Colom-Ustariz, NSF, telephone: (703) 292-7088, email: jcolom@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane or Research.gov, contact:

  • FastLane and Research.gov Help Desk: 1-800-673-6188

  • FastLane Help Desk e-mail: fastlane@nsf.gov.

  • Research.gov Help Desk e-mail: rgov@nsf.gov

  • Chinonye Nnakwe Whitley, NSF, telephone: (703) 292-8458, email: cwhitley@nsf.gov

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.

NASA Agency Contacts are to be contacted only for inquiries that refer to the RII Track-4:FAST track.

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 https://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) 292-8134

  • 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 System of Record Notices, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records.” 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
Policy Office, Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314

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