FAQ for Explosives and Related Threats: Frontiers in Prediction
and Detection (EXP) and Domestic Nuclear Detection Office/National
Science Foundation Academic Research Initiative (ARI) Solicitations
07-528 and NSF 07-545
Proposal deadlines March 01, 2007 and May 2, 2007 respectively
Q What is meant by multi-disciplinary?
A The intent of the solicitation is to encourage broad multidisciplinary
work and any two or more disciplines would be considered multi-disciplinary. This
could occur within a single academic department, but the case must
be made very clear that the disciplines are truly distinct.
Q Does a proposal between a university and a national
laboratory count as a multi-institutional proposal?
A If a proposal makes the case that the national laboratory
can be an effective partner even though no funding can go to the
national laboratory, the collaboration would meet the intent of
the solicitation. In this case, the national laboratory personnel
may be listed as co-PIs or senior personnel even though they are
receiving no funds.
Q Are there constraints on the participation of
foreign nationals in the project?
A PIs are advised to check with their university's office
of export control or general counsel.
Q Can Federal employees serve as investigators on
A Normally not.
Q Can national laboratory personnel who have joint
appointments with the university receive salary for the university
portion of the work?
A Yes, as long as no funds are exchanged between the university
and the laboratory.
Q What can I request as a starting date for the
A October 15, 2007 or later.
Q Can work be proposed on detecting radiation?
A For the EXP solicitation, not on detection of radiation,
but nuclear methods can be proposed for explosives' detection.
(Does not apply to the ARI solicitation, where detection of radiation
may be a principal objective)
Q The solicitation says that I have to declare any
work on related topics. My work is classified. What
shall I do?
A Declare that you have a grant that is classified.
Q You say proposals with an international dimension
are welcome. What sort of international dimension is NSF looking
A The design of each project is based on the opportunity
at hand, but NSF welcomes proposals in which the U.S. research
team is complemented and enhanced through meaningful collaboration
with researchers overseas. The international dimension should be well-justified
in terms of the counterpart's unique skills, expertise and/or facilities,
and efforts should be made to involve U.S. students and junior
researchers in the international collaboration.
Q Can foreign faculty or postdoctoral fellows be
A Individuals legally employed by a U.S. university can
Q Are students supported by ARI funds considered trainees?
A Yes, students supported by ARI funds are considered trainees. A
principle objective of the ARI solicitation is the building of
academic workforce capabilities.
Q Can foreign students receive award funds?
A Yes, for the EXP solicitation, but not for the DND-ARI
solicitation which states that “all students supported with
award funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.,
its territories, or its possessions.” This does not
apply to post-doctoral fellows who are not students.
Q If there are foreign collaborators, can travel
funds be requested for them? Consulting funds?
A The intent of the solicitations is to fund personnel at
U.S. universities. Travel support is permitted. Direct
support is discouraged.
Q Can a small business submit a proposal?
A This solicitation is an academic initiative and no funds
can go for salaries of individuals from government laboratories
Q We are using genetically engineered plants for
TNT and other explosives detection. Is this work eligible?
(Question for EXP solicitation only)
A Yes, but the detection results must be timely.
Q Will there be any restriction on publication of
results obtained under this program?
A NSF supports unclassified research and has no publication restrictions. If
the PI collaborates with an outside laboratory, it is possible
that the outside laboratory may impose restrictions.