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National Science Foundation


NSF 10-038

Frequently Asked Questions about the Graduate Research Supplements (GRS) to Current ENG Awards to Broaden Participation

SUBMISSION DEADLINES: May 14th, 2010

GRS supplements must be submitted via FastLane by 5:00 p.m., proposer’s local time, on or before May 14th, 2010.

The following set of questions and answers refer to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Graduate Research Supplements (GRS) to Current ENG Awards to Broaden Participation.

Before preparing your GRS request please read the GRS Dear Colleague Letter at
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf10035, this FAQs document, and the information about requesting supplemental support contained in Part II of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) available at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=papp.  

The procedure for submitting GRS supplement requests is the same as that described in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) solicitation under the sections for REU supplements for investigators holding an existing NSF research award.  The REU solicitation is available at:
http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5517&from=fund.

Also, if you have questions concerning submitting your GRS supplement request in FastLane you may want to consult the following website that contains useful information on FastLane:
https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/NSFHelp/flashhelp/fastlane/FastLane_Help/fastlane_help.htm#fastlane_faqs_introduction.htm

The following sections of this document can be directly accessed by selecting the appropriate heading:

  1. CONTACTS FOR QUESTIONS
  2. GRS ELIGIBILITY
  3. GRS CONTENT, BUDGET PREPARATION AND FASTLANE
  4. GRS REVIEW AND DECISIONS

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CONTACTS FOR QUESTIONS

  1. Whom should I contact if I have questions about my GRS request?

For questions or information on submission of a GRS contact the cognizant Division GRS Coordinator in the division which will fund the award supplement:

    • Dr. Omnia El-Hakim, Program Director, Diversity and Outreach, Office of the Assistant Director for Engineering, oelhakim@nsf.gov, 703-292-2149

    • Dr. Marshall Lih, Senior Advisor, Division of Chemical, Biomedical, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), mlih@nsf.gov, 703-292-4608

    • Dr. James Phillip King, Program Director, Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), jpking@nsf.gov, 703-292-7011

    • Dr. Lawrence Goldberg, Senior Engineering Advisor, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), lgoldber@nsf.gov, 703-292-5373

    • Ms. Sharon Middledorf, Senior Cross-Directorate Programs Specialist, Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), smiddled@nsf.gov, 703-292-5351

    • Dr. Juan Figueroa, Program Director, Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), jfiguero@nsf.gov, 703-292-7054

For questions related to the use of FastLane to submit the supplement contact:

GRS ELIGIBILITY

    1. Is there a limit on the number of GRSs I can request for my award?

    Yes.  Only one new Ph.D. student for GRS may be supported under each ENG research grant per year. The exception is for ongoing ENG Center awards where the limit is two GRS students per year, per award, as long as the students are located on different campuses funded by the Center.

    1. I am currently the PI on an Engineering Research Center (ERC) or other center type of award. Can I request more than one GRS this year?

    Yes, since awards such as the Engineering Research Centers are multi-campus and usually multi-state awards, you can have more than one student associated with more than one PI in your GRS request. The request should be submitted by the PI of the lead university and there is a limitation of two students per award. Eachof the students must be located on different campuses funded by the Center. Sub award budget requests should be included for any student(s) not located on the campus of the lead university.

    1. The student on my award started last Fall (2009).  Is the student an eligible candidate for the GRS support?

    No.  The student must be new---pursuing a Ph.D. as a newly enrolled student (starting the Spring 2010 semester) or planning to pursue a Ph.D. (starting the Fall 2010 semester).

    1. The student I hope to support on my award is expecting her permanent residency in a few months.  Is she an eligible candidate for a GRS?

    No.  GRS candidates must be United States citizens, United States nationals, or permanent residents of the United States by the GRS deadline.

    1. The student I would like to support on my Engineering Directorate funded award is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Physics (or another Science discipline).  Is she an eligible candidate for a GRS?

    No.  GRS candidates must be pursuing or planning to pursue a degree in an Engineering discipline.

    1. My student just finished her M.S. degree in engineering.  Is she an eligible candidate for a GRS supplement?

    Yes, she is an eligible candidate as long as she will be enrolling in a Ph.D. Program starting in the Spring or Fall of 2010.

    1. I am currently supporting a non-GRS funded student on my award.  Can I request funds to support this student for an additional year (or two) through the GRS Program?

    No. The intent of the GRS Program is to broaden participation in engineering by bringing new Ph.D. students into the engineering pipeline and to provide continuity up to three years for underrepresented students performing well and in good academic standing.

    1. I am currently supporting a GRS funded student on my award.  Can I request GRS funding to continue supporting this student for an additional year?

    Yes, GRS can be renewed annually for a maximum duration of three years for an individual student provided the award is active.  In addition to the GRS funding request description, renewal for a second or third year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the Ph.D. degree. The GRS renewal award is subject to availability of funds in the program.

    1. I received my award from the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences and I would like to support a GRS student pursuing a degree in an engineering discipline.  Is my award eligible for a GRS?

    No. GRS awards are only for current awards supported by the Directorate for Engineering with an Engineering Directorate Program as the primary funding organization.

    1. I heard from my Program Director that my proposal is being recommended for an award.  Can I request a GRS before the award is official?

    No, GRS awards can only be made to awards currently funded by the Directorate for Engineering.  Therefore, you will have to wait until next year to request a GRS.

    1. My award is expiring in two months and I have requested a one-year no-cost extension.  Can I request a GRS supplement to my award?

    Yes, however, the no-cost extension must be approved and in place before you request the supplement and before the GRS deadline since the term of a GRS cannot exceed the remaining time left on an award.

GRS CONTENT, BUDGET PREPARATION AND FASTLANE

  1. I am completing my budget form.  Where do I place the allowable GRS support costs on the budget form?

All GRS student costs should be entered in Section F (Participant Support Costs) on the funding request budget. An administrative allowance, up to to 25% of Line F.1 only (Participant Support Costs: Stipends), is allowed for GRS awards in lieu of indirect costs. Enter the administrative allowance on Line I (Indirect Costs line) of the funding request budget. Also show any other allowable costs of education for the student on Line F.4 “Other.”  

  1. The GRS Dear Colleague Letter says that GRSsmay only request funds for graduate student stipend and tuition support consistent with academic institutional practices (in addition to the administrative allowance). Are there any additional student support costs that I can request?

Yes, you can request funds related to the cost of education for the student that are not covered by your University (i.e. medical insurance for the student and/or for travel for the student to present his/her research findings at a professional meeting).  These education costs should be shown in F.4, the “Participant Support Costs” section of the budget under “Other” and cannot exceed $3,000 within the $41K budget amount.

  1. Where does the student’s biographical sketch go when I submit the supplement request through FastLane?

You will upload the student’s biographical sketch into the Supplementary Documents section of the GRS funding request.  Please be sure that the biographical sketch describes and incorporates the student’s long-range career goals and commitment to diversity as a resource for enriching education in engineering disciplines.

  1. The GRS Dear Colleague Letter instructs me to “enter a description of the proposed GRS activity (limited to three pages) in support of broadening participation.”  Where does this description go in the FastLane supplement request?

The document should be placed in the “Project Summary” section of the GRS funding request.  Be sure to follow the additional requirements for the content of the Project Summary as stated in the GRS Dear Colleague Letter.

  1. Can I submit a GRS request for more than twelve months of support?

No.  You may request support for a GRS for a period of twelve months.  The GRS can be renewed annually for a maximum duration of three years for an individual student as long as the award is active.  Renewal for a second or third year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the Ph.D. degree and is subject to availability of funds in the program. The term of a GRS supplement may not exceed that of the underlying research project.

  1. Can my university apply their current, negotiated indirect cost rate for my GRS budget request?

No, indirect costs are not permitted for GRS awards.  However, an administrative allowance (up to 25% of the Stipend, Line F1. on the budget) may be included.  The administrative allowance should be shown on Line I of the budget.

  1. I did not see a limit on the amount of funds I can request for a GRS.  Is there a limit?

Yes.  NSF GRS awards are limited to a maximum amount of $41,000 for twelve months of support (including the administrative allowance).  The graduate student stipend and tuition support being requested must be consistent with your academic institutional practices and should be justified in the budget justification section of the funding request (along with justification for any “other” funds being requested). 

GRS REVIEW AND DECISIONS

  1. How will my GRS funding request be reviewed?

GRS award decisions will be based on an internal review process and are subject to availability of funds.

  1. When will I be notified if my GRS is being recommended for award?

The GRS PIs will hear whether their supplement is being recommended for award sometime in July 2010.

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