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National Science Foundation


NSF 11-071
Frequently Asked Questions: Regarding G8 Research Councils Multilateral Funding Initiative for an Interdisciplinary Program on Material Efficiency - A first step towards sustainable manufacturing

Preliminary Proposal Questions

  1. Does one submit a Preliminary Proposal directly to NSF? To the G8 Site? To both?
  2. Can a U.S. PI participate in more than one proposal?
  3. Can a U.S. co-PI participate in more than one proposal?
  4. Can co-PIs be from nonacademic U.S. institutions?
  5. Can a research institution/group from outside the G8 be included in the collaboration?
  6. What is the duration of the award?
  7. What types of costs are allowable in proposals submitted to this competition?
  8. How does the Preliminary Proposal submission differ from standard NSF proposal submission?
  9. How does the Preliminary Proposal review differ from normal NSF review procedures?
  10. Are there any differences in award administration? What are the rules regarding Intellectual Property rights?
  11. Can one skip the preliminary proposal and still submit a full proposal?
  12. Will significant project changes (e.g. scope, PI/co-PIs, timeframe, funding requested) be permitted from preliminary proposal to the full proposal?
  13. How many NSF awards are anticipated? In what timeframe?
  14. Should I submit the preliminary budget in Dollars or Euros? What is the maximum amount of award that can be requested to NSF?

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  1. Does one submit a Preliminary Proposal directly to NSF? To the G8 Site? To both?

One Preliminary Proposal per collaboration is submitted by the Lead PI (only) directly to the G8 website: http://www.jsps.go.jp/j-bottom/g8-initiative.html

  1. Can a U.S. PI participate in more than one proposal?

U.S. PIs can be Lead PI in no more than one proposal. However, they can be co-PIs in multiple proposals.

  1. Can a U.S. co-PI participate in more than one proposal?

Yes. U.S. PIs and co-PIs can participate in more than one proposal as co-PIs.

  1. Can U.S. co-PIs be from nonacademic U.S. institutions?

No. But researchers from nonacademic U.S institutions may be collaborators.

  1. Can a research institution/group from outside the seven countries be included in the proposal?

Yes, as collaborators but not as PIs or co-PIs. No award funding is available for research outside of the seven countries.

  1. What is the duration of the award?

Award duration is typically three years.

  1. What types of costs are allowable in proposals submitted to this competition?

Standard NSF Allowability of costs applies to U.S. awards.

  1. How does the preliminary proposal submission differ from standard NSF proposal submission?

One preliminary proposal per collaboration will be submitted via the G8 website using the G8 Preliminary Proposal form. This preliminary proposal can be amended prior to the submission deadline. After the preliminary proposal submission deadline, only unavoidable and approved changes, such as changing affiliation of PI/co-PIs will be accepted. Withdrawals can be made at any time. U.S. Lead PIs who are invited to submit full proposals will submit the full proposals to NSF via FastLane and to the G8 website.

  1. How does the preliminary proposal review differ from normal NSF review procedures?

All preliminary proposals submitted to the G8 Multilateral Funding Initiative will be peer reviewed by an international panel of experts with each of the seven countries represented on the panel. The panel will use guidelines that incorporate the NSF review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In addition, the following evaluation criteria (found in the Call for Proposals) will be used:

  1. Quality/Intellectual Merit
    • Scientific quality and innovativeness of the joint research plan
    • Added value to be expected from the research collaboration

    How well does the activity advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?
    Does the proposal contribute to scientific excellence and significant progress toward the state of the art?
    To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original concepts?
    If these partnerships were in place already what does this new funding allow them to do that they could not do otherwise?
    What is the added value of the international cooperation?

  1. Societal/Broader Impacts
  • Expected impacts: e.g. scientific, technological, economic, societal
  • Opportunities for early career researchers

What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
To what extent will it enhance infrastructure/capabilities for research and education, such as training, learning, networking and partnerships?
Does the project involve early career researchers?
Does the research collaboration focus on global challenges for which solutions can only be achieved by global scientific approaches?

  1. Personnel/Quality of the Consortium
  • Competence and expertise of team and complementarities of consortium (inter-disciplinary / inclusion of all necessary expertise)

How well qualified are the proposers (Leading Principal Investigator and team) in terms of knowledge, expertise and experience to conduct the project?
What is the quality of previous work in terms of past or potential contributions to, and impact on the proposed and other areas of research?
Is the Leading Principal Investigator team (including any identified Co-Principal Investigators) able to lead the project, e.g. having strong management and leadership skills, or having complementarity of expertise and synergy of the members of the team?

  1. Resources and Management
  • Appropriateness of resources and funding requested
  • Balanced cooperation

How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?
Is there an operational plan with well defined milestones in place?
Is the coordination plan adequate?
Is there sufficient access to resources?
Are the requested investments well justified and relevant?
Are the scientific and financial contributions of the partners from each country well balanced?

  1. Are there any differences in award administration? What are the rules regarding Intellectual Property rights?

Standard NSF award terms and conditions will apply, i.e., Grant General Conditions or Research Terms and Conditions, as applicable to the awardee organization. Awards will incorporate the standard NSF term relating to intellectual property.

  1. Can one skip the preliminary proposal and still submit a full proposal?

No. A preliminary proposal is required prior to submission of a full proposal. Full proposals are by invitation only. Only those who submit a preliminary proposal will be considered for an invitation to submit a full proposal.

  1. Will significant project changes (e.g. scope, PI/co-PIs, timeframe, funding requested) be permitted from preliminary proposal to full proposal?

The full proposal must be closely based on the scope of work contained in the preliminary proposal and changes should not be a significant deviation from the direction, focus and team composition stated in the preliminary proposal. Budget refinement can occur between preliminary proposal and full proposal submission.

  1. How many NSF awards are anticipated? In what timeframe?

At least three U.S. multiyear awards are anticipated in May 2012.

  1. Should I submit the preliminary budget in Dollars or Euros? What is the maximum amount of award that can be requested to NSF?

The preliminary budget should be submitted in Euros but U.S. awards will be in Dollars. Full proposals submitted to NSF will require a G8 budget in Euros and the standard NSF FastLane budget in Dollars. NSF anticipates making multiple awards each at the level of approximately $150,000 per annum for a maximum of three years, pending the availability of funds.

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