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National Science Foundation

NSF 12-041

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF Program Announcement NSF 12-515: Advancing Health Services through Systems Modeling Research

  1. Where can I find out more about the overall research emphasis areas of this program? Does my project fit in the scope of this activity?
  2. Is the program funding level $1-2 million per proposal, and does that amount include overhead (indirect) costs?
  3. Must the PI be an industrial engineer or systems engineer?
  4. Will GOALI proposals be considered?
  5. Are proposals to be in R21 format?
  6. What is the deadline to submit proposals in response to this funding opportunity?
  7. Will NSF lead the review of these proposals?
  8. Can we collaborate with international health care delivery institutions?
  9. Is a letter of intent required?
  10. Can health care –related proposals that do not fit the scope of the announcement still be submitted to the SES Program during the regular unsolicited window (January 15- February 15, 2012)?

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  1. Where can I find out more about the overall research emphasis areas of this program? Does my project fit in the scope of this activity?

The purpose of this program is to link industrial and systems engineering and/or operations management researchers with health IT researchers and health services researchers. This program announcement is in response to the workshop report "Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care: Critical Areas of Research" which can be found at http://healthit.ahrq.gov/engineeringhealthfinalreport. All proposals must address at least one of the research topics outlined in this report.

Researchers may also want to consult other documents found on the AHRQ Health Information Technology Document Database on Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care.

  1. Is the program funding level $1-2 million per proposal, and does that amount include overhead (indirect) costs?

No, the $1 million to $2 million is the total budget for the Announcement. The typical grant from Service Enterprise Systems program (SES) is for three years and $250,000-$350,000 total funding (including indirect costs). This translates to about $100,000 per year. However, since we are expecting collaborations of health services researchers and industrial and systems engineers with input from health IT professionals, larger 3-year budgets are possible, up to approximately $500,000, corresponding to perhaps $180,000 per year, including overhead. The project budget must be justified in terms of the level of effort of each participant and how this effort matches the synergies required to accomplish the research. Given the total funding level of $1-2 million, we expect to fund between 3-6 proposals.

  1. Must the PI be an industrial engineer or systems engineer?

No.  However, a researcher with a demonstrated expertise in industrial and/or systems engineering should be part of the effort. Note that the Program Announcement states:

"Through this partnership, NSF and AHRQ look to foster new collaborations among health services researchers and industrial and systems engineers with a specific emphasis on the supportive role of health IT."

Proposals therefore that do not demonstrate collaboration and an exploitation of synergies of these research communities will not be as successful as proposals more responsive to the announcement.

  1. Will GOALI proposals be considered?

Yes. The Program Announcement specifies a focus area in the SES program, which routinely receives and funds Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals (NSF 12-513). These proposals have a formal plan for interaction with an enterprise, and include an intellectual property agreement. GOALI proposals are not reviewed separately, but they must meet GOALI requirements.

  1. Are proposals to be in R21 format?

No. Proposals submitted in response to NSF Program Announcement NSF 12-515 must follow standard NSF Proposal formatting and preparation instructions. Guidelines for preparing and submitting proposals to NSF are contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (FastLane users) or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (Grants.gov users). Proposals that do not follow these requirements for formatting will be returned without review.

  1. What is the deadline to submit proposals in response to this funding opportunity?

Proposals will be accepted if submitted by 5:00 p.m. proposer's local time on February 15, 2012 via either NSF FastLane or Grants.gov. It is important to identify that the proposal is in response to NSF announcement NSF 12-515 for consideration under this special program. Proposals submitted after this time will be returned without review.

  1. Will NSF lead the review of these proposals?

Yes. NSF will receive, manage, and lead the review process according to standard NSF procedures. More information on the NSF Merit Review process can be found in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 11-1).

  1. Can we collaborate with international health care delivery institutions?

Such collaborations are not forbidden under this program, but should have implications to improve U.S. health care. International experiences for faculty and graduate students from U.S. institutions may be funded (provided the international activities have relevance towards the improvement U.S. health care delivery system). In accordance with standard NSF policies, funding for international partners will not be provided.

  1. Is a letter of intent required?

No. Letters of intent are not part of this announcement. Full proposals must be submitted to NSF in response to this announcement (NSF 12-515) by 5:00 p.m. proposer's local time on February 15, 2012.

  1. Can health care –related proposals that do not fit the scope of the announcement still be submitted to the SES Program during the regular unsolicited window (January 15- February 15, 2012)?

Yes. SES will continue to fund a range of research on analytical models and optimization methods related to health care operations planning, delivery and decision support. Proposers with a specific focus on enabling providers and individuals to make better choices through technology should consider a submission to the NSF-wide Smart Health and Wellbeing solicitation, NSF 12-512, which has submission deadlines of February 6 and February 21, 2012.

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