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National Science Foundation

NSF 13-075

Dear Colleague Letter: FY 2013 Career-Life Balance (CLB)-Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Supplemental Funding Requests

Date: March 11, 2013

BACKGROUND

Instituted in 2012, NSF’s Career-Life Balance (CLB) Initiative is an ambitious, ten-year initiative that will build on the best of family-friendly practices among individual NSF programs to expand them to activities NSF-wide.  This agency-level approach will help attract, retain, and advance graduate students, postdoctoral students, and early-career researchers in STEM fields.  This effort will help reduce the rate at which women depart from the STEM workforce.  By the end of this ten-year initiative (2021), it is expected that women will represent 41 percent of newly tenured doctoral S&E faculty—the same percentage as the available pool of women S&E doctorate recipients in 2009; and that women of color will comprise 17 percent of newly tenured faculty, the same percentage of their PhD production rate in 2009.  Further information on the CLB initiative may be found on the Foundation’s website. 

The primary emphasis of NSF’s CLB initiative in FY 2012 was focused on opportunities such as dependent-care issues (child birth/adoption and elder care).  These issues initially were addressed through NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, where career-life balance opportunities can help retain a significant fraction of early career STEM talent.  In FY 2013, the Foundation intends to further integrate CLB opportunities through other programs such as the Graduate Research Fellowship and postdoctoral fellowship programs, as well as expand opportunities such as dual career-hiring through the Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program.  Each of these opportunities will be described and implemented separately.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this DCL is to announce the continuation of the supplemental funding opportunity initiated in FY 2012 for PIs supported in the CAREER program.  CAREER Principal Investigators (PIs) are invited to submit supplemental funding requests to support additional personnel (e.g., research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research when the PI is on family leave.  These requests may include funding for up to 3 months of salary support, for a maximum of $12,000 in salary compensation.  The fringe benefits and associated indirect costs may be in addition to the salary payment and therefore, the total supplemental funding request may exceed $12,000.

Special instructions for use by PIs and Sponsored Projects Offices in preparation and submission of CAREER Career-Life Balance Supplemental Funding Requests are included as an attachment to this DCL.  Additional questions should be directed to the appropriate Directorate or Divisional representative identified on the CAREER webpage at: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/career/contacts.jsp.

Sincerely,

Wanda E. Ward
Office Head
Office of International & Integrative Activities

Attachment

Special Instructions for use by PIs and Sponsored Projects Offices in preparation and submission of Career-Life Balance (CLB)-Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Supplemental Funding Requests

In NSF 13-075, FY 2013 Career-Life Balance (CLB)-Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Supplemental Funding Requests, the Foundation announced that CAREER PIs are once again eligible to submit supplemental funding requests to support additional personnel (e.g., research technicians or equivalent) for up to 3 months of salary support, for a maximum of $12,000 in salary compensation.  The fringe benefits and associated indirect costs may be in addition to the salary payment and, therefore, the total supplemental funding request may exceed $12,000.

The CAREER Supplemental Funding Request must:

  1. Clearly specify that this is a CLB supplemental funding request;

  2. Provide a description of how the technician (or equivalent) would be used to sustain the research effort while the PI is on leave;

  3. Provide a budget and budget justification in support of requested costs;

  4. Identify the proposed period of performance for the technician; and

  5. Include the following statement:

“The Authorized Organizational Representative hereby certifies that the request for a technician is because the PI is, or will be, on family leave status (or equivalent) from the institution in accordance with the institution’s policies.”

There should be no privacy related information provided in this request, i.e., the rationale for leave should not be disclosed to NSF.

Questions regarding these instructions should be addressed to the appropriate Directorate or Divisional representative identified on the CAREER webpage at: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/career/contacts.jsp. For additional information on the CLB Initiative, see http://www.nsf.gov/career-life-balance/.

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