EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2)

Program Solicitation
NSF 13-509

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 11-513

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of Integrative Activities
     Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

     January 30, 2013

     Last Wednesday in January, Annually Thereafter

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity. Proposers who opt to submit prior to January 14, 2013, must also follow the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1.

Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.

A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.

Please note that this program solicitation may contain supplemental proposal preparation guidance and/or guidance that deviates from the guidelines established in the Grant Proposal Guide.

  1. EPSCoR jurisdictions with current Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 (RII Track-2) awards that expire before September 1, 2013 and those without a current RII Track-2 award will be eligible to compete in the FY 2013 RII Track-2 competition. Jurisdictions with current RII Track-2 awards that expire before October 1, 2013 and those without a current RII Track-2 award will be eligible to compete in the FY 2014 RII Track-2 competition.
  2. RII Track-2 proposals promote collaborations among EPSCoR jurisdictions in all areas of science, engineering, and education supported by the National Science Foundation.
  3. Adherence to guidelines in this solicitation and GPG Chapter II Section B including page, font, and margin requirements will be strictly enforced.
  4. Page limits apply. See Section V.
  5. No letters of commitment to be included in Supplementary Documents. See Section V A 10.d.
  6. Up to a maximum of three letters of support may be included. See Section V A 10.e.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2)

Synopsis of Program:

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a program designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation's (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. The EPSCoR program is directed at jurisdictions that have historically received lesser amounts of NSF Research and Development (R&D) funding. Thirty-one jurisdictions including twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Guam currently are eligible to participate. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness.

Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2) awards provide funds in the range of $1.5 to 2.0 million per year for up to 3 years to consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions. The awards promote opportunities for collaborations among EPSCoR jurisdictions in all areas of science, engineering, and education supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). RII Track-2 proposals must describe a clear, comprehensive, and integrated vision to drive discovery, and train a skilled workforce capable of solving science and engineering challenges of regional, thematic, and national relevance. Proposals should also include a strong rationale for the establishment of the consortium and clearly demonstrate that the consortium is well-positioned to produce results that cannot be obtained by any single partner working independently. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research and education activities should broaden participation by different types of institutions, individuals, and sectors in the project.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Kelvin Chu, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7860, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: kchu@nsf.gov

  • Sean C. Kennan, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7575, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: skennan@nsf.gov

  • Sian Mooney, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-2257, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: smooney@nsf.gov

  • Jeanne R. Small, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7378, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: jsmall@nsf.gov

  • Uma D. Venkateswaran, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7732, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: uvenkate@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.078 --- Office of Polar Programs
  • 47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering
  • 47.080 --- Office of Cyberinfrastructure
  • 47.081 --- Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 4

Anticipated Funding Amount: $8,000,000 in FY 2013 (pending quality of proposals and availability of funds)

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • RII Track-2 proposals may only be submitted by consortia of eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. No jurisdiction may participate in more than one project (active or proposed). The fiscal agent designated by the EPSCoR steering committee for each jurisdiction within the consortium, acting on behalf that jurisdiction, must submit a separately submitted collaborative proposal (see Chapter II, Section D.4 of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide).

PI Limit:

Principal Investigators/Project Directors of proposed RII Track-2 projects must be affiliated with research universities, agencies, or organizations within the consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

Eligible jurisdictions can participate in only one consortium, and can submit only one collaborative proposal.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

An investigator may serve as PI or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:
    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.
    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         January 30, 2013

         Last Wednesday in January, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements: Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

A. EPSCoR Mission and Goals

The mission of EPSCoR is to assist the National Science Foundation in its statutory function

"to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education."

EPSCoR goals are to:

  • provide strategic programs and opportunities for EPSCoR participants that stimulate sustainable improvements in their R&D capacity and competitiveness, and
  • advance science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions for discovery, innovation, and overall knowledge-based prosperity.

Additional information about EPSCoR objectives and investment strategies can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/od/iia/programs/epscor/about.jsp.

B. Criteria for Eligibility to Participate in NSF EPSCoR

EPSCoR program eligibility is described at http://www.nsf.gov/od/iia/programs/epscor/eligible.jsp.

Twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands are currently eligible to compete in the NSF EPSCoR program opportunities. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Data detailing the eligibility are provided in the Eligibility Table.

C. Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2)

Essential to EPSCoR's goal of enhancing the competitive position of jurisdictions' research and research-based education in science and engineering are well-designed collaborative strategies. This approach can leapfrog impediments posed by limited infrastructure or human capital within a single jurisdiction and can enable broad engagement at the frontiers of discovery and innovation in science and engineering. The RII Track-2 projects address national challenges in disciplinary or interdisciplinary areas of regional, national, or thematic importance with clear plans for research, workforce development, broadening participation, and sustainability of activities beyond the project period.

The RII Track-2 award mechanism will fund consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions in the amount ranging from $1.5 million to 2.0 million per year per consortium for up to three years to promote the inter-jurisdictional collaborations. The RII Track-2 awards are not the appropriate mechanisms to provide support for individual faculty research projects. Requests for support of such projects should be directed to NSF's research grant programs. The RII Track-2 projects are broad-based and are intended to advance the science and technology initiatives of the consortia.

EPSCoR support of a proposed research improvement activity should not duplicate other available federal, jurisdictional, or institutional resources and should add significant value to increase scientific competitiveness at the national or regional level.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

RII Track-2 Program Description

The consortium-based science and engineering research and a diverse workforce development that are sustained beyond the project period are the primary drivers for RII Track-2 investments. The project description must include a strong rationale for the establishment of the consortium and place the chosen project in a regional, national, or thematic context. The project should be of sufficient scope to demonstrate that the combined resources of the consortium are required to facilitate discovery and innovation, and enable the development of a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce with appropriate knowledge and skills to tackle scientific challenges and find solutions of benefit to society. Over the long term, RII Track-2 investments are expected to result in lasting improvements to the jurisdictions' abilities to more successfully pursue significant jurisdictional, inter-jurisdictional, and regional opportunities of national and international importance in science and engineering research and education. Non-EPSCoR and international collaborations may be included but no EPSCoR funds should be directed to these institutions.

Central to the success of the proposal is the clear demonstration that the consortium is well-positioned to produce project results that cannot be obtained by any single partner working independently. The proposal must clearly identify the roles and contributions of each partner in the project, anticipated increase in research capacity and competitiveness, and benefits to the nation and society.

To ensure maximum impact of limited EPSCoR funds, requests for funding must:

  • Add significantly and measurably to research capability in S&T areas of high priority to the consortium as a whole and to member jurisdictions, as appropriate;
  • Engage the full diversity of the consortium's resources in STEM workforce development;
  • Contribute to the consortium's strategy for future research and innovation; and
  • Present a detailed strategy to generate subsequent, sustained non-EPSCoR funding from federal, jurisdictional, or private sector sources.

Note: In all instances, clear specification of research and education goals, performance metrics, and a timetable for achieving goals is a requirement for EPSCoR support.

Major accomplishments from prior NSF EPSCoR support, a detailed plan for achieving sustainable success in the science and engineering goals of the consortium, and formative and summative evaluation plans with measurable metrics, must be included in the proposal. The RII Track-2 proposal should summarize the coordination and synergy among all of the consortium's participating jurisdictions, and with other NSF investments in each of the jurisdictions. The proposal should define the leveraging role for the proposed NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 project within the broader context of research infrastructure improvement.

A. Examples of RII Track-2 Activities

The proposed RII Track-2 activities should not duplicate other ongoing RII activities in the jurisdictions; but may leverage and build upon the existing RII infrastructure. Examples of RII Track-2 activities that are consistent with NSF EPSCoR program objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting activities that promise extraordinary outcomes including revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives;
  • Developing multi-jurisdictional, interdisciplinary teams to address "national challenge" questions in science and engineering fields and providing solutions of benefit to society; examples of broad areas of current national challenge include: clean energy economy, thresholds and tipping points, bioterrorism, global climate change, strengthening scientific basis for decision making, nanoscience and technology, advanced manufacturing, cyberinfrastructure and information technology, innovation in science and engineering education;
  • Developing sustainable partnerships, to enhance research excellence, foster development of the next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers, and meaningfully engage the full diversity of institutions and individuals underrepresented in STEM areas; partners may include regional collaborators, international research institutions, national laboratories, and the private sector;
  • Creating, supporting, and maintaining regional shared instrumentation or cyberinfrastructure and facilities to support users from diverse institutions, organizations, and sectors;
  • Integrating and supplementing existing cyberinfrastructure components to enable a cohesive consortium-based research and learning environment that results in sustainable collaboration techniques and tools to support virtual organizations (e.g., distance learning activities);
  • Indentifying and implementing best practices to train and mentor graduate and undergraduate students; developing certification programs at community colleges based on documented national, regional, or jurisdictional needs.

B. Eligible Organizations and Activities

RII Track-2 proposals may include support for academic, jurisdictional, profit and non-profit organizations, as well as eligible individuals employed by such organizations both inside and outside the consortium. In addition, cooperative programs among research universities within or across EPSCoR jurisdictions, or between a jurisdiction's research universities and predominately undergraduate institutions, especially minority serving institutions within the consortium, qualify for EPSCoR support.

In all cases, Project Directors/Principal Investigators of proposed EPSCoR projects must be affiliated with research universities, agencies, or organizations within the participant jurisdiction. Whereas the proposed project may employ collaborations between EPSCoR and non-EPSCoR participants, EPSCoR funding can only be requested and used for the EPSCoR-based components. In addition, all activities carried out under an EPSCoR award are subject to the restrictions concerning eligible science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and activities detailed in the NSF Proposal and Award Policy and Procedures (PAPP) Guide found on the NSF website at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/index.jsp.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 4

Duration: Award duration of up to 3 years

Anticipated Funding Amount: Up to $8 million in FY 2013 (pending quality of proposals and availability of funds)

Limitation of Awards:

  • RII Track-2 award amount may range from $1.5 to 2.0 million per year per consortium.
  • Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • RII Track-2 proposals may only be submitted by consortia of eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. No jurisdiction may participate in more than one project (active or proposed). The fiscal agent designated by the EPSCoR steering committee for each jurisdiction within the consortium, acting on behalf that jurisdiction, must submit a separately submitted collaborative proposal (see Chapter II, Section D.4 of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide).

PI Limit:

Principal Investigators/Project Directors of proposed RII Track-2 projects must be affiliated with research universities, agencies, or organizations within the consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

Eligible jurisdictions can participate in only one consortium, and can submit only one collaborative proposal.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

An investigator may serve as PI or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation.

Additional Eligibility Info:

A newly eligible jurisdiction must submit a successful planning grant proposal before Research Infrastructure Improvement proposals (RII Track-1 or RII Track-2) can be submitted. A "new" EPSCoR-eligible jurisdiction is defined as a State, US Territory, or US Commonwealth that (1) previously did not qualify via the established 0.75 percent criterion, but is declared eligible under the most recent publication of the annual NSF EPSCoR eligibility list (eligibility criteria) and (2) has demonstrated commitment to developing their research bases. Planning grant proposals can be submitted at any time following the most recent declaration of eligibility. In order to compete for an RII award, the "new" jurisdiction must have received an EPSCoR planning grant.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

The following instructions are specific to proposals submitted to the Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2) competition and supplement the NSF GPG and NSF Grants.gov Application Guide:

  • The jurisdiction's EPSCoR governing committee shall designate a fiscal agent/proposing organization for the project. Where possible, this should be the employing organization of the Project Director.
  • RII Track-2 proposals may only be submitted by consortia of eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. No jurisdiction may participate in more than one project (active or proposed). The fiscal agent designated by the EPSCoR steering committee for each jurisdiction within the consortium, acting on behalf of that jurisdiction, must submit a separately submitted collaborative proposal (see Chapter II D.4 of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide).
  • The proposal section labeled Project Description may not exceed 20 pages, including text, as well as any graphic or illustrative materials. Page limitations also apply to specific subsections of the proposal. Proposals that exceed the page limitations or that do not contain all items described below will be returned without review.

Note: Proposals that use the maximum number of pages in each subsection of the Project Description will not be in compliance with the overall 20 page limitation.

The RII Track-2 proposal must include the following elements:

1. NSF Cover Sheet

2. Project Summary (1 page maximum). Provide an overview, which briefly describes: the vision and goals of the consortium; a statement of the objectives and methods to be employed; expected impacts of the proposed activities; and plans for sustaining consortium-enabled collaborations and impacts beyond the award period. In separate statements provide a succinct summary of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed project. Proposals that do not contain the Project Summary, including an overview and separate statements on intellectual merit and broader impacts will not be accepted by FastLane or will be returned without review.

3. Table of Contents. The Table of Contents is automatically generated and cannot be edited.

4. Project Description (20 pages maximum). In addition to the requirements contained in GPG Chapter II C.2.d, the project description must include the shared collaborative vision of the consortium. It must also outline the goals and the proposed role and contributions of the consortium. In this context, the value and relevance of the consortium in addressing and contributing to the identified national challenge questions of regional or thematic importance should be clearly articulated. The project description must expand on the intellectual merit provided in the project summary and contain, as a separate section, the discussion of broader impacts; it should provide details of the science and engineering research and research-based education that will be facilitated by the proposed collaborations. It must clearly document the role of each jurisdiction in the project activities and the contributions of each member in achieving and implementing the proposed consortium activities and goals. A project timeline for the proposed activities must be included.

The project description must include clear, succinct goals and objectives for research and research-based education, workforce development, and sustainability. The details of how the proposed activities will engage the full diversity of the consortium in accomplishing the project goals should be described. The requested NSF support should be consistent with the project scope and activities to successfully pursue the goals. The project description must detail the integrative management structure, roles and responsibilities of key personnel, and the cross-jurisdiction implementation plans. Mechanisms for formative and summative evaluation of the project's progress should be described; the evaluation plan should also include how the project leadership will respond to evaluation findings and adjust strategies, if needed, to accomplish goals during the course of the project.

Elements of the project description are:

4.1 Background (2 pages maximum). Describe the motivation and rationale for establishing the consortium, including new opportunities to address regional, thematic, or national needs.

4.2 Results from Relevant Prior Support (2 pages maximum). In addition to the requirements described in GPG Chapter II C.2.d (iii) for the results from relevant prior NSF support, provide a summary of the relevance of that support to the proposed project activities.

4.3 Consortium-based Science and Engineering Program (12 pages maximum). Provide a comprehensive description of research and research-based education activities, and place them in regional, thematic, national, and international scientific contexts, as appropriate. Describe workforce development activities that focus on training a diverse group of next generation scientists, engineers, and educators. Diversity includes all types, e.g., institutional, individual, disciplinary, geographic, etc. The research and educational training should be designed to provide students with skills to work easily across disciplinary and other perceived boundaries and to interface with stakeholders such as academe, industry, government, and the general public. This section must also show how the project positions the consortium to develop a diverse science and engineering workforce that is capable of leading discoveries and innovation.

Present clearly how the consortium will collaboratively address all aspects of the project. Include a comprehensive description of the consortium-based project's goals, objectives, anticipated outcomes, timelines, and milestones. Provide compelling arguments for how the project activities will yield the desired objectives and outcomes. Explain how the proposed activities will stimulate sustainable improvements in research capacity and competitiveness of the consortium partners.

4.4 Evaluation and Assessment Plan (2 pages maximum). Provide a formative and summative evaluation and assessment plan, including goals, metrics, and milestones. Summarize how the metrics will be used to assess and evaluate the impacts and achievements of the project activities. The plan should detail annual metrics that indicate how the project is progressing towards developing and strengthening collaborations across the consortia and meeting the project goals, as well as mechanisms and strategies for course-corrections based on the evaluation feedback.

4.5 Sustainability Plan (2 pages maximum) Provide a plan for long-term sustainability of the proposed research, education, workforce development, and diversity activities. The plan must clearly describe the strategy for sustaining the impacts and achievements of the project beyond the award performance period. The plan should also include how proposed new hires, if any, will be supported beyond the award period.

4.6 Consortium Management and Coordination Plan (3 pages maximum). The management and coordination plan should detail the roles of senior personnel and partnering organizations in the project management and how the project leadership is coordinated across the consortium partners. The plan should also address the specific coordination mechanisms that will enable cross-jurisdiction and cross-discipline scientific integration.

5. References Cited. References cited in the project description should be listed in this section. See GPG Chapter II Section C.2.e. While there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the 20-page Project Description.

6. Biographical Sketches. Include a biographical sketch for each faculty-level participant according to standard NSF grant proposal guidelines. Include doctoral and postdoctoral advisors, and all PhD students supervised.

7. Budget Pages and Budget Justification. Budget should be consistent with and appropriate to the scope of the activities presented in the project description. Prepare budget pages for each year of support (1-3). A three-year cumulative budget page will be automatically generated. Each EPSCoR jurisdiction in the consortium must submit separate budget and budget justifications (not to exceed three pages). Identify and provide justification for all faculty level and equivalent personnel expected to receive greater than two months salary.

8. Current and Pending Support. List current and pending support for each faculty level and equivalent investigator. (Include this proposal at the top of the list of current and pending support.) See GPG Chapter II Section C.2.h.

9. Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources. Each EPSCoR jurisdiction in the consortium should provide a description of available facilities, equipment, and other relevant resources. See GPG Chapter II Section C.2.i..

10. Supplementary Documentation (in addition to those required by the GPG)

a. List of Participants. Provide a list of participating senior investigators (faculty level and equivalent) by name, organization, and departmental affiliation.

b. List of all institutions and companies involved in the project.

c. List of conflicts. A single, alphabetically ordered list of all people, in the academic or professional community, who have collaborated with (within the last 48 months), or have been a Ph.D. advisee or advisor of, any of the personnel involved in the proposed project including all advisory boards. In this list, please include, next to the name of each conflicted individual, that individual's institution or company and the name of the project member with whom he or she has the conflict of interest. It is not necessary to list, as collaborators, personnel who are simply employees of an institution or company involved in the project. The list must be ordered alphabetically by the first column, i.e. the last names of the conflicted individuals. Note that past or present association with an individual as a thesis advisor or thesis student presents a lifelong conflict of interest with that individual. All thesis advisees supervised must be listed in this table, not just those supervised within the last 48 months. See http://www.nsf.gov/attachments/116169/public/coi_form_1230p.pdf for additional details.

d. No Letters of Commitment should be included; for both the established and new collaborations included in this project, the role and extent of involvement should be clearly outlined in the project description.

e. Up to a maximum of three Letters of Support from partnering institutions/organizations or jurisdictional officials may be included.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Other Budgetary Limitations:

  • Funding requests can be for durations of up to 3 years. Annual budgets for all participants in the consortia may range from $1.5 to 2.0 million and cannot exceed $2.0 million.
  • Budgets should include sufficient funding for participation in evaluation activities.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         January 30, 2013

         Last Wednesday in January, Annually Thereafter

Last Wednesday in January, Annually Thereafter, until 2015.

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

    Detailed technical instructions regarding the technical aspects of preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

    Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

  • For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:
  • Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

    Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF either as ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal. In addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included in the GPG as Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: http://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Empowering the Nation Through Discovery and Innovation: NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011-2016. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the core strategies in support of NSF's mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students, and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the variety of learning perspectives.

Another core strategy in support of NSF's mission is broadening opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF's mission "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." NSF makes every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.

1. Merit Review Principles

These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:

  • All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
  • NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These "Broader Impacts" may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified.
  • Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project.

With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.

These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand their intent.

2. Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i. contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal.) Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i., prior to the review of a proposal.

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

  1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to
    1. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
    2. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

Reviewers for the RII Track-2 competition will also consider the following specific aspects of intellectual merit and broader impacts. (Note: The project does not have to address every question indicated below; however, how well they address items 1-6 below, how convincing are the activities likely to be successful in meeting the project and EPSCoR goals, and how good an investment is the project as evidenced by the scope/vision of the consortium are important.)

1. Consortium's Purpose and Contributions - Has the proposal clearly justified the purpose and goals for the consortium? Are the project's regional, thematic, or national relevance and importance clearly articulated? Are the collaborative activities and roles of each partner well defined? Does the proposal present a cohesive and well-integrated project in which all partnerships are meaningful? Is the consortium well-positioned to increase the science and technology capacity and competitiveness? What are the expected impacts and benefits to the region, nation, and the society?

2. Integration of Project Elements - How well are the different aspects - research, education, discovery, innovation, workforce development, diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, institutional, or geographical), sustainability, management, and evaluation - described and integrated in the project? What are the innovative ways in which the project addresses these components? Is there a realistic timeline? Is the requested budget appropriate for the scope of the proposed activities? What is the likelihood that the project and activities as presented will succeed in increasing the competitiveness of the consortium/jurisdictions?

3. Workforce Development - Are there adequate education and training activities that are well-integrated with the research? Are these activities aimed at producing new generation of skilled workforce capable of advancing frontier disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary research, handling twenty-first century challenges, and finding collective solutions? Do the activities demonstrate a commitment to increasing diversity and broadening participation of underrepresented groups in the project activities?

4. Evaluation and Assessment - How do the formative and summative evaluation plans assess progress, major impacts, and future directions? How effective is the proposed plan in measuring the outputs and outcomes of the project? How clear and appropriate are the proposed metrics ? How will the evaluation process and results be used by project leadership for monitoring and management? How adequately resourced are the evaluation and assessment tasks?

5. Sustainability - How clear, reasonable, and viable are the plans for sustainability? How will the consortium-based activities foster and sustain the activities and/or innovation in the long-term following EPSCoR support? Is there a credible plan to support new hires, if any, beyond the project period? How will each of the project's partners contribute to sustainability and how will the partnership evolve to ensure future progress in research, research-based education and innovation?

6. Management and Coordination - How well is the management structure described and how appropriate is that structure for effective management, coordination, and oversight of the consortium activities? Do the project leadership and management have adequate capacity to manage a complex, multi-faceted project such as the RII Track-2? Are the memberships and roles of the jurisdictions' EPSCoR governing committees and external advisors identified? Are plans for technical assistance or guidance appropriate? Are these members appropriately qualified and free of conflicts of interest?

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1); * or Research Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions:

The annual and final reports must include identification of numbers of women and members of other underrepresented groups in faculty and staff positions and as participants in the activities funded by the award.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). Within 90 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Kelvin Chu, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7860, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: kchu@nsf.gov

  • Sean C. Kennan, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7575, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: skennan@nsf.gov

  • Sian Mooney, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-2257, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: smooney@nsf.gov

  • Jeanne R. Small, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7378, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: jsmall@nsf.gov

  • Uma D. Venkateswaran, Program Director, 940, telephone: (703) 292-7732, fax: (703) 292-9047, email: uvenkate@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "My NSF" is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. "My NSF" also is available on NSF's website at http://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

nsfpubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230



Policies and Important Links

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