text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text
Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation

NSF 14-092

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for NSF 14-567, Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)

  1. What types of organizations are eligible for the Organizational PAESMEM award?
  2. Who is eligible for Individual PAESMEM awards?
  3. May more than one individual or organization from the same institution be nominated in the same competition?
  4. Should I Nominate the Individual Team Members or the Organization?
  5. How do I nominate someone or an organization for the award?
  6. May an individual or organization self-nominate?
  7. What must be included in the Individual nomination package?
  8. What must be included in the Organizational nomination package?
  9. How do I submit my nomination materials?
  10. How will I know that my materials have been received?
  11. I did not see my nomination submission in FastLane. What should I do?
  12. Will partial nomination packages be considered?
  13. Does the mentoring effort have to be directed to undergraduate STEM students?
  14. Does the program recognize mentoring of early career scientists and engineers?
  15. What are the groups underrepresented in STEM?
  16. Does a nomination need letters of support?
  17. Is there a preferred format for letters of support?
  18. To whom should the letters of support be addressed?
  19. How are letters of support submitted?
  20. What is the timeline for announcing PAESMEM Awardees and for the award ceremony?
  21. How will I be notified that I am selected for the award?
  22. Do I have to attend the award ceremony to receive the award?
  23. Will all organizational representatives be invited to the ceremony?
  24. Can I withdraw my nomination?

ELIGIBILITY

1. What types of organizations are eligible for the Organizational PAESMEM award?

An Organizational nominee must be affiliated with a U.S. educational institution or agency, corporation, foundation, military or government agency, or not-for-profit organization. The Organizational nominee may be a mentoring program or activity within an organization. Examples might include but are not limited to: an early career mentoring program for new researchers at a National Laboratory; a university mentoring program for first-generation and low-income college students; or a high school adoption program sponsored by a corporation. Organizational nominees must have at least five years of exceptional mentoring with demonstrated impact on individuals underrepresented in STEM.

2. Who is eligible for Individual PAESMEM awards?

U.S. citizens or permanent residents in industry, academia, primary and secondary education, military, non-profit organizations, foundations, and government are eligible. Some exceptions apply to eligibility for federal employees. Please refer to the solicitation for full details on exceptions.

Individuals must have had at least 5 years of sustained, exceptional mentoring experience with demonstrated impact on individuals underrepresented in STEM.

3. May more than one individual or organization from the same institution be nominated in the same competition?

Yes. Multiple programs or individuals from the same institution may be nominated. However each program or individual may be nominated only once in a competition.

4. Should I Nominate the Individual Team Members or the Organization?

We recommend that you communicate directly with the individual(s) or organization about your interest in nominating them for the award and volunteer to write one of the required letters of support if they choose to submit nomination materials. At this time, teams are ineligible for the PAESMEM award. An organizational nomination may be more appropriate which would recognize the program and the program’s representatives. The organization would be the recipient of the PAESMEM award.

NOMINATION PROCESS

5. How do I nominate someone or an organization for the award?

We recommend that you communicate directly with the individual or organization about your interest in nominating them for the award and volunteer to write one of the required letters of support if they choose to submit nomination materials. Nominations should be prepared and submitted by the nominee if someone else is the nominator.

You may also send contact information for the Individual nominee or Organizational nominee to PAESMEM@nsf.gov before August 1, 2014 and NSF will send the nominee information about the award program. Please allow sufficient time for the nominee to assemble a strong nomination package. All completed nomination packages are due by 6 p.m. the nominee’s local time on Friday, October 3, 2014 via NSF's FastLane System or Grants.gov.

6. May an individual or organization self-nominate?

Yes. You do not need to notify NSF of your intention to self-nominate. Simply submit the completed nomination package via NSF's FastLane System or Grants.gov by 6 p.m. the nominee's local time on Friday, October 3, 2014.

SUBMITTING NOMINATIONS

7. What must be included in the Individual nomination package?

The individual nomination package must include a cover sheet, project summary, project description, references cited, biographical sketch or resume for the nominee or organizational representative(s) and letters of support. The project description should include the following sections: (1) a description of the mentoring philosophy; (2) a description of the mentoring accomplishments. A minimum of two letters of support are required (no more than a maximum of four (4) letters of support) should be uploaded in the supplementary documentation section of the FastLane module. A resume or CV for the nominee should be uploaded in the biographical sketch module of the FastLane module. Refer to the PAESMEM solicitation (NSF 14-567) for more details. Note that there are documents that are not required but must be submitted with text for the nomination to be successfully submitted in NSF's FastLane System. See the full solicitation for a listing of documents required for a complete nomination package. The project description page limit is up to eight (8) pages.

Appendices are not permitted as part of the nomination submission. References cited may be included as appropriate in the "References Cited" section of the FastLane Nomination Module.

8. What must be included in the Organizational nomination package?

The organizational nomination package must include a cover sheet, project summary, project description, references cited, biographical sketches or resumes for the nominee or organizational representative(s) and letters of support. The project description should include the following sections: (1) a description of the organization; (2) a description of the mentoring philosophy; (3) a description of the mentoring accomplishments. A minimum of two letters of support are required (no more than a maximum of five (5) letters of support) should be uploaded in the supplementary documentation section of the FastLane module. Resumes or CVs for up to five organizational representatives should be uploaded in the biographical sketch module. Refer to the PAESMEM solicitation (NSF 14-567) for more details. Note that there are documents that are not required but must be submitted with text for the nomination to be successfully submitted in NSF's FastLane System. See the full solicitation for a listing of documents required for a complete nomination package. The project description page limit is up to nine (9) pages.

Appendices are not permitted as part of the nomination submission. References cited may be included as appropriate in the "References Cited" section of the FastLane Nomination Module.

9. How do I submit my nomination materials?

PAESMEM nominations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane System or Grants.gov. There is a registration process for both systems before nominations can be submitted. Because in most instances awardees will be provided cash proceeds, individuals and organizations must register as an unaffiliated entity. Please refer to the PAESMEM solicitation for registration instructions and technical assistance. Nominations submitted via email will not be accepted.

10. How will I know that my materials have been received?

Once your nomination has been successfully submitted, you may log onto FastLane to verify receipt of the nomination using the nomination number assigned.

11. I did not see my nomination submission in FastLane. What should I do?

If you are unable to locate your nomination in FastLane, please email PAESMEM@nsf.gov. The PAESMEM team will follow-up with you via call or email regarding your inquiry.

12. Will partial nomination packages be considered?

No. You must ensure that all of the required sections described in the PAESMEM solicitation NSF 14-567 are included in the FastLane or Grants.gov submission by the deadline. Incomplete nominations will be returned without review. Nominations will also be returned without review if additional unrequired documents are included in the nomination package. Please refer to the solicitation for all components required for a complete PAESMEM nomination submission.

MENTORING ACTIVITIES AND OUTCOMES

13. Does the mentoring effort have to be directed to undergraduate STEM students?

No, the mentees can be students in formal and informal settings and at any education level (elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate). Note that PAESMEM also recognizes mentoring of early career scientists, technicians, mathematicians, and engineers who have already completed their degree or training. See item 15 for description of early career scientists and engineers. You should explain why you have targeted the populations you have identified for the mentoring activities.

14. Does the program recognize mentoring of early career scientists and engineers?

Yes. Early career scientists, technicians, mathematicians, and engineers include: post-associate, post-baccalaureate, post-masters, or post-doctoral individuals; new STEM faculty; new STEM K-12 teachers; and other early career STEM professionals in the public and private sectors. You should explain your definition of early career in your nomination materials.

15. What are the groups that are underrepresented in STEM?

PAESMEM recognizes individuals for their mentoring of persons from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, women, persons with disabilities, and persons from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields include African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, and Native Alaskans. These are groups who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in STEM education or careers.

You may want to refer to data to clarify that the groups that you have targeted with your mentoring activities are underrepresented in STEM in your nomination materials. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is not allowed in any of the sections of the nomination. PII data includes Social Security Numbers, date and place of birth, demographic data (race, ethnicity, gender, disability status) and home addresses/telephone numbers.

LETTERS OF SUPPORT

16. Does a nomination need letters of support?

Yes. A minimum of two (2) letters of support are required for each type of award. A maximum of four (4) letters of support are recommended for individual awards and a maximum of five (5) letters of support are recommended for organizational awards.

Letters of support from a variety of individuals familiar with the nominee and mentoring work, including mentees and colleagues, are acceptable.

17. Is there a preferred format for the letters of support?

We leave the format of the letter up to the author. However, it should be clear who has written the letter and what his/her relationship is to the nominee. You may want to suggest that the letter author address the selection criteria listed in the call for nominations (impact, significance and quality of the mentoring) and whenever possible to provide relevant information that was not included in the other nomination materials.

18. To whom should the letters of support be addressed?

There is no requirement for a full NSF address to be included in the letter and we have not specified to whom the letter should be addressed. Therefore, letters of support may be addressed to:

PAESMEM Program Officials
Division of Human Resource Development
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 815
Arlington, VA 22230

19. How are letters of support submitted?

All letters of support must be included in the supplementary documents section of the proposal. Letters of support cannot be accepted separately through email, U.S. mail or any other delivery method.

AWARD DETAILS

20. What is the timeline for announcing PAESMEM Awardees and for the award ceremony?

We cannot anticipate when the PAESMEM awards are announced. The timing of the awards notification and of the award ceremony is carefully coordinated with the White House calendar and in the past there has not been a fixed annual date for the awards notification or awards ceremony.

21. How will I be notified if I am selected for the award?

Awardees will be notified by the NSF and/or the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Nominees that were not selected will be notified by the NSF. Please note that the OSTP may contact nominees for security and background information. This initial contact is not a guarantee of an eventual award.

22. Do I have to attend the award ceremony to receive the award?

No. You will be invited to participate, but you are not required to participate in the award ceremony or other events in order to receive the award.

23. Will all organizational representatives be invited to the ceremony?

NSF will sponsor one representative and one guest for participation in recognition events. The agency anticipates that all the organizational representatives included in the nomination will receive an invitation to participate in some of the sessions related to the award ceremony. However, participation will be at their own expense and some events and meetings will be limited to the primary organizational representative at the discretion of NSF and the White House.

24. Can I withdraw my nomination?

Yes. The NSF FastLane has an option for withdrawal. Withdrawal of the nomination may occur anytime before the nominations are reviewed. Please contact PAESMEM@nsf.gov if you are planning to withdraw your nomination.

Back to Top of page