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National Science Foundation

NSF 13-029

Frequently Asked Questions for Solicitation NSF 13-500 - Cyber-Enabled Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES)

  1. How many CyberSEES proposals can I participate in?
  2. What is the maximum number of co-PIs that can be on a CyberSEES proposal?
  3. I am planning to submit a CyberSEES proposal. Does that limit the number of other proposals I can submit to other programs?
  4. Can I obtain a postdoctoral fellowship through the program?
  5. I was unable to submit a letter of intent by December 4, 2012. Can I nevertheless submit a CyberSEES proposal?
  6. Can employees of Federal Agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers submit proposals in response to this solicitation?
  7. Can I ask for support of foreign collaborators while they are in the U.S. or must such support come from a foreign organization?
  8. What is an interdisciplinary research team in the context of CyberSEES?
  9. My research is relevant to CyberSEES as well as another NSF program. To which program should I submit?
  10. I am not a computer scientist or computer engineer. Can I be the PI on a CyberSEES proposal?
  11. What is SRC's role in the CyberSEES solicitation?
  12. How do I indicate that my proposed research overlaps with SRC ERI interests?
  13. Do Type 1 and Type 2 proposals have different structures and different proposal preparation guidelines?
  14. Do CyberSEES proposals require data management plans? What other supplementary documents are necessary?
  15. Who can attend PI meetings? Can my students or post-doc attend the PI meeting?
  16. Can a CyberSEES project involve industry partners?
  17. Will there be future CyberSEES solicitations?

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  1. How many CyberSEES proposals can I participate in?
Only two (2). Any individual may appear as Principal Investigator (PI), co-PI, or other senior personnel on at most two proposals in response to this solicitation. This limitation includes proposals submitted by a lead organization, any sub-award submitted as part of a proposal, or any collaborative proposal. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review).
  1. What is the maximum number of co-PIs that can be on a CyberSEES proposal?

NSF does not allow more than one PI and 4 co-PIs on the cover page. Any other personnel contributing to the project (except students and postdocs) should be listed as senior personnel.

  1. I am planning to submit a CyberSEES proposal. Does that limit the number of other proposals I can submit to other programs?

No. Being a PI, co-PI, or senior personnel on a CyberSEES proposal has no impact on any PI limits in other NSF solicitations, including other SEES or CISE programs.

  1. Can I obtain a postdoctoral fellowship through the program?

A proposal may request funding for a postdoctoral scholar as part of the project. However, the program does not accept applications for individual postdoctoral traineeships.

  1. I was unable to submit a letter of intent by December 4, 2012. Can I nevertheless submit a CyberSEES proposal?

No. Letters of intent are required and must have been received by December 4. Please see Section V.A. of the solicitation for more detail.

  1. Can employees of Federal Agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers submit proposals in response to this solicitation?

NSF does not normally support research or educational activities by scientists, engineers or educators employed by Federal agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) sponsored by agencies other than NSF. A scientist, engineer or educator who has a joint appointment with a university and a Federal agency (such as a Veterans Administration Hospital, or with a university and a FFRDC) may submit proposals through the university and may receive support if he/she is a bona fide faculty member of the university, although part of his/her salary may be provided by the Federal agency (see http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=papp). Furthermore, scientists, engineers, or educators employed by non-NSF-sponsored FFRDCs can be sub-awardees on a project led by an entity, such as a university, that is eligible to apply for grants from NSF. Such a sub-award typically does not provide funds for salary, but can provide funds for travel to work with collaborators on the project or for students to work on the project as interns in FFRDC labs.

  1. Can I ask for support of foreign collaborators while they are in the U.S. or must such support come from a foreign organization?

Foreign collaborators are expected to cover their project costs. CyberSEES awards cannot be used to pay for foreign researchers while they are outside the US, or for their travel costs to visit the US; however, costs of hosting them at a US institution for a short period may be considered on a reciprocal basis if required for the success of the project.

  1. What is an interdisciplinary research team in the context of CyberSEES?

Each team is required to contain at least two investigators working in different disciplines. The program is open to a wide range of sustainability challenges and interdisciplinary approaches, and aims to advance computing and information sciences research and infrastructure in tandem with other disciplines. See Section VI. A.2 of the solicitation for more information on CyberSEES-specific review criteria. While all sustainability factors (social, economic and environmental) must be considered in the proposal, the research team does not have to have a PI or co-PI from each of these disciplines. The project vision should situate the proposed collaborative research within a clearly articulated context of larger sustainability goals, and the project team should be informed by all relevant perspectives.

  1. My research is relevant to CyberSEES as well as another NSF program. To which program should I submit?
We recognize that some projects will lie in the intersection of areas targeted by two (or more) programs. However, we expect that in nearly all cases, the project will fit one program better than the other(s). Prospective PIs should read the solicitations carefully, talk with Program Directors if needed for clarification, and then determine which program best matches their research goals. It is our belief that the best proposals are those driven by the goals and dreams of the researchers rather than those force-fit to a particular solicitation. Proposers are reminded that duplicate or substantially similar proposals may not be submitted for concurrent review. We do not anticipate that CyberSEES proposals will be co-reviewed with other programs.
  1. I am not a computer scientist or computer engineer. Can I be the PI on a CyberSEES proposal?

Yes. CyberSEES projects are expected to advance other disciplines in tandem with computing or cyberinfrastructure research. Project leadership should be determined according to the specific needs of the interdisciplinary project.

  1. What is SRC's role in the CyberSEES solicitation?
The Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) is a partner with NSF in CyberSEES, through its Energy Research Initiative (ERI) program. SRC is not involved in the full scope of CyberSEES. SRC ERI and NSF expect to co-fund projects that address computational aspects of smart infrastructures, in particular the smart electric grid. Topics of interest to SRC ERI include, but are not limited to, efficient and secure electrical power management at multiple scales and integration of renewable energy resources and home energy systems into an aware and enabled electric grid. Projects selected for joint funding by NSF and SRC ERI will be funded through separate NSF and SRC ERI funding instruments. For each such project, NSF support will be provided via an NSF grant and SRC ERI support will be provided via an SRC ERI contract.

  1. How do I indicate that my proposed research overlaps with SRC ERI interests?

Proposals to be considered for joint funding by NSF and SRC ERI must include a statement of consent from the proposing institution(s) that indicates NSF may share with SRC ERI the proposal, reviews generated for the proposal, and related information. The statement of consent must be uploaded into the Supplementary Documents section in Fastlane or Grants.gov. Proposals that do not contain this statement will not be considered for joint funding by NSF and SRC ERI.

  1. Do Type 1 and Type 2 proposals have different structures and different proposal preparation guidelines?

Yes. The project description of a Type 1 proposal is limited to 10 pages. The project description of a Type 2 proposal is subject to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG-see NSF 13-1) limit of 15 pages. Type 2 proposals must be structured as described in Section V.A.B of the solicitation. For Type 1 proposals, investigators are encouraged to incorporate the elements described in Section V.A.B within the page limit.

  1. Do CyberSEES proposals require data management plans? What other supplementary documents are necessary?

Yes. All NSF proposals require Data Management Plans, as specified in the GPG. In addition, the solicitation requires all Type 2 CyberSEES proposals to include a management and collaboration plan, submitted as a supplementary document not exceeding 3 pages in length. Proposals to be considered for joint funding by NSF and SRC ERI must also include a statement of consent. See Section V.A.C. for more information.

  1. Who can attend PI meetings? Can my students or post-doc attend the PI meeting?

Each project will be required to send at least one investigator to each meeting. For a typical project it will be appropriate to plan for two investigators representing complementary expertise in computational and sustainability aspects of a project to attend the PI meetings. Students and post-docs cannot substitute for the principal investigators but may be allowed to attend in addition to the investigators if the meeting site has sufficient capacity. Proposal budgets are expected to include travel costs for attending the PI meetings. For more information see section V.B of the solicitation.

  1. Can a CyberSEES project involve industry partners?

NSF highly values collaboration with industry to enhance the relevance and impact of academic research. The GOALI Program (NSF 12-513) is one mechanism that can support costs of industry researcher participation in the project. GOALI can also support student internships at the industry and travel costs for the faculty and students for industrial collaboration, among other things.

  1. Will there be future CyberSEES solicitations?

The CyberSEES program is one component of the NSF's Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) activities, a foundation-wide effort aimed at addressing the challenge of sustainability through support for interdisciplinary research and education. Future annual deadlines will depend on the availability of funds.

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