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Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE)
National Science Foundation
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
November 15, 2010
The REESE program has removed the labels "Contextual Research" and "Emerging Topics" used in the previous solicitation to distinguish the strands of research supported. As a result, text (and sometimes content) in all the strands has been revised.
REESE has added a new strand on Implementation Research.
The REESE program has changed the name of Knowledge Diffusion awards to Synthesis awards. Large Empirical proposals do not require collaborations of multiple institutions and are no longer permitted to include a supplemental coordination plan.
Investigators are no longer required to include the research strand or project type in the proposal title. Investigators are still requested to include the research strand and project type in the first sentence of the Project Summary.
In Part V, under Proposal Preparation Instructions, the solicitation provides additional detail on expectations for research design and methodology for all proposals.
Investigators requesting financial support for postdoctoral fellows should be aware that the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) specifies that each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. This mentoring plan, if required, should be included in the Supplementary Documents (not part of the 15-page Project Description). Proposals that do not comply with this requirement will be returned without review (see the PAPPG; Part I: Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II for further information about this requirement).
Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE)
Synopsis of Program:
The Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program seeks to advance research at the frontiers of STEM learning, education, and evaluation, and to provide the foundational knowledge necessary to improve STEM teaching and learning at all educational levels and in all settings. This solicitation calls for four types of proposals-Pathways, Synthesis, Empirical Research, and Large Empirical Research.
The goals of the REESE program are: (1) to catalyze discovery and innovation at the frontiers of STEM learning, education, and evaluation; (2) to stimulate the field to produce high quality and robust research results through the progress of theory, method, and human resources; and (3) to coordinate and transform advances in education, learning research, and evaluation. REESE pursues its mission by developing an interdisciplinary research portfolio focusing on core scientific questions about STEM learning in current and emerging learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, and from before school through to graduate school and beyond into the workforce. REESE places particular importance upon the involvement of young investigators in the projects, at doctoral, postdoctoral, and early career stages, as well as the involvement of STEM disciplinary experts. In addition, research questions related to educational research methodology and evaluation are central to the REESE activity.
Cognizant Program Officer(s):
Address questions to REESE program officers, telephone: (703)292-8650, email: DRLREESE@nsf.gov
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):
Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 23 to 40
Between 23 - 40 awards for the competition in FY 2011, pending availability of funds. Approximately 5-10 Pathways, 5-10 Synthesis, 10-15 Empirical, and 3-5 Large Empirical awards will be funded, depending upon availability of funds.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $29,000,000
$29,000,000 for awards in FY 2011, pending availability of funds. The maximum award for Pathways projects is $250,000 with duration of up to two years. The maximum award for Synthesis projects is $250,000 with duration of up to two years. The maximum award for Empirical Research projects is $1,500,000 with duration of up to three years. The maximum award for Large Empirical Research projects is $2,500,000 with duration of up to five years.
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:
A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
B. Budgetary Information
C. Due Dates
November 15, 2010
Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria apply.
Award Conditions: Standard NSF award conditions apply.
Reporting Requirements: Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
About the National Science Foundation and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is charged with promoting the vitality of the nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education enterprises. As part of this mission, the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) has primary responsibility for providing national and research-based leadership in STEM education. EHR emphasizes six themes in fulfilling this responsibility:
To address these themes, the Directorate sponsors programs in the Divisions of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), Undergraduate Education (DUE), Graduate Education (DGE), and Human Resource Development (HRD). The REESE program is managed in DRL.
About the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings
DRL invests in projects to enhance STEM learning for people of all ages in both formal and informal learning settings. Its mission includes promoting innovative and transformative research and development, and evaluation of learning and teaching in all STEM disciplines. New and emerging areas of STEM must play prominent roles in efforts to improve STEM education. The integration of cutting-edge STEM content and the engagement of STEM researchers are encouraged in all DRL initiatives. DRL's role is to be a catalyst for change by advancing theory, method, measurement, development, evaluation, and application in STEM education. The Division seeks to support both development of promising new ideas and large-scale implementation of proven educational innovations. The Division's programs offer a set of complementary approaches for advancing research, development, and field-based improvements.
Each of these programs is intended to improve their field's capacity for STEM teaching and learning. They are central to NSF's strategic goals of Learning and Discovery, helping to cultivate a world-class and broadly inclusive STEM workforce, expanding the scientific literacy of all citizens, and promoting research that advances the frontiers of knowledge. The REESE program solicitation focuses on research on learning across all ages and settings. Other DRL solicitations may have overlap with REESE on particular settings or ages. Potential investigators are encouraged to study all DRL solicitations for their applicability to the topic of study.
DRL and Innovation
All research and development activities within DRL aim at generating knowledge and transforming practice in STEM education. DRL's programs are designed to complement each other within a cycle of research and development that forms the conceptual framework for its programs (adapted from RAND, 2003; American Statistical Association, 2007; NSF, 2005). All DRL programs are concerned with all five components of the cycle (see Figure 1) to varying degrees. Work in each part of the cycle forms a foundation for transition to the next part of the cycle.
Projects funded by DRL are providing the ideas, resources, and human capacity to advance STEM education and learning in the 21st Century:
The major distinction between the DR K-12 and REESE programs is that DR K-12 projects focus on development and study of specific resources, models and technologies designed to improve STEM education in PreK-12 schools, while REESE projects focus primarily on building theory and knowledge about STEM education across learning contexts and ages. The outcomes of DR K-12 projects will be STEM education innovations and design principles that are informed by research and tested in practice. The primary outcomes of REESE projects will be research findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives about STEM education. Proposers who are in doubt about the appropriate program for funding of their work should consult an NSF Program Officer with either program.
The goals of the REESE program are: (1) to catalyze discovery and innovation at the frontiers of STEM learning, education, and evaluation; (2) to stimulate the field to produce high quality and robust research results through the progress of theory, method, analysis, and human resources; and (3) to coordinate and transform advances in research and evaluation on learning and education.
REESE supports research that seeks transformative and novel answers to foundational questions about what STEM concepts can be learned by whom, when, how, and where. The initial benefits of REESE proposals are primarily up-stream. They ought to have the potential to advance the relevant research and evaluation literatures. REESE pursues its mission by developing a research portfolio focusing on core scientific questions of STEM learning and education. REESE-supported research is often multi- and inter-disciplinary, drawing on the expertise of STEM content experts, STEM education researchers and evaluators, cognitive and social scientists, and experts from other areas of practice and scholarship. REESE projects may focus on any age range and any setting, including schools, homes, museums, and science centers. REESE studies should employ research designs and methodologies that are appropriate to the goals of the research. Proposals should have a strong connection to a STEM content area. Proposals should indicate who the direct audiences are for the results, whether other communities of researchers, materials developers, teacher-educators, policy analysts, or policymakers-and who may eventually benefit from the research and how, even if the potential impact is long-term and indirect (e.g., as would be the case with some cognitive or neuroscientific studies).
The REESE program challenges scholarly communities to put forward groundbreaking ideas, concepts, theories, and measurement and methodological approaches that focus on one or more of the following topical strands. These strands do not constitute an exhaustive or mutually exclusive set of priorities or possibilities.
- National STEM education policies
Education policy studies, analyses, and evaluations are designed to provide policymakers with systematic, scholarly information that addresses educational issues and problems that are of importance to society. REESE encourages STEM education related policy research that seeks to understand the ways organizations and whole systems respond to laws, regulations, and other interventions across various levels (e.g., international, national, state, district, school, or university and college).
Policy studies may address such entities as K-12 school systems, informal educational organizations, institutions of higher education (including minority serving institutions), community organizations, and the general public. Examples of possible topics include: (1) the impacts and potential effects of recommendations from policy-oriented reports (e.g., National Research Council, national organizations, or private foundations); (2) the use of data-driven decision-making environments for the improvement of STEM learning; (3) standards and frameworks (such as the K-12 Common Core and ABET standards); (4) large-scale testing policies and the selection of materials and curriculum; (5) the recruitment, preparation, continuing development, and retention of STEM educators, and (6) rewards and incentive structures for organizational change.
- Research on implementation
REESE encourages research in pursuit of knowledge and theory around the implementation, diffusion, and use of research-based knowledge and specific innovations and reforms. Such research should be designed to better understand, explain, model, and predict the processes by which a STEM education innovation is adopted and implemented, successfully or unsuccessfully, in STEM education contexts. REESE invites researchers to investigate: (1) the nature of implementation--partial versus full, pseudo versus genuine adoption, fidelity of versus adaptation and adaptability, top-down versus bottom-up, cyber or technology-enabled versus face-to-face, institutionalization versus evolution, concurrent or successive implementations, and simple use versus use and transformation; (2) the processes and environments for implementation--the organization or system, audiences, partnerships, social networks, intermediaries, individual and group behaviors, and additional translational research, and (3) the nature of the innovation or reform--its complexity, its embodiment as physical artifact or knowledge endowment, knowledge prerequisites for its use, usability, and instrumental or indirect usefulness.
- STEM learning in formal and informal settings
REESE seeks to expand and improve upon novel, fundamental, and transformative research and theory about how people learn in and across STEM disciplines and in applied learning contexts with the intent that these contributions will serve as the knowledge precursors necessary for the development and enactment of future educational improvements. Such research may address characteristics of students, instructors, administrators, parents, students, policymakers, or others.
REESE welcomes proposals that explore: (1) the interrelationships among teaching, learning, and assessment such as learning progressions that create new models for STEM learning across grade levels; (2) affective dimensions of learning, such as what motivates and sustains learner interest in STEM and what fosters engagement and persistence; (3) informal contexts and contexts that blur the boundary between formal and informal, such as early-childhood learning and parent-child interactions, home schooling, out-of-school programs, programs that broaden participation and diversity, programs for at-risk students, technical training programs, alternative organizational designs for education and learning, and emergent virtual learning structures and environments; (4) learning contexts such as small and large group environments, socio-economics, culture, language, politics, and geography; and (5) the effectiveness of different instructional strategies in particular organizational and social situations (e.g., peer tutoring, inquiry-based, laboratory experiences, and cooperative). REESE encourages research proposals that explore these areas in concert and at multiple organizational or systems levels. Note that informal STEM education research projects that place greater emphasis on practice should be submitted to the Informal Science Education (ISE) Program.
- Cyberlearning and learning technologies
REESE encourages proposals that test claims that cyberlearning and the use of learning technologies promote different and improved ways of learning STEM content or allow for the learning of STEM content that would not otherwise be possible. Cyberlearning can be defined as learning that is mediated by networked computing and communications technologies (NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning, 2008). Learning technologies are the array of computer-based tools and systems are that designed to improve learning and other outcomes of interest (e.g., visualization and simulation technologies, games, cognitive tutors, mobile technological devices).
REESE welcomes proposals about cyberlearning and educational technology that focus on topics such as: (1) the types of STEM content that are most effectively learned in such environments, whether individually or collaboratively; (2) how best to represent, make accessible, and deliver content; (3) how best to support teaching using learning technologies and environments; (4) how to determine the validity of technology enhanced approaches to learning and instruction; and (5) how to use cyberlearning and educational technology to enhance interest in and positive attitudes toward STEM topics and careers.
- Methods, models, and measures for research and evaluation
The REESE program is committed to advancing the state of the art in STEM education research and evaluation by supporting projects to improve or develop new qualitative and quantitative methods, analytic tools, models, and measures related to STEM education and learning. This may include the development of novel methods, the expansion or refinement of existing methods and measures, or the transfer and application of methods and models from other disciplines (e.g., anthropology, computer and information science, economics, engineering, and epidemiology).
REESE supports: (1) development and application of innovative methods and analytic techniques including novel approaches to cause, explanation, and prediction; the integration and reduction of data; new means of data collection and analysis; cross-method verification (e.g., triangulation); narrative and text analysis; and ways of dealing with multiple levels of data and units of analysis; (2) the development, testing, refinement, and application of qualitative, statistical, mathematical, and conceptual models, including hierarchical or structural, value-added, qualitative inductive, Bayesian, hazard or survival, propensity score matching, and machine learning or agent-based models; and (3) the theoretical and empirical development and psychometric testing of measures and instruments as applied to STEM education and learning research, such as the assessment of cognitive (e.g., knowledge, ability, performance), behavioral, and affective (e.g., attitude, engagement) outcomes at the individual, program, organization, or systems levels.
- Cognitive underpinnings of STEM learning
REESE encourages proposals about the cognitive processes underlying the learning and teaching of STEM content. This research should produce knowledge about the nature of STEM learning, teaching, and thinking that has important implications for research and development efforts, as assumptions about cognitive processes are implicit, and often explicit, in a range of STEM instructional materials (e.g., curricula, standards, and museum exhibit design), teaching practices, and assessments in both formal and informal contexts.
REESE invites proposals that address a range of cognitive questions central to STEM learning such as: (1) how the initial, transitional, and target knowledge states of the learners ought best to be characterized; (2) what the developmental course of such learning is and how it can be enhanced; (3) what the component concepts are that learners must know in order to understand more complex STEM concepts and how can that understanding be measured; (4) why some concepts are easy to learn or intuitive while others are difficult to learn or counterintuitive and prone to alternative interpretation or misconception, (5) what individual or group differences have valid implications for STEM learning (e.g., culturally-relevant curricula or assessment); and (6) how multi-media and representations of knowledge can affect a diverse set of learners. REESE encourages proposals that focus on executive functioning, reasoning, conceptual representation, attention, memory, problem-solving, language, categorization, and statistical learning in these and related STEM learning topics.
- Neural bases of STEM learning
In order to gain traction on fundamental questions of mind and body as related to STEM learning, REESE supports innovative combinations of theory, empirical techniques, and levels of analysis from a wide range of disciplines. An important goal of these activities is to identify paths by which multidisciplinary research anchored in the neural and physiological bases of human learning has the potential to inform practice.
REESE encourages projects that have implications - even if indirect and in the long-term - for such topics as: (1) how one might begin to derive principles for the development STEM instructional materials and practices based on what we know of relatively fixed constraints on neural systems; (2) whether aspects of executive functioning are relatively less constrained and how they might be manipulated by structured interventions or experiences to optimize STEM learning; (3) how advances in our understandings of neural and physiological systems can support or undermine claims made at another level of analysis (e.g., the computational or behavioral) about the nature of STEM learning and its developmental course; (4) what we know about the aging brain (including not only the very young or adolescent, but also the middle and old aged brain) and what are its implications for STEM learning or for expert decision-making and problem solving; and (5) what implications cognitive neuroscientific studies have for educational measurement and the assessment of individual differences and for claims about the range of intellectual abilities that might be involved in STEM expertise.
REESE may support a few well-focused conferences or workshops related to the goals of the program. Budgets are expected to be related to the duration of the event and the number of participants. Typical costs are around $100,000 (see exception for Synthesis proposals, C. 2 below). Proposals should include a conceptual framework for the conference, a draft agenda, a possible participant list, and the outcomes or products that will result from the conference. Proposals may be submitted at any time, generally at least one year in advance of when the conference would be held. Please see the NSF Grant Proposal Guide, GPG Section II. D., for additional information about conference and workshop proposals.
This solicitation calls for four types of proposals: Pathways, Synthesis, Empirical Research, and Large Empirical Research. The proposal type and its research strand(s) should be specified in the first sentence of the project summary. It is not necessary to include the proposal type or research strand into the project title (as was required by previous REESE solicitations).
- Pathways Projects
Pathways projects are small-scale studies that include proof-of-concept and feasibility studies-work that is on a path toward a major project (i.e., Synthesis, Empirical, or Large Scale Empirical) but requires that empirical foundations be established before major projects can be deemed warranted and competitive in the review process. Pathways proposals must describe relevant literature, research questions, data to be gathered, and analytic approaches that will be taken. Pathways proposals cannot request funds for upfront planning, and organizational work (such as proposal literature reviews) normally required for submission of a major proposal. Not all of the Pathways projects will necessarily result in a subsequent proposal. However, for those that do, the results and implications of the Pathways work must be explicitly described. Pathways projects cannot exceed $250,000 (total) and a duration of two years.
- Synthesis proposals
Synthesis projects are small grants for the synthesis and/or meta-analysis of existing knowledge on a topic of critical importance to STEM learning, education, and/or evaluation, or for the diffusion of research-based knowledge. Synthesis proposals should identify areas where the knowledge base is sufficiently robust to support strong scientific claims, identify areas of importance to education research or practice, and propose rigorous methods for synthesizing findings and drawing conclusions from a range of relevant literatures. Proposals should identify the criteria to be used for including or excluding studies in the synthesis. Investigators are permitted to propose workshops and other meetings as a means of completing the syntheses and diffusing the research-based knowledge that is developed. Additional emphasis will be placed on the proposed dissemination plan. Maximum award size for Synthesis proposals is $250,000 (total) for duration of up to two years.
- Empirical Research proposals
These projects are designed to support the design and conduct of research and evaluation projects including the collection of new empirical data or the use of secondary analyses from existing state, national, international or other databases. Maximum award size for Empirical Research proposals is $1,500,000 (total) for up to three years in duration.
- Large Empirical Research proposals
REESE will support a limited number of empirical projects up to $2,500,000 (total) for up to five years. Proposals must carefully justify why a budget of this size would be required to carry out the research. These proposals may involve teams of multi-disciplinary experts working on conceptually related problems, longitudinal studies of a large sample of participants, randomized controlled trials of an intervention whose efficacy has been established in more limited conditions, group randomized designs, replication studies, and studies focused on scale-up or national initiatives.
American Educational Research Association (2007). Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
American Statistical Association (2007). Using statistics effectively in mathematics education research. Retrieved June 24, 2010 from http://www.amstat.org/research_grants/pdfs/SMERReport.pdf
National Research Council. (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council. (2002). Scientific research in education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K-8. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council (2009). Learning science in informal environments: People, places, and pursuits. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Science Foundation (2005). The mathematics education portfolio brief, (NSF 05-03). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2010 from https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf0503/nsf0503.pdf.
NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning. (2008). Fostering learning in the networked world: The cyberlearning opportunity and challenge, (NSF 08-204). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2010 from https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2008/nsf08204/nsf08204.pdf.
Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. NSF expects to make standard or continuing grant awards. The estimated number of awards will be 23 to 40 for the competition in FY 2011, pending availability of funds. It is anticipated that about 5-10 Pathways, 5-10 Knowledge Diffusion, 10-15 Empirical, and 3-5 Large Empirical awards will be made. The anticipated funding amount is $29,000,000 for the FY 2011 competition, pending availability of funds. The maximum award for Pathways projects is $250,000 with duration of up to two years. The maximum award for Synthesis projects is $250,000 with duration of up to two years. The maximum award for Empirical research projects is $1,500,000 with duration of up to three years. The maximum award for Large Empirical research projects is $2,500,000 with duration of up to five years.
The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I, Section E.
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:
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.
In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:
Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.4 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.
The REESE program has five additional preparation requirements that each proposal must address: (1) letters of agreement to participate, (2) research design and methodology, (3) project personnel and management, (4) dissemination, and (5) project evaluation.
Letters of agreement to participate: As appropriate, there are two types of letters that may be included in the supplementary documents section of the proposal. First, proposals are expected to include letters of agreement to participate from all appropriate organizations that provide the context for data collection and/or play a substantial role in ensuring access to required resources. Second, proposals are expected to contain letters of agreement to participate from members of advisory committees.
Research design and methodology: REESE expects investigators to propose appropriate and rigorous research methods, whether quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method. Investigators are expected to conduct their research so that relevant models, frameworks, data, literature, and measures are well-documented, usable, and replicable by other research teams wishing to work on similar problems from other vantage points or by using other research designs. The proposed methods should be well-justified, consonant with theory, and suited to the stated research questions or hypotheses. Each supported project must meet the following basic requirements:
Project personnel and management: The research and management roles of each of the senior personnel on the project must be described in brief within the project description. Collaborative teams representing multiple disciplines are typical in REESE projects. In addition, at least one of the senior personnel must be designated as the methodology and/or measurement leader of the project. In single-investigator projects, this person will necessarily be the principal investigator. In multi-investigator projects, this person must be listed among senior personnel if the individual is not the principal or a co-investigator.
Where projects request time for students and other trainees, the project description should be clear on their roles and responsibilities. Investigators are reminded that all proposals requesting funds to support postdoctoral researchers are required by NSF to submit a one-page mentoring plan within the supplementary documents section or the proposal will be returned without review.
REESE encourages the inclusion of women, persons with disabilities, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and diverse viewpoints. REESE encourages minority serving institutions (MSIs) to apply. Additionally, institutions are encouraged to partner with MSIs, their faculty, and their students as appropriate.
Dissemination: All REESE projects are expected to accumulate and communicate knowledge to relevant research, policy, practitioner, and other communities. As part of DRL's strong and unwavering commitment to the broader impacts of funded research, reports from successful REESE projects must be published in peer-reviewed professional or scholarly journals, and findings (positive or negative) must be disseminated through appropriate means to audiences relevant to the goals of the project. Projects are expected to impact appropriate audiences across disciplinary boundaries. Furthermore, projects are encouraged to identify innovative ways to communicate their findings to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the public. Projects will also be expected to share research designs, findings, and overall project information with the REESE Diffusion and Evaluation Network, the Center for Advancing Research and Communication (ARC) at the University of Chicago (http://arc.uchicago.edu/reese/). Awarded projects must report annually to ARC using an online data system.
Project Evaluation: All projects must have an evaluation plan that is appropriate to the goals of the project and explicitly describes the approach that the project team intends to use in assessing its successes and failures and meeting its milestones and objectives. Project evaluations should be sufficiently distant from the project to be objective but should be designed to be of most help to the project team pursuant to its responsibilities to the field.
All projects must have a substantive external expert review mechanism (e.g., advisory committee) that provides regular feedback on the project's research methods and progress, analysis procedures, interpretation of data into findings, and dissemination activities. In some cases, this may be all that is necessary. In other cases, it may not be sufficient given the nature of the project. Finally, proposals should describe how evaluation input will be used to shape the project.
Cost Sharing: Cost sharing is not required under this solicitation.
Budget Preparation Instructions: A careful and realistic budget in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), consistent with the proposed activities, and including a request for funds to cover the cost of attendance of the PI at each year's annual awardee meeting in the Washington, DC area should be submitted with the proposal.
November 15, 2010
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 email@example.com. 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. The Grants.gov's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. 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 who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the 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.
All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.
What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.
Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project, as described in a one-page supplementary document, will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts criterion.
NSF staff also will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals 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 diversity of learning perspectives.
Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- 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.
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.
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.)
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 https://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 email@example.com.
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 https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.
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 before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after 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 that PI. 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 FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) publications; and, other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system. Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report 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.
The REESE program has awarded a dissemination and evaluation network project as a cooperative agreement. The resource network is responsible for synthesizing findings across the REESE portfolio, providing technical assistance to REESE projects, promoting national awareness of research contributions from the REESE portfolio, and building the REESE community through PI and special interest meetings. All REESE projects are expected to share their proposals and findings with the resource network, to participate in annual PI meetings, and other meetings of interest and to be responsive to requests for information from the resource network.
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
Address questions to REESE program officers, telephone: (703)292-8650, email: DRLREESE@nsf.gov
For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:
For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:
REESE Program Officers:
James Dietz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Janice Earle (email@example.com)
Gavin Fulmer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Celeste Pea (email@example.com)
Gregg Solomon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service 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 Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.
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.
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 40,000 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 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 https://www.nsf.gov
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
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA