Previous Issues of Funding News August 2, 2010 Issue NSF Announces Latest Competition for Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) The objective of the BREAD Program is to support innovative basic scientific research that can use advances in genomics to address key constraints to smallholder agriculture in the developing world. A significant distinction between BREAD (which is co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NSF) and other NSF programs is that proposals to BREAD must make a clear and well-defined connection between the outcomes of the proposed basic research and its direct relevance and potential application to agriculture in the developing world. The program focuses on novel, transformative basic research at the proof-of-concept stage rather than its application or development. Especially encouraged are original proposals that address major constraints to the productivity of crops important to smallholder farmers, or on the development of novel and efficient production practices. Unusually for an NSF program, BREAD allows funding to be allocated to international collaborators through subawards. NSF plans to award 10 to 20 awards at around $600K over 3 years. More information and a link to abstracts of previously-funded projects can be found here. Due: Letter of Intent due Sept. 16, 2010; Full proposal due Nov. 16, 2010 New Materials World Network Solicitation Released by NSF The Materials World Network (funded by the Division of Materials Research) funds cooperative materials research projects between US researchers and their counterpoints abroad. Research projects must be appropriate for the Division of Materials Research. The program funds the US side of these collaborations; collaborators from other countries should apply to NSF's counterpart organizations in their country. NSF program officers can help with the process of identifying these counterpart agencies and coordinating funding. For more information, click here. A note about getting funding for international collaborations: As was mentioned above, NSF generally will fund only the US side of international collaborations. This can make the logistics of funding a collaborative project with international colleagues difficult. One way to make these international collaborations work is to seek out collaborators who are well established in their own countries and have a consistent funding stream to support their research. NSF funds can then be used to support research and travel for your side of the project. NSF particularly likes to support international experiences for your graduate students; they feel it is important for students to work in labs in other countries for a long enough time to gain an understanding of how research is done outside of the US. Developing these international collaborations can put you in a good position to compete for other NSF grants which increasingly require an international component, such as Center-level grants and educational programs such as IGERT. For these proposals, established, meaningful collaborations will be much more convincing to reviewers than new collaborations proposed just for that grant. Due: Nov. 10, 2010 Reminder: DOE Early Career Research Preapplications due in August The Office of Science of the Department of Energy supports under the Early Career grants in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR); Biological and Environmental Research (BER); Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); High Energy Physics (HEP), and Nuclear Physics (NP). The purpose of this program is to support the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and to stimulate research careers in the areas supported by the DOE Office of Science. Preapplications are required and must be submitted by Friday, August 13, 2010, 4:00 AM Eastern Time. The preapplication should be uploaded as a Word or Portable Document Format (pdf) attachment and submitted through the website https://EarlyCareerPreapp.science.doe.gov. Preapplications will be reviewed for responsiveness of the proposed work to the research topics identified in the funding announcement. DOE will send a response by email to each applicant encouraging or discouraging the submission of a formal application by Tuesday, September 14, 2010. Only those applicants that receive notification from DOE encouraging a formal application may submit full applications. Application due date for invited full proposals is Nov. 9, 2010 New Announcements from NIH NIH recently released the following new (as opposed to reissued) announcements: o Pediatric Heart Network Clinical Centers(U10) - invites applications to participate as a Clinical Center in the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), a cooperative network of pediatric cardiovascular clinical research centers. The goal of the Network is to evaluate therapeutic and management strategies for children and adults with congenital heart defects and for children with inflammatory heart disease, heart muscle disease, and arrhythmias through multicenter clinical research. NHLBI expects that applications to participate in the PHN will reflect the collaborative nature of the research between pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiovascular surgeons, and others engaged in the care of patients with the conditions of interest. o Viral and Host Genetic Factors Regulating HIV-Associated CNS Disease (R01, R21) - funds studies focused on viral and host genetic factors involved in HIV-1 Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) in the setting of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). o Biomedical Prevention of HIV Research Education (R25) - supports innovative, evidence- based approaches to educate and engage U.S. populations most highly affected by HIV and AIDS (see http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/index.htm for more information) about clinical biomedical prevention research. o Developmental Mechanisms of Human Structural Birth Defects (P01) - funds program projects to integrate basic, translational, and clinical approaches to understanding the developmental biology and genetic basis of congenital structural human malformations. o National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Program Project (P01) - encourages investigator-initiated Program Project Grant (P01) applications from institutions/organizations in the broad areas of biomedical imaging and bioengineering enabled by relevant areas of the physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences, information science, and the medical and life sciences. P01 grants are to support broad-based multidisciplinary research programs, which have a well-defined major objective or central theme, but which are addressing a range of imaging or bioengineering questions in contrast to the traditional research project (R01). o Climate Change and Health: Assessing and Modeling Population Vulnerability to Climate Change (R21) - encourages research applications to examine the differential risk factors of populations that lead to or are associated with increased vulnerability to exposures, diseases and other adverse health outcomes related to climate change. Applications may involve either applied research studies that address specific hypotheses about risk factors or population characteristics associated with increased vulnerability, or research projects to develop general models or methods for identifying and characterizing population vulnerability to climate change. Updates to American Philosophical Society Grants The American Philosophical Society recently published the following changes to several of their grants: o Franklin Research Grants, Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research Grants, Library Resident Research Fellowships, and Phillips Fund for Native American Research Grants Applications may now be submitted through our online application portal. See links to the portal on the individual program pages. o APS/British Academy Fellowship for Research in London In collaboration with the British Academy, the APS offers an exchange post-doctoral fellowship for a minimum of one and a maximum of two months’ research in the archives and libraries of London during 2011. This award includes travel expenses between the United States and United Kingdom and a monthly subsistence paid by the APS. Candidates should use the Franklin application form, specifying that they are asking for the British Academy Fellowship, and apply by October 1; applicants not selected for the British Academy Fellowship will be considered for a Franklin Research Grant. o Sabbatical Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences The Society’s program of sabbatical fellowships concluded with the applications accepted for the October 15, 2009, deadline. We are very pleased to have awarded more than 220 fellowships in a 12-year period. With the continued support of the Mellon Foundation, the APS is in the process of making changes in its program of grants and fellowships to best serve the needs of the greatest number of scholars. Information will be posted at this website as it becomes available Deadlines: Daland Fellowships September 1; notification in January Franklin Research Grants October 1 and December 1; notifications in February and April Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research January 15 (in 2011, January 17); notification in May Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology February 1; notification in May Library Resident Fellowships March 1; notification in May Phillips Fund Grants March 1; notification in May NEH Summer/Fall Grant Deadlines The application period is currently open for several grant opportunities with late Summer/Fall, 2010 deadlines offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). A partial list is provided below, corresponding to notifications posted by the agency this summer. Applicants should refer directly to the NEH web site to verify details. August deadlines include fellowship grants managed by the NEH Research Division and two NEH Public Program competitions: o Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (up to $400,000) – due 8/17/10 o America's Media Makers Grants (up to $1,000,000) – due 8/18/10 o Grants to America's Historical and Cultural Organizations (up to $1,000,000) – due 8/18/10 Deadlines for September include summer research stipends, and two relatively new programs supporting undergraduate course development under the NEH Education and Research Divisions (see below for additional detail): o Summer Stipends (up to $6,000) – due 9/30/10 o Enduring Questions Course Grants (up to $25,000) – due 9/15/10 o Teaching Development Fellowships (up to $21,000) – due 9/30/10 Applications for Documenting Endangered Languages grants (a joint partnership between NSF and the NEH Preservation Division) are due 9/15/10. Updated guidelines for some (but not all) October/November deadlines have been released by the NEH Education, Research, and Preservation Divisions, respectively: o Picturing America School Collaboration Projects (up to $75,000) – due 10/07/10 o Collaborative Research (up to $300,000) – due 10/28/10 o Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (up to $400,000) – due 11/16/10 NEH is also inviting applications for scholarly conferences on Bridging Cultures: Humanities Scholarship in Mexico and the United States through the Collaborative Research program (due 10/28/10). Award ceilings reflect amounts posted on Grants.gov and may differ from recent award ranges. NEH also supports undergraduate teaching through: o Enduring Questions Course Grants (new courses) o Teaching Development Fellowships (existing courses) Enduring Questions Course Grants (up to $25,000) What is the good life? What is beauty? What is friendship? What is the relationship between humans and the natural world? Enduring questions such as these have long held interest to college students and allow for a special, intense dialogue across generations. The National Endowment for the Humanities will award Enduring Questions course grants, which support up to four college faculty members from any disciplines with up to $25,000 to develop a new humanities course at the undergraduate level on a question of enduring significance, to be taught at the sponsoring institution at least twice during the grant period. The application deadline is September 15, 2010. For more information and instructions,see the grant guidelines. Teaching Development Fellowships (up to $21,000) The National Endowment for the Humanities will award Teaching Development Fellowships to support college and university teachers pursuing research aimed specifically at improving an existing undergraduate course that has been taught in at least THREE different terms prior to the application deadline. The research undertaken as a part of the project may involve engaging with fundamental texts or sources, exploring related subjects or academic disciplines, or cultivating neglected areas of learning. Research in any area of the humanities is welcome. Teaching Development Fellowships cover periods lasting from three to five months and carry stipends of $4,200 per month. Thus the maximum stipend is $21,000 for a five-month award period. The application deadline is September 30, 2010. For more information and instructions, see the grant guidelines. NSF Research Coordination Networks to Be Offered Across All Directorates Thanks to Holly Falk-Krzesinski at Northwestern Univ. and the NORDP listserv for bringing this to our attention: NSF has funded Research Coordination Networks (RCN) in the BIO directorate, and they are now expanding this program to all of the other directorates. The goal of this program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education. Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies are especially encouraged. Groups of investigators will be supported to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries. Proposed networking activities directed to the general RCN program should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches. The general RCN program will provide review for proposals to participating core programs and directorates listed in the solicitation, excepting Mathematical & Physical Sciences. Proposals involving mathematical and physical scientists will be accepted under the targeted physical/life science interface track described on the program page. Various due dates: please see solicitation. Academic Research Funding Strategies Announces New Research Development Newsletter Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC is pleased to announce the publication of a monthly electronic newsletter for faculty on how to compete successfully for research and education funding from federal agencies and foundations. Articles and resources in Research Development & Grant Writing News will address how faculty can use proven competitive strategies to achieve success in a very difficult funding climate. Click here for a Table of Contents for the September, October and November issues. For information subscription rates and to subscribe, click here. July 19, 2010 Issue NSF Releases New REESE Solicitation NSF released the new solicitation for the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering program (REESE). This is the premiere program through which NSF supports in-depth educational research related to STEM learning, education and evaluation. This year's solicitation has some significant changes, among them: o They've changed some of the research strands, removing "contextual research" and "emerging topics" and adding "implementation research." o "Knowledge Diffusion" awards have been changed to "Synthesis" awards. o "Large Empirical" awards no longer require collaborations with multiple institutions. It's important to understand that the REESE program is focused on building theory and knowledge about STEM education; therefore, it must have a strong education research and methodological underpinning. NSF says that, "The primary outcomes of REESE projects will be research findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives about STEM education." Therefore, simply proposing to implement an educational innovation and assessing its effects is not appropriate for REESE. However, collaborations of scientists and engineers with education researchers can yield strong proposals that include rigorous educational research. Click here for an NSF video about REESE. NSF expects to fund up to 40 REESE awards. Due: Nov. 15, 2010 NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation NSF has issued this year's solicitation for the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) program. The Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program supports research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCI is a two-phase program: Phase I CCIs receive funding to develop the science and integrative elements of a CCI before requesting Phase II funding. Phase I proposals funded in FY2011 will seek Phase II funding in FY2014. Only organizations receiving Phase I awards in FY2008 are eligible to request Phase II funding in FY2011. Due: Phase I preliminary proposals (required) are due Oct. 12, 2010; Phase I full proposals are due (by invitation only) March 28, 2011. Phase II full proposals are due Oct. 11, 2010. New Announcements from NIH NIH recently released the following new (as opposed to reissued) announcements: o Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease (R01) - funds highly innovative research that will investigate the epigenetic basis of human diseases o Partnerships for Next Generation Biodefense Diagnostics (R01) - funds for early stage product development projects to establish proof-of-concept for potential next generation diagnostics products that do not involve nucleic acid amplification. o Epigenomic Modifications in Neurodevelopment (R01, R21) - funds studies that provide cross-species analysis and/or studies that address heterogeneity of epigenetic marks across tissue types, including cell specificity in the brain across development are of particular interest. o Clinical and Translational Science Coordinating Center (U54) - The CTSCC will encourage and facilitate collaboration, sharing, and interaction within the CTSA Consortium and of the Consortium with non-CTSA institutions, organizations, and programs also focused on advancing the efficiency and quality of clinical and translational research and training. The CTSCC will also facilitate the communication of the results of these collaborations to others. o NHLBI Research Career Development Programs in Emergency Medicine Research (K12) - Funds organizations that propose to develop multidisciplinary clinical research training programs in emergency medicine (EM) that prepare clinician-scientists for academic leadership roles and independent research careers in emergency medicine. NIH has also reissued the Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Faculty Diversity/Re-Entry in Biomedical Research (K01) , which aims to increase the number of highly trained investigators, from diverse backgrounds or who have experienced an interruption in their research careers. It is targeted toward individuals whose basic and clinical research interests are grounded in the advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to solve problems related to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases in the general and health disparities populations. Another reissued program that may be of interest to many universities is the Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (R25). This funds programs that promote diversity in undergraduate and health professional student populations by providing short-term research education support to stimulate career development in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases research. New Award Mechanism in NSF for Math: RNMS NSF's new Research Networks in the Mathematical Sciences (RNMS) program provides a new award mechanism to support collaborative research in mathematics. As stated in the solicitation, "The RNMS program will provide new platforms to address complex problems over five- to-ten-year periods by creating research collaborations that will cross intellectual, institutional, national, or other boundaries. The goals of the RNMS program are (1) to support coordinated research and training collaborations that link together researchers addressing significant challenges in the mathematical sciences and (2) to broaden participation in the mathematical sciences by creating new opportunities for research involvement and support." This program is an outgrowth of an NSF Advisory Workshop; you can find the workshop report here. NSF plans to hold three competitions for this program over the next few years. Due: Proposals are due November 9, 2010, and the second Tuesday in July in 2012 and 2015. Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant for Science- Themed Feature-length Film Project The Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant is an annual cash award for a science or technology related narrative (fiction) feature-length project that is at an early stage such as full treatment or early screenplay draft. This grant will also include a small stipend for a science advisor to provide support through consultation and feedback, as well as the possibility of inclusion in the Feature Film Program's Screenwriters Lab. Due: Sept. 24, 2010 NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For FY 2011, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation in Biology and (2) Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Because the fellowships are offered only to postdoctoral scientists early in their careers, NSF encourages doctoral advisors to discuss the availability of BIO fellowships with their graduate students early in their doctoral programs. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows. Due: Oct. 19, 2010 ONR Long-Range Funding Opportunity Announcement for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) for K-12 & Institutions of Higher Education The Office of Naval Research (ONR) seeks proposals in support of education programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The ONR mission of STEM is to: foster an interest in, knowledge of, and study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics nationwide to ensure an educated and well-prepared workforce, which meets the naval and national competitive needs. The objective of these activities will be to: 1. Establish and ensure successful, sustainable, and affordable long-term Navy wide programs targeted at elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. 2. Establish and maintain a pipeline of students, particularly women and members of minority groups, who will apply for and participate in Navy education and outreach programs. 3. Increase the number of domestic students (particularly students from under-represented groups) completing STEM degrees through enhancing student interest and attitudes toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 4. Strengthen peer, family, and school support for such interests. 5. Ensure long-term inclusiveness of women and minorities in science and technology programs. 6. Increase the number of students taking college-prep science and mathematics courses. 7. Demonstrate appropriate curricular connections with the applicable state and national standards of learning for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Due: Sept. 30, 2010 Academic Research Funding Strategies Announces Publication of a New Research Development Newsletter Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC is pleased to announce the publication of a monthly electronic newsletter for faculty on how to compete successfully for research and education funding from federal agencies and foundations. Articles and resources in Research Development & Grant Writing News will address how faculty can use proven competitive strategies to achieve success in a very difficult funding climate. Click here for a Table of Contents for the September, October and November issues. For information subscription rates and to subscribe, click here. Fiscal Year 2011 Gulf of Mexico NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Region, is seeking proposals under the Gulf of Mexico B-WET Program. The B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Funded projects provide meaningful watershed educational experiences for students, related professional development for teachers, and help to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Gulf of Mexico. This program addresses NOAA's mission goal to ``Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources Through an Ecosystem Approach to Management.'' One grant will be awared at $700K. Due: Oct. 14, 2010 July 6, 2010 Issue NSF MRI RAPID for Gulf Oil Spill NSF has released a "Dear Colleague" letter to the research community advising them that NSF's RAPID mechanism is available for proposals to the Major Research Instrumentation program to support development or aquisition of instrumentation for quick-response research on the effect of the Gulf oil spill. Up to $5 million will be available to suport Gulf oil spill MRI RAPID awards in FY 2010. Due: Proposals will not be accepted after 5 pm July 30, 2010. USDA Roadmap for US Biofuel Energy Goals EERE News reports that the USDA's Biofuels Strategic Production Report recommends rapid build-up in production capabilities and significant investment in biorefineries to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard Mandate by 2022. In the report, the authors state that the USDA intends to meet this challenge by developing strategic partnerships with the private sector, thereby expediting the "development and deployment of research, development and demonstration projects, facilitate the siting of biorefineries through loan guarantees and other existing programs, and identify potential barriers to meeting transportation and distibution needs for an advanced biofuels industry." NSF Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) This year's solicitation for Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) was recently released. The objective of this program is to support industry-university linkages, especially for: Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students to conduct research and gain experience in an industrial setting; Industrial scientists and engineers to bring industry's perspective and integrative skills to academe; and Interdisciplinary university-industry teams to conduct research projects. This solicitation targets high-risk/high-gain research with a focus on fundamental research, new approaches to solving generic problems, development of innovative collaborative industry-university educational programs, and direct transfer of new knowledge between academe and industry. GOALI seeks to fund transformative research that lies beyond that which industry would normally fund. (Note that the "Industry Engineers and Scientists in Academe" program within this opportunity is available as supplements to existing NSF awards.) Due Dates vary by the NSF disciplinary program through which you are applying. New Announcements from NIH NIH recently released the following new (as opposed to reissued) announcements: o Innovators in Hemoglobinopathies Academic Career Development Award (K07) - provides support for salary and research costs for up to 4 years for individuals with medical or doctoral degrees in clinical fields who are not fully established investigators and who want to pursue research careers in sickle cell disease and/or the thalassemias. o Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure (U19) - funds research to address the problem of HIV-1 persistence in HIV-1-infected persons treated with suppressive antiretroviral drug regimens. o New Strategies for Growing 3D Tissues (R01, R21) - to improve our understanding of how cells respond to their environment and to develop accurate assays and methods to understand how organogenesis may instruct the creation of functional 3D engineered cellular aggregates. This program will require collaborations of scientists from two or more disciplines such as developmental biology, computational science and systems biology, cell biology, tissue engineering, chemistry, physics, or organ physiology. o Cell Lineage Determination and Tissue Homeostasis in the Aged (R01) - funds research to propose to track cell lineages and to determine cell life spans in normal tissue homeostasis and in response to injury or disease in the elderly. o Subjective Well-being: Advances in Measurement and Applications to Aging (R01) - funds research to advance the application of well-being measurement to the integrated study of experienced and evaluative well-being in aging-relevant contexts. o Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R01) - funds research to advance knowledge on the reasons behind the divergent trends that have been observed in health and longevity at older ages, both across industrialized/high life expectancy nations and across geographical areas in the United States. o Pathobiology of Emerging Pathogens in Laboratory Animals (R21, R01) - funds research on the pathobiology of emerging and potential pathogens of laboratory animals including, but not limited to aquatic species, rodents, and nonhuman primates. o Biomedical Technology Research Center (P41) - funds Centers to conduct research and development on new technologies and new/improved instruments driven by the needs of basic, translational, and clinical researchers. New applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a pre-application in response to PAR-10-221. o NEI Center Core Grants for Vision Research (P30) - This program is designed to enhance an institution's environment and capability to conduct vision research and to facilitate collaborative studies of the visual system and its disorders. o Biophysical and Biomechanical Aspects of Embryonic Development (R01, R21) - funds research to advance our knowledge in the area of the physics and mechanics of embryonic development. DARPA Funding for Junior Faculty in Computer Science The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) encourages junior faculty with a research interest in computer science to apply for a Computer Science Study Group grant to explore novel ideas that lead to fundamental advances that will benefit the US Department of Defense Total Amount to be Awarded – For each institution, there will be one grant or cooperative agreement awarded to each proposer selected for funding. The award instrument will provide amounts for each of the program phases as follows: Base Period amout is up to $100,000 Option 1 amount is up to $400,000 Option 2 amount is up to $250,000 Full proposals are due Oct. 15, 2010 (This reflects a recent increased emphasis from DoD on engaging faculty in DoD research.) Note: As with any DoD proposal, it is extremely important to talk to your cognizant program officer to explore their interest in your idea before submitting a proposal. NSF Partnerships for Innovation One of the general goals of the Partnerships for Innovation Program (PFI) is to stimulate the transformation of knowledge created by the research and education enterprise into innovations that create new wealth; build strong local, regional, and national economies; and improve the national well-being. Aligned with this goal, the PFI competition for FY 2011 funds will provide support for innovation capacity building to sustained, dynamic interactive knowledge-enhancing partnership groups composed of academic researchers and small business (as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA)) practitioners focused on intense exploration, re-definition, and creation of novel platforms for translating research and moving it towards impact. The basic organizational core of each proposed knowledge-enhancing partnership group must be composed of an academic lead institution and, at a minimum, two small businesses. Due: Letter of Intent due Oct. 1, 2010; Full proposal due Dec. 4, 2010 NSF/NIH Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences The Division of Mathematical Sciences in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health plan to support research in mathematics and statistics on questions in the biological and biomedical sciences. Both agencies recognize the need and urgency for promoting research at the interface between the mathematical sciences and the life sciences. This competition is designed to encourage new collaborations, as well as to support existing ones. Due: Oct. 1, 2010 June 21, 2010 Issue New Solicitation for NSF STEP Centers Released This new STEP Centers program shouldn't be confused with NSF's long-running STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program) program (more about that below). The STEP Centers competition allows a group of faculty representing a cross section of institutions of higher education to identify a national challenge or opportunity in undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to propose a comprehensive and coordinated set of activities that will be carried out to address that challenge or opportunity within a national context. Program activities for all STEP Centers should be designed to have a national impact on increasing the number of students, including STEM majors or non-STEM majors or both, enrolling in undergraduate courses in STEM, and to improve student learning and retention in those courses. In the current competition, efforts must be related to the biological sciences, engineering, or the geological sciences. NSF Plans to award 3 STEP Centers at up to $2 million per year for 5 years. Letters of Intent due Aug 4, 2010; preliminary proposal due Sept. 7, 2010; and full proposal (by invitation only) due Jan. 20, 2011. NSF's STEP Competition - an Opportunity for Institutions of all Types Now is the time for universities to consider preparing a proposal to this year's NSF STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program) competition. STEP awards come in several types: o Type 1A proposals are for institutions that have not previously been lead on a STEP award. These projects should be focused on increasing the total number of students obtaining STEM degrees or associate degrees or completing credits at community colleges toward transfer to a STEM baccalaureate degree program . ($500K - $2 million over 5 years, depending on undergraduate enrollment) o Type 1B proposals are for institutions that have previously been lead institutions on a STEP 1 award; the project should build on previous results but take a significantly new direction. (($500K - $2 million over 5 years, depending on undergraduate enrollment) o Type 1C proposals are for institution that have previously lead a STEP 1 project and is a follow-on grant to allow follow-on work that is a direct result of the outcomes of the original STEP project. (50% of the amount of the initial award over 2 - 3 years) o Type 2 grants fund educational research on factors affecting associate and baccalaureate degree attainment in STEM. (Up to $1.5 million over up to 4 years; 1 - 3 awards funded) Institutions preparing STEP proposals should keep several points in mind: o NSF awards STEP grants to many types of institutions, including community colleges and predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs) as well as research intensive institutions. Community colleges and PUIs who have the potential to impact large numbers of diverse students who might otherwise not pursue STEM studies are in good position to compete for this program. To see the types of institutions that have recently received STEP grants, go to the STEP page and click on " What Has Been Funded" at the bottom of the page. o It's all about the numbers. NSF's goal for the STEP program is to increase the number of students who successfully pursue STEM studies. Projects, no matter how innovative or novel, that don't have the potential to impact a significant number of students will not be successful. In addition, you will need to include a significant amount of data in your proposal (e.g., numbers of students that currently pursue STEM studies in your institution, retention rages, etc.). Gathering this data and setting numerical benchmarks and goals is an significant task in preparing a STEP proposal. o Your project approach must be well-grounded either in the literature or in your institution's previous experience (supported by data). Why do you think your approach will work? What is your evidence? There is a significant body of scholarship on issues related to student pursuit of STEM studies, much of it generated through NSF funds. Be sure that it's clear in your proposal that you are familiar with this work and are following an evidence-based approach. A good place to start looking for these kinds of publications in the ERIC database. o You should have a clear plan for institutionalization of successful project activities. NSF is looking for sustained impact, so they will be looking for how successful activities will be continued past the funding period. Due: Letter of Intent due Aug. 17, 2010; full proposal due Sept. 28, 2010 NETL CyberSecurity for Energy Delivery Systems The National Energy Technology Laboratory has issued a funding opportunity entitled, "Innovation for Increasing CyberSecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (I2CSEDS)" (FOA 0000359). The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) on behalf of the DOE, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), is seeking applications that will lead to improvements in the cyber security of control systems and information technology systems (IT) for energy transmission and distribution, including electricity, oil, and natural gas, as well as protect the electric grid and enhance integration of smart grid technologies that are adequately protected against cyber attacks. This FOA includes seven (7) Topics Areas: 1) Response to Cyber Attack in Progress; 2) Centralized Cryptographic Key Management; 3) Situational Awareness Data Collection, Analyses, and Visualization; 4) Hardened Platforms and Systems; 5) Secure Communications; 6) Remote Access; and 7) Secure Smart Grid Communication Architecture. Maximum award amount will be $4 million, and up to 6 awards are expected. Note that DOE/NNSA National Labs are eligible to apply and that cost share must be 20% for R&D costs and 50% for demonstration and commercial application projects. Due: July 12, 2010 Note: Are you have trouble finding the full Funding Opportunity Announcements for these DOE opportunities? To find them from the Grants.gov page, click on the "FedConnect" link under "Link to Full Announcement," then click "Search Public Opportunities," choose "Title" from the pull down Search Criteria options, and then enter several words from the title [alternatively, you can search on the reference number and enter the full number (DE- FOA-0000359)]. Click on the opportunity, then look to the right under "Documentation" and select "body." This will bring up an rtf file of the full funding opportunity announcement. New Announcements from NIH NIH recently released the following new (as opposed to reissued) announcements: o Novel NeuroAIDS Therapeutics: Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program (P01) - supports research focused on accelerating basic and translational scientific discoveries with a plan to advance drug therapeutics for HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND). o Expanding and Personalizing Treatment Options for Alcohol Use Disorders Including Pharmacogenomics (R01) - funds research projects to study how genetic variation affects responses to medications for the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). o High-Throughput-Enabled Structural Biology Research (U01) - funds projects to establish partnerships between researchers interested in a biological problem of significant scope and researchers providing high-throughput structure determination capabilities through the NIGMS PSI:Biology network. o HIV Incidence Assays with Improved Specificity (R01) - funds research to develop improved HIV incidence assays with increased specificity and reliability for distinguishing incident from chronic HIV infections. o Informed Decision-Making in Young Adolescents at Risk for HIV/AIDS (R01) - will fund interdisciplinary formative research projects attempting to explore the neurological basis of HIV/AIDS risk avoidance decision-making among young adolescents. o Seek, Test, Treat, and Retain: Addressing HIV among Vulnerable Populations (R01) - applications for both domestic and international studies that test the seek, test, treat, and retain paradigm. This paradigm predicts that expanding HIV testing and reducing viral load among HIV+ individuals through HAART therapy can be effective in reducing the HIV transmission at a population level. In particular, this FOA focuses on research on expanding HAART therapy coverage to reduce HIV transmission among high-risk, vulnerable populations o PFINDR: Phenotype Finder IN Data Resources: A Tool to Support Cross-study Data Discovery Among NHLBI Genomic Studies (UH2/UH3) - funds projects that propose to develop and apply advanced informatics approaches to categorize phenotypic measures in multiple datasets in data repositories to help researchers identify potentially relevant genomic studies across cardiovascular, lung, blood, and sleep research domains. Department of Ed Announces FIPSE Priorities The Department of Education released this year's announcement for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive Program. They list the following invitational priorities for this competition: o Centers of Excellence for teacher preparation o University sustainability initiatives o Rural development initiatives for rural-serving colleges and universities o Initiatives to assist highly qualified minorities and women to acquire doctoral degrees in fields where they are underrepresented o Modeling and simulation programs o Higher education consortia to design and offer interdisciplinary programs that focus on poverty and human capability o Innovative postsecondary models to improve college matriculation and graduation rates, including activities to facilitate transfer of credits between institutions of higher education (IHEs), alignment of curricula on a State or multi-State level between high schools and colleges and between two-year and four-year postsecondary programs, dual enrollment, articulation agreements, partnerships between high schools and community colleges, and partnerships between K-12 organizations and colleges for college access and retention programs o Activities to develop or enhance educational partnerships and cross-cultural cooperation between postsecondary educational institutions in the United States and similar institutions in Haiti. Due: July 29, 2010. Note: The Dept. of Ed has recently started a FIPSE newsletter. NSF Frontiers in Earth System Dynamics The goals of the Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics (FESD) program are to: (1) foster an inter- disciplinary and multi-scale understanding of the interplay among and within the various sub-systems of the Earth, (2) catalyze research in areas poised for a major advance, (3) improve data resolution and modeling capabilities to more realistically simulate complex processes and forecast disruptive or threshold events, and (4) improve knowledge of the resilience of the Earth and its subsystems. NSF anticipates funding a combined total of 6-10 Type I (Frontier Research projects) and Type II (Geoscience Collaboratories or Synthesis Centers) proposals. Project sizes for Type I and Type II proposals are expected to range from approximately $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 for 3-5 years duration, although larger and smaller awards may be made in some circumstances. The scope of FESD projects is expected to be well beyond that which can be supported in GEO's core programs. Due: Preliminary proposal due Oct. 1, 2010; Full proposal due March 15, 2011. Changes in NSF CISE Cross-Cutting Programs Several changes have been made to the CISE Cross-Cutting Programs solicitation for the FY 2011 competition: o CISE has added a new cross-cutting program called Smart Health and Wellbeing, which seeks improvements in safe, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered health and wellness services through innovations in computer and information science and engineering. o Modest changes have been made to the Trustworthy Computing and Network Science and Engineering program descriptions to fully define their scientific scope. o Data-intensive Computing is no longer a CISE cross-cutting program. Proposals that address research challenges and opportunities in cloud and data-intensive computing should be submitted to the most appropriate CISE Core Program: o Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) o Computer and Network Systems (CNS) o Information & Intelligent Systems (IIS) o The Network Science and Engineering (NetSE) program will accept proposals ONLY in the Medium and Large project classes in FY 2011, to emphasize the fact that NetSE seeks ambitious team efforts that may involve multiple PIs with different research perspectives. This will be the last year in which CISE seeks NetSE proposals in the Cross-Cutting Programs; NetSE projects will be supported in the CISE Core Programs beginning in FY 2012. o The submission window for all Medium proposals will now be September 1-15 annually. Note: Many of these changes illustrate a common process at NSF, in which new priorities are announced as part of cross-cutting programs or special solicitations, and after a few years, those research areas are absorbed within the core programs (which accept "unsolicited" proposals), and new special priorities are announced. For help in identifying core programs using NSF's website, see the videos on our workshop page. DARPA "Oh By the Way" BAA DARPA recently issued a new Broad Agency Announcement for a program entitled, "Oh By the Way," which solicits innovative research proposals in the area of knowledge management and software support for mission planning. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice. The Oh By The Way program (OBTW) will address these shortcomings through research and development in three technical areas: • Interactive interfaces for knowledge capture and advanced user support. • Online plan monitoring and user-in-the-loop plan adaptation. • Algorithmic techniques for robust course of action analysis. Due: July 23, 2010 Note: If you're considering applying to DARPA for funding, it's always a good idea to talk to the Program Officer about your idea first. Need Help With CAREER Proposals? Faculty who are planning to submit NSF CAREER proposals this year should be hard at work planning and writing their proposals. These proposals are especially challenging because of their scope (5 years instead of the typical 3 years), context (they need to support a long-range Career Development Plan) and the requirement for an innovative education plan in addition to the research plan. Add to that the fact that the junior faculty applying often have very little proposal-writing experience, and it's clear why providing assistance and mentoring for these faculty can make a big difference in their success. Understanding the program and its requirementsis one key to success with CAREER and there are a lot of helpful resources available on the web. A second key to success is encouraging PIs to recruit knowledgeable people to read and comment on their proposal drafts. Academic Research Funding Strategies provides a range of services to help CAREER PIs, ranging from a one-time review and deep edit of their proposal drafts to mentoring faculty through the entire proposal planning and writing process. Click here for more details. In addition, access to a recording of our CAREER webinar held in April, with supporting materials including example sections of successful CAREER proposals, is still available for purchase. Click here for more. June 6, 2010 Issue RAPID Grants Available for Gulf Oil Spill Research NSF released a "Dear Colleague" letter reminding researchers of the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) mechanism to fund unanticipated events that require a timely response to allow collection of essential data. This mechanism is available for research on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Before submitting a RAPID proposal (which is just 2 to 5 pages), PIs should talk to their Program Officer. Guidelines for RAPID proposals can be found here. Guidance for CAREER Proposals to the NSF Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings NSF has released a "Dear Colleague" letter to explain what the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL, which is in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources [EHR]) is looking for in CAREER proposals. CAREER proposals to DRL can be sumitted to one of four programs: Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE), Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12), Informal Science Education (ISE), and Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST). The letter describes expectations for Scope of Work, Research Design and Methodology, and Integration of Research and Education. A search of NSF's award database showed that DRL gave 8 CAREER awards in 2010, 6 awards in 2009, 12 awards in 2008 and 5 awards in 2007. Winning a CAREER grant from EHR is quite competitive; the success rates for CAREER proposals to EHR were about19% in 2008 and 11% in 2009. That means that potential PIs considering applying to those programs should work hard to ensure that their projects fit the expectations outlined in the Dear Colleague letter. That said, NSF is poised to increase the numbers of CAREER grants awarded, and it is very possible that DRL may also award more CAREERs this round. NETL Unconventional Fossil Energy The National Energy Technology Laboratory is continuing to issue solicitations. The most recent funding opportunity is for Unconventional Fossil Energy (DE-FOA0000312). this program will funding two topic areas: 1) Advanced Simulation and Visualization to advance the development of simulation and visualization tools, processes, algorithms, etc. in order to assist industry in enhancing the production of domestic unconventional resources while minimizing environmental impacts; and 2) Next-Generation Co2-EOR, to advance “next-generation” carbon-dioxide enhanced oil recovery technology to the point where it is ready for pilot scale testing. Four to eight awards are expected in Topic 1 ($300K - $1M with 20% cost share) and three to five awards ($500K - $1.5M with 20% cost share) are expected in Topic 2. The objective of this FOA is to fund research that results in proof-of- concept and technology ready for field and/or commercial application. Due: 7/29/10 New NIH RFA for US-India CRP on Prevention of HIV/AIDS and Co-morbidities This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits Exploratory/Developmental (R21) applications from United States (U.S.)-funded institutions with an Indian-institution partner to establish Collaborative Research Partnerships (CRP) in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention or in preventing, treating, or ameliorating HIV-related co-morbidities such as malignancies, metabolic complications or opportunistic infections (OIs). The U.S.-India Bilateral CRP Program is designed to develop collaborations between scientists and institutions in the U.S. and India to conduct high quality HIV/AIDS prevention research of mutual interest and benefit to both countries while developing the basis for future institutional and individual scientific collaborations. This FOA will utilize the research capacities of the institutions and scientists in both countries to advance the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and to develop preliminary data that may support a more extensive future research proposal to test an HIV/AIDS prevention program. Due: August 3, 2010 NCRR Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25) NCRR encourages applications to its SEPA program for the development and evaluation of innovative research education programs to improve PreK-12 research career opportunities and the community's understanding of the health science advances supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical and basic research. SEPA encourages dynamic partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and PreK-12 teachers and schools and other interested organizations. Particular importance will be given to applications that target PreK-12 and/or ISE/media topics that may not be addressed by existing curriculum, community- based or ISE/media activities. Letter of Intent due July 20, 2010; proposals due Sept. 16, 2010. NIH NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellows in Nursing Research (F31) The purpose of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral Fellows in Nursing Research (F31)program is to train future generations of outstanding nurse scientists who are committed to research careers in scientific health-related fields relevant to the programmatic interests of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). This FOA encourages Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) applications from institutions/organizations that propose to increase the number of nurses prepared with a doctoral degree in order to meet the demands for adequately trained behavioral, biological, and biobehavioral scientists. NINR is particularly interested in facilitating the progress of students who are in research training programs for recent nursing graduates and students in BSN to PhD programs. This fellowship program will provide predoctoral training support for doctoral students. The applicant should propose a research training program and dissertation research that is consistent with the scientific mission of the NINR. Due: August 13, December 13, April 13 DOE Request for Information on Fuel Cells for Portable Power Applications DOE is seeking input from stakeholders and the research community on proposed technical and cost targets for fuel cells designed for portable power applications. Note that the intent of this RFI (DE- FOA-0000373) is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to submit feedback on targets. DOE funds a broad range of fuel cell research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities. A detailed description of the program, including technical and cost targets, can be found in the Multi- Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan here. DOE is currently working to identify appropriate technical and cost targets for fuel cells for portable power applications. The targets are driven by consumer expectations for the various applications rather than by the operating parameters or constraints of specific technologies. Targets are generally set with industry and market input and help drive the R&D required for improvements in materials, designs, and systems. The proposed targets included in this RFI were developed in a preliminary round of stakeholder input. Further stakeholder input is requested to refine the targets including input from manufacturers. Response due: June 30, 2010. Interesting Article in Nature News on NSF's Broader Impacts Criterion In the May 26th edition of Nature News, Corie Lok discusses the frustrations and promise of arising from NSF's Broader Impacts criterion. A consensus seems to be emerging that more effort needs to be made to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of these activities and to provide support for researchers trying to implement education and outreach components of their projects. An AAAS taskforce is working on recommendations, expected in 2011, on how to improve broader impacts. PIs should expect the results of this debate to be reflected in future NSF solicitations. NSF Research Coordination Networks (RCN) The goal of this program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education. Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies are especially encouraged. Groups of investigators will be supported to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries. Proposed networking activities directed to the general RCN program should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches. The general RCN program will provide review for proposals to participating core programs and directorates listed in the solicitation, excepting Mathematical & Physical Sciences. Proposals involving mathematical and physical scientists will be accepted under the targeted physical/life science interface track described below. Additional targeted tracks within the RCN programs are intended to foster linkages across selected directorates. RCN-UBE: The Undergraduate Biology Education track could focus on any topic likely to lead to improved participation, learning, or assessment in undergraduate biology curricula. RCN-PLS: The physical/life science interface track focuses on topics at the interface of the biological and either the mathematical or physical sciences. Various due dates: (see solicitation) NSF Communicating Research to Public Audiences Many PIs with current NSF grants may not realize that they can compete for "Communicating Research to Public Audiences" (CRPA) grants, which are part of the Informal Science Education program. About 10 of these grants will be awarded this year at up to $150K over 2 years. CRPA projects must be based on active research projects funded out of any NSF directorate or office and should prpose informal learning activities based on this currently funded research. Collaboration between NSF-funded researchers and informal science organizations is strongly encouraged to ensure use of effective practices. This could be a great way for PIs to raise the profile of their research projects and position them for future funding. Proposals can be submitted at any time. Mike Cronan to Join Academic Research Funding Strategies We are very pleased to announce that Mike Cronan, former Director of Texas A&M University's Office of Proposal Development, will be joining Academic Research Funding Strategies. Mike recently retired from Texas A&M after 23 years in proposal development. From 1990 - 2000, he developed and wrote proposals to NSF and other agencies that brought in over $100 million in funding. He will work with Academic Research Funding Strategies to offer workshops and seminars and will produce a subscription-based monthly newsletter with detailed articles for PIs on research development, proposal planning and grant writing, to be launched in the fall (more information on this will be coming in the next issue). Need Help With CAREER Proposals? Faculty who are planning to submit NSF CAREER proposals this year should be hard at work planning and writing their proposals. These proposals are especially challenging because of their scope (5 years instead of the typical 3 years), context (they need to support a long-range Career Development Plan) and the requirement for an innovative education plan in addition to the research plan. Add to that the fact that the junior faculty applying often have very little proposal-writing experience, and it's clear why providing assistance and mentoring for these faculty can make a big difference in their success. Understanding the program and its requirements is one key to success with CAREER and there are a lot of helpful resources available on the web. A second key to success is encouraging PIs to recruit knowledgeable people to read and comment on their proposal drafts. Academic Research Funding Strategies provides a range of services to help CAREER PIs, ranging from a one-time review and deep edit of their proposal drafts to mentoring faculty through the entire proposal planning and writing process. Click here for more details. In addition, access to a recording of our CAREER webinar held in April, with supporting materials including example sections of successful CAREER proposals, is still available for purchase. Click here for more. NORDP Now Accepting Members The second annual conference of the National Organization for Research Development Professionals was held in Chicago next week. Over 100 attendees participated in panel discussions, working groups, and informal networking. Discussions were fascinating, and we'll include a full report on the conference in the next newsletter. NORDP is now officially accepting members. To join, go here. May 10, 2010 Issue EDA Announces New i6 Challenge The i6 Challenge is a new $12 million innovation competition administered by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six winning teams with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in their regions (note that the solicitation lists eligibility requirements for regions, including such factors as high unemployment or a "special need"). NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in supplemental funding to their SBIR grantees that are associated or partnered with the winning teams. EDA encourages entrepreneurs, investors, universities, foundations, and non-profits to participate in the i6 Challenge. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2010. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the i6 Challenge conference call at 2pm EDT on May 17, 2010. For the full solicitation, click here. Some NSF Programs You May Want to Start Thinking About As the spring semester winds down, it's time to think about proposals to work on this summer. The funding opportunities below are not research programs, but they can provide infrastructure to which PIs can link for broader impacts, recruiting and diversity components in NSF research proposals, helping to make those proposals more competitive. REU Sites (Research Experiences for Undergraduates Sites) supports active research participation by undergraduate students in areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. REU Sites may be based in a single discipline or academic department, or on interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme. Proposals with an international dimension are welcome. Typically, 170 new site awards (typically $70K - $110K per year) are given each year. Proposals due August 25, 2010 (except for Polar Program, which has a due date of June 4, 2010) S-STEM (NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) makes grants to institutions of higher education to support scholarships for academically talented, financially needy students, enabling them to enter the workforce following completion of an associate; baccalaureate; or graduate-level degree in science and engineering disciplines. Grantee institutions are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, reporting demographic information about student scholars, and managing the S-STEM project at the institution. Typically, 80 to 100 awards (up to $600K total) are made each year. Letter of intent due July 14, 2010; full proposal due August 12, 2010 STEP (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program) seeks to increase the number of students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Type 1 proposals are solicited that provide for full implementation efforts at academic institutions. Type 2 proposals are solicited that support educational research projects on associate or baccalaureate degree attainment in STEM. Typically, NSF funds 15 to 20 Type 1 awards and 1 - 3 Type 2 awards each year. Letter of Intent due August 17, 2010; proposal due September 29, 2010 NETL Solicitation on Coal/Biomass Mixtures This solicitation supports the DOE Office of Fossil Energy Clean Coal Technology Program and its mission to ensure the availability of ultra-clean, abundant, low cost, domestic energy (including hydrogen) to fuel economic prosperity, strengthen energy security and enhance environmental quality. The required activities will support the NETL Fuels/Hydrogen Program Area goal to develop advanced and novel technologies that will ensure the use of our nation's abundant coal (and biomass) resources to produce affordable power, fuels and chemicals in a safe and environmentally clean manner. Applications to this Funding opportunity announcement are sought for R&D projects that will address key challenges related to the utilization of coal-biomass mixtures for co-production of power and hydrogen, fuels, and/or chemicals. Applicants may only respond to one topic per application. Multiple applications from the same applicant are permitted and teaming within a single application is also permitted. State clearly in the application which topic is being addressed. Proposals are sought for R&D in the following three topic areas: Topic Area 1: Pre-processing and Conditioning of Coal/Biomass Mixtures for Simultaneous Co-Feeding Systems; Topic Area 2: Reactive Properties of coal/biomass mixed fuels; Topic Area 3: Design concepts for Co-Production of Power, Fuels, and Chemicals. Application due May 28, 2010 DoEd Education Research Grants The Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences has issued the RFA for 2011 Education Research Grants with the following topic changes: Reading applications are limited to Exploration, Efficacy and Replication, Scale-up Evaluation, and Measurement (i.e., no Development and Innovation applications). Applicants interested in research on improving writing may apply under any of the goals. The Institute has created a new research topic on Adult Education. Under this topic, individuals may apply to conduct research relevant to teaching adult learners reading, basic writing skills, and basic mathematics skills. Because of this new topic, the Institute is dropping the topic of Interventions for Struggling Adolescent and Adult Readers and Writers. Individuals interested in research on struggling adolescent readers or writers may apply under the Reading and Writing topic. Individuals interested in research on adult learners may apply to the Adult Education research topic. The Institute is dropping the topic of Middle and High School Reform. Individuals may continue to apply for grants to conduct research on middle and high school reform under the Education Policy, Finance, and Systems topic. The Institute is creating two new research programs to emphasize (1) the Organization and Management of Schools and Districts and (2) Analysis of Longitudinal Data to Support State and Local Education Reform. Letter of Intent due July 20, 2010; proposals due Sept. 16, 2010. Need Help With CAREER Proposals? Faculty who are planning to submit NSF CAREER proposals this year should be hard at work planning and writing their proposals. These proposals are especially challenging because of their scope (5 years instead of the typical 3 years), context (they need to support a long-range Career Development Plan) and the requirement for an innovative education plan in addition to the research plan. Add to that the fact that the junior faculty applying often have very little proposal-writing experience, and it's clear why providing assistance and mentoring for these faculty can make a big difference in their success. Understanding the program and its requirements is one key to success with CAREER and there are a lot of helpful resources available on the web. A second key to success is encouraging PIs to recruit knowledgeable people to read and comment on their proposal drafts. Academic Research Funding Strategies provides a range of services to help CAREER PIs, ranging from a one-time review and deep edit of their proposal drafts to mentoring faculty through the entire proposal planning and writing process. Click here for more details. In addition, access to a recording of our CAREER webinar held in April, with supporting materials including example sections of successful CAREER proposals, is still available for purchase. Click here for more. April 26, 2010 Issue Congress Working on Reauthorization of America COMPETES Act The original America COMPETES Act (enacted in 2007) had significant impacts on research funding, including mandating cost share for NSF Major Research Instrumentation grants, requiring postdoctoral mentoring plans for NSF proposal funding postdocs, and committing to a path to doubling NSF funding. The House Committee on Science and Technology is now working on the reauthorization of this act, and some of the proposed amendments include: o Directing NSF to spend at least five percent of its research budget to fund high-risk, high- reward research proposals - this goal was also mentioned at the most recent NSF regional grants conference. More on this in the next article. o Keeping the NSF, DOE's Office of Science, and NIST on a path to double their budgets by 2017 o Amending the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program to reduce the cost-sharing requirement for colleges and universities so that a more diverse group of institutions can afford to participate in the Noyce program. o Helping NSF to support U.S. manufacturers by awarding grants to institutions of higher education to support fundamental research leading to transformative advances in manufacturing technologies, processes, and systems that will support U.S. manufacturing through improved performance, productivity, and competitiveness. o Encouraging NSF to establish and expand partnerships that promote innovation and increase the economic and social impact of research by developing tools and resources to connect new scientific discoveries to practical uses. o Authorizing NSF to provide grants for implementing or expanding research-based reforms in undergraduate STEM education for the purpose of increasing the number and quality of students studying toward and completing baccalaureate degrees in STEM. o Authorizing NSF to award grants for implementing or expanding research-based reforms in master's and doctoral level STEM education that emphasize preparation for diverse careers in the STEM workforce. We don't yet know which of these amendments will be included in the final bill, but it will be interesting to watch the progress of the bill, which will provide a useful preview of new research funding directions. NSF EAGER - Funding for High Impact, High Risk Projects As we mentioned in a previous issue, speakers at the most recent NSF Regional Grants emphasized NSF's commitment to funding high impact, high risk research, and as was mentioned in the previous article, a proposed amendment for the reauthorization of the America COMPETES act sets a goal of allocating 5% of NSF funding to these kinds of projects. What's behind this? The concern, voiced by many of America's leading scientists, is that the peer review process for evaluating grant proposals results in funding "safe" projects that are likely to succeed. The result is that potentially revolutionary but high-risk projects are not likely to be recommended for funding. NSF is using several tactics to counter this tendency. In 2008, NSF established the Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grant mechanism, replacing the old Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) mechanism. All indications are that NSF plans to fund a lot more research using this mechanism. NSF is also experimenting with other approaches to promote funding of high impact, high risk reseach, such as holding an internal competition among the programs for most innovative project funded. So, if you have an idea for a high impact, high risk project, how should you proceed? First, hone your idea. Remember that you'll need to make a compelling case for why this research could have a high impact in your field and beyond. Be sure you have a good understanding of what's already been done and what NSF has funded in this area (in addition to reading the literature, searching the NSF database can be helpful for this). If there is any preliminary work you can do to test the feasibility of your concept (e.g., a back-of-the-envelope calculation or a simple series of experiments), do that first. Your track record will be important, so if you're coming to this research topic from a different field, consider recruiting a collaborator with a strong record in the research field of your project. Next, write a short description (a few paragraphs) of your research idea and e-mail it to the program officer (if you are unsure which program would be likely to fund your idea, see the video here for tips on how to identify the NSF program that fits your research agenda), and request a time when you might discuss your idea further over the phone. After these discussions, if the Program Officer likes your idea, she will encourage you to write an EAGER proposal (only 5 to 8 pages). The decision on whether to fund your project will be made internally by NSF without a peer review panel, and success rates for these invited propoals are typically very high. The ulimate goal of your EAGER project should be to allow you to collect enough data to demonstrate the feasibility of your idea so that you can then write a regular NSF proposal for further work that will do well in the peer review process, which NSF emphasizes is still the "gold standard" for evaluating proposals. Social Science Opportunity in Energy: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation As more funding is committed to support research and implementation of alternative energy technologies, researchers in the Social Sciences and business management should look for grant opportunities related to policy, economics and behavioral aspects connected to energy. An example of this is the following opportunity. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced a call for proposals related to innovative, scalable strategies for energy efficiency retrofit programs or policies that address the existing building stock in the United States. Funding priorities include but are not limited to sustainable and scalable business models for implementing energy efficiency retrofits; policies or programs that seek to advance aggregation of disparate or fragmented opportunities in energy efficiency retrofits to increase the energy savings potential; innovative financing models and other mechanisms to ease upfront costs of efficiency improvements or increase the attractiveness of investments in energy efficiency; policies or programs to secure greater energy efficient performance in buildings such as through benchmarking or improved operations and management; policies or programs to drive deep energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings; policies or programs to address split incentives; and mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of and property owner participation in state, local, utility- sponsored, or privately-sponsored energy efficiency programs (proposed partnerships between such programs and applicants for DDCF support are encouraged. See here for more details. NIH Continues to Fund New Programs Focused on Healthcare Quality Measurement Motivated by healthcare reform and the Obama administration’s emphasis on outcomes-based healthcare management, NIH has recently released a number of funding opportunities aimed at developing and improving methods for measuring healthcare quality. The most recent of these is a new FOA, “CHIPRA Pediatric Healthcare Quality Measures Program Centers of Excellence (U18)” which solicits Cooperative Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects (U18) grant applications that propose to advance and improve measures of children’s healthcare quality. The FOA implements Section 401(a) of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009 (Public Law 111-3), which amends title XI (42 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) by inserting after section 1139 the new section 1139A(b): “Advancing and Improving Pediatric Quality Measures.” This section calls for the establishment of a pediatric quality measures program to: improve and strengthen the initial core child health care quality measures established by the Secretary under (42 U.S.C. 1301 Sec. 1139A(a)); expand on existing pediatric quality measures used by public and private health care purchasers and advance the development of such new and emerging quality measures; and increase the portfolio of evidence-based, consensus pediatric quality measures available to public and private purchasers of children’s healthcare services, providers, and consumers. DoD CDMRP Releases Several New Funding Opportunities It may initially be puzzling why the Department of Defense funds research into such topics as breast cancer, autism and amytrophic lateral sclerosis, but this can be explained by understanding that Congressionally Mandated Medical Research Programs were placed under DoD as a strategy to provide Congress with a mechanism for directly funding research into particular diseases in response to their constituents’ concerns. Although it resides inside the DoD, CDMRP’s procedures and culture are more similar to those of NIH, with the exception that funding is organized around particular health issues or diseases, mandated by Congress each year. As a result, disease research programs that are funded one year may not be funded the next. CDMRP has several classes of grants, which may or may not be supported within a particular program, including Idea Awards, Therapeutic Development Awards, New Investigator Awards, Concept Awards, and others. Recently announced programs for this year are: o Genetic Studies of Food Allergies Research Program: Idea and Concept Awards o Gulf War Illness Research Program: Investigator-initiated, Innovative Treatment Evaluation Award, Clinical Trial Award and Consortium Development Award o Breast Cancer: Concept Award o Autism: Exploration- Hypothesis Development Award o Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Therapeutic Idea Award Click here to see all 2010 funding opportunities that have been announced to date. Latest Solicitations from NETL The National Energy Testing Laboratory is continuing to announce an impressive number of new extramural funding opportunities. In the last two weeks, they’ve announced: FOA # Title Due 04/20/10 DE-FOA-0000317 Office of Fossil Energy FY2010 Energy and Water 05/19/10 Appropriations Act R&D Projects 04/19/10 DE-FOA-0000261 Coal Utilization Science: Advanced Research for 05/24/10 Fossil Energy Power Systems 04/16/10 DE-FOA-0000313 Smart Grid Research, Development, and 06/22/10 Demonstration Webinar scheduled for DoE SETP Photovoltaic (PV) Manufacturing Initiative The mission of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) is to accelerate the widespread adoption of solar electric technologies across the United States through a program of applied research and development, demonstration, and market transformation activities. This mission aims to diversify the Nations electricity supply options, increase national security, and improve the environment. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will enable DOE to launch a PV Manufacturing Initiative that will support accelerated development for the U.S. PV industry. There are two separate topics: (1) University-Focused: designed to allow Universities to conduct industry-relevant research and development projects related to PV manufacturing; and (2) Industry-Focused: designed to allow Industry to accelerate the development and implementation of PV manufacturing-related technologies through both collaborative and non-collaborative models. There are two submission phases: 1) Submission of the Concept Paper Application for DOE feedback (FOA No. DE-FOA-0000237) and 2) Submission of the Full Application (FOA No. DE-FOA-0000259). See Section IV of the Announcement entitled Application and Submission Information, for further details. Note that Applicants must have submitted a Concept Paper Application by the required due date, passed the Concept Paper Application initial compliance review, and received DOE feedback to be eligible to submit a Full Application. Once the Concept Paper Application FOA closes and DOE has provided feedback on the initial Concept Paper Application, a separate FOA requesting the Full Applications will be provided at www.grants.gov. IMPORTANT: A Webinar is scheduled for April 29, 2010. Division-level Instrumentation Programs at NSF Most faculty are familiar with NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation program, which is NSF-wide. In addition, some divisions also run their own instrumentation programs. They include: o Earth Science: Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities o Chemistry: Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-user Instrumentation, Instrument Development o Materials Research: Instrumentation for Materials Research - Major Instrumentation Projects, Instrumentation for Materials Research o Biology: Instrument Development for Biological Research (this one is funded at the Directorate level) These programs can be more changeable than the MRI, and it’s important to talk to your program officer to keep up with the latest developments in your division, particularly regarding the division's current funding for these programs. For example, the EAR Instrumentation program went through a period where they funded very few instrumentation grants because the division had committed to supporting a few large instrumentation projects. This year, they plan to fund 40 to 60 awards . Similarly, the IMR competition has been funded some years, but not others. Nevertheless, in years when these programs are well-funded, they can provide an excellent opportunity to win funding for needed instrumentation as long as you remember a few key points about instrumentation proposals. These proposals should make it very clear how the requested instrument will enhance current and future research supported by the instrumentation grant funder (in this case, the division). More impact is better, so having multiple users who can make a strong case for how the instrument will enhance division-funded research will make your proposal stronger. The new Earth Science Instrumentation and Facilities solicitation was recently released with some significant changes. See the solicitation for details. Setting Up or Expanding Your Research Development Office? If your university is considering adding research development capacity (maybe just one person or maybe a multi-person office) or you’re planning to expand your current research development capabilities, you may want to consider attending the second annual conference of National nd rd Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) in Chicago on June 2 and 3 . The conference will include a session on how to set up a research development office as well as one that explores various models for how these offices operate and opportunities and challenges that they face. Panelists will include directors of large offices as well as representatives from single-person offices. NSF's Physics Frontiers Centers Announced The solicitation for this round of Physics Frontiers Centers (PFCs) was recently released. This program has had a competition every two or three years, with the last set of PFCs funded in 2008. Click here for information on currently-funded PFCs. The Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC) program supports university-based centers and institutes where the collective efforts of a larger group of individuals can enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas. The program is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. Activities supported through the program are in all sub-fields of physics within the purview of the Division of Physics: atomic, molecular, optical, plasma, elementary particle, nuclear, astro-, gravitational, and biological physics. Interdisciplinary projects at the interface between these physics areas and other disciplines and physics sub-fields, e.g. biology, quantum information science, mathematical physics, condensed matter physics, and emerging areas of physics are also included. The successful PFC activity will demonstrate: (1) the potential for a profound advance in physics; (2) creative, substantive activities aimed at enhancing education, diversity, and public outreach; (3) potential for broader impacts, e.g., impacts on other field(s) and benefits to society; (4) a synergy or value-added rationale that justifies a center- or institute-like approach. Average award size $2.5M/year for 5 - 7 years. Preliminary Proposal due August 11, 2010; Full Proposal due Jan. 25, 2011. April 12, 2010 Issue NSF Releases Five New Energy, Climate and Sustainability Solicitations In a recent "Dear Colleague" letter, NSF announced that it is issuing five new cross-directorate solicitations: o Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) (NSF 10-524) o Ocean Acidification (OA) (NSF 10-530) o Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) (NSF 10-542) o Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models (EaSM) (NSF 10-554) o Dimensions of Biodiversity (NSF 10-548) These solicitations build on recommendations in the August 2009 National Science Board Report, Building a Sustainable Energy Futureand the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, NSF has requested funds in FY 2011 to further expand research support in this area through new and existing programs focused on Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES). Information on NSF's climate research activities as well as plans for SEES is available at http://www.nsf.gov/sees. Report from NSF Regional Grants Conference (continued) Here is more information from the recent NSF Regional Grants Conference in Cleveland, thanks to a colleague who attended breakout sessions that I was unable attend. o New solicitations are expected in 2010 or have recently been issued for Broadening Participation Resarch Initiation Grants in Engineering (BRIGE),ADVANCE (expected soon), Partnerships for Innovation. STTR (expect early to mid-August) o Energy and power are "back big-time." This research is going back to its roots in the power industry. (Look particularly at the Power, Controls and Adaptive Networks program as well as at targeted solicitations.) o NSF and NIH are both funding technologies for rehabilitation, but the focus is different: NSF ENG focuses on development of devices, whereas NIH focuses on clinical studies, although they do have a small engineering group. o As in many of the other presentations, Robert Trew, who presented in the ENG breakout was very enthusiastic about the new EAGER funding mechanism as a way to fund more high-risk, high payoff projects. o Informal Science Education now supports serious gaming for STEM learning and wants to involve citizens in doing their own research and publishing data. o Communicating Research to Public Audiences (CRPA) is now part of Informal Science Education and has a pool of money for scientists with NSF funding to convey what they are doing. Researchers who apply must be involved in an NSF project but do not have to be the PI. Presentations from the Regional Grant Conference are now posted at here. Helpful Overview of DOE Funding Strategy Secretary of Energy Steve Chu sent a letter on March 24th to the Committee on Appropriations which provides a very helpful overview of DOE's extramural funding programs for clean energy: The DOE has launched a trio of R&D efforts to accelerate the normal progress of S&T for energy research Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) – small groups of mostly university-led research teams working to solve specific scientific problems blocking clean energy development. He gives the example of collaborative team scientists such as Watson and Crick discovering the structure of DNA. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) –modeled after DARPA, ARPA-E funds small groups focused on breakthroughs in technology using an entrepreneurial funding model to support specific new technologies where a short-term R&D effort could deliver game-changing results. Here he gives the example of Bill Hewlett and David Packard pioneering the electronics industry. Energy Innovation Hubs – large, multi-disciplinary, highly-collaborative teams of scientists and engineers working over a longer time frame to achieve a specific high priority goal, led by top researchers who guide efforts, seize new opportunities and close off unproductive lines of research. Here he gives the example of the Manhattan Project or Bell Labs in its heyday. In the FY11 budget, DOE is requesting funding for one additional Hub – to dramatically improve batteries and energy storage. See the entire letter here (pdf). More Energy Funding News o E-RIC has scheduled another informational webinar is scheduled for those interested in applying to the Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative on April 14th from 1:30 - 3:30 pm. Click here for more information. o The National Academies has a new energy website, "What You Need to Know About Energy" which may be a useful source of background information for energy-related proposals. o ARPA-E recently revised their FAQs which cover a wide variety of subjects, especially the funding opportunities ADEPT, BEETIT, and GRIDS. Recently Announced NIH Funding Opportunities Selected recently announced NIH funding opportunities that may be of interest are; o Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) Program [K12] - an institutional grant for supervised research training to assist junior faculty in their transition into productive, physician scientists in areas related to pediatrics and its subspecialties (this is a reissue) o Bioengineering Nanotechnology Initiative (STTR and SBIR) - fund STTR and SBIR projects that employ nanotechnology to enable the development of diagnostics and interventions for treating diseases (this is also a reissue). To see all recently released funding opportunities (both new and reissued), click here for PAs and here for RFAs. Department of Education offers Webinars The National Center for Special Education Research and the National Center for Education Research within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will host a series of eight webinars related to research funding opportunities in April, including Grant Writing Workshops, and overviews of IES Education Research Training Grants. For more information regarding webinar topics, dates, and registration process, click here. For more information on research funding opportunities at IES, click here. Organization for Research Development Professionals Launches Website The relatively new National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) recently launched their new website. This organization is geared toward helping university research development professionals connect to their colleagues across the country. In particular, you may be interested in: o NORDP Annual Research Development Conference: Preliminary Conference information is now available, conference registration and hotel reservation capability will be available soon. o NORDP Membership: Will be available this Summer, watch for details at here. March 29, 2010 Issue Webinar for Junior Faculty: How to Write a Winning NSF CAREER Proposal Tuesday, April 13th, 2 - 3:30 pm EST The first signs of spring are finally showing, which means that junior faculty should be hard at work on their CAREER proposals if they plan to submit one this summer. These are challenging proposals to write because PIs must discuss not only their proposed 5-year research plan, but they must also place their research in context with their long-term career goals. In addition, they must develop an innovative, but not too time-consuming education plan. We will be offering a webinar on April 13th for junior faculty on how to write a successful CAREER proposal, based on nine years of experience helping scores of faculty compete for CAREER grants. The webinar will cover: o How to decide when and if it's the right time to apply for a CAREER grant o How to position yourself and your research to be competitive for a CAREER o How to structure your proposal o How to develop an educational plan o Keys to success and common mistakes to avoid o A step-by-step discussion of each section of the proposal and what it needs to tell the reviewers o Questions and Answers Additional materials, including example proposal sections, proposal outlines and helpful resources, will also be included. (Recordings of the webinar will also be available.) For more information and to register, go here. Webinar FAQs Report from NSF Regional Grants Conference I attended last week's NSF Regional Grants Conference in Cleveland. As usual, it was full of useful information and opportunities to talk to NSF Program directors. This is the fourth regional grants conference I've attended, and I always learn something new, particularly since things are always changing at NSF. Presentations from the conference should be posted soon on NSF's Outreach Activities website. Here are some highlights from the conference: o There will be quite a bit of personnel turnover at NSF over the next few months. NSF Director, Arden Bement, will be leaving NSF on June 1st after almost 6 years in that post and will be returning to Purdue. The NSF Director has a strong influence on particular agency priorities, so changes should be expected with a new director. o In addition, all but one of the Division Directors in the Math and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate will be leaving in the next few months. (The Physics division has the only director who is staying.) The speaker at the MPS breakout session, Nigel Sharp (acting Deputy Division Director for Astronomical Sciences), pointed out that the Division Director has a strong influence on division policies such as when to return proposals without review. He mentioned an example that one Division Director he knew felt that they should return proposals without review only in the most extreme cases, so his division was relatively lenient about such issues as non-compliant biosketches. However, they will be getting a new Division Director who might feel very differently. The result can be that PIs who had gotten away with using too-small fonts or listing publications in their biosketches incorrectly could suddenly be shocked to see their proposals returned without review. So, just because it's been OK before doesn't mean it will be OK now. The best approach: follow the rules! o NSF representatives discussed NSF's 2011 budget request (which we reported in our February 14th newsletter) and mentioned that NSF's strategic plan is currently under revision. Administration priority programs are the Graduate Research Fellowship, CAREER (both of which will see significant increases), and the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and Climate Change Education programs. NSF-wide priorities will include the US Global Climate Research Program (to which NSF contributes), Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability, and Cyberlearning Transforming Education. If the budget is enacted by Congress, expect to see new solicitations to support these priorities in 2011. (You can see the entire 2011 NSF budget request here.) o As part of NSF's efforts to increase funding for high-risk, high-pay-off "potentially transformative" research, $2 million has been set aside for each division (a total of $92M) to fund potentially transformative projects. A concern is that truly novel ideas don't fare well in the review process because when reviewers are confronted with many more excellent proposals than there are funds to support, they tend to recommend the "sure things" for funding. One way to address this is the relatively new EAGER mechanism. (Although they did not say this explicitly, I'd expect funds for EAGER projects to increase. Program directors mentioned EAGER frequently during the conference.) NSF is also looking for other ways to encourage more risk-taking, such as asking reviewers to select the most potentially transformative projects. o Would you like to know what the funding rates are for single PI proposals vs multi-PI proposals, for women PIs vs men PIs, the average number of months salary support in single PI grants, the average number of times PIs submit proposals before being funded? All this information plus more is available in the National Science Board's Merit Review report. The most recent data is for FY 2008, which is also the most recent year unaffected by ARRA. o Several speakers mentioned that they are seeing a lot of proposals returned without review because PIs who included funding for a postdoctoral researcher neglected to include a Postdoc Mentoring Plan. If you have a postdoc on your budget, be sure to do this or your proposal will be returned without review! You can find additional resources to help you formulate a plan here and here. o NSF is hoping to return the Major Research Instrumentation competition to its usual January due date in 2011. Because of the high number of expected proposals and the relatively low funding for the April competition, they are expecting significantly lower success rates than usual (~15%). (The recorded MRI webinar is available for free through a link at the above website.) o The new cohort of Science and Technology Centers (STCs) was just recently announced. There are currently 17 active STCs including the new cohort. For the last competition, there were about 250 preliminary proposals, about 40 – 50 were invited to full, and 5 were awarded. The STC competition is typically run every 2 – 3 years, but it varies. The timing of the next competition will be at the director’s discretion – it could take place in 2011 or 2012, but they don’t know for sure. o The next competition for Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is expected in 2011, but it may slip to 2012. o The Research in Undergraduate Institutions solicitation from 2000 is still in effect, but an effort is currently underway to update it. (They did not say what changes, if any, could be expected.) o The ACC-F program for Chemistry postdocs is a relatively new program which has a due date in May. They are still fine-tuning this solicitation, so expect some changes in next year's solicitation. Energy Research Resources As the government implements its energy priorities, the funding landscape for energy-related research is in flux. Here are some resources to help researchers follow the latest developments in funding for energy research: o ARPA-E past workshops posted on the web o ARPA-E funding opportunities and subscribe for updates o NETL Funding Opportunities NSF/DOE Partnership on Thermoelectric Devices for Vehicle Applications In this solicitation, the NSF Directorate for Engineering and the U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program are jointly soliciting proposals with transformative ideas that will impact national needs and priorities in energy conservation and climate change, specifically as pertains to novel thermoelectric devices and systems for harvesting waste heat in vehicle applications. Letter of Intent due May 21, 2010, Full proposal due June 22, 2010. NETL Funding Opportunities The National Energy Technology Laboratory has recently become much more active in funding extramural research. Some of their recently announced funding opportunities are: o Development of Innovative and Advanced Technologies for Geologic Sequestration o CO2 Utilization o University Turbine Systems Research Program Other Recently Announced NSF Funding Opportunities Computing in the Cloud - While the main focus of the Computing in the Cloud (CiC) program is to stimulate basic and applied research in cloud computing through the Microsoft Azure platform, the potential to foster simultaneous advances in other fields of science and engineering is both recognized and encouraged. CiC proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation, or as supplements to existing awards, or as EAGER proposals. Letter of Intent due April 30, 2010; Full proposal due June 15, 2010. 2 Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) - The goal of the SI program is to create a software ecosystem that includes all levels of the software stack and scales from individual or small groups of software innovators to large hubs of software excellence. The program addresses all aspects of CI, from embedded sensor systems and instruments, to desktops and high-end data and computing systems, to major instruments and facilities. Letter of Intent due May 10, 2010; Full proposal due June 14, 2010. Instrumentation for Materials Research - Major Instrumentation Projects- the 2010 solicitation has been modified to support three kinds of proposals: research and development (R&D), conceptual engineering and design (CED) and construction (CNST), all for the next generation of instruments at facilities for materials research. While all types of instrumentation are encouraged, in FY2010, there will be an emphasis on coherent light sources for R&D proposals. Due June 21, 2010 NSF Fellowships for Transformative Computational Science using CyberInfrastructure (CI TraCS) - support outstanding scientists and engineers who have recently completed doctoral studies and are interested in pursuing postdoctoral activities in computational science, and thereby nurturing the future leaders in this emerging and important multidisciplinary field. Due June 21, 2010; Jan. 13, 2011; Jan. 13, 2012 Decadal and regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models (EaSM)- this program is jointly funded by NSF, USDA and DoE. This solicitation calls for the development of next-generation Earth System Models that include coupled and interactive representations of ecosystems, agricultural working lands and forests, urban environments, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ocean and atmospheric currents, the water cycle, land ice, and human activities. Letter of Intent due May 24, 2010; Full proposal due June 25, 2010. Recently Announced NIH Funding Opportunities NIH had recently announced a raft of interesting new funding opportunities. Some that may be of interest are: o Development and Translation of Medical Technolgies that Reduce Health Disparities(SBIR) - encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to develop and translate medical technologies aimed at reducing disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. Appropriate medical technologies should be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and deliverable to those who need them. o Research Education Program for Laboratory Animal Medicine Veterinarians (R25) - solicits applications to provide research education for veterinarians interested in pursuing a career in Laboratory Animal Medicine. o NCMHD Advances in Health Disparities Research on Social Determinants of Health (R01) - to intensify investigator-initiated research, to attract new investigators to the field, and to encourage transdisciplinary research that will advance health disparities science. o Innovative Neuroscience K-12 Education (SBIR) - encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to develop innovative neuroscience educational tools to be used by or benefit children in kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12). To see all recently released funding opportunities (both new and reissued), click here for PAs and here for RFAs. March 15, 2010 Issue Webinar for Junior Faculty: How to Write a Winning NSF CAREER Proposal The first signs of spring are finally showing, which means that junior faculty should be hard at work on their CAREER proposals if the plan to submit one this summer. These are challenging proposals to write because PIs must discuss not only their proposed 5-year research plan, but they must also place their research in context with their long-term career goals. In addition, they must develop an innovative, but not too time-consuming education plan. We will be offering a webinar on April 13th for junior faculty on how to write a successful CAREER proposal, based on nine years of experience helping scores of faculty compete for CAREER grants. The webinar will cover: o How to decide when and if it's the right time to apply for a CAREER grant o How to position yourself and your research to be competitive for a CAREER o How to structure your proposal o How to develop an educational plan o Keys to success and common mistakes to avoid o A step-by-step discussion of each section of the proposal and what it needs to tell the reviewers o Questions and Answers Additional materials, including example proposal sections, proposal outlines and helpful resources, will also be included. (Recordings of the webinar will also be available.) For more information and to register, go here. New NSF Program: Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation NSF recently released a Dear Colleague letter announcing a new long-term program "focused on realizing a sustained software infrastructure that is an integral part of NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CF21) vision." This program is supported through a partnership of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure with Directorates and Offices across NSF. The letter also states that the program will begin with a new program soliciation as early as FY 2010 and will ramp up in subsequent years. NSF, G8 Research Councils to Fund International Collaborations on Exascale Computing In a Dear Colleague letter, NSF announced that a new "Interdisciplinary Program on Application Software towards Exascale Computing for Global Issues" will be jointly sponsored by NSF, and research agencies from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the UK. Collaborative research projects that include researchers from at least three partner countries will be supported on a competitive basis. Preliminary proposals are due May 7, 2010, and full proosals are due Aug. 25, 2010. NSF Venturing More Into Healthcare and Biomedical Research Not long ago, there was a "bright line" that separated the kind of research NSF would fund from the biomedical research that NIH funds. NSF was emphatic that it would not fund any research related to disease processes. However, as fields such as biomedical engineering and biophysics have blurred the disciplinary lines between physical science and biomedical research, NSF's position has shifted. There are now several NSF programs that, at least in part, fund health or biomedically related research: o The Service Enterprise Systems (SES) program in the Engineering Directorate now has a particular focus on healthcare and similar public service institutions and emphasizes research topics for more effective systems modeling and analysis. o The Nano and Bio Mechanics (NBM) program supports research on the mechanical properties and behavior of biological materials and structures, including cells, tissue, muscles, bones, and prosthetic implants. o The Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering (BBBE) program deals with fundamental problems involved in the processing and manufacturing of products of economic importance by effectively utilizing renewable resources of biological origin and bioinformatics originating from genomic and proteomic information, and includes subjects such as cell culture technology, metabolic engieering and tissue engineering. o The Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Healthcare cluster funds projects that "integrate engineering and life science principles in solving biomedical problems that serve humanity," including the design of structures and materials for eventual medical use. Not biomedical, but illustrative of the blurring of disciplinary lines between biology and the physical sciences, the relatively new Physics of Living Systems program in the Physics Division funds research exploring fundamental biological processes at the molecular level. NIH announces ARRA Pathfinder Award to promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce In the announcement, NIH states that this FOA introduces a new research grant program to encourage exceptionally creative individual scientists to develop highly innovative and possibly transforming approaches for promoting diversity within the biomedical research workforce. To be considered highly innovative, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued or it must apply existing research designs in new and innovative ways to unambiguously identify factors that will improve the retention of students, postdocs and faculty from diverse backgrounds. Awardees must commit a major portion (generally 30% or more) of their research effort to activities supported by the Director’s Pathfinder Award and the proposed research must be endorsed by the highest levels of institutional management. Only one PI/PD may be designated on the application. All Centers and Institutes are participating. Proposals are due May 4, 2010. NEH Awards for Faculty at HBCUs, TCUs and IHHEs NEH is accepting proposals for their Awards for Faculty grants. This program supports individual faculty members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Institutions with High Hispanic Enrollment (IHHEs) pursuing research of value to humanities scholars, students, or general audiences. Awards are designed to be flexible, allowing applicants to define the audience, type of research, award periods, and administrative arrangements that best fit their projects. Awards can be used for a wide range of projects that are based on humanities research. Proposals are due April 15, 2010. ARPA-E Releases Three New Funding Opportunities Three new funding opportunity announcements were released by ARPA-E: o Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS) o Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices (BEETIT) o Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (ADEPT) For all of them, concept papers are due April 2, 2010. NSF Releases Dimensions of Biodiversity Solicitation This solicitation is the beginning of a 10-year campaign to "transform how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth." NSF states that, "investigators are encouraged to propose projects that are free from the constraints imposed by traditional boundaries among areas of biodiversity research. In its initial phase, the program will focus on genetic, taxonomic, and functional dimensions of biodiversity. Successful proposals should address and integrate these three dimensions to understand interactions and feedbacks among them. While this focus complements several core NSF programs, it differs by requiring that multiple dimensions of biodiversity be addressed simultaneously, in innovative or novel ways, to understand the roles of biodiversity in critical ecological and evolutionary processes. Examples are provided in the following section." Individual awards up to $3M over 5 years. Letter of Intent due May 7, 2010. Full proposals due June 8, 2010. Proposal Tip: IGERT - What are Reviewers Looking For? Many faculty are working hard on NSF IGERT preliminary proposals, and in recent discussions the question came up: What do reviewers look for to confirm that a proposed IGERT project is truly interdisciplinary? I have worked on many IGERT proposals, some of which were funded (but only after multiple submissions), and in my experience this is what reviewers look for in terms of interdisciplinarity: o Are the disciplines involved balanced in involvement? For example, if the project involves biology, math and engineering, there should be students involved from each of these disciplines, rather than having a bunch of biology students be co-advised by math faculty, but with no math students involved. Avoid having one discipline be merely an “add-on” to another department’s program. o Are the research projects truly interdisciplinary? Are the teams on a particular research project from different disciplines, or is the PI just bringing together discrete projects that each have teams from just one discipline? o Is there interaction and synergy between the various research projects and across teams? o Will there be interaction between students from the different departments? NSF likes to see this not just in research, but also in informal settings, such as having shared labs, co- locating desks, and having additional career development and social activities such as brown bag lunches with a speaker who is working in the area of interest. o And don’t forget that NSF is increasingly looking for some kind of international experience for the students even if you are not adding a funded international component. February 28, 2010 Issue Innovations in Biological Imaging and Visualization (IBIV): NSF Follows New “Sandpit” Approach NSF's new Innovations in Biological Imaging and Visualization (IBIV) program is the latest in which NSF is using a new "sandpit" approach. In order to be competitive for these funding opportunities, it's important that researchers are aware of opportunities to participate in these sandpits. This approach is described by NSF as follows. The Sandpit approach was modeled on the "IDEAs Factory" program developed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom (UK). The concept of the IDEAs Factory program is to organize intensive interactive workshops ("Sandpits") involving 20- 30 participants, with the aim of developing new and bold approaches to address grand challenge questions for topics that could benefit from a new dimension in thinking. The aim of this NSF Ideas Lab is to stimulate the development of research projects and fund new interdisciplinary collaborations among US scientists to foster major advances in current research practices. Anyone eligible to apply for funding from the NSF is eligible to apply to participate in the Ideas Lab. The process is designed to engage creative individuals in the development of novel project ideas with the potential to advance a field of research. The IBIV activity supports the development of novel approaches to the analysis of biological research images through the innovative "Ideas Lab" project development and review process. The analysis and visual representation of complex biological images present daunting challenges across all scales of investigation, from multispectral analysis of foliage or algal bloom patterns in satellite images, to automated specimen classification, and tomographic reconstructions in structural biology. Participation from molecular and cell biologists, biophysicists, ecologists, evolutionary and population biologists, computational theorists and engineers, mathematicians, imaging specialists from other fields, educators involved in training the next generation of researchers, and a range of other specialists (artists, illustrators, etc.) is strongly encouraged. Interested PIs should respond to this solicitation by submitting preliminary proposals to apply for participation in the Ideas Lab activity, scheduled from May 24 to May 28, 2010. Submission of the preliminary proposal will be considered an indication of availability to attend and participate through the full course of the five day residential workshop. Travel and subsistence costs to attend the workshop will be reimbursed. NSF Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Revamped NSF has released a new CCLI solicitation, renamed "Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" (TUES). NSF says the solicitation was renamed to emphasize their interest in projects that have the potential to transform undergraduate STEM education. The importance of institutionalizing successful projects is also emphasized in this solicitation. As in past years, the program supports efforts to create, adapt, and disseminate new learning materials and teaching strategies to reflect advances both in STEM disciplines and in what is known about teaching and learning. It funds projects that develop faculty expertise, implement educational innovations, assess learning and evaluate innovations, prepare K-12 teachers, or conduct research on STEM teaching and learning. It also supports projects that further the work of the program itself, for example, synthesis and dissemination of findings across the program. The program supports projects representing different stages of development, ranging from small, exploratory investigations to large, comprehensive projects. Type I proposals are due May 26 or 27, 2010 (depending on your institution's name) and Type 2 and 3 and TUES Central Resource Project proposals are due January 14, 2011. Funding Increased for Programs to enhance STEM Education Improving STEM education and increasing the number of US students pursuing studies in STEM fields is a particular focus of the current administration, presenting new funding opportunities for universities involved in STEM education, education research and teacher education. President Obama's proposed 2011 budget requested a 40% overall increase for programs funded by various agencies to encourage K-12 students to pursue study in STEM fields. This emphasis can be seen in a raft of new grant opportunities focused on STEM education, some from agencies that have not traditionally funded K-16 education programs. In January, DARPA announced a Computer Sciences- Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CS-STEM) program. NIH awarded $18.3 million in grants from ARRA funds to support research on STEM education, much of it K-12 focused. NSF has announced the new Fostering Interdisciplinary Research on Education (FIRE), which is a new strand of their Research and Evaluation on Education and Science and Engineering (REESE) program. According to the solicitation, "The primary goal of the strand is to facilitate the development of innovative theoretical, methodological, and analytic approaches to understanding complex STEM education issues of national importance and, by so doing, make progress toward solving them. A secondary goal of the strand is to broaden and deepen the pool of investigators engaged in STEM educational research. In order to address this goal, investigators must pair with a mentoring scientist in a to-be- learned field of interest. Awards are open to investigators who have received a doctoral degree in a disciplinary STEM field outside of education proper and wish to pursue research in learning and education, or who have received a doctoral degree from an educational research program and wish to complement their expertise with training in a disciplinary STEM field outside of education." NSF announced the Climate Change Education (CCE): Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Program, Phase I (CCEP-I), seeking to establish a coordinated national network of regionally- or thematically-based partnerships devoted to increasing the adoption of effective, high quality educational programs and resources related to the science of climate change and its impacts. The CCEP program is one facet of a larger NSF collection of awards related to Climate Change Education (CCE) that has two goals: (1) preparing a new generation of climate scientists, engineers, and technicians equipped to provide innovative and creative approaches to understanding global climate change and to mitigate its impact; and, (2) preparing today's U.S. citizens to understand global climate change and its implications in ways that can lead to informed, evidence-based responses and solutions. For Phase I Partnerships, awards are expected to be between $750,000 and $1,000,000 total for two years. NASA will fund grants for Global Climate Change Education: Research Experiences, Modeling & Data to improve the quality of global climate change and Earth system science education at the elementary, secondary and undergraduate levels, and through lifelong learning. Each funded proposal is expected to take advantage of NASA’s unique contributions in climate science to enhance learners’ academic experiences and/or to improve educators’ abilities to engage and stimulate their students. For more details, see the CAN here. Notices of Intent are required and due by Mar. 18, 2010. Full proposals are due Apr. 28, 2010. Next Round NSF ATE Competition Announced: 75 – 90 Awards Anticipated Great Opportunity for 2-Year Colleges The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program will fund 45 – 60 new awards for ATE projects this round: 15 for Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE, 2 for Centers of Excellence, 3 Regional Centers of Excellence, 4 Resource Centers, 4 Planning Grants for Centers, and up to 8 new Targeted Research on Technician Education. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and employers to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two- year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. Another goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective teachers that focus on technological education. The program also invites proposals focusing on research to advance the knowledge base related to technician education. Preliminary proposals are due April 22, 2010 (not required but strongly recommended); full proposal are due Oct. 21, 2010. 2010 Ruth L Kirschstein NRSA Individual Fellowship Competitions NIH's Program Announcements were released for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Fellowships. These grants include: Predoctoral MD/PhD and other dual doctoral degree fellows (F30) Predoctoral Fellows (F31) Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) Postdoctoral Fellows(F32) Senior Fellows (F33) All of these are F Series Fellowships and are due April 8, August 8 and December 8 each year. Students and their advisors should be sure to check that the appropriate Institute for their research participates in the fellowship program in which they are interested. For example, the Institute of General Medical Sciences is a participant in Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health- Related Research, but not in the Individual Predoctoral Fellows program. Even more than most fellowship applications, these programs require strong involvement by the applicant’s faculty mentor. Success rates for these fellowships are generally higher than for most fellowship programs. Lists of study sections for NRSA Fellowships can be found here and here. To find others at your institution who have won Individual Fellowships, go to NIH’s award database, click on “Training, Individual” under “Funding Mechanism” and enter your institution under “organization”. Note: if you don’t get any hits, it may be because you didn’t enter your organization’s name exactly as it appears in the database. Try adding the wildcard “%” or just search under your state and scroll through the list to find awards to your institution. You can read about each award and even contact the student or their advisor and ask for advice on your application (they may even let you read their winning proposal). 2010 NASA ROSES Released The blanket NASA Funding Announcement for basic and applied research proposals in the space and earth sciences to NASA’s Science Mission Directorate was recently issued. Subscribe to an RSS feed for amendments and modifications here. NIH issues new FOAs and PA for Hearing Health Care The NIH (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) has issued several new funding opportunities (an R01, R24 and R21/33) to encourage research and increase infrastructure support leading to accessible and affordable hearing health care. The overarching emphasis is on the acquisition of knowledge that can be rapidly translated into new or enhanced approaches for access, assessment or interventions leading to accessible and affordable HHC. New Competition for NSF National STEM Education Distributed Learning (NSDL) This program aims to establish a national network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels. The program has four tracks: Pathways projects are expected to provide stewardship for the content and services needed by major communities of learners; Pathways II projects are expected to move beyond the major stewardship goals and use Stage II support to ensure the expansion and stability of an original Pathways effort; Services projects are expected to develop services that support users and resource collection providers by enhancing the impact, efficiency, and value of the NSDL network; and Targeted Research will focus on investigating the educational impact of networked digital resources. Letter of Intent due April 24, 2010; full proposal due May 26, 2010 Proposal Tip: Beware Default Settings Many faculty who are new to writing proposals or have recently upgraded their software forget to check the default settings on their word processing software. NSF allows 1-inch margins and 6 lines of text within a vertical space of 1 inch ( which generally works out to single spaced lines for the allowed fonts), and specifies specific fonts (Arial, Courier New, or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger, Times New Roman at a font size of 11 points or larger or Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger). However, Word 2007 default settings put the text at 1.15 spacing, not single spaced, with 11 point Calibri as the default font, and Word 2003 has margins set at 1.25”. Also, many writers will hit a “tab” to provide an indent at the beginning of a paragraph. Reducing that indent to 0.25” can allow you to get a few more words on a page. All of these modifications can make it easier to fit your proposal to the page limit without compromising readability. For a Full List of Recently Released Funding Opportunities For a full list of recently-released funding opportunities, see the links listed under "Compilations of Funding Announcements on our Finding Funding page. February 14, 2010 Issue Obama Proposes 2011 R&D Budget The Obama administration has submitted the proposed 2011 budget to Congress, which includes an 8% increase in NSF funding, a 3.2% increase for NIH, a 10% increase for NOAA, a 63% increase in funding for USDA’s Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI), an 18% increase in NASA’s R&D budget, and a 3.7% increase in funding for DARPA. The budget also includes $300 million for DOE’s recently-established ARPA-E, a 4.6% increase for DOE’s Office of Science, and a 40% overall increase for programs funded by various agencies to encourage K- 12 students to pursue study in STEM fields. Most of these increases will be offset by cutting NASA’s program to return to the moon and by a 9% cut in the Department of Homeland Security’s R&D budget.(Of course, the final budget passed by Congress may be significantly modified, but this proposed budget provides insight into the administration’s research priorities.) NSF - Proposed NSF increases will focus on increasing funding for networking and information technology research, climate and energy research and education, and environmental and economic sustainability, as well as increasing the number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships awarded (with a target of tripling the number of fellowships by 2013). Proposed new funding includes $766 million for a “cross-agency sustainability research effort on renewable energy technologies and complex environmental- and climate- system processes,” which is meant to represent a fundamental shift in how NSF defines and supports multidisciplinary energy and climate research. In addition, $103 million is proposed for a “new consolidated program aimed at building the science and technology workforce by recruiting and retaining undergraduate students from under-represented groups,” which will engage undergraduates at Minority Serving Institutions NIH - The proposed budget identifies priority areas for NIH investment including genomics, translational research, science to support health care reform, global health, and reinvigorating the biomedical research community. USDA - Priorities identified for USDA’s greatly increased AFRI budget of $429 million fall into five core areas: climate change, bioenergy, childhood obesity, world hunger and food safety. DOE - Emphasis at DOE’s Office of Science will include basic energy sciences to discover novel ways to produce, store and use energy ($1.8 billion). Other priorities listed for for DOE research included research, development and demonstration of smartgrid technologies, carbon capture and storage technologies, Fossil Energy R&D, and R&D on nuclear technologies. Details on the proposed budgets and spending priorities for each agency can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/ . NIH Announces Two New Funding Opportunities Focusing on Interdisciplinary Social/Behavioral Research NIH recently released a new RFA, “Science of Behavior Change: Finding Mechanisms of Change in the Laboratory and the Field (R01),” which encourages scientific teams using approaches from behavioral economics, social, behavioral, cognitive and affective neurosciences, neuroeconomics, behavior genetics and genomics, and systems science to “establish a groundwork for a unified science of behavior.” The need to integrate basic and translational science, bridging laboratory and field-based research is also emphasized. NIH also released a new Program Announcement,“Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams (R13),” which will fund institutions to hold meetings to develop interdisciplinary research teams. The teams must include investigators from social and/or behavioral sciences and may include the life and/or physical science. “In this initial stage, the research team meets, learns each other’s languages, synthesizes theoretical perspectives and methodologies, and develops workable research plans.” (Note that special permission to submit must be requested at least 6 weeks prior to the application deadline.). Importance of International Components Will Continue To Increase at NSF In a recent talk at Texas A&M University, Dr. Osman Shinaishin, NSF Program Coordinator in the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), stated that NSF reviewers will increasingly be looking for international components in all NSF proposals, and the quality of such components could easily be the discriminator in determining which of two closely ranked proposals will be funded. A key objective of international components should be to give US students, undergraduate and graduate level as well as postdocs, the opportunity to work in other countries as part of a meaningful scientific collaboration with international researchers. NSF’s ultimate goals are: 1) to produce students and faculty who understand how research is conducted in their field in other countries, are comfortable collaborating with researchers outside the US, and are therefore likely to be globally engaged in their future careers; and 2) to promote international research collaborations. This may be accomplished through student and faculty exchanges, but bringing international students to the US should not be the principal goal of the project since that already happens without NSF funding, and it does not give US students the desired international experience. An important restriction to keep in mind is that NSF funds cannot be used to fund foreign researchers who are conducting research outside the US (this restriction does not apply to NIH, and Dr. Shinaishin expressed hope that the rules may be changed for NSF in the future). NSF has worked out agreements with their counterpart agencies in many other countries in order to make it easier for collaborative teams to seek funding from NSF for the US component of the project in parallel with funding from the counterpart agency to support the foreign researcher. OISE staff can help US researchers to navigate this process; staff are listed by country here. Dr. Shinaishin also encouraged NSF-funded PIs to consider pursuing an International Supplement. Other programs that fund international experiences are International Research Experiences for Students (IRES), Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Projects (DDEP), the International Research Fellowship program for postdocs and new faculty, International Research and Education: Planning Visits and Workshops grants, and International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU). NSF is also working with the US Department of State to develop new mechanisms to support international scientific collaborations. First Regional Innovation Cluster FOA Released As part of a new model for funding large regional projects, a Funding Opportunity Announcement was released jointly by the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Department of Labor, Department of Education and National Science Foundation. This FOA will fund the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Cluster Taskforce and will support the development and growth of an energy regional innovation cluster (E-RIC). One award will be made for up to $22 million in the first year of the award with additional amounts of up to $25 million per year for four additional years. Two information sessions for Consortia wishing to apply for this opportunity will be held: one on February 22 in person and as a webcast, and the second on April 6 as a teleconference. Next Round NSF NUE Competition Announced: Great Opportunity for PUIs NSF reissued a new solicitation for the next round of competition for Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education in Engineeering (NUE) grants. The focus of this year’s competition will be on two areas related to nanotechnology education: 1) devices and systems; and 2) societal, ethical economic and/or environmental issues. This is a great opportunity for Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions to add a new (or enhance an existing) nanotechnology-related course or lab. Remember that these proposals should have a strong pedagogical foundation, including a thorough discussion of relevant pedagogical research, and an interdisciplinary approach. Awards are up to $200K over 2 years, and proposals are due May 7, 2010. William T. Grant Foundation Investigator-Initiated Grants for Improving Quality of After-school Programs The William T. Grant Foundation will be accepting investigator-initiated proposals until the due date of April 16, 2010. Their current research interests focus on understanding and improving everyday settings of children in the US. Their current Action Topic is improving the quality of after-school programs. Click here for a helpful article about things researchers should know about applying for funding from private foundations. January 31, 2010 Issue 2010 Federal R&D Budgets Finalized The 2010 budgets for the various federal agencies that fund research have been passed by Congress and signed by the President. The AAAS website provides links to detailed information on these budgets. Below is a summary of budget changes that are most likely to be of interest to university researchers. NSF Budget o The total increase in funding for Research and Research-related Activities is 8.4% compared to 2009 (not counting ARRA funds) o The Directorate of Geosciences received the largest percentage increase (10.4%). o NSF originally requested $7.045 billion but received $6.49 billion, so final allocations for these programs are likely to change somewhat. According to NSF’s original budget request, significantly increased funding was planned for: the CAREER program for new faculty and young investigators (+11.6%), Graduate Research Fellowships (+6%), the Advanced Technology Education program (+24%); the Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT)program (+9%); and the Math Science Partnership (MSP) program (+4.6%). o New programs include the Climate Change Education Program – this is a new program to “develop the next generation of environmentally engaged scientists and engineers” - and Potentially Transformative Research – each research division will set aside funding to “explore methodologies that… foster transformative research.” Budget allocations for 2010 by NSF Directorate are shown below: Directorate or Office Percent Increase Compared to 2009* Math and Physical Sciences (MPS) 7.7% Engineering (ENG) 8.0% Biological Sciences (BIO) 9.5% Geosciences (GEO) 10.4% Computer and Info Science and Eng (CISE) 8.1% Office of Cyberinfrastructure 7.7% Social, Behavioral and Econ Sci. (SBE) 4.8% Office of International Science & Eng (OISE) 9.0% US Polar Programs 7.4% Integrative Activities 10.1% Arctic Research Commission 4.5% * Not including ARRA ("stimulus") funds Other R&D Budgets o NIH’s R&D budget increased modestly (+2.3%), with relatively uniform increases among the Institutes and Centers, except for Environmental Health Sciences, which received a 4.1% increase. o USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) received a 30.3% increase in funding over 2009 and all other CSREES R&D programs received a 10.3% increase. o NASA will receive modestly increased research budgets for Earth Science (+5.1%), Heliophysics (+7.6%) and Planetary Science (+2.6%), although the Astrophysics budget was cut (-7.2%). o The Department of Energy received a hefty increase (+30%) in its budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). While much of DOE’s research is conducted internally through the National Labs and other intramural researchers, university researchers should expect a significant increase in opportunities for extramural research funding related to the national priority to gain energy independence (biofuels, solar energy, etc.). o Within the Department of Education, the budget for Education Sciences was increased significantly (+17.4%). The budget for FIPSE (Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education) was increased by 19.3%. o The Department of Defense saw a modest increase (+3.3%) in its budget for Basic (6.1) Research, which is the most likely source for academic research funding. o The Congressionally Mandated Medical Research Program (CDMRP), which is funded out of DoD but is more similar to NIH in how it operates, received a $16.8% increase. (Click here for the list of CDMRP programs for 2010.) NSF MRI Solicitation Released NSF's Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) solicitation has been released with a proposal due date of April 21, 2010. NSF plans to hold a webcast on the MRI within the next several weeks. The date and details will be announced on the Office of Integrative Activities' MRI program page. MRI proposals are very different from standard NSF research proposals. For information on how to develop a competitive MRI proposal, see our page on Facilities and Instrumentation proposals. NSB Releases 2010 Key Science & Eng Indicators The National Science Board has released its AAAS website on Key SEI and budget appropriations report on Key Science and Engineering Indicators. Not only does this data influence R&D spending policy, it can also provide useful background for proposals focused on education and training. You can find a one-page summary and links to the full report on the AAAS website. Especially interesting are: o A graph showing R&D expenditures by discipline and agency o A graph showing R&D expenditures by discipline over time o Science and Engineering Bachelor degrees earned by field Excellent Opportunity for Junior Faculty NSF's Regional Grants Conference is coming up March 22 - 23 in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Case Western Reserve University. This is a great way to meet program directors and learn about NSF programs. Encourage your junior faculty who may be interested in pursuing NSF funding to attend (there is a special session on the NSF CAREER program). Information on how to register and presentations from past Regional Grants Conferences can be found here. DOE Announces ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit If researchers at your university are planning to pursue ARPA-E funding, they should consider attending the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, March 1 - 3 in Washington, DC. The goal of the summit is to bring together "members of the scientific and research communities, venture capital investors, technology entrepreneurs, corporations with an interest in clean energy technologies, policymakers and government officials" to share ideas and identify future technology opportunities. These kinds of meetings often help set future funding agendas and can therefore be extremely helpful to researchers who plan to pursue research funding in those areas. Robert Wood Johnson Active Living Grants The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched the 10th round competition for its Active Living Research and New Connections grant opportunities, aimed at addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. Proposed projects should conduct research to inform policy and envirnomental strategis for increasing physical activity among children and adolescents. The New Connections grants are targeted for early-career researchers from groups who have been historically underrepresented in RWJF funding. Conference calls are scheduled for Feb. 22, March 1st and March 23 to allow potential applicants to ask questions. If you have faculty conducting research in this area, particularly early career faculty who have not yet been funded by RWJF, this is an excellent opportunity for them to develop contacts at the foundation. Proposals are due April 14, 2010. See here for the full announcement and eligibility requirements. A helpful article about pursuing funding from foundations is posted here.