Extracted from the NSF Guidelines
The full proposal should present the
- (1) objectives and scientific, engineering, or educational significance of the proposed work;
- (2) suitability of the methods to be employed;
- (3) qualifications of the investigator and the grantee organization;
- (4) effect of the activity on the infrastructure of science, engineering and education; and
- (5) amount of funding required.
It should present the merits of the proposed project clearly and should be prepared with the care and thoroughness of a paper submitted for publication.
Sufficient information should be provided to enable reviewers to evaluate the proposal in accordance with the two merit review criteria established by the National Science Board.
NSF expects strict adherence to the rules of proper scholarship and attribution. The responsibility for proper attribution and citation rests with authors of a proposal; all parts of the proposal should be prepared with equal care for this concern. Authors other than the PI (or any co-PI) should be named and acknowledged. Serious failure to adhere to such standards can result in findings of research misconduct.
(i) Content All proposals to NSF will be reviewed utilizing the two merit review criteria described in greater length in Chapter III.
The Project Description should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include:
- objectives for the period of the proposed work and expected significance;
- relation to longer-term goals of the PI's project; and
- relation to the present state of knowledge in the field, to work in progress by the PI under other support and to work in progress elsewhere.
The Project Description should outline the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of experimental methods and procedures and plans for preservation, documentation, and sharing of data, samples, physical collections, curriculum materials and other related research and education products. It must describe as an integral part of the narrative, the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activities, addressing one or more of the following as appropriate for the project: how the project will integrate research and education by advancing discovery and understanding while at the same time promoting teaching, training, and learning; ways in which the proposed activity will broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.); how the project will enhance the infrastructure for research and/or education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships; how the results of the project will be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding; and potential benefits of the proposed activity to society at large. Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF Website 18.
18 Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.
e. References Cited
Reference information is required. Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. If the document is available electronically, the Website address also should be identified.19 Proposers must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. While there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the 15-page project description.
f. Biographical Sketch(es)
(i) Senior Personnel
A biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for each individual identified as senior project personnel. The following information must be provided in the order and format specified below:
(a) Professional Preparation
A list of the individual's undergraduate and graduate education and postdoctoral training as indicated below:
Undergraduate Institution(s) Major Degree & Year
Graduate Institution(s) Major Degree & Year
Postdoctoral Institution(s) Area Inclusive Dates (years)
A list, in reverse chronological order, of all the individual's academic/professional appointments beginning with the current appointment.
A list of:
(i) up to 5 publications most closely related to the proposed project; and
(ii) up to 5 other significant publications, whether or not related to the proposed project.
Each publication identified must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. If the document is available electronically, the Website address also should be identified.
For unpublished manuscripts, list only those submitted or accepted for publication (along with most likely date of publication).
Patents, copyrights and software systems developed may be substituted for publications.
Additional lists of publications, invited lectures, etc., must not be included. Only the list of 10 will be used in the review of the proposal.
(d) Synergistic Activities
A list of up to five examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual's professional and scholarly activities that focuses on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation. Examples could include, among others: innovations in teaching and training (e.g., development of curricular materials and pedagogical methods); contributions to the science of learning; development and/or refinement of research tools; computation methodologies, and algorithms for problem-solving; development of databases to support research and education; broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, engineering and technology; and service to the scientific and engineering community outside of the individual's immediate organization.
(e) Collaborators & Other Affiliations
Collaborators and Co-Editors. A list of all persons in alphabetical order (including their current organizational affiliations) who are currently, or who have been collaborators or co-authors with the individual on a project, book, article, report, abstract or paper during the 48 months preceding the submission of this proposal. Also include those individuals who are currently or have been co-editors of a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings during the 24 months preceding the submission of the proposal. If there are no collaborators or co-editors to report, this should be so indicated.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors. A list of the names of the individual?s own graduate advisor(s) and principal postdoctoral sponsor(s), and their current organizational affiliations.
Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor. A list of all persons (including their organizational affiliations), with whom the individual has had an association as thesis advisor, or with whom the individual has had an association within the last five years as a postgraduate-scholar sponsor. The total number of graduate students advised and postdoctoral scholars sponsored also must be identified.
The information in section (e) above of the biographical sketch is used to help identify potential conflicts or bias in the selection of reviewers.
A. REVIEW CRITERIA
All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. For example, proposals for large facility projects also might be subject to special review criteria outlined in the program solicitation. The two merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions, and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgments.
What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students, and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.
Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens, women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities, are essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF Website at : http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.