NSF Career Awards
NSF Career Awards
OGCA Contact Information:
For all proposals in the College of Natural Sciences:
Mary Bryskiewicz, email@example.com (413) 545-0698
Proposals in all other Colleges:
Kim Lowney, firstname.lastname@example.org (413) 545-0698
The Official Due Dates to NSF are generally in the fourth week of July. The deadline to OGCA is five full business days before the NSF due date.
OGCA guidelines for incomplete submissions are found on the website. In short, proposals may be submitted "on-time" with a draft technical section and everything else complete. It must be clearly marked "draft," and no further changes that will affect personnel, budget, cost share, or F&A can be made after the 5-day deadline. PIs must sign off on the draft technical sections by 2 days prior to the sponsor deadline.
A. The following is a summary as to how the CAREER Awards vary from standard NSF applications as detailed in NSF’s Grant Proposal Guides (GPG):
Applicants are expected to be familiar with the GPG.
1)Budget. The minimum CAREER award size is $400,000 for a five-year period for all directorates except BIO. For proposals submitted to the BIO directorate, the minimum award size is $500,000 over five years. These proposals must include the current federally negotiated F&A rate under Indirect Cost Rates.
2) Project Title. The project title must begin with "CAREER:" and follow with an informative title.
3) Co-PIs. No co-PIs are permitted.
4) PI eligibility information. As part of the cover sheet entry, proposers must complete and submit the CAREER and PECASE certifications, thereby self-certifying their eligibility for the CAREER Program and their eligibility to be considered for the PECASE award, if desired.
5) Project Summary. Summarize the research and education objectives, and plans for the integration of education and research activities. The Project Summary must clearly address in separate statements how the proposal meets both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact review criteria.
6)The Project Description should be developed in consultation with the department head or equivalent organizational official and should include:
- a description of the proposed research project, including preliminary supporting data where appropriate, specific objectives, methods and procedures to be used, and expected significance of the results;
- a description of the proposed educational activities, including plans to evaluate their impact on students and other participants;
- a description of how the research and educational activities are integrated with one another; and
- results of prior NSF support, if applicable.
7) Departmental Letter must be included in the proposal.
The Departmental Letter should be approximately one page in length, and include the department head's name and title, below the signature. The letter should contain the following elements:
- An indication that the PI's proposed CAREER research and education activities are supported by and integrated into the educational and research goals of the department and the organization, and that the department is committed to the support and professional development of the PI;
- A description of a) the relationship between the CAREER project, the PI's career goals and job responsibilities, and the goals of his/her department/organization, and b) the ways in which the department head (or equivalent) will ensure the appropriate mentoring of the PI, in the context of the PI's career development and his/her efforts to integrate research and education throughout the period of the award and beyond; and
- Verification that the PI is eligible for the CAREER program.
B. THE FOLLOWING IS SPECIFIED IN THE SOLICITATION FOR AUTOMATIC TURNDOWN
Proposals that are non-compliant for the following reasons will be returned without review:
- Co-Principal Investigators listed on the cover page
- CAREER eligibility certification missing
- Departmental Letter missing (be careful to put this in the Supplementary Documents section, not the Single Copy Documents section)
- Submitted after the relevant deadline has passed
- No description of mentoring activities for post doctoral researchers in proposals that request funds for post doctoral researchers
C. COMMON MISTAKES IN NSF PROPOSALS:
1) Biosketches do not adhere to NSF format: Biosketches should include both research and education activities and accomplishments. The list of publications should include no more than ten publications, including up to five publications most closely related to the proposed research and educational activities and up to five other significant publications, whether or not they are related to the proposed project. The Biographical Sketch may not exceed two pages in length.
2) Fonts do not adhere to NSF format. Acceptable NSF fonts are:
- Arial 11, 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
- Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger
3) This proposal is not listed as “Pending” in the current & pending form
4) The dollar figures on the current & pending form and budget pages do not match.
5) Proposal title does not begin with “CAREER” on the cover sheet
6) Project summary is missing “Broader impact” and “Intellectual Merit” sections and headers
7) Special sections as required by the solicitation are missing. Please see Section A. above
*Due to the high volume of CAREER proposals, it is highly recommended that you create budgets in Fastlane at least two weeks in advance, email the OGCA contact alerting them that you would like an advance review, and OGCA will review them prior to the deadline to help relieve the last minute frenzy.
Please note: Per the VCRE 5 day lead time policy, all proposals must be complete in Fastlane and the IPF dropped off to OGCA at least 5 days in advance of the deadline. Please refer to the VCRE policy.
Proposals not submitted by the VCRE's deadline will be processed only after other on time proposals have been submitted.