letter of intent

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program FAQs

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

PROGRAM SOLICITATION: NSF 18-507

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     November 27, 2017 - December 06, 2017

     November 26, 2018 - December 06, 2018

     November 25, 2019 - December 06, 2019

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     February 06, 2018

     February 06, 2019

     February 06, 2020

General Information

Program Title:

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Synopsis of Program:

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2018, proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on two high priority areas: (1) Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS). HDR is expected to continue as a priority research area for FY2019 and FY2020 competitions, along with a new priority area to be announced in 2018.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged. NRT especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsfincludes/index.jsp). Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for NRT Program

  1. What is an NRT trainee?
  2. What is an NRT traineeship?
  3. Can international students be NRT trainees?
  4. If I forgot to submit a letter of intent during the submission window, can I get a waiver to submit a full proposal in February.
  5. Is there greater funding available for the priority research areas identified in the solicitation?
  6. Can we propose research that addresses more than one priority area?
  7. If master's and doctoral students are included in one NRT project, how much overlap in their training is expected and/or preferred?
  8. Does the mention of pedagogy and mentoring training for faculty members mean that the NRT will fund professional development for faculty?
  9. Can a project propose funding for the improvement of a training model that is not entirely new but is certainly not (yet) broadly adopted?
  10. Does the fact that "Education" is not included in the "NRT" title mean that NRT will fund more proposed hands-on training and less classroom instruction?
  11. Referring to the "Key features of NRT Projects" (Section II.C of the solicitation), are we being asked to develop evidence-based strategies to broaden participation of students from diverse backgrounds, or are we being asked to apply evidence-based strategies that are already in practice?
  12. Are there preferred types of formative assessments (Section II.C of the solicitation) that we would include as central to the traineeship, or are these formative assessments open as part of the new model we are proposing?
  13. Is there a limit on cost of education that can be charged to the grant?
  14. Will NRT proposals with only external evaluators receive more preference than proposals that include internal evaluators?
  15. Can I propose an NRT project for a non-research-based Professional Master's program?
  16. Does the limit on the number of submissions per organization apply to subawardees and non-lead organizations on collaborative proposals?
  17. Can NRT projects include international partners?
  18. Will we need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the evaluation activities and instruments described in our proposal?
  19. Will a project that focuses on a master's only program receive lower preference than projects involving doctoral students only or both doctoral and master's students?
  20. Will proposals that do not meet the eligibility requirements for submission be returned without review?
  21. Is there a list of national priority interdisciplinary research themes?
  22. Can a project focus on a research theme other than those identified in the high priority areas?

 

  1. What is an NRT trainee?

    An NRT "trainee" is a research-based STEM graduate student (M.S. or Ph.D.) who is accepted into the institution's NRT program and is expected to complete all the required program elements as described in the proposal. NRT trainees can be NRT-funded or non-NRT-funded; they do not have to receive stipend and tuition support directly from the NRT award. They can be supported from a variety of sources including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, or other funding.

  2. What is an NRT traineeship?

    An NRT traineeship is focused on students and their technical and broader professional development. In the case of NRT, a traineeship involves a strong institutional commitment to mentoring STEM graduate students and the development of their technical and transferable professional skills (e.g., teamwork, ethics, communications, teaching, leadership, and project management) for a variety of STEM careers within or outside academia. NRT includes a focus on the students' overall development as STEM professionals, in addition to their conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.

  3. Can international students be NRT trainees?

    Yes, they can be NRT trainees and fully participate in any NRT program elements (e.g., courses, workshops, and internships). However, NRT stipends and customary costs of education for stipend-supported trainees are restricted to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

  4. If I forgot to submit a letter of intent during the submission window, can I get a waiver to submit a full proposal in February.

    No, a valid letter of intent MUST be submitted by the deadline to be eligible for full proposal submission. There is approximately a 2-week submission window for each annual competition. The PI prepares the letter but the official submission (via the AOR) must be completed before the deadline. A letter from a prior award cycle is not valid.

  5. Is there greater funding available for the priority research areas identified in the solicitation?

    No, there is no set allocation for a priority area. Funding is anticipated to be allocated in each area, including proposals submitted outside the identified priority areas.

  6. Can we propose research that addresses more than one priority area?

    Although NRT proposals may include research and training efforts that contribute to more than one priority area, each project should identify a main area (e.g. HDR, INFEWS or other) by using the appropriate title prefix. The research area should be identified in the Project Title at the time of submission using the appropriate prefix (e.g. "NRT-HDR:" or "NRT-INFEWS:" or "NRT:" for other research areas).

  7. If master's and doctoral students are included in one NRT project, how much overlap in their training is expected and/or preferred?

    The training approach is left up to the proposer to develop. Potentially, training in specific methodologies could be suitable for both master's and doctoral students together. However, some training might be better suited for master's or doctoral students separately.

  8. Does the mention of pedagogy and mentoring training for faculty members mean that the NRT will fund professional development for faculty?

    An NRT proposal may include funding for faculty training.

  9. Can a project propose funding for the improvement of a training model that is not entirely new but is certainly not (yet) broadly adopted?

    An NRT proposal may include funding to expand or improve a current training model, but the potential added value should be substantial and potentially transformative.

  10. Does the fact that "Education" is not included in the "NRT" title mean that NRT will fund more proposed hands-on training and less classroom instruction?

    No, training may include classroom instruction.

  11. Referring to the "Key features of NRT Projects" (Section II.C of the solicitation), are we being asked to develop evidence-based strategies to broaden participation of students from diverse backgrounds, or are we being asked to apply evidence-based strategies that are already in practice?

    Proposers are encouraged to build upon existing evidence-based strategies for broadening participation of students from diverse backgrounds, although they may also incorporate and test strategies that show promise of success based on available information.

  12. Are there preferred types of formative assessments (Section II.C of the solicitation) that we would include as central to the traineeship, or are these formative assessments open as part of the new model we are proposing?

    It is up to the proposers to identify the types of formative assessments. However, they should be formulated and designed to regularly inform and improve the NRT project.

  13. Is there a limit on cost of education that can be charged to the grant?

    The institution can budget for customary costs of education (e.g. tuition, health insurance, and required fees) for NRT trainees while they are receiving NRT stipend support. You may offer a discounted tuition rate if this is a customary practice for federally-funded trainees, research assistants, and/or fellows at your institution and not a practice solely for the NRT trainees.

  14. Will NRT proposals with only external evaluators receive more preference than proposals that include internal evaluators?

    All proposals must have an external evaluator. If an internal evaluator is also engaged, the project must provide justification and explain how lack of bias is ensured, including at minimum a provision for periodic external assessment of the ongoing evaluation by the external evaluator.

  15. Can I propose an NRT project for a non-research-based Professional Master's program?

    No, research is integral to the NRT program. For NRT proposals, non-research-based professional master's students are eligible to participate in NRT activities; however, they cannot be considered "trainees" (See FAQ #1 for a definition of "trainee") by the program and are ineligible to receive NRT stipend or cost of education support. NRT trainees must be in a research-based degree program that requires a thesis or dissertation.

  16. Does the limit on the number of submissions per organization apply to subawardees and non-lead organizations on collaborative proposals?

    Yes, eligible organizations may participate in only two proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization on a non-collaborative proposal or as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on a collaborative proposal. However, this limitation does not apply to organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects.

  17. Can NRT projects include international partners?

    Yes, NRT projects may include international partners if they provide significant added value to the projects. However, international partners cannot be subawardees and funds for their participation must be drawn from non-NSF sources.

  18. Will we need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the evaluation activities and instruments described in our proposal?

    If your proposal is successful and awarded, you will need to provide official documentation from your institutions IRB confirming either that the planned activities involving human subjects have been approved or that your project falls into an exemption category.

  19. Will a project that focuses on a master's only program receive lower preference than projects involving doctoral students only or both doctoral and master's students?

    No, all proposals will be evaluated based on their merit. Projects involving master's students, Ph.D. students, and both master's and Ph.D. students will be evaluated equally.

  20. Will proposals that do not meet the eligibility requirements for submission be returned without review?

    Yes, proposals that do not comply with the solicitation will be returned without review. The eligibility conditions (Section IV of the solicitation) include who may submit proposals and serve as a PI, limits on the number of proposals per organization, and limits to number of proposals per PI or Co-PI. In cases where proposals are submitted that exceed eligibility limits, submissions will be accepted (beginning with the earliest submission time stamp) until the limit is reached. All submissions beyond the eligibility limits (based on submission time stamp) will be returned without review.

  21. Is there a list of national priority interdisciplinary research themes?

    No, there is not a set list of research themes. Instead, submissions that are not in one of the identified priority areas should justify that the interdisciplinary research theme is an area of high national need.

  22. Can a project focus on a research theme other than those identified in the high priority areas?

    Yes, traineeships may focus on any area of interdisciplinary research that is of high national priority. The project team should justify in the proposal why the identified area is of national importance and how a traineeship program would fulfill an unmet need.

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Event date(s): Monday, November 27, 2017 to Wednesday, December 6, 2017


PROGRAM SOLICITATION: NSF 18-507

Due Dates

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     November 27, 2017 - December 06, 2017

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     February 06, 2018

General Information

Program Title:

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Synopsis of Program:

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2018, proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on two high priority areas: (1) Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS). HDR is expected to continue as a priority research area for FY2019 and FY2020 competitions, along with a new priority area to be announced in 2018.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged. NRT especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsfincludes/index.jsp). Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 12

The estimated number of awards listed above is for FY2018. The number of awards and funding level in FY2019 and FY2020 are anticipated to be similar to FY2018. Funding amounts depend upon availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $36,100,000

NRT Awards (10-12 anticipated in FY2018) are expected to be up to five (5) years in duration with a total budget up to $3,000,000.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and colleges accredited in, and having a campus located in, the U.S. acting on behalf of their faculty members and that award a research-based master’s degree and/or a doctoral degree in a STEM discipline supported by the National Science Foundation.

Who May Serve as PI:

The PI must be on the faculty of the submitting institution.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 2

An eligible organization may participate in two proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on any proposal. Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation. Proposals that exceed the institutional eligibility limit (beyond the first two submissions based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the institution’s role (lead organization, non-lead collaborative, or subawardee) in the returned proposal.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the NRT program per annual competition. Proposals that exceed the PI/Co-PI eligibility limit (beyond the first submission based on timestamp), will be returned without review regardless of the individual's role (PI or co-PI) in the returned proposal.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required
  • Full Proposals:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         November 27, 2017 - December 06, 2017

         November 26, 2018 - December 06, 2018

         November 25, 2019 - December 06, 2019

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         February 06, 2018

         February 06, 2019

         February 06, 2020

LOI Due: Towards a Leadership-Class Computing Facility - Phase 1

Event date(s): Friday, July 14, 2017


PROGRAM SOLICITATION

NSF 17-558

Read the Full Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17558/nsf17558.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click#pgm_intr_txt

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     July 14, 2017

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     November 20, 2017

Summary of Program Requirements

General Information

Program Title:

Towards a Leadership-Class Computing Facility - Phase 1

Synopsis of Program:

NSF invites proposals for the acquisition and deployment of a High Performance Computing (HPC) system, called the Phase 1 system, with the option of a possible future upgrade to a leadership-class computing facility. The Phase 1 system will serve two important and complementary purposes:

  1. It will serve as a robust, well-balanced, and forward-looking computational asset for a broad range of research topics for which advances in fundamental understanding require the most extreme computational and data analysis capabilities; and
  2. It will serve as an evaluation platform for testing and demonstrating the feasibility of an upgrade to a leadership-class facility five years following deployment.

A competitive proposal in response to this solicitation will have the following five characteristics:

  1. A detailed acquisition plan for deploying a reliable and well-balanced HPC system with at least two- to three-fold time-to-solution performance improvement over the current state of the art, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) Blue Waters system, for a broad range of existing and emerging computational and data intensive applications;
  2. A thorough operations plan for the Phase 1 system to ensure that it will serve as an effective computational tool for the broad scientific and engineering community, and for the Nation at large;
  3. A detailed three- to five-year project plan for scientific and technical evaluation of the Phase 1 system that will lead to an upgrade design of a leadership-class system, called the Phase 2 system, as well as the physical facility that will host it: the Phase 2 system is expected to have a ten-fold or more time-to-solution performance improvement over the Phase 1 system;
  4. Clear and compelling science and engineering use cases, as well as detailed strategic project goals for a leadership-class computing facility; and
  5. A persuasive articulation of educational and industry outreach, and the achievement of other broader societal impact goals, in the long-term strategic plan for the leadership-class computing facility.

Note that the award of a Phase 1 system does not imply any commitment beyond support for beginning the initial planning process for a leadership-class computing facility. The facility planning process may be terminated at any time if satisfactory progress is not demonstrated through annual reviews.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Edward Walker, Program Director, CISE/ACI, 1160, telephone: (703) 292-4863, email: edwalker [at] nsf [dot] gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 1

Anticipated Funding Amount: $60,000,000

A total of $60,000,000 in FY 2018 will be used to fund one award, subject to the availability of funds. At least 95% of the proposal amount should be for the system acquisition cost.

Following system acceptance, user support and operating costs are expected to be an additional 20% of the acquisition cost annually and, if approved, are anticipated to be made available as a separate funding action. Should the proposed resource require additional user and operating funds, an additional 5% of the acquisition cost can be requested but the proposal must provide strong justification for such a request. Again, if approved, these costs will be provided as a separate funding action.

Up to $2,000,000 in additional funds are anticipated to be available in FY 2019 as a separate funding action for the planning activities associated with the conceptual design phase for Phase 2of the award.

Note that this solicitation requests proposals for the acquisition and operation of a Phase 1 system as well as a project plan for the design of a potential upgrade or replacement to a leadership-class computing facility at the end of the five-year deployment period, subject to the availability of funds. Support for subsequent preliminary design and final design phases for Phase 2 will be provided in separate funding actions.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.

Who May Serve as PI:

No specific eligibility description

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

An organization may submit only one proposal but may be identified as sub-awardee on other proposals responding to this solicitation. The restriction to no more than one submitted proposal as lead institution is to help ensure that there is appropriate institutional commitment necessary for responsible oversight, by the potential awardee institution, of a national resource.

Collaborative projects may only be submitted as a single proposal in which a single award is being requested. The involvement of partner organizations should be supported through sub-awards administered by the submitting organization.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

An individual may be the PI or co-PI on no more than one proposal that responds to this solicitation. There is no limit on the number of proposals with which an individual may be associated in other capacities.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat all proposers fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual proposal submission exceeds the above limits, the proposal received within the limits will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first proposal received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

Additionally, PIs or co-PIs are expected to commit at least 50% time to this activity.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required
  • Full Proposals:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         July 14, 2017

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         November 20, 2017

Missouri Transect Seed Grant Proposal Due

Event date(s): Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Missouri EPSCoR is pleased to announce the release of two Requests for Proposals for the Missouri Transect Seed Funding program.  RFPs are in the fields of Data Integration and Ecosystem Modeling.  See the seed funding announcement for more details and to download the RFP materials.
 
The Intent to Submit Form (Data Integration RFP.pdf and Ecosystem Modeling RFP.pdf, pp. 8-10) is due Wednesday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. CST.  The Full Proposal and Budget Form are due Wednesday, June 21 at 5:00 p.m. CST.  You must send an Intent to Submit form, along with suggested reviewers in order for your full proposal to be considered.

Missouri Transect Seed Grant Intent to Submit Form Due

Event date(s): Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Missouri EPSCoR is pleased to announce the release of two Requests for Proposals for the Missouri Transect Seed Funding program.  RFPs are in the fields of Data Integration and Ecosystem Modeling.  See the seed funding announcement for more details and to download the RFP materials.
 
The Intent to Submit Form (Data Integration RFP.pdf and Ecosystem Modeling RFP.pdf, pp. 8-10) is due Wednesday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. CST.  The Full Proposal and Budget Form are due Wednesday, June 21 at 5:00 p.m. CST.  You must send an Intent to Submit form, along with suggested reviewers in order for your full proposal to be considered.
 

 

 

ADVANCE Partnership Proposal LOI Due

Event date(s): Wednesday, December 14, 2016 to Wednesday, December 14, 2016


ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE).
 
Partnership LOI Deadline: December 14, 2016
 
Partnership Full Proposal Deadline: January 11, 2017

 

The ADVANCE program office held a pre-proposal technical assistance webinar on September 21, 2016 on the ADVANCE Partnership track described in the ADVANCE solicitation 16-594.  The Partnership presentation slides can be downloaded at the end of this web page.  

Please be sure to review the solicitation for the official guidelines and information on preparing and submitting ADVANCE proposals.  

ADVANCE Summary of Deadlines (NSF 16-594):

Partnership
•December 14, 2016* Letter of Intent deadline (LOI is required in order to submit full proposal)
•January 11, 2017* Full Proposal deadline
 
Institutional Transformation
•April 12, 2017* Preliminary proposal deadline (required in order to submit full proposal)
•January 17, 2018* Full Proposal deadline (only if invited after preliminary proposal review)
 
Adaptation
•August 9, 2017* Letter of Intent deadline (LOI is required in order to submit full proposal)
•September 13, 2017* Full Proposal deadline

Other funding opportunities:

ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network
•Target date for full proposal – March 15, 2017
 
ADVANCE Longitudinal Evaluation
•Submit as an unsolicited proposal according to the NSF Grant Proposal Guide – no deadline

Meeting Type
Outreach

Contacts
Sharon R. Bird, (703) 292-8640, ADVANCE [at] nsf [dot] gov" rel="noreferrer">ADVANCE [at] nsf [dot] gov
Jessie A. DeAro, (703) 292-5350, ADVANCE [at] nsf [dot] gov" rel="noreferrer">ADVANCE [at] nsf [dot] gov

NSF Related Organizations
NSF-Wide
Directorate for Education & Human Resources
Division of Human Resource Development

Related Programs
ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers

Core Attachments
Partnership Proposal Preparation Presentation