Research Office shares NSF plans for Stimulus

Dr. Prasad of the Office of Research and Economic Development shares that...

On March 18, 2009, NSF released its response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (see the attachment). Following is the summary of the NSF’s plan [bulleted] with my suggestions on how you should take advantage of this once in a life-time opportunity [unbulleted]:

• NSF currently has many highly rated proposals that it has not been able to fund. For this reason, NSF is planning to use the majority of the $2 billion available in Research and Related Activities for proposals that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or awarded prior to September 30, 2009 .

If you have a proposal pending at NSF and you know the Program Director very well, then my suggestion is that you contact the Program Director by phone or visit her/him at NSF. You should try to convey the importance of your work and the broader impacts that your project will have. Job creation is critical and anything that you can talk about creating jobs will help you. If you have not developed a strong relationship with your Program Director then my suggestion is that you talk to one of the members of our Research Development Team (Drs. Thomas, Sewell, Simmons and Nader) and s/he may advise you on how should you handle your situation.

• NSF also will consider proposals declined on or after October 1, 2008. The reversal of the decision to decline must be based on both the high quality of the reviews received on the initial submission and the lack of available funding at the time the original decision was made. The cognizant program officer will contact the institution when a reversal is being considered by NSF.

• The Foundation also expects to expeditiously award funds as specified in the Recovery Act for: the Math and Science Partnership program (funded at $25 million); the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (funded at $60 million); the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account (funded at $400 million); the Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program (funded at $200 million); and the Science Masters program, (funded at $15 million). Solicitations for these latter two programs will be posted this spring.

Math and Science Partnership Program and Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program: If you are interested in developing a proposal for these two programs, please contact Dr. Rick Nader immediately. He is trying to assemble one or more groups of faculty from science, engineering and education to develop proposals for these competitions.

Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program: This is an old program that was discontinued in 1997. See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/stis1996/ari/ari.txt for old description. My guess is that this program may provide $1 million or more for construction and/or renovation. I will contact relevant deans to explore the possibilities for this competition.

Science Masters program: UNT has a lead in this area. See also http://www.sciencemasters.com/. Drs. Ruthanne Thomas and Rick Nader will take lead and work with the Dean of Graduate School and other Deans to explore the possibility of proposals in this area.

Any questions and/or concerns contact one of the Research Development Team member or me.