NSF Overview

Confessions of an NSF Program Director

Special Report: Can NSF Put the Right Spin on Rotators? (October 2013, Science)

Proposal Development

NSF Grant Proposal Guide

This is the official guide for submitting proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) – effective January 2016. NSF Notice 16-1 provides a summary of significant changes and clarifications from the previous version of the Grant Proposal Guide.

A Guide for Proposal Writing

Most proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) are peer reviewed in panels consisting of colleagues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines or related fields, and the success in obtaining funding depends in great measure on reviewers’ judgments and their written reviews. The staff of the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) compiled this online guide to help potential awardees. The suggestions for improving proposals were collected from a variety of sources, including NSF Program Directors, panel reviewers, and successful grantees. The guide also provides general guidance to potential NSF applicants on everything from how to read an NSF solicitation to an overview of the peer review process.

Advice on Writing Proposals to the NSF

This article is written by Susan Finger, MD, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. For several years, Dr. Finger served as a program officer with the NSF, which gave her unique insights into the funding environment at the NSF. This article is a helpful resource for those new to NSF funding seeking some general advice on proposal preparation and the peer review process.

Honing Your Proposal Writing Skillspdficon_large

This article is written by George Hazelrigg, PhD, Program Director at the NSF, who has been involved in the review of thousands of NSF applications during his tenure with the agency. Here, Dr. Hazelrigg talks about the common mistakes made in NSF funding proposals that keep good ideas from getting funded.

Twelve Steps to a Winning Research Proposalpdficon_large

This article is written by George Hazelrigg, PhD, who since 2004 has been Program Director for the Manufacturing and Construction Machines and Equipment program and, since the formation of the CMMI Division, he has been Deputy Division Director. Dr. Hazelrigg joined the NSF in 1982 and, in 1996, became program director for the Engineering Design program where, for eight years, he provided support to others in the field.

How to get NSF Funding: A view from the “inside” 

This PowerPoint presentation was prepared by Gisèle Muller-Parker, PhD who joined the NSF as Program Director for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program in October 2008. From 1990-2010, Dr. Muller-Parker was Professor of Biology at Western Washington University where she taught courses in marine biology, symbiosis, and botany and served as the Assistant Director of Shannon Point Marine Center.

Merit Review

How an NSF Panel Functions

Report to the National Science Board (FY 2014)pdficon_large

This annual report to the National Science Board (NSB) includes data and other information about the NSF’s merit review process for fiscal year (FY) 2014. In FY 2014, NSF acted on 48,051 competitively reviewed full proposals and made 10,958 awards, which corresponds to a 23% success rate for competitively reviewed proposals.

NSF Merit Review Facts

The NSF’s merit review criteria cover both the quality of research (intellectual and technical merit), as well as its potential impact on society (broader impact). On this section of its website, the NSF separates fact from fiction.

Broader Impacts – Guiding Principles and Questions 

Prepared by the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (December 2015)