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April, 2007 presentation in the Rice University NSF Advance Conference entitled "Career Success Workshop for Faculty Women in Engineering and Natural Science". Judy M. Vance from the Engineering Design Program at the National Science Foundation gave this presentation on research proposals and grant applications.

Workshop Author: Judy M. Vance, Engineering Design Program at the National Science Foundation and Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University

Slide 1: steps to success

  • Understand the Organization
  • Contact the Program Director
  • Participate on a Review Panel
  • Follow the Solicitation Guidelines

Slide 2: nsf strategic outcome goals

  • Discovery - research
    • Advance frontiers of knowledge
  • Learning - education
    • Cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce
    • Expand the scientific literacy of all citizens
  • Research Infrastructure - facilities
    • Build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation
  • Stewardship - accountability
    • Support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization

Slide 3: nsf budget 2001-2007

(dollars in millions)

Slide 4: nsf organization

Nsf organization

Slide 5: nsf directorates

  • BIO - Biological Sciences
  • CISE - Computing and Information Science and Engineering
  • ENG - Engineering
  • GEO - Geosciences
  • MPS - Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • EHR - Education and Human Resources

Slide 6: nsf offices

  • OPP - Office of Polar Programs
  • OIA - Office of Integrative Activities
  • OISE - Office of International Science and Engineering
  • OCI - Office of Cyberinfrastructure

Slide 7: directorate for engineering

Directorate for engineering

FY 2007 budget is $628 Million (13% of NSF budget)

Slide 8: civil, mechanical, and manufacturing innovation

Civil, mechanical, and manufacturing innovation

Slide 9: civil, mechanical, and manufacturing innovation


Slide 10: role of the program director

  • Assess proposals
  • Identify reviewers
  • Conduct reviews
  • Make recommendations for funding
  • Identify new research areas
  • Develop Solicitations

Slide 11: eng research and education themes fy 2007 – fy 2008

Slide 12: what kind of funding is available?

  • Research projects
    • Typically 3 years, $100K per year
  • Workshops
    • To promote discussion about leading edge research opportunities
  • Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER)
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)

Slide 13: engineering design program

  • Uncertainty
  • Topology optimization
  • Product Families
  • Negotiation for collaborative design
  • Life cycle / design for obsolescence
  • Kinematics and mechanisms
  • Human input to design
  • Geometric modeling
  • Design of experiments
  • Decision based design
  • Cyber infrastructure
  • Consumer preferences
  • Complex system / enterprise considerations / customer desires
  • Advanced manufacturing

Slide 14: engineering design program

  • Scan-and-Solve: Direct Analysis of Acquired Models
    • V. Shapiro, I. Tsukanov: Univ of Wisc
  • Computational Steering for Trade Space Exploration During Complex Systems Design
    • D. Spencer, T. Simpson, M. Yukish: Penn State
  • Innovations in Product Flexibility
    • K. Wood, C. Seepersad: Univ of Texas at Austin
    • M. Wortman: TAMU
  • A Biomimetic Approach to the Design of Shape-Controlled Systems
    • K. Maute: Univ of Colorado
  • Augmented Lagrangian Coordination for Decomposed Design Problems
    • V. Blouin, G. Fadel, M. Wiecek: Clemson Univ

Slide 15: proposal

  • Cover Page
  • Project Summary – 1 page
  • Project Description – 15 pages
  • References
  • Biosketch – 2 pages
  • Budget
  • Current and Pending Work
  • Facilities and Equipment

Slide 16: merit criteria

  • Intellectual Merit
    • How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding?
    • How well qualified is the investigator?
    • To what extent is the proposed activity creative?
    • How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?
    • Is there sufficient access to the necessary resources?
  • Broader Impacts
    • How well does the activity advance discovery while promoting teaching, training and learning?
    • How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups?
    • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education?
    • Will the results be disseminated broadly?
    • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Slide 17: peer review process

  • Program director identifies reviewers
  • Reviewers perform 6-9 proposal reviews
  • Panelists come to NSF for 1-2 days to discuss and rank proposals
  • Program director recommends proposals for funding
  • Recommendation goes through the approval process
  • PIs are notified

Slide 18: how do i write a winning proposal?

  • Follow the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)
  • Follow the solicitation guidelines
  • Have a clear research objective
  • Have a strong research plan
  • Resources should match the plan of work
  • Avoid jargon
  • Make every word mean something
  • Pay attention to broader impacts
  • Align with NSF goals/initiatives

Slide 19: transformative research

  • Research driven by ideas that have the potential to radically change our understanding of an important existing scientific or engineering concept or leading to the creation of a new paradigm or field of science or engineering. Such research also is characterized by its challenge to current understanding or its pathway to new frontiers. ---NSB Report, March 2007

Slide 20: how do i find out about new solicitations?

Slide 21: where to go for information

  • www.nsf.gov
  • Locate people/programs
  • Current solicitations
  • Directorate priorities
  • Abstracts of current awards
  • Grant Proposal Guide

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 2007 advance faculty success workshop. OpenStax CNX. Aug 07, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10444/1.4
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