Helpful Hints NSF Proposals May 2017

Recommendations from an NSF Project Manager
  1. Identify why the proposed effort can be transformative and reviewers should be able to point this out during panel discussion.
  2. Include a lot of discussion (rationale) to motivate this effort – both scientifically and technologically. – Discuss on what type of science can result from the proposed effort.
  3. Put some preliminary data, include hypothesis based objectives and work plan. She emphasized that this is extremely important. Reviewers should be able to clearly decipher on what is the hypothesis and how it led to the proposed studies.
  4. Broader impacts section – She clearly articulated that they do not anticipate any activity to justify this. This means that we should not put laundry list of all outreach activities. Instead, she suggested that we should make a good argument on how this particular grant can lead to broader impact. She said that there is no unique way to write this section but suggested not to include a laundry list of activities. This is because the budget may not reflect any of these activities. You can always say that you are already doing a set of activities which could be strengthened by this particular research effort. In addition, you should have a discussion on how this research effort can make a big broader impact.