Selected FAQs for NSF 16-505- part 1 submission related FAQs

Leading up to Friday’s (1/15/16) deadline for preliminary proposals we are posting selected FAQs for NSF 16-505 to help answer possible last minute questions. Note that preliminary proposals are still covered under GPG NSF 15-1 as the new GPG NSF16-1 does not go into effect until after the preliminary proposal deadline.

As always, if you have additional questions please contact a program director.


FAQ 2: Which track in this solicitation requires preliminary proposals, and which track requires Letters of Intent?

All proposals submitted to the Core track, including those responsive to the Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) solicitation, require a preliminary proposal.

This preliminary proposal requirement does not include proposals to the EDGE track or to other solicitations (e.g., Research Coordination Networks, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants, CAREER, Plant Genome Research Program, Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development), or special proposals described in the GPG (i.e., Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID), EArly Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED), conference and workshop proposals, and requests for supplemental funding).

The EDGE track requires submission of a Letter of Intent.

FAQ 3: Should preliminary proposals concerning plants and their associated symbiotic partners that normally would be reviewed by the Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition (SDS) program be submitted under this solicitation?

No. A new joint solicitation concerning research on plant-biotic interactions will be announced in April 2016, with an anticipated full proposal submission deadline in July 2016. The tentatively entitled Plant-Biotic Interactions (PBI) Program is a joint NSF/BIO/IOS and USDA/NIFA solicitation. Preliminary proposals submitted to the Core track of this NSF/IOS solicitation that are appropriate for the PBI program will be returned without review and investigators advised to submit full proposals under the new solicitation. Note that preliminary proposals will not be required prior to full proposal submission to the PBI Program.

FAQ 5: My Core track funding request is a competitive renewal application for a previously NSF-funded research project. Do I need to submit a preliminary proposal?

Yes. All proposals to IOS are treated as new proposals, including projects based on findings resulting from previous NSF funding.

FAQ 6: Can I submit a Core track preliminary proposal to NSF for a project that was submitted to or is under review at another agency?

Yes; however, invited full proposals cannot be duplicates of proposals to any other Federal agency for simultaneous consideration, except for Beginning Investigators (see GPG Chapter I.G.2 ).

FAQ14: Are preliminary data required in the preliminary proposal?

No; however, a PI may include preliminary data in support of the feasibility of the research approach at his/her discretion.

FAQ15: Are results from prior support required in a preliminary proposal?

Although not required, results from previous support may be included in the preliminary proposal at the discretion of the PI.

FAQ17: I was invited to submit a Core track full proposal, but did not do so in this cycle. Do I need to start over with a preliminary proposal the following cycle?

Yes, you would have to submit a preliminary proposal at the next January deadline. You may only submit a full proposal for the August full proposal deadline for which you were invited.

FAQ34: Do I need to submit a proposal classification form for Core track preliminary and full proposals? What about EDGE track proposals? This form is not covered in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). What about other things that are not covered in the GPG?

Yes. All submissions to IOS and the Directorate for Biological Sciences require a proposal classification form.

In general solicitation instructions focus on how the requirements differ from what is stated in the Grant Proposal Guide, and solicitations take precedence over the Grant Proposal Guide. Solicitation instructions may require that you include elements in your proposals that are not covered in the GPG, however. In the event that a particular issue is not mentioned in the solicitation, you should follow the instructions in the Grant Proposal Guide.

FAQ36: What are Conflicts of Interest (COIs), why do you want to know about them, and how do I know if I have any?

Program Directors are required to select reviewers who do not have any potentially biasing relationships (personal, professional, intellectual or financial) with either the PI/co-PI(s) or the submitting institution(s). Hence, PIs are required to submit an Excel Workbook that lists all Conflicts of Interest (COIs).

The IOS COI template contains a total of five tabs. Please read the Instructions on the first tab carefully and fill out the template as instructed. The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) has its own template that is different from the IOS COI template. Please make sure you have the correct version for the division you intend to submit to.

Using the template, compile an Excel Workbook that identifies conflicts of interest (COIs) for all persons listed on the Personnel page (i.e., first page) of the Project Description. Conflicts to be identified are (1) Ph.D. dissertation advisors and advisees, (2) collaborators or co-authors, including postdoctoral researchers, for the past 48 months, (3) co-editors within the past 24 months, (4) spouse or other relatives who might be in a relevant field, and (5) any other individuals with whom, or institutions with which, the senior personnel (PI(s), co-PI(s), and any named personnel) have financial ties, including advisory committees (specify type), boards of directors, or prospective employees.

The completed Excel Workbook should be emailed to immediately after you submit your proposal, but no later than the proposal deadline. Do not use the temporary Fastlane ID or a Research.Gov ID to fill out the COI template. You must use only an assigned NSF Proposal ID, which should be 7 digits long and will start with the fiscal year numbers (e.g., for FY16, all the Proposal ID’s will start with “16”). Do not send in the COI template until you have been assigned the official NSF Proposal ID at the time of submission. Please contact a Program Director if you have questions.

As a side note separately from this FAQ, the updated IOS solicitation NSF 16-505 changed to have biosketches follow GPG format. For this preliminary proposal submission NSF 15-1 includes collaborators in section e) of the biosketch. So this information will be submitted in both places. The biosketch is primarily used by reviewers while the spreadsheet is used by the program directors as noted above.

FAQ 37: My research idea falls between two programs within IOS or between two programs found in different divisions or directorates. How do I submit the preliminary proposal for consideration by both programs?

In IOS, preliminary proposals submitted to the Core track will not be co-reviewed with other programs. Thus, you will need to choose a single IOS program for your preliminary proposal submission. In general, it is the primary question addressed by the proposal that determines which program it belongs in rather than the species, methods or measures used. If you have any questions regarding which IOS program would be best for your submission, please contact a Program Director. EDGE track submissions are only submitted to IOS.