IOS Virtual Office Hours September Recap: Non-Core funding opportunities – what are these about?

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) held a Virtual Office Hour on September 19th, 2019 focused on a variety of non-core funding opportunities. During this office hour we spoke about a number of different opportunities including:

  • EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) – supporting exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches (bold, ‘outside the box’ ideas)
  • Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) – supporting research with severe urgency in regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters
  • Meeting/symposia/conference proposals – bringing together experts to discuss current research, expose other researchers or students to new methods and discuss future directions
  • Supplements to active NSF grants (please click here for a listing of the most requested supplement types)

Below are some general questions and themes of questions from the office hour:

“Supplements” are best included as part of a regular grant submission. Reviewers and panelists view requests for such support as an indication of commitment to the training. We still consider supplement requests for those unexpected opportunities that arise and for some types of supplements such as “Career Life Balance” supplements that often cannot be planned for in advance. We encourage you to speak with a Program Director as you are preparing your proposal for guidance on how to include supplements of this type.

  • REU: Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • RET: Research Experiences for Teachers
  • ROA: Research Opportunity Award (enables faculty at predominantly undergraduate institutions, including community colleges, to pursue research as visiting scientists with NSF-supported investigators at other institutions.
  • RAHSS: Research Assistantships for High School Students

A number of questions focused on ROA supplements. These enable faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) to work with NSF-funded investigators to gain new skills, foster new collaborations, bring new experiences and research to their students, and for their hosts (and their graduate students and postdocs) to gain a new appreciation for the rewards and challenges of faculty and students at PUIs. In cases where an extensive collaboration is planned or already in place, it might be best for the PUI faculty member and collaborator to submit a collaborative proposal in lieu of a ROA. The decision of what type of proposal to submit is best made by the collaborating parties and in consultation with a NSF program director. If submitting a collaborative proposal, support for research training activities of the PUI faculty and students should be included in the proposal budget and not as part of a separate ROA supplement request.

EAGERs are intended to support research that is particularly bold and considered ‘high risk – high reward’. They are not intended to support the routine collection of preliminary data for a new project or grant. EAGER proposals can be submitted by any type of institution. Investigators  must contact the NSF program officer(s) whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topic prior to submission of an EAGER proposal to determine the appropriateness of the work for consideration under the EAGER mechanism.

Again, if you have questions about an EAGER or RAPID or a supplement you should contact a cognizant Program Director to get advice and feedback before you submit. We are here to help!

Our next IOS Office Hour will be on Thursday, October 17th, 2019, at 1 pm EDT, when we will discuss the new solicitation from the Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) (NSF 19-600) program. ­This solicitation outlines the competition for planning grants that all are welcome to apply for. We will be joined by guests from the INCLUDES initiative who will be available to answer your questions and give additional guidance.