Did you miss it? November 2021 Virtual Office Hours Recap – Part II

Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP)

The slides are available HERE

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) held a Virtual Office Hour on November 18, 2021 providing information on the new Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP, NSF 22-506). We were joined by program directors who work directly in this funding opportunity.

The session also provided information on the new Building Research Capacity for New Faculty in Biological Sciences (BRC-BIO) program. A recap focused BRC-BIO is available in Part I of this post.

RaMPis focused on creating networks to facilitate full-time research, mentoring, and training for recent college graduates who have had few, or no, research and training opportunities during college. Networks should focus on fields typically supported by the Directorate of Biological Sciences.

General Information:

  • Networks should engage 8-12 postbaccalaureate (postbac) participants/year with a goal of supporting approximately 30 postbacs over the lifespan of the award.
  • Awards can last for up to 48 months to allow planning and development time for the postbac network.
  • Postbac participants will receive a stipend of at least $32,500 per year and adjustments can be made to accommodate those in areas with higher costs of living.

Full proposal submission deadline – January 20

There were many questions related to this new funding opportunity and investigators are strongly encouraged to reach out to the program directors active in RaMP via RAMP@nsf.gov and to regularly check the program page for updates, FAQs, and future outreach sessions.

Below is a recap of some questions asked at the session:

Q: Can the external evaluator be an employee of one of the collaborating institutions identified in the proposal? 

A: Yes, but there should be a clear demonstration of independence of the evaluator from the project such as being a member of a different institutional unit with demonstrable expertise in assessment.

Q: Can the external evaluator be compensated for their work during the project?

A: Yes, but compensation for this work and responsibilities need to be well-justified in the project and budget justification.

Q: How many institutions are allowed to form a collaborating network for the grant?

A: While a network involving a single institution is not precluded in the solicitation, the expectation of a successful collaborative network of multiple institutions that accommodates the recommended number (8-12) of mentees and mentors is one of the elements of the criteria outlined in the program solicitation.

Q: The solicitation mentions wanting a “cohesive theme” for research opportunities. Is NSF seeking a narrowly defined theme, or something broader that could accommodate a range of research programs using different models and methods?

A: As described in the solicitation “The RaMP networks are intended to advance novel and potentially transformative research in areas supported by the Directorate of Biological Sciences.”  PIs have flexibility in developing the intellectual merit component of their proposals.

Learn More about RaMP
Additional opportunities to learn about RaMP include a webinar on December 15, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET and the January 15, 2022 session of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences’ virtual office hours.

Upcoming IOS Virtual Office Hours
Join us on December 16, 2021 for our next IOS Virtual Office Hour when we will discuss and answer questions related to the Mid-Career Advancement (MCA) solicitation (NSF 21-516).