Did you miss it? June 2022 Virtual Office Hours Recap: Collaborative Research Opportunities within NSF

The slides are available here.

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) held a Virtual Office Hour on June 16th, 2022 providing information about:

Program officers active in these opportunities and representatives from other IOS core programs attended to discuss with and answer questions from the audience. 

The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training, and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic, and international boundaries. The goal of IntBIO is to support collaborative research, training and education that spans subdisciplines to understand how biological systems function and interact across different scales of organization.

Some questions that were posed to attending program officers included:

Q: What is the best way to approach RCN reps if your proposed RCN is naturally a great fit across multiple divisions?

Email any of the representatives here. Contacts for the RCN-Undergraduate Biology Education (UBE) program can be found here. Give them a short synopsis of your plan and your thoughts of which divisions may be involved. They may (1) engage you to clarify your plan to help identify the proper match with divisions; (2) contact other program directors within NSF on your behalf in a preliminary internal inquiry; and/or, (3) introduce you directly to other program directors who will help advise you through the RCN process. 

Q: If collaborative proposals are generally integrative, would it be best to consider submitting a collaborative proposal to the core or one to the new Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) program?

An IntBIO proposal has additional solicitation-specific criteria to address, above and beyond the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.  Thus, it is best to read the IntBIO solicitation carefully to identify the differences between IntBIO and the core program(s) to determine which would be a better fit for your proposal. Please contact Program Officers in both the core program(s) and the IntBIO Working Group for advice.

Q: For collaborative proposals with two PIs from two different institutions, do both PIs submit one proposal together from one of the institutions and submit two separate budget documents from both institutions?

Collaborating investigators will craft a single proposal description that outlines the work they will be doing together. You will want to determine which investigator and their institution will be the ‘lead’ on the collaborative proposal.  The lead institution submits the joint proposal description. The Sponsored Research Offices of a participating researcher will submit separate budgets for that participant, and each participant will separately submit their researcher-specific documents that include a biosketch, the Collaborators and other Affiliations (COA) information, and Current and Pending Support document. Please refer to the PAPPG (NSF 22-1; Chapter II.D.3) for a complete list of documents required for submission of a collaborative proposal.

Q: For a conference proposal, could one request funding for participants to attend a workshop abroad? (e.g., Australia?)

Yes, you can propose to support travel to internationally located conferences in a conference/symposium/workshop proposal. Keep in mind however that only individuals from U.S.-based institutions can be supported to travel utilizing NSF funds. Additionally, you must choose U.S.-based carriers for transportation and will need to use per diem rates as outlined by the State Department. Be sure to communicate with your sponsored research office about your plans to include international travel and international activities in your submitted proposal.

Please join us on July 21st, 2022 for our next IOS Virtual Office Hour when we will focus on proposal preparation tips and things to avoid. Program Directors from multiple IOS programs will be present to provide advice and answer any questions you may have to help create a positively reviewed proposal. Don’t miss this one!