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January 30, 2014 Newsletter

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Arts & Humanities Funding

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has upcoming deadlines for its Art Works initiative, which provides matching grants ranging from $10,000-$100,000 to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

NEA has an upcoming deadline for Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry. The program offers $25,000 grants to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Deadlines for prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) will be available in fall 2014.

 

Social Sciences Funding

The Spencer Foundation has upcoming deadlines for research grants in the following areas: Areas of Inquiry (which includes Education and Social Opportunity; Organizational Learning; Purposes and Values of Education; Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources, Field-Initiated Proposals),  the New Civics Initiative, and the Initiative on Philosophy in Education Policy and Practice. The Foundation focuses on “how education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has a March 4, 2014 deadline for Summer Seminars and Institutes funding. This is to support host organizations who wish to hold seminars or institutes over summer 2015. Grants for seminars range from $75,000 to $150,000 for 12 months and grants for institutes range from $90,000 to $200,000 for a grant period of 15 months.

 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Funding

The McKnight Endowment Fund has a March 24, 2014 deadline for preliminary proposals for the 2015 McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Awards. The Fund seeks proposals that address memory or cognition under normal and pathological conditions. This includes proposals that address mechanisms of memory or cognition at the synaptic, cellular, or behavioral level in animals, including humans.

The Human Frontier Science Program has announced a March 27, 2014 deadline for international collaborations in basic life science research, and invites grant applications in support of innovative approaches to understanding complex mechanisms of living organisms. Awards are dependent on team size; successful teams will receive up to $450,000 per year.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is accepting pre-applications for their Data-Driven Discovery Initiative, which has a February 24, 2014 deadline. The Foundation seeks to advance the people and practices of data-intensive science to take advantage of the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of scientific data to make new discoveries. Approximately 15 awards are anticipated at ~$1,500,000 each, at $200K-$300K/year for five years.

 

NEWS ITEMS

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a new version of its Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 24, 2014.

NSF Launches a Research.gov Demo Site

Federal Budget Authority proposes an increase in Research & Development funding for 2014.

“It Ain’t What I Say Judith Shapiro, Barnard President Emerita, discusses engaging faculty members in discussions about “assessment” and “competency.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that the application success rates declined to 16.8% in 2013.

Accord on Appropriations discusses how Congress’ accord on the budget impacts funding for federal grant making agencies.

 

 

From the website: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars.

Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars, for full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years. Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; field work; applications of information technology; and technical support and services. All grantees are expected to communicate the results of their work to the appropriate scholarly and public audiences.

Eligible projects include:

  • research that significantly adds to knowledge and understanding of the humanities;
  • conferences on topics of major importance in the humanities that will benefit scholarly research;
  • archaeological projects that include the interpretation and communication of results (projects may encompass excavation, materials analysis, laboratory work, field reports, and preparation of interpretive monographs); and
  • research that uses the knowledge and perspectives of the humanities and historical or philosophical methods to enhance understanding of science, technology, medicine, and the social sciences.

Visit the NEH website for more information and to download application materials, sample proposals, etc.

 

From the website: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has a deadline of July 24, 2014 for its Art Works initiative, which provides matching grants ranging from $10,000-$100,000 to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts and its Challenge America Fast-Track initiative, which provides matching grants of $10,000 for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations.

Under the Art Works guidelines, the NEA funds projects that consist of one or more specific events or activities that may be a part of an applicant's regular season or activities. Organizations that undertake a single short-term project in a year -- a ten-day jazz festival, for example -- could apply for that event, or identify certain components (such as the presentation of a key artist and the associated activities) as their project.

Organizations may apply for any or all phases of a project, from its planning through its implementation. A project does not have to be new. Excellent existing projects can be just as competitive as new activities. Projects do not need to be large. The Arts Endowment welcomes small projects that can make a difference in a community or field.

Information about Art Works from NEA: The guiding principle of "Art Works" is at the center of everything we do at the NEA. "Art Works" refers to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. In addition, the Arts Endowment:

  • Is interested in projects, regardless of the size or type of applicant organization, that are of national, regional, or field-wide significance; that tour in several states; or that provide an unusual or especially valuable contribution because of geographic location. This includes local projects that can have significant effects within communities or that are likely to serve as models for a field.
  • Urges organizations that apply under these guidelines to involve artists in their projects and to provide specific information on the participating artists in their applications.
  • Is committed to supporting equitable opportunities for all applicants and to investing in diversity in the arts including works of all cultures and periods.
  • Recognizes that the significance of a project can be measured by excellence and invention, not solely by budget size, institutional stature, or the numbers of people or areas that are reached.
  • Urges applicants to make accommodations for individuals with disabilities an integral part of their projects.

 

From the website: The National Endowment for the Arts is accepting proposals for its Literature Fellowships. The program is offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. To review the applications, the NEA assembles a different advisory panel every year, each diverse with regard to geography, race and ethnicity, and artistic points of view.

The NEA Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. For FY 2015, which is covered by these guidelines, fellowships in poetry are available. Fellowships in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) will be offered in FY 2016 and guidelines will be available in the fall of 2014. You may apply only once each year.

Competition for fellowships is extremely rigorous. We typically receive more than 1,000 applications each year in this category and award fellowships to fewer than 5% of applicants. You should consider carefully whether your work will be competitive at the national level.

Deadline and Announcement Dates You must submit your application electronically through Grants.gov, the federal government’s online application system. The Grants.gov system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 12, 2014. The Arts Endowment will not accept late applications.

Do not expect notification of awards and rejections before December 2014. The Arts Endowment’s support of a project may begin any time between January 1, 2015, and January 1, 2016, and extend for up to two years. For more information on the application process, requirements, and restrictions, please see the NEA website here.

 

The Spencer Foundation has upcoming deadlines for research grants in the following areas: Areas of Inquiry (which includes Education and Social OpportunityOrganizational LearningPurposes and Values of EducationTeaching, Learning, and Instructional ResourcesField-Initiated Proposals),  the New Civics Initiative, and the Initiative on Philosophy in Education Policy and Practice. The Foundation focuses on “how education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world.

Through its Areas of Inquiry, the Spencer Foundation has a February 6, 2014 deadline for grants under $50,000. For grants ranging from $50,001-$350,000, the Spencer Foundation has established the following timeline:

  • Preliminary Proposal Deadline:  noon March 14, 2014 
  • Prelim Decision Notification:  by late May 2014 
  • Invited Full Proposal Deadline:  June 30, 2014 
  • Final Funding Decision Notification:  February 2015

Through its New Civics Initiative, the foundation is accepting research proposals that ask critical questions about how education can more effectively contribute to the civic development of young people. Of special interest are projects designed to improve understanding of the avenues for and impediments to civic learning and civic action among young people who do not attend college, who reside in marginalized communities, who are recent immigrants or immigrants of different legal statuses, or who are less economically privileged.

The program awards grants of up to $350,000, typically extending over periods of one to four years. Scholars in education, the social sciences, and the humanities are invited to apply.

For grant requests of up to $50,000, proposals must be received no later than February 6, 2014. For projects that require a higher level of funding (up to $350,000), the Spencer Foundation has established the following timeline:

  • Preliminary Proposal Deadline:  April 29, 2014 
  • Prelim Decision Notification:  late May 2014 
  • Invited Full Proposal Deadline:  June 30, 2014 
  • Final Funding Decision Notification:  February 2015

Through its Initiative on Philosophy in Educational Policy and Practice, the Spencer Foundation will make several awards of up to $40,000 for research projects in Philosophy as it relates to educational policy and practice. We encourage applicants to understand educational policy and practice in broad terms, including issues that directly relate to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, but also concerning policies that influence children’s growth and development in the family and in other areas of social life including children’s upbringings, educational issues in family life and in the workplace, the educational effects of welfare policy. We also encourage diverse kinds of philosophical research ranging from the highly abstract to the highly applied. There is no deadline – proposals are always accepted.

 

From the website: National Endowment for the Humanities – Summer Seminars and Institutes

An NEH Summer Seminar or Institute may be hosted by a college, university, learned society, center for advanced study, library or other repository, cultural or professional organization, or school or school system. The host site must be suitable for the project, providing facilities for scholarship and collegial interaction. These programs are designed for a national audience of teachers.

Program formats:

  • Seminar for school teachers—sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars): A seminar enables sixteen participants (of whom two may be full-time graduate students who intend to pursue a K-12 teaching career) to examine an important text, study works of well-known authors, or review scholarship on a significant historical period or event. The principal goals are to deepen teachers’ understanding of the subject at hand through reading, discussion, reflection, and writing, and to sustain their intellectual commitment to teaching. The director, an expert in the field, guides discussion of common readings and offers advice for individual study and projects.
  • Institute for school teachers—twenty-five to thirty participants (NEH Summer Scholars): An institute, which is typically guided by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars, presents the best available scholarship on important topics and works in the humanities that are taught in the nation’s schools. Participants (of whom three may be full-time graduate students who intend to pursue a K-12 teaching career) compare and synthesize the various perspectives offered by the faculty and make connections between the institute content and classroom teaching. The emphasis throughout is on teaching the specific humanities subject matter and not on pedagogical theory and approaches.
  • Seminar for college and university teachers—sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars): A seminar enables participants (including two full-time graduate students in the humanities) to conduct scholarly research and focused study under the direction of a scholarly expert. The director designs a program to articulate key topics and focus discussion in seminar meetings. The director also advises participants on individual projects.
  • Institute for college and university teachers—twenty-five to thirty participants (NEH Summer Scholars): An institute focuses on a subject of major importance in undergraduate education. Guided by a team of core and visiting scholars, participants (including three full-time graduate students in the humanities) explore a variety of perspectives on the subject. The primary goal is to advance humanities teaching.
  • These four models allow for variation. For example, seminars may be co-directed or they may include one or a few visiting scholars who contribute additional viewpoints or expertise.

Institutes may provide time for individual research, reading, or writing. In the proposal applicants should explain variations in format and fully justify the allocation of time and resources.

NEH encourages Summer Seminars and Institutes in the following areas:

  • foreign language projects for school teachers or college and university faculty designed to strengthen instruction at the advanced level through the use of humanistic sources;
  • projects intended primarily for community college faculty; and
  • projects that respond to NEH's Bridging Cultures initiative. Such projects could focus on cultures internationally, or within the United States. International projects might seek to enlarge Americans’ understanding of other places and times, as well as other perspectives and intellectual traditions. American projects might explore the great variety of cultural influences on, and myriad subcultures within, American society. These projects might also investigate how Americans have approached and attempted to surmount seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides, or examine the ideals of civility and civic discourse. In connection with a focus on civic discourse, projects might explore the role of women in America’s civic life as well as the civic role of women in other cultures and regions of the world.

The NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes program does not support:

  • projects that seek to promote a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
  • projects that advocate a particular program of social action;
  • empirical research in the social sciences;
  • specific policy studies;
  • educational or technical impact assessments;
  • work undertaken in the pursuit of an academic degree;
  • the preparation or publication of textbooks; and
  • projects that focus on pedagogical theory, research on educational methods, tests, or measurements.

Awards for seminars range from $75,000 to $150,000 for a grant period of twelve months. Grant period for Seminars (twelve months): October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015

Awards for institutes range from $90,000 to $200,000 for a grant period of fifteen months. Grant period for Institutes (fifteen months): October 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015

 

From the website: The McKnight Foundation is accepting proposals that address memory or cognition under normal and pathological conditions. This includes proposals that address mechanisms of memory or cognition at the synaptic, cellular, or behavioral level in animals, including humans. We are particularly interested in proposals that incorporate fundamentally new approaches, as well as those that involve human experimentation. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.

Projects restricted to the creation of conventional mouse knockouts in candidate disease genes identified by association studies, or to broadly overexpress those genes, are discouraged. In addition, projects to perform genetic interaction screens on disease genes in model organisms (yeast, worm, fly, fish) will not be considered, unless the project includes substantive specific aims that investigate the disease relevance of any new genes so discovered in human or mammalian model systems.

Eligibility Investigators who are United States citizens or lawful permanent residents conducting research at institutions within the United States are invited to apply. All PIs on the project must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status at the time of submission. Applicants must be in tenured or tenure-track faculty positions; research faculty in annually renewable positions are ineligible. Applicants may not be employees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute or scientists within the intramural program of the National Institutes of Health. Applicants may not hold another McKnight Award that would overlap with the Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award. We are interested in geographic, gender, and racial diversity and we encourage women and minorities, as well as scientists from around the U.S., to apply. Funds may be used toward a variety of research activities, but not the recipient’s salary. The candidate’s other sources of funding will be considered when selecting awards.

Selection Process: Application forms are linked below. You may also email or call the office of The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience (info@mcknight.org; 612-333-4220). The deadline for submission is March 24, 2014. In mid-June, the selection committee will invite a small number of applicants to submit more detailed proposals, which will be due October 6, 2014. Funding begins February 1, 2015. The Endowment Fund will fund up to four awards, each providing $100,000 per year for three years.

Application information is available on the website here.

 

From the website: The Human Frontier Science Program has announced a March 27, 2014 deadline for international collaborations in basic life science research, and invites grant applications in support of innovative approaches to understanding complex mechanisms of living organisms. Awards are dependent on team size; successful teams will receive up to $450,000 per year.

Research grants are provided for teams of scientists from different countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches to questions that could not be answered by individual laboratories.

Emphasis is placed on novel collaborations that bring together scientists preferably from different disciplines (e.g. from chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering) to focus on problems in the life sciences. The research teams must be international. The principal applicant must be from one of the eligible countries. However, other participating scientists and laboratories may be situated anywhere in the world. Applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply for a research grant via the HFSP web site with a deadline at the end of March, and after review, selected teams will be invited to submit a full application.

Two types of Research Grant are available:

  • Young Investigators' Grants are awarded to teams of researchers, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory (e.g. Assistant Professor, Lecturer or equivalent). Applications for Young Investigators' Grants will be reviewed in competition with each other independently of applications for Program Grants.
  • Program Grants are awarded to teams of independent researchers at any stage of their careers. The research team is expected to develop new lines of research through the collaboration. Up to $450,000 per grant per year may be applied for. Applications including independent investigators early in their careers are encouraged

For more information:

 

From the website: The Science Program of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) is announcing a solicitation for applications for an Investigator Program as part of its Data-Driven Discovery (DDD) Initiative. DDD seeks to advance the people and practices of data-intensive science to take advantage of the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of scientific data to make new discoveries. Data-intensive science is inherently multidisciplinary, combining natural sciences with methods from statistics and computer science.

 
The goal of the DDD Investigator awards is to fund individuals who exemplify this new kind of data-driven discovery.  These innovators are striking out in new directions and are willing to take risks with the potential of huge payoffs in some aspect of data-intensive science. Successful applicants must make a strong case for developments in the natural sciences (biology, physics, astronomy, etc.) or science enabling methodologies (statistics, machine learning, scalable algorithms, etc.), and applicants that credibly combine the two are especially encouraged. (Note that the Science Program does not fund disease targeted research.)

It is anticipated that the DDD initiative will make about 15 awards at ~$1,500,000 each ($200K-$300K/year for five years).

Qualifications
The Foundation is using a two-step application process, consisting of 1) an open pre-application, and 2) an invited full application after pre-application review. We are interested in applications from innovative people who are tackling data-intensive science across a wide spectrum of fields and who meet the following qualifications:

1. The applicant must be a full time employee of a PhD-granting institution or a private research institution in the United States who has the authority to be a Principal Investigator (PI). It is not necessary for the applicant to be tenured or tenure-track faculty, the Foundation recognizes the value of research scientists and professional staff in this emerging space.
2. There will be two categories of investigators, depending on career stage:

a. Early Career: For investigators within six years of his or her PhD, the full application, if invited, must include a nomination letter from a mentor commenting on the applicant’s:

i) prior work,

ii) ability to independently lead a research program, and

iii) potential for innovation.
b. Experienced: All other investigators must have been a PI or Co-PI on an award from either a federal research agency such as NSF, NIH, DOE, or DARPA, or a private research funder.

3. It is intended that Foundation funding will be used to primarily support people in the successful applicant’s research group. These personnel are anticipated to be at various career stages such as undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and post-doctoral fellows, and salary for the applicant is allowed. The awards are not intended for major equipment, or to support experiments to obtain new data sets.

Process
The pre-applications are due Monday February 24, 2014 by 5pm Pacific Time. They must be submitted online at this site. A list of frequently asked questions is also available at http://www.moore.org/DDDInvestigator and will be updated often. If your question is not answered, please contact DDDInvestigator@moore.org. Pre-applications will undergo an external review process.

The Foundation anticipates extending invitations for full applications in April 2014.  If a full application is invited it will be limited to six pages consisting of an abstract and extensions to the major accomplishments and future research direction section. In addition, a nomination letter for Early Career applications will be required. Full applications will be due five weeks after the invitation is sent, currently anticipated for mid-May 2014.
 

Application process available here.

 

A new version of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) has been issued.  The PAPPG is comprised of documents relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process and consists of the:

(a) Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) for guidance on the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF; and

(b) Award & Administration Guide (AAG) to guide, manage, and monitor the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by the Foundation.

This new version of the PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 24, 2014

Significant changes include:

  • Addition to the certification regarding Conflict of Interest regarding the appropriate disclosure process;
  • Reiteration that indirect costs are not allowed on participant support costs;
  • Small-scale pilot of a new environmental impacts process with a few programs, prior to NSF-wide implementation;
  • Updated process for program income reporting; and
  • Numerous clarifications throughout the document.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on February 24, 2014, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 13-1) continue to apply.  The current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.

Federal Budget Authority for R&D Declines in FYs 2012 and 2013; Increase Proposed for 2014

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Launches a Research.gov Demo Site

The NSF recently sent out the following letter on the Research.gov Demo Site:

Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Research.gov Demo Site in order to further improve the project reporting process. The Research.gov Demo Site provides National Science Foundation (NSF) awardees (specifically PIs, co-PIs and Sponsored Project Office staff) the opportunity to explore and familiarize themselves with preparing, submitting, and reviewing NSF project reports without actually submitting a real report.

Since the transition of project reporting from FastLane to Research.gov, the Research.gov Team has been working diligently with NSF Staff and Awardees to identify and implement solutions to the challenges faced by the research community when submitting project reports. As part of this effort, the Team heard how helpful awardees find the FastLane Demo Site and has prioritized and developed a Research.gov Demo Site. The Demo Site will help reduce user confusion around submitting a project report by providing a platform for practicing how to use the tool. Additionally, the Research.gov Team is developing an instructional video tutorial on submitting project reports to assist NSF awardees. 

While NSF awardees can practice preparing, submitting and reviewing NSF project reports on the Demo Site, not all functionality available in Research.gov is available in the Demo site, including:

  • Project Outcomes Reports and previously submitted reports will not be accessible
  • Submission confirmation emails will not get sent
  • The search performed against Thompson Web of Science will only produce sample results
  • The Check Report Completeness link will produce a sample list of missing information (will not display missing fields from the demo report).
  • Updates you make to the example reports will be saved but can be overwritten by other user sessions, and the example reports are reset nightly.

Where should PIs go for help with project reports?

Thank you again for your feedback as we continue to improve Research.gov. We look forward to continuing to serve the research community in the future.

 

Sincerely,

The Research.gov Team