Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cost sharing at NSF

At the direction of Congress, the National Science Foundation reviewed its cost sharing policy. In a recently released report, NSF has proposed to bring back cost sharing, or "matching funds" requirements, in select agency programs. They are: Engineering Research Centers (ERC), the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research(EPSCoR), and the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC).

The aim of these programs is to build capacity, foster partnerships with industry, encourage the commercialization of technology and promote the sustainability of grant projects. In 2004, mandatory cost sharing was eliminated. NSF's review of this decision revealed that the lack of cost sharing had decreased the effectiveness of these programs and removed the incentive for industry to participate.

Click the heading of this entry to view the full report.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Staying ahead of the curve

Academics know they must keep up with the scholarly literature in their fields. However, when you're looking for a federal grant, there is another step you can take to ensure that you are not proposing a project the agency has already funded. By searching the agency's award database, you can see what it has recently supported. Results of these projects might not have made their way into the literature yet.

Here's an example of how to do it: Go to the National Science Foundation's award database.

Then do a search on keywords or the particular program you're applying to. Limit it by date so you are not swamped -- you're looking only for the newest awards. You will get an idea of what the agency has funded in the past in your area, and whether someone is already doing what you propose.

Monday, February 18, 2008

NIH grant names decoded

Have you ever wondered what people are talking about when they refer to grants from the National Institutes of Health using labels like RO1, P20 and T32? All is revealed in a glossary at the NIH website. Scroll down to "Activity Code." There you will find links to detailed information about the agency's various funding mechanisms.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

NSF Regional Grants Conference in Providence, RI

Attending a conference at which you can speak directly with program officers is a great way to get feedback on whether your research ideas fit any of the agency's programs.