5/18/20 Virtual Office Hours Recap


The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) held its sixth Virtual Office Hour on May 18th, 2020. We will be hosting these office hours 1-2pm EDT on the 2nd Monday of every month. There will be a designated theme each time, but attendees are welcome to ask about other NSF-related topics. Program Officers from each of DEB’s clusters will be present at every Virtual Office Hour.

This month’s topic was Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) (NSF 20-525).

The presentation and other documents are available here:

If you were unable to attend, here are some of the questions asked during the Q & A section. Due to the high volume of questions, the full list of questions can be found in the link above:

Q: Is the education component focused just on higher education?

A: Reviewers want to see that part of the education plan is in line with the institutional goals and that you have the appropriate resources to conduct the proposed activities. However, that does not preclude you from engaging in broader impacts activities away from your home institution. We encourage investigators to do things that they want to do, and that create educational opportunities.

Q: How much preliminary data would be appropriate for a successful proposal? How critical is preliminary data in a successful CAREER proposal?

A: Reviewers like to see that you can accomplish the methods you say you are going to use. This includes a combination of your publication record, relevant citations, and enough preliminary data to show the work can be conducted.

Q: Does the CAREER solicitation support interdisciplinary projects, and if so, are there any suggestions on which program to choose given the interdisciplinary nature of a research project?

A: Investigators will submit proposals to the CAREER solicitation but indicate the core program to which they’re submitting. This is the primary program of interest, but investigators can also indicate another program that may be relevant.

As with other proposals, CAREER proposals can be co-reviewed by multiple programs. For more information on what this entails check out our blog post on demystifying the co-review process, as well as our November Office Hour recap on the same topic. The CAREER solicitation also includes additional details on Cross-Disciplinary Opportunities.

Please reach out to a Program Officer if you have any questions about the proposal submission and review process in DEB programs.

Our next virtual office hours will be held on June 8th, 2020 from 1-2pm EDT and will address Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) (NSF 20-564). Be sure to check back here or on the NSF Events Page for information on how to register.