2026 Idea Machine: Entries are in!


big idea

The National Science Foundation (NSF) received more than 800 idea submissions for the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition. Entries were judged and 33 are still in the running for the grand prize. Now, we need YOU to help NSF determine which entries will advance to the next stage by watching entrants’ video pitches and commenting on the importance and potential impact of their Big Ideas, as well as providing suggestions on how their ideas can be improved.

Watch the video pitches and review entries from 05/31/2019 – 06/26/2019 at nsf2026imgallery.skild.com.

2019 Summer Meeting Schedule


DEB representatives will be attending the Evolution conference in Providence June 21-25 and the Ecological Society of America (ESA) conference in Louisville August 11-16. We will also be sending representatives to the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) July 24-28 and to the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) meeting June 10-13 as well as several other meetings throughout the summer.

Come and stop by the NSF exhibitor booth at both Evolution and ESA to chat with staff and Program Officers. We’re ready to talk about the latest NSF news and funding opportunities. Be sure to scoop up your Famous Biologist Trading Cards before they’re all gone and remember to visit our colleagues at the NEON booth.

Q&A Sessions

  • We’ll also be hosting a session at ESA on Tuesday, August 13 from 11:30-1:15 entitled, “Conversations with NSF: Research and Training Opportunities.”
  • The Evolution session will be Sunday, June 23 from 1:15-2:15 in room 554.
  • The JMIH session will be July 26 from 12:05-12:35.

We hope to see you there!

The table below shows which Program Officers and Senior Managers will be attending meetings.

Program Officers and Senior Managers          

Cluster

Digital Data in Biodiversity Research, New Haven, CT

June 10-12

Andrea Weeks SBS

EEID, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

June 10-13

Katharina Dittmar SBS
Sam Scheiner EP

Evolution, Providence, RI

June 21-25

David Cannatella SBS
George Gilchrist EP
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Simon Malcomber SBS
Paco Moore EP
Leslie Rissler Acting Deputy Division Director
Sam Scheiner EP
Chris Schneider SBS

Microbial Population Biology Gordon Conference, Andover, NH

July 7-12

Susi Remold EP

Animal Behavior Society, Chicago, IL

July 22-27

Colette St. Mary EP

Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Snowbird, UT

July 24-28

David Cannatella SBS
Leslie Rissler Acting Deputy Division Director
Chris Schneider SBS

Botany 2019, Tucson, AZ

July 27-31

Andrea Weeks SBS

ESA, Louisville, KY

August 11-16

Elizabeth Blood ES
Lynn Christenson ES
Dan Gruner PCE
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Matt Kane ES
Doug Levey PCE
Kendra McLauchlan ES
Betsy von Holle PCE

 

CAREER Deadline and Guidance


The BIO CAREER deadline is July 17, 2019.

For those of you preparing to submit your CAREER proposal, there are two important things that should not be left until the last minute:

  1. Including a Departmental Letter of Support.
  2. Clearly demonstrating the integration of your research and education activities.

Departmental Letter of Support

This is a key requirement for any CAREER proposal that needs to be uploaded into supplemental documents.

From the solicitation (17-537),

“1. Departmental Letter (a proposal submitted without this Letter will be returned without review) – NSF encourages organizations to value and reward the integration of research and education and the effective mentoring of its early-career faculty in their department. This integration of research and education requires close collaboration between the CAREER Principal Investigator (PI) and his/her organization throughout the duration of the award. To demonstrate the department’s support of the career development plan of the PI, the proposal must include one (and only one) letter from the PI’s department head (or equivalent organizational official). In cases of joint appointments, the letter should be signed by both department heads. The letter, which will be included as part of the consideration of the overall merits of the proposal, should demonstrate an understanding of, and a commitment to, the effective integration of research and education as a primary objective of the CAREER award.”

Integration of Research and Education

Most successful CAREER proposals demonstrate a strong and clear integration of research and education.  Your research and education activities should be linked and inform one another.  As always, feel free to visit NSF’s award search to view the abstracts of successful CAREER proposals. Many will provide information about how the PI created synergy between research and teaching.  Some PIs will even share their proposal or provide advice if asked…but not if unasked.

Updating Your Demographic Info


Reporting your demographic information to NSF is voluntary, but it helps to ensure that we are adequately serving our broad and diverse community of investigators and providing equal access to programs and other opportunities at NSF.

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about reporting demographic information to NSF taken from our FAQs about the management of your user account with NSF.

Question Answer
Do I have to provide my demographic information? Submission of the requested demographic information is voluntary and is not a precondition of an award.
If I do not provide any demographic information for a particular question, what will appear on my profile? If demographic information is not provided for any or all demographic questions, the answer(s) will be shown as blank in the My Profile Edit mode and “Not Provided” will be displayed in the My Profile View mode.
Why is my demographic information being collected? NSF asks for demographic data relating to gender, ethnicity/race and disability to gauge whether our programs and other opportunities in science and technology are fairly reaching and benefiting everyone regardless of demographic category; and to ensure that those in underrepresented groups have the same knowledge of and access to programs, meetings, vacancies, and other research and educational opportunities as everyone else.

Your demographic information has moved from Fastlane to Research.gov.

To view or update your demographic information (gender, ethnicity/race, disability status), please follow the directions below:

  1. Sign in to Research.gov and click “My Profile”
  2. Demographic information is located on your “View/Edit Profile” page
  3. Scroll down to the Demographic Information section at the bottom of your profile

For additional assistance, please see the Account Management Guide and our newly updated FAQ. For IT assistance, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov.

 

 

 

NSF Research Traineeship Program


Calling all investigators! Are you interested in programmatic reform and providing broad training in skills easily transferable to many types of STEM careers? It’s never too early to begin planning a submission to the NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT). The NRT program aims to promote workforce development in STEM and transformative improvements in graduate education.

Unlike the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) or the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRFB), students cannot apply. It’s up to faculty to plan and submit their ideas for supporting students’ educational training and development through catalytic institutional change. Interdisciplinary or convergent research and training emphasizing one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas are especially encouraged.

The NRT solicitation requires a Letter of Intent which is due between November 25-December 6, 2019. Invited Full Proposals are due February 6, 2020. Be sure and visit this page for a selection of recent awards and the NRT FAQ.

New DCL: Research Opportunities Related to Coastlines and People (CoPe)


The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorates for Geosciences (GEO), Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), Biological Sciences (BIO), Engineering (ENG), Education and Human Resources (EHR) and the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) announced their intent to support Research Coordination Networks (RCNs), a select type of Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), conferences, and Non-academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) supplements that relate to Coastlines and People (CoPe).

Through CoPe, NSF is interested in supporting projects to build capacity and explore research focused on understanding the impacts of coastal environmental variability and natural hazards on populated coastal regions. CoPe projects should explore the complex interface between coastal natural processes, geohazards, people, and their natural and built environments.

The target dates are coming up soon for this DCL: 1-page summaries of RCN, EAGER, and Conference proposals are due May 31st, 2019.

For more information, please visit the DCL here.

 

 

Dear Colleague Letter: Research on Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Harassment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Contexts


Please take a minute to read our most recent DCL on sexual harassment here or below.

“March 29, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has publicly communicated its commitment to promoting safe, productive research and education environments for current and future scientists and engineers, including efforts to help reduce sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in STEM contexts.

Recently, to learn about the challenges related to sexual harassment in STEM settings, NSF and other organizations funded the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct a study on the prevalence and impact of sexual harassment in science and engineering departments and programs. The results of the study are available in the report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture and Consequences in Academic Science, Engineering, and Medicine. As the most comprehensive examination to date of sexual harassment in academic science, engineering, and medicine, the report brings together behavioral and social research on types of sexual harassment and prevalence, data on legal and policy mechanisms, and new approaches for changing the climate and culture in higher education to prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment.

One of the NASEM report’s recommendations is to “conduct necessary research” (pp. 186-187) on a number of topics related to sexual harassment. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is intended to highlight for the research community that NSF, as a primary federal funder of basic science and engineering research in the United States, continues to welcome and support competitive, peer-reviewed research that advances fundamental knowledge about the nature and underlying dynamics of sexual and other forms of harassment, and mechanisms for evaluating harassment prevalence, prevention, and responses, in a range of STEM education, research, and workplace settings.

A number of programs across the Foundation may be appropriate for proposals that have clear, theoretically-driven research orientations and advance generalizable knowledge about sexual or other forms of harassment in STEM contexts. Examples of potential research foci include: the nature and dynamics of harassment, including underlying social and behavioral processes; mechanisms for assessing and evaluating harassment prevalence, prevention, and responses across a range of organizational levels; and harassment dynamics with respect to ethics, diversity, and inclusivity in science. Additionally, NSF programs in any research area may elect to support basic research or conferences about sexual or other forms of harassment in a specific research field, group, or context. Proposals involving international collaboration, in which NSF supports the U.S. component of the collaborative activities, may also be considered.

To determine whether a research idea is within the scope of this DCL and appropriate for a particular program, prospective principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact, prior to submitting proposals, the directorate/office Liaison(s) for Harassment Research most closely aligned with the research activities to be proposed. Proposals will be submitted to existing NSF funding opportunities and should follow the guidance and requirements of the relevant program(s) and the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Liaisons for Harassment Research:

  • Biological Sciences (BIO): Leslie Rissler
  • Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE): Jeremy Epstein
  • Education & Human Resources (EHR): Jessie DeAro
  • Engineering (ENG): Paige Smith
  • Geosciences (GEO): Elizabeth Rom, Margaret Frasier
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS): Tomasz Durakiewicz
  • Social Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE): Rebecca Ferrell
  • Office of Integrative Activities (OIA): Bernice Anderson, Jolaina Jeff-Cartier
  • Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE): Anne Emig

Sincerely,

Joanne S. Tornow, Assistant Director, BIO
Jim Kurose, Assistant Director, CISE
Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director, EHR
Dawn M. Tilbury, Assistant Director, ENG
William E. Easterling, Assistant Director, GEO
Anne L. Kinney, Assistant Director, MPS
Arthur W. Lupia, Assistant Director, SBE
Rebecca L. Keiser, Office Head, OISE
C. Suzanne Iacono, Office Head, OIA”