NSF Submissions

Please look to this space for upcoming deadline information. As a reminder, deadline dates vary according to each directorate, and internal deadlines are set at 5 business days before the final submission (or 10 days for dissertation proposals), to ensure that your hard work receives deserved attention and allow for safe, timely submission of your proposal. Contact iserp-funding@columbia.edu with any questions.

PROPOSAL MATERIALS CHECKLIST

You will need to develop the following materials to prepare your proposal. All documents must have numbered pages. Please note that these are general NSF guidelines; RFPs may alter their specifications to meet their needs. Click here for a downloadable PDF checklist.

  1. fifteen page proposal document, in PDF or MS Word, inclusive of all tables or figures, with minimum 1-inch margins and minimum 11 point font. This must include a statement called "results from prior NSF support." See section below for details. The proposal document must also include a section titled Broader Impacts. Note that many Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants have different requirements, so if you are applying for a DDIG/DDRIG/DDRI, pay close attention to the maximum page count listed in the guidelines. 
  2. one-page project summary, in MS Word, incorporating statements on intellectual merit and “broader impacts” of the proposal (download the details), with minimum 1-inch margins and minimum 11 point font. This must not exceed one page total. The three sections - overview, intellectual merit, and broader impacts - do not have to be of equal length. This is the only portion required to be written in the third-person.
  3. A separate references cited file, in PDF or MS Word, with minimum 1-inch margins and minimum 11 point font.
  4. A two-page NSF biosketch, in MS Word, set up according to this template, based on NSF guidelines.
  5. list of collaborators and other affiliates according to the template provided by ISERP.
  6. list of current and pending grant awards, with dollar amounts, both at Columbia and elsewhere, in MS Word. The list must contain project title, award dates, total amount awarded/requested and effort dedicated to the project.
  7. A two-page data management plan in MS Word. See below for details regarding the data management plan.
  8. Budget and budget justification, to be developed in conjunction with ISERP.

 

PROJECT ORGANIZATION: 

Collaborators 

Most projects are based here on the Columbia campus, but some may involve co-PIs at other institutions.  The preferable and most advantageous arrangement for making your proposals when co-PIs are involved is to submit a “Collaborative Research” proposal, which consists of two separate project budgets – one for you at Columbia and one for your co-PI off-campus. An administrative contact at the collaborator’s institution should be provided at the earliest possible opportunity.

Subcontracts 

In other instances, you may simply need another institution to provide you with a “cleaned” dataset or will need to pay someone at another institution to complete a small piece of work.  This will involve extra coordination and the subcontract institution contact should be provided as soon as possible.

Research Assistance 

Please note:  Identifying in advance the people who will work with you on the project, including graduate students or others, will make budgetary planning simpler.

 

NOTES ON DATA MANAGEMENT PLAN POLICY: 

The NSF now requires that PIs make reasonable accommodations regarding the sharing of data with other researchers.  This section of the grant proposal outlines how you will comply with this requirement.

Details about Data Management, from NSF (4 pages)

FAQ about Data Management, from NSF

Data Management Plan Checklist and Template

Datasets may be hosted in Columbia University Libraries’ Academic Commons, the University’s institutional repository, a service of the Libraries’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS). For further information on data deposits, please see the Academic Commons Data FAQ or contact CDRS atinfo@cdrs.columbia.edu.

 

NOTES ON RESULTS FROM PRIOR NSF SUPPORT:

The fifteen page proposal (described above) must contain a section indicating whether the PI has received prior support from the NSF.  If the PI has not received prior support, you may simply state that.  If the PI has received NSF funding in the last five years , information of the award is required to be included in the proposal. If you need assistance with any of these details, please contact iserp-funding@columbia.edu. If the PI has received more than one award (excluding amendments), only the award most closely related to the current project must be included.  Include all of the following:

  1. The NSF award number, amount, and period of support.
  2. The project title. 
  3. A summary of the completed work, including accomplishments supported by the award.  Divide the results into two headings: “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts”.  Review details here.
  4. Any publications resulting from the NSF award, including citation information. 
  5. Evidence of research products and their availability, including, but not limited to: data, publications, samples, physical collections, software, and models, as described in the Data Management Plan (see section above). 
  6. If the proposal is for renewed support, a description of the relation of the completed work to the proposed work.

“Results from Prior NSF Support” should not exceed five pages and can be shorter.  “Results from Prior NSF Support” is included in, not in addition to, the fifteen page proposal requirement. Note that all Co-PIs must also be accounted for in this section.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: 

Columbia requires a conflict of interest disclosure to be updated annually.  Please sign into RASCAL using your UNI and password to ensure that this is up to date prior to the initial consultation.  

 

NOTE ON HUMAN SUBJECTS AND RELATED DATA: 

Many providers of data are now requiring data agreements to be signed or requiring IRB review of your data requests.  If you are using data that will require either an agreement to be signed or IRB review, it will likely need to go through the IRB review process at Columbia.  Even if your data does not have identifying information, you may need to have it reviewed as “Exempt” by the IRB; please have a good description of your data ready to discuss at the initial consultation.

If you are conducting experimental work or games that require the use of human subjects, you will need to initiate the IRB protocol procedures before you submit your proposal to NSF to ensure that you are covered and ready to go should you be notified of funding. If you wait until you receive the notice of award to seek IRB approval, your project could be delayed.

 

FASTLANE: 

FastLane is the NSF electronic system for routing proposals.  Be certain that you have an NSF Fastlane password and username handy.  If you do not possess a Fastlane account in advance, you must request one using the Account Request Form and have it ready prior to the initial consultation meeting. 

 

SUBMISSION AND REVIEW: 

After the internal deadline, Sponsored Projects Administration will review the submission in FastLane and check for errors.  These extra days prior to the NSF’s deadline will ensure that your proposal receives the attention that it deserves and is safely submitted well before the deadline rush.

The NSF program sites are below.  You are encouraged to review the “What Has Been Funded” links to get a sense of the kind of research that each program has selected recently. This is not an inclusive list; please contact iserp-funding@columbia.edu to discuss the details of your specific research.

DECISION, RISK, AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

DOCTORAL DISSERTATION RESEARCH IMPROVEMENT GRANTS (DDRIG)

ECONOMICS

FACULTY EARLY CAREER DEVELOPMENT

LAW & SOCIAL SCIENCES (LSS)

METHODOLOGY, MEASUREMENT, AND STATISTICS

PERCEPTION, ACTION & COGNITION

POLITICAL SCIENCE

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY (STS)

SOCIOLOGY

STATISTICS

SEE ALSO:

NSF Grant Proposal Guidelines

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