Discussion: All Things NSF

While I am involved in many, many more applications to the NIH than to the NSF, I wanted to offer a place for NSF applicants to ask their questions and share advice as well.


  1. tc said

    NSF’s grants can be 3 or 5 yrs. Does anyone know whether the 5 yr grants are more difficult to get?

    • writedit said

      The science needs to drive the duration of the award, but NSF tends to prefer more frequent, shorter awards (less committed up front). At NSF even more than NIH, it is critical to talk with the Program Director, and he/she could offer advice specific to your project and whether he/she would want to fund 3 or 5 years of work.

  2. NSFCAREER said

    Dear writedit,

    I just realized that the grant office of my university mistakenly submitted my CAREER application to a wrong program. Since it is now post deadline, there is no way to fix it on our side. I was wondering if there is any chance to have my application switch to the correct program at NSF? If so, who should I contact?

    Thanks a lot!!!

    • writedit said

      I assume you were working with a program director at NSF (where you wanted your application to go). Your PO/PD would give you the best advice on how to handle this and may even be able to make the switch him/herself.

      • NSFCAREER said

        You are right, writedit.

        I did contact the PO of the program that I was interested in, and he agreed with me that my application fits his program. I have sent him an email to explain the situation and request for the switch. While I am waiting for his response, is there anything else I can do? After reviewing the description of the ‘wrong’ program, I am deeply concerned that my application does not fit their scope well. If I cannot get it switched to the right program, my application might not fly.

        Thanks so much for your help! any suggestion is appreciated!

      • writedit said

        You should sit tight until you hear from your PO. He should be able to move your application to his program (NIH also moves applications between ICs and study sections after submission), and if you can or need to do something, he will let you know. Don’t panic – nothing needs to be done instantly (or you lose your chance). The fact that you talked with the PO in advance of applying secures your case that the original submission was an administrative error (not you changing your mind). Just wait and try not to worry too much – if you don’t hear from your PO by early next week, you can follow up your email with a phone call.

  3. […] update NIH paylines as they are posted), Discussion: NIH Scores-Paylines-Policy-Peer Review,  and Discussion: All Things NSF. I encourage everyone to monitor posts here and chime in with intel, tips, and personal experience […]

  4. […] with the NSF now than in the past, I am happy to consider queries about their grant process at the Discussion: All Things NSF page as […]

  5. CAREERWaiting said

    I have found this website to be a great resource and comfort while awaiting NIH decisions. It would be great if there were a bit more NSF discussion as well.

    In that spirit, I applied for the CAREER this year (MPS/CHE-CMI). I got a brief email from the PM a couple of weeks ago about overlapping funding, but have had radio silence since. Has anyone gotten any news regarding funding decisions, in any directorate or program?

    Thanks writedit for this great resource!

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